Knife/Gun Contest Entry: Gerber EVO, Affordable EDC

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By Mark H.

Ok I admit it, my favorite EDC (every day carry) knife is one that most knife aficionados would turn their nose up at. Sometimes however, what you want in a carry knife is fairly simple: light weight, easy to carry, easy to use, and cheap enough that you won’t cry if you loose it. The Gerber EVO meets all these criteria . . .

Size:
Gerber offers this knife in two sizes. The EVO itself has a blade that is 3.43 inches long, and a fully open length of 7.95 inches. A good size blade for most every day tasks. It is also available in an “EVO Jr.” version with a 2.75 inch blade (6.35″ open). The Jr. is the perfect size when wearing dress cloths that might preclude a larger knife, or where local laws may prohibit carry of a knife over 3″ long.

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Steel:
The EVO series of knives is made from 440 stainless. No great prize here. It’s an inexpensive stainless, but it does the job. These knives have a Titanium Nitride coating on the blade to help resist staining, and it does make the blade easier to clean.

Blade:
The EVO series is available in standard clip point, partially serrated clip point, and Tanto point. I’m not sure why anyone would want a small folder with a Tanto point, other than it’s simply considered stylish at this time in history. On a full tang combat/belt knife sure, but on a pocket folder? Stick to the clip point. I don’t fundamentally object to partially serrated blades. The serrations come in very handy for cutting bailing twine for example, but I would prefer a shorter length. Unless you have horses or have to cut a lot of rope stick with the fine edge blade.

Weight:
This is where the EVO series really shines. The full size EVO weighs in at 2.8 oz. The Jr. version is less than two ounces and weighs in at an official 1.8 oz. Every time I hand my knife to someone they exclaim at how light it is. It would be really hard to go back to carrying a 4-5 oz knife after carrying the EVO for a while.

Scales:
Scales are Aluminum with oval shaped cutouts. This gives decent purchase without being too aggressive. Some of these knives are available with a camouflage (Realtree TM) pattern. For some reason this finish is a lot “grippier” that the Plain Jane anodized ones. The lightweight aluminum scales contribute greatly to the light weight of these knives.

Mechanism:
The EVO series of knives use a liner lock (right handed only) and finger flipper to open. At first I was uncertain about the finger flipper function; now that I’ve carried one for a while I can’t imagine buying another knife without this feature. Very fast, very easy one-handed opening. Easy one handed closing with the liner lock. These knives also have a traditional thumb stud which (thanks to the finger flipper) is completely superfluous in my opinion.

Carry:
This is where the EVO series loses out against other knives. The pocket clip is NOT reversible. This means that the clip is set up from the factory for right hand, tip down carry. I personally prefer tip down carry, and find tip up to be awkward. I’ve had tip-up carry knives get stuck in a pocket before when the knife opened prematurely. Some folks really prefer tip-up though, and those who insist on tip up carry should look elsewhere.

Cost:
Gerber’s MSRP is $39 and $20. Street price is about 25% lower than that. EVO knives are also available in “paired” packs with a full size and matching Jr packed together.

Country of Origin:
Like most Gerber products these days, the EVO series of knife is made in China. I know this is an important consideration for many people.

The EVO is almost everything I want in a carry knife; light weight, easy to use, inexpensive enough that if I loose it for any reason I can easily replace it without worrying about the budget. I’ve given several away as presents, and they have always been appreciated. Somewhat surprisingly, I do have to show a lot of people how a liner-lock works though.

The EVO has a lot of features at the price point, and might well be the least expensive finger-flipper available. Would I prefer a higher quality steel than 440? Of course I would. Would I prefer a knife made in the USA? Definitely. Unfortunately, both those things lead to significantly increased cost, and the whole point of the EVO is to be an affordable choice.

comments

  1. NavyRetGold says:

    I have had very poor results from Gerber knives of recent production. Maybe you don’t mind carrying something that cheap, but Gerber is now below the line for me. I have a vintage Gerber steak knife set and a carving set, both from the 1970’s and they are outstanding, worth many times more than what I paid for them. I also have a fairly new Fastdraw assisted folder which is pretty close to worthless. It’s a damn shame to see an American company sink so low.

  2. paul says:

    I used to carry one of these, until part of the blade broke while cutting cardboard. It was at the base of the blade, where the lock rests, preventing the blade from closing. Because this broke, when I attempted to remove the knife from the cardboard, the blade collapsed, cutting my finger (not badly, it wasn’t too sharp).

    After contacting gerber, they wanted me to sent it back tracked and insured to get a replacement. Since it was a $12 knife, I moved on to a CRKT drifter and Kershaw chill for my EDC throwaway knives. Never looked back.

    I do have a Gerber gator (I think) camp knife that has endured way more abuse than any knife should, and is still kicking though.

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Knife/Gun Contest Entry: Gerber EVO, Affordable EDC

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