I recently received the Gerber Freeman Folder as part of a Outdoor Blogger Network gear giveaway. This model is a stout folder, weighing in at 6.6oz, measuring 8.07″ when opened, and just under 4.5″ when closed. My initial impressions of this knife were very positive, especially for the price point. The Gerber Freeman Folder comes in at $57 MSRP, but it can be found at various places online for under $40. If you ask me, that is a deal for this blade!
What I Liked
The knife is constructed of a high carbon stainless blade, a stainless frame and handle, and beautiful pear wood overlays on the handles. I was really impressed with the fit and finish of this knife, especially when you take into consideration the price point. The blade deployed well, and locked up solid via the liner-lock mechanism. There were no harsh burrs or edges from machining and the overall finish of the knife was very good. The pear wood overlays are very nice, much higher quality than I would expect of a knife in this class.
As good as any knife may look, and this one looks good, what I really care about is how it performs. In my testing, the Gerber Freeman didn’t let me down. I used it for miscellaneous tasks and chores; everything from opening boxes and cutting rope, to preparing food. This knife did what I asked it to, and it was always ready for more. The blade came adequately sharp out of the box, and it seems to retain its edge fairly well. I have certainly had knives that had much better sharpness retention, but they were also made of much harder steels. I wouldn’t say that harder steel is necessarily better though, because what you gain in retention you lose in ease of sharpening. The high carbon stainless blade of the Gerber Freeman Folder should respond very well to resharpening with standard tools.
My favorite feature of the Gerber Freeman was the guthook. I didn’t use it on any game, but it proved to be valuable in other ways. Cutting rope, removing zip ties, safely cutting of a hospital wrist band (don’t ask)…they were all no problem. I have never used a guthook much, but I am sold on their value.
What I Didn’t Like
There is one aspect of this knife that I just couldn’t get over…the weight. Gerber lists this knife at 6.6oz, but to me it feels even heavier than that. I don’t mind a nice stout knife for many cutting tasks, but my primary use of a knife this type would be for taking it into the field. I am always trying to keep a close eye on how much weight I am carrying in my pack, and for me this knife just wouldn’t make it. There are too many other great options out there at a fraction of the weight. Additionally the case that comes with the knife is a very nice bonus, but if I actually carry the knife in its case, I feel like I am walking around with a brick on my side.
I think the Gerber Freeman Folder is a very nice knife for under $40. If you are looking for something that has good construction, a great look, and nice performance, then I think this knife would be a great option to purchase without breaking the bank. I like the design of the knife, and I think it will hold up to a lot of work. My only reservation about this knife is the weight, but again I am a stickler about the weight of items that I carry; especially the items that I carry miles and miles on a hike or a hunt.
It Can Be Yours!!!
I am really grateful for the the chance to test and review this knife, but as someone who has more than enough knives, I think it would be best to pass this on to someone who could use it more than I. Do you want it?
All you have to do is leave a comment below and you will be entered to win. You have until Midnight on 12/15/2011 to enter, so get to it! …and the winner is #38, John.
Disclaimer: I received this knife directly from Gerber, free of charge to test and review. The opinions expressed above are my independent thoughts and experiences.