Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gerber Swagger: A nice inexpensive and effective folding knife

For all my preparation efforts, all of my training, all of my time spent watching other peoples valuables I have learned one thing. I am bad for losing my work knives.
My work knives are all small little pocket knives I carry while at work as opposed to my “play” knives which are usually the larger more defensive or outdoors oriented blades for use in my spare time outside of work.

My work knives are typically not expensive or of the highest end brands out there because.. Well because those are expensive and I lose my knives.
Thankfully the loss of the work knife is normally not permanent as typically a few months down the road I will find the knife again whilst digging through some former kitbag or stuffed at the bottom of a desk drawer however I do not like to go without a blade for too long so I usually rush out to my local store and grab another folder for a couple bucks and so as time goes on I find myself amassing a fairly sizeable blade collection.

As I recently lost my then current work knife A sort of CRKT M16 knock off made by Schrade and my Kershaw Drone was at the time another 2 weeks out I made the trek over to my local Mountain Equipment Co-op to see what they had to offer me in the way of sharp things. As I rolled over the mountains of Swiss Army Knives I happened upon the Gerber Swagger folding knife priced at about 30 dollars before tax.

This was a bit more then I paid for my Schrade (I told you they weren’t very expensive) however It was not an amount I would regret spending should I lose this one so five minutes at MEC and I walked out with a new work knife.

 The Gerber Swagger is a frame locking folding knife with a 3.5 inch 7Cr17MoV stainless steel blade and a combination of a stainless steel scale on one side and a slightly coarse G10 scale on the other.  The thumb stud and G10 scale have a nice texture which allows a good grip and opening even when wearing gloves or when wet. The top of the blade also has such texturing to allow two handed opening with gloves or when wet.

The blade profile is that of a drop point with about half of the blade bearing serrations which I am normally not to fond of but in this case I have no real complaints. The frame lock has a very firm lock up and is easy enough to close.  Some difficulty may be found while wearing gloves though I have yet to encounter them while gloved (I use Mechanix utility pros and Hatch search gloves if that helps you any)

Some people have complained about the frame locking mechanism jamming the blade open and I will admit when I first purchased it I had issues with the frame lock sliding too far forward on opening and locking the blade open to the point where I had to use my leatherman to close the knife. This happened on two occasions and now after a few weeks of opening and closing the knife it seems to have been dealt with. My advice to you on this is to spend the first day or two opening and closing as kind of a break in and that seems to mitigate any issues.

For such a cheap knife it has pretty solid construction. Usually on these little 30 dollar “tactical knives” I always encounter blade wobble after a few dozen openings. You would swear these companies have never heard of Loc-Tite.. But on this one so far I have encountered zero wobble and it has a good solid lock.

Now I do know some people who expect no flaws from their knives. And I wont fault them for that why spend money on something that might not work as expected? But let’s just be honest with ourselves that a 30 dollar knife that was made in china is not always going to be the greatest knife out there.  There are bomb proof 30 dollar knives some of which even made in china but this blade just might not be one of them.

But again I have no complaints.

There are similar priced options available that can be seen as such and are made by better brands but this was hardly a waste of 30 bucks especially if you need a throwaway knife or just a cheap folder. While I bought mine at Mountain Equipment Coop I am sure there are plenty of places on and offline you can pick up this knife for around 30.00 dollars.


1 comment:

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