What follows is my Gerber SrongArm Review:
We all have that favorite thing, whatever it is. When it comes to fixed blade knives, I’ve got a couple of favorites. Being that I’m a Marine, the obvious choice is a Ka-Bar. More than that, and more recently, is the Gerber StrongArm.
I’ve had this knife since its release when Gerber sent me one for review at a different publication. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to make of the sheath but gave the knife itself very high marks.
Gerber StrongArm Review:
Here’s a follow up Gerber Strong Arm review after I’ve had it for a couple years, and I can say that I’ve used it for every day tasks on and off for the past few years, chopping small branches, digging into tree stumps, and other things. I’m just going to come right out and say that I am a huge fan of the Gerber Strongarm.
It has held up perfectly over the years and is only showing minimal wear on the finish. Before we move on, let me tell you my downside to this knife.
Gerber Strongarm Sheath:
Back in the day a couple years ago, my main complaint was the sheath. It still is. But, not how you may think. While I think the overall sheath design is brilliant and has totally grown on me in terms of usability, the snaps have worn out to the point where if I attach it to my belt and hit it hard on something it can unsnap.
That has happened to me once and I’ve since changed my method of attaching it to my belt.
The sheath is still awesome, and the fact that you can attach it to your belt vertically or horizontally, as well as MOLLE gear, is fantastic, to say the least. The Strongarm’s sheath is versatile, allowing the user to attach it to many different things in many different ways.
Overall, the sheath is strong, unlike some leather sheaths that come to mind that have zero retention left when it comes to holding the knife in place. Where other sheaths lack in retention or only use a snap, the Gerber StrongArm Sheath has a sort of action and passive retention system built into it.
In terms of “active retention” think of something you have to do to remove or secure the knife. In this case, it’s a snap. When you think “passive retention” think about something that just kind of happens on its own. in addition to a grip snap that you have to defeat to de-holster the knife.
When you go to re-holster it, it provides a positive, audible click to let you know it’s home and though it seems to have worn out a little bit, after all it’s metal on plastic, it still holds the knife in place while upside down, shaking like the madman I am.
The thing I really want to hit home in my Gerber StrongArm Review is the ergonomics. The soft rubbery grip provides a non-slip surface to get all your work done whether you’re chopping, scraping, cutting, or smashing a skull with the pointed pommel.
The grip does seem a little on the small side, but I’m confident that if my knife fighting skills learned in my beloved Corps ever had to kick in while carrying this knife I’d do just fine. My hands are massive, but think it’s less of a problem for the handle and more of a problem because of the double guard.
My thumb just seems to be a little confused, but does just fine.
Gerber StrongArm Blade:
Made in the United States of America, in Oregon, this full tang survival knife has a 4.8 inch 420 HC (high carbon) blade. While 420HC is one of the low to middle end steels, the blade on the StrongArm has held an edge pretty well and is easy to sharpen. Furthermore, it’s thick and has some heft to it.
And of course, a high carbon steel like this one is ideal for corrosion resistance.
The spine of the blade is squared which is great for removing tree bark or starting fires, and the blade is thick enough to hold up to some serious abuse.
It’s available in a serrated version or non, which is what I’ve chosen. Also color options are coyote tan or all black.
The Gerber StrongArm lives up to its name, at least in my opinion. It has a spike pommel, in case you need to break glass or someone’s skull, and a hole for a lanyard or 550 cord if you want to use it for chopping wood. It is strong, and is a great knife that I recommend highly.
For the price you can’t go wrong.
You can find these survival knives for relatively cheap prices online. Amazon currently has the black model in stock for for a decent price, with the Coyote Tan model going in and out of stock more often. Another place that has both models in stock, or if you’re into the serrated model, is this website.