I've always had a thing for knives, not sure why. When I was a kid, I had a fairly large knife collection just because of how cool I thought they were, though I rarely ever carried one or used them in any serious way. Now, all grown up, I've come to find that my fascination with knives is back in full effect and these tools are far more useful than they are cool. Though they're still pretty cool.
One of the first names in knives is Gerber, an Oregon based company that started crafting knives back in 1939, when men still carried knives everywhere, every day. Somewhere along the line, many men lost sight of the value of having a pocket knife or specialty knife at hand because life got softer. I say softer rather than easier because personally, I've found that always having a knife at hand makes life even easier than it already is for most of us.
The key to selecting a knife depends on what you're going to be doing that day or where you'll be at a particular time. Bearing that in mind, we've selected three examples from Gerber and explain why and where you should be carrying them.
Every Day, Every Where: Gerber AO Fast 3.0
I can't stress the value of carrying a decent knife with you every where you go, whether it's to the office or a movie theater. Some days I'll draw my knife a dozen times just to open packages, containers, or cut thread or rope. Why go searching for scissors when you can reach for your belt?
The AO Fast 3.0 is an Assisted Opening knife meaning that once you start opening the knife, the “FAST” system takes over, springing the knife fully open. This allows for easy one handed operation, requiring only a single finger to reveal the blade. You may be skeptical, as was I, at first, at the need for an assisted opener. After all, even with my old carry folder, I could open it with one hand. But the rub is this: being able to open a knife with one hand and opening a knife designed to be opened with one hand is a whole different world.
I can't even go back to my old knife because I'm so used to the FAST action of this knife. Opening it is lightning quick and a breeze, which is valuable for many reasons. Number one, it's easy, which is good. Number two, you may have your hands full, or a hand incapacitated, and yet still need the knife. Enter the 3.0, which springs into action at a moments notice. The knife features a modified drop point blade, a carabiner clip, a belt clip, and even a bottle opener. A sweet knife perfect for keeping on you at all times.
In the Glove Box: LMF II Safety Knife
Available for purchase on its own or as part of a set with the LMF II (see below), the Safety Knife is a specialist tool not really necessary for every day carry – but perhaps a life saver any day in your car. The safety knife is so called because the twin blades are completely inaccessible to the human finger, or other body parts, so it's virtually impossible to cut yourself on purpose, much less on accident.
With this in your glove box, or nearby in the car, you'll never have to worry about being trapped by a broken or malfunctioning seat belt. Simply line up the canvas of the belt with the knife and pull through – instant freedom. While not specifically designed with this in mind (or at least not mentioned to us), with a firm grip and a sharp punch, I'm fairly confident you could use the safety knife to punch through glass as well.
The safety knife comes with a tough sheath that is MOLLE compliant to fit in with the rest of your gear and has a paracord loop attached.
On the Trail: LMF II Survival Knife
When your life is on the line, you want to have the best tools available at your disposal. In terms of survival knives, this means having the LMF II on your hip, or attached via the MOLLE system to your gear. Built with the military in mind, the LMF II is a serious knife. It weighs in at a hefty 11.4oz, with an overall length of 10.59″ of which almost half is a 420HC stainless steel blade.
Just using it as a blade, the knife is excellent. It's got weight behind it, which allows you to punch through just about anything in your way, while the half-serrated blade also gives you the ability to slice and saw, even tearing its way through sheet metal. But that's not enough to warrant being listed among the best.
The LMF II features a full tang blade hidden underneath a comfortable, no slip overmolded handle. Attached to the butt of the knife is a buffer pad and a metal hammer punch. With a heavy point, the knife will easily shatter glass with minimal effort while the flat edge is designed to be used as a hammer. Yes, your knife is also a hammer.
Further, there are three holes in the handle, allowing you to lash the knife securely to a pole or stick to create a spear – hey, when you're lost in the woods you need every edge you can get.
The LMF II comes with a vast series of webbing and attachment options, whether you want to wear it on your vest, your belt, or strap it to your leg. The sheath itself has double straps and a retainer clip to keep the knife secure while also housing a sharpener.
All of these things combined make the LMF II a great choice for hikers or anyone putting together a survival bag. It's a strong knife that can take the abuse, was designed with wilderness survival in mind, and comes with enough serious whistles to increase your odds of surviving if you ever find yourself stranded. This knife is Primer Approved for Survival.
There are a million uses for a knife, whether you're opening packages at the office or fending off a bear in the wild. Obviously some uses are mundane and useful everyday, while others are things we hope we never have to face – but being prepared always increases your chances from success. So if you're looking for a knife to save your life, or just one to ‘save' the picnic by effortlessly opening chip bags, do yourself a favor and get one. You could do a lot worse than selecting a Gerber knife, and not much better.