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Posts Tagged ‘GerberGear’

Gerber Freeman Fixed Blade Knife Review

Gerber Freeman Stag Handle Knife with Drop Point

Gerber Freeman Stag Handle Knife with Drop Point

Review Status:

The Gerber Freeman knife was reviewed by a master Outdoorsman


(1/22/11) The review for the Gerber Freeman fixed blade knife with s30v stainless blade, stag handle, and drop point tip was provided by Patrick R. from Kansas. Thank you Patrick for such a great review. If you have used the Gerber Freeman then tell us what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

Buy the Gerber Freeman Knife with s30v Steel Blade

Outdoorsman Review:

I will preclude my review by making a confession: I am a steel snob. There, I said it. When it comes to knives, I prefer higher-end steel as opposed to the steel you find on most budget knives. For this reason, most Gerber knives do not even warrant my attention as they frequently use 440A stainless steel in almost everything. For my ”steel snob” tastes, if it isn’t 154CM or better, I don’t consider it.

The Gerber Freeman hunting knife has been around for quite a while, and while it is a great design made by a man with a lot of experience making good knives, Gerber chose what I consider to be an inferior steel in order to keep costs down and increase volume of sales. For this reason, I never bothered to look at the Freeman hunting knife.

All that changed when I received a gift card to Bass Pro and hopped on their web site to look for a good knife. I found the Gerber Freeman drop point knife with stag handles and s30v steel. Now this caught my attention, so I ordered one.

Upon inspection, I noticed the fit is very good, with the stag handles having an even thickness on each side. The blade is satin finished and came hair shaving sharp. HOWEVER, the edge bevels were very uneven, which makes sharpening a real pain in the… well, you get the idea. This is sad to see in a knife that costs $100+, and will make reprofiling the edge a necessity if you want to keep it sharp in the future. The clip point relief cuts on the spine toward the tip are uneven as well. The jimping on the spine and in the finger choils could stand to be more aggressive also.

I sent it off to have the bevels professionally reprofiled, and now it is easy to keep hair popping sharp. The main draw to steels such as 440A, C and 154CM for hunting knives are the ease of sharpening. The drawback is that you have to sharpen them much more frequently. S30V is harder to sharpen than typical 440A, 420HC, or even 440C or 154CM, but it also keeps it’s edge for considerably longer. Two seasons ago, I was able to use the knife to process two deer (that means from field dressing to freezer) before I needed to sharpen it. Even then it only needed some touch up on my Spyderco Sharpmaker to return the edge to hair popping sharpness. Don’t use it to try to cut bone and the edge should be fine. S30V is not a steel you want to abuse, however. Don’t try to use this knife as an axe, as the edge will chip instead of just roll. This might have something to do with the way Gerber heat treats their s30v, as other companies’ heat treatment of s30v yields a tougher, better result. S30V should be on par with D2 tool steel when it comes to edge retention, and I don’t feel that Gerber’s s30v comes close.

The handle fills the hand very well, and if you wish, you can attach a lanyard to the butt end to secure it to your wrist during camping work. The drawback to the stag is that it gets a bit slick when it’s wet with either water or blood. I may make a set of micarta handles for it to replace the antler and give it more grip.

In all, the knife isn’t bad for a higher-end steel. It isn’t all s30v can be, either. If I didn’t have the Bass Pro card, I’m not sure I would have spent the $100+ for this knife, as I had read a couple other reviews about Gerber’s heat treating of s30v. My out-of-pocket price was less than for a standard Gerber Freeman, however, so it was worth it.

If you’re going to spend this kind of money for a higher end knife, s30v steel is a good one to consider as long as the heat treatment is good. Buck Knives makes use of Paul Bos to heat treat their s30v, and there are few better at it than him. Cabela’s Alaskan Guide series of Buck Knives in s30v is superior to the Gerber, and Knives of Alaska with their D2 steel is also superior to the Gerber knife. If my gift card had been to Cabela’s instead of Bass Pro, I would not have gotten this Gerber Freeman, as the Buck and KoA knives are superior.

