FR - Gerber Instant Knife - askLarry
- Hi Jamie--
As promised (and only a little late), here's the FR on the Gerber Instant;
Html is in the tests folder and at: http://tinyurl.com/busqt5z
Thanks in advance for the edits
January 13, 2013
Over the past few months, I have taken the Gerber Instant with me whenever I have been on the trail. This has included:
A weekend 7 mi/10.2 km backpacking trip in October to Wildcat Hollow, in Glouster, OH. Weather was intermittently rainy with overnight temperatures that were colder than expected, reaching a low of 32 F/0 C
A weekend camping trip (with about 1 mi/1.6 km backpacking) in Newark, OH. It was fairly warm over the weekend, with highs around 50 F/10 C and lows around 40 F/ 4 C, although I stayed overnight in a cabin.
An overnight camping trip to Marengo, OH, that was another cabin camping gig.
In addition to these uses, the Instant lives in a handy place in my kitchen, where it is usually the first tool I select when there is something to cut. This might be an envelope, string, twine, packing tape, wrapping paper or other similar items. I don't use it for food, though.
On my trip on the Wildcat Hollow Trail, it rained a decent amount during the afternoon, so making a fire was a bit of a challenge. Aside from opening up the packaging containing my meals, I used the knife to make some 'fuzz sticks' to help start the fire. Basically, this involves stripping off the wet bark and making wood shavings, some of which are collected and some of which remain on the stick. Both parts helped get our fire going so we could dry out a bit.
I also used the knife to cut some parachute cord in order to hang our raintarp from some trees. This typically involved me holding the rope and/or the tarp with one hand using the knife with the other one. I found that it was a snap to flip open the knife one-handed, and with just a bit of practice it was easy enough to close it one-handed. Usually, this involved pushing it closed against a rock or tree, but I also used my leg when needed.
I found the knife had no trouble cutting anything on which I tried it. It was more than strong enough to make wood shavings, and I felt the blade was sturdy enough that I wasn't worried about if breaking.
As I mentioned in the Initial Report, wearing the knife on my belt didn't work out too well on the trail, as it sat under my pack's hipbelt. However, I stashed it easily in a side pocket in my backpacking pants, where it was quite handy.
The other times I used the knife, it functioned similarly, which is to stay it worked well. No problem cutting anything, and always easy to open and to close. Whenever I was done with it, just a quick wipe with my bandanna and it was ready to stash back in my pocket.
My only concern with the knife occurred on the one occasion when I was moving it from one pocket to the other. Although I was not in the process of trying to open it when it fell, it popped open when it hit the ground. Fortunately, there was no harm and no foul. I will point out that I have unintentionally dropped it a few times, but it only opened the one time.
WEAR AND TEAR
The knife blade shows some slight discolorations from use, but nothing significant. I have not sharpened the blade, and it still cuts things quite easily. The handle has the same matte black finish as when I first opened it.
To date, the Gerber Instant has done everything I would expect out of a backpacking knife. The blade is sharp and effective at cutting everything I have tried. The knife is compact and easily fits in my pocket, or I can wear it on my belt if I am not backpacking. Importantly, with just a bit of practice, I have easily been able to open and close the blade with one hand. The sturdy construction makes me think I won't have any trouble with it lasting, at least for the foreseeable future.
This concludes my Field Report on the Gerber Instant Kinfe. Please check back in about 2 months for my Final report on this item.
Thanks to Gerber Legendary Knives for continuing to provide their knives for testing, and to BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the chance to participate in the evaluation process.
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