When Gerber debuted its line of Gator folding knives in 1991, they were voted “Most Innovative Knife of the Year” at the Blade Show. The handle of the Gerber Gator measures 5” in length and it is made of glass-filled nylon covered with a rubberized alligator skin texture for a tacky, comfortable, grip.
The 3.75”, lock-back, clip point, saber ground, blade is forged from 420HC stainless steel (Rockwell Hardness unknown) and has a choice of serrated edge or fine edge. In addition, it includes a heavy-duty, nylon, sheath.
- Serrated 3.75-inch blade
- Weighs 5 ounces
- Patented Gator grip handle
- Surgical stainless steel blade
- Limited lifetime warranty
According to Gerber, the Gator is still one of the company’s most popular folding knives – and I can easily see why. Let’s take a look at the main feature, the blade.
As I have mentioned in previous articles on this web site, the Clip Point blade is, in my opinion, the most useful general purpose blade tip type in existence because it will perform so many different tasks well.
In addition, the saber grind on the blade has a really high bevel which produces an edge that it both strong and sharp. However, the serrations on the edge of the blade just in front of the ricasso tend to preclude the user from using the knife effectively to carve with.
The use of 420 series high carbon stainless steel compliments the intent to create a tough knife that will hold an edge reasonably well (contains 0.4% to 0.5% Carbon) and is reasonably corrosion resistant (contains 12% to 14% Chromium and 0.6% Molybdenum which combines with Chromium during forging to create hard, double carbide, bonds which help improve the abrasion and corrosion resistance of the steel).
In addition, the choice of ballistic nylon for the sheath is also a wise choice because nylon is an extremely tough material this is both water proof and rot proof.
About the Gerber Knife Company
When Joseph R. Gerber described his young knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades, as the, “birth of an enterprise that grew into big business,” it was true. But, it was also a vast understatement because what had started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country.
By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names in knives and, in the over 70 years since its founding, Gerber continues to grow. Still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s “enterprise,” Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use.
The sleek, stainless steel, sheath knives of the ’50s and ’60s (such as the Magnum Hunter) have given birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame, clip folders (such as the Remix). However, Gerber is no longer just a knife company since they now produce Multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, and digging implements (these are the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making).
SummarySo, although I am not particularly pleased with the serrations on the edge of the blade, the Gerber Gator is an excellent choice for an everyday carry belt knife. In addition, the 420 HC stainless steel is a good choice for a general purpose everyday carry knife since it is corrosion resistant, tough, and reasonably hard and thus, it holds an edge well. So, although there are other designs that I would prefer for an everyday carry belt knife, the Gerber Gator would sever very well in this capacity.
Features of the Gerber Gator Knife
- Part-serrated edge folding knife (fine edge also available) with sabre-ground steel blade
- limited lifetime warranty
- 5.7 inches closed;
- 3.75-inch blade;
Written by Bill Bernhardt