Manufacturer’s Specs for the Gerber Freeman:

  • S30V steel blade
  • Genuine stag handles
  • Superior edge retention
  • Drop point blade length 4-inch
  • High quality leather sheath
  • .83 pounds

GerberGear Axle 2×3 Headlamp Review

GerberGear Axle 2x3 Headlamp

GerberGear Axle 2x3 Headlamp

Review Status:

The Gerber Axle 2x3 headlamp was reviewed by a master Outdoorsman


If you’ve found your way out a dark place with the Axle Headlamp like Al did then tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

Buy GerberGear’s Axle 2×3 Headlamp



Outdoorsman Review:

(1/14/11) The (very detailed) review for Gerber’s Axle 2×3 headlamp was provided by Al Q. from Southern California. Thanks Al for the review. Al is quite the hunter and definitely knows what he’s talking about. As a matter of fact Al blogs about his hunting adventures over at The SoCal Bowhunter. Check it out.

Having available light in the woods is a must, especially if you hunt early morning or late into the evening. Enter the new Gerber Axle 2×3™ headlamp.

The Gerber Axle was new to the market last year. I was very excited about field testing this new light for many reasons. The first was that it was able to be used in three ways: headlamp, in your pocket or on your belt. The second reason was that it had a red and a white L.E.D. Thirdly, it kicked out 40 lumens. Lastly, the lamp head swiveled 90 degrees to ease neck strain.

From Gerber: Three lights in one: Cap, Pocket-Clip or Headlamp. Can switch between two colors: Bright white for maximum visibility or red to preserve night vision, with no additional parts. Headlamp bracket developed with a 30 degree angle to reduce user neck fatigue. Lightweight, compact design that used commonly available AAA
batteries.

Here are the specs from the Gerber website:

  • Overall Length: 2.375″ (with the head bent)
  • Weight: 3 oz
  • Batteries: AAA (3)
  • Run Time: White- 7 hrs, Red- 10 hrs
  • Lumens: White- 40, Red- 6.5
  • Body Construction: Polycarbonate/ ABS Construction
  • Setting: Steady On

I was able to test this headlamp out during a variety of conditions. The first time I used the Axle I was coming back from my evening hunt in the pouring rain. I decided to clip it to my brim and that was a mistake. Ever drive through a blinding snowstorm in the dead of night? That’s what it looked like. I switched to the red L.E.D. and that didn’t help at all. So, I pulled it off the brim, attached it to the head strap and put in on over my cap. That helped, but I still had a hard time seeing, even with the head angled fully. I think having it on the brim gave me the best light, but impeded my line of sight. The rain didn’t help either, so I knew to test it after the rain stopped.

Back in camp I tried it out on my pocket. That was pretty cool. It was nice being hands free, flipping a switch (which I will get to later) and having a strong beam of light. Without the rain I could see well enough to get around. It seemed like I was able to see a wider area instead of a focused area in front of me. That would be good in some ways, like looking for a large object out in front of you, such as downed game. I also think this lamp would be great when you are field dressing an animal. The clip is strong and would hold fast to your hat or the angle bracket on the head strap.

The headlamp is not bulky and packs well because it is a flatter headlamp. This was a plus for me as I am always trying to reduce clutter in my pack. It is also lighter than most headlamps. I did like the way the head swiveled silently and easily. I was able to use it for a variety of up close tasks where the Axle was a major benefit. My older headlamp is a much bulkier.

One of the things I truly disliked about the Axle is the on/off switch. It can flip on or off way too easily. At one point on the second night, I looked over at my pack and I saw a red light glowing from inside. Inside, the Axle was bright as can be. I have another headlamp where you have to press a button to get it to turn on. I have never had it come on by itself in my pack. You can see the on/off switch well in this photo. The next day I had to get something out of my pack and when I looked inside, the light was on again.

At $37.50 I think this headlamp is a bit overpriced until the on/off switch design can be fixed to where it won’t come on so easily. I think I will be sticking to my original headlamp that has features like a push on/off button, adjustable angled head, and the different types of light: flashing, half the L.E.D.’s on and full L.E.D. lamp. Sure, there are cool features on the Axle like the angled head and red L.E.D., but the headlamp I got for less-than half that price at Target in my pack works better for me. I will just have to forgo the red and green L.E.D.s for now. The headlamp I am using has a brighter light and I have the peace of mind knowing that if I am camping for a couple of days the batteries won’t burn out from the light turning on when I don’t want it to. I would like to have a light like the Axle 2×3 that is brighter and has a tougher on/off switch. That is a headlamp I would buy.