Gerber Flatiron: Folding Chopper
Gerber is a name that is almost instantly recognized to almost anyone in the United States who has spent time in the military or tried their hand at outdoor adventures. It’s a name I’ve trusted since 1993 when I was issued my first multi tool at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska shortly before I left for Osan Air Base Korea and my first major field exercise. Being an engineer the Gerber multi tool became an indispensable piece of our kit.
Introducing The Gerber Flatiron
I’ve had a ton of folding knives over the last few decades but the Gerber Flatiron is different from any of the beater knives I’ve had. auto openers, drop points, serrated, chisel points and many other patterns but I’ve never owned a chopper or cleaver of any size so my interest was peaked. A chopper that was a folder from a company I have used and trusted for almost 30 years ? Yeah that was something I had to explore more closely.
MANUFACTURER: Gerber Gear
MODEL: Flatiron Desert
BLADE LENGTH: 3.6″
BLADE TYPE: Folding Clever
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5″
- Handle: G10 Composite Panel
- Steel: 7Cr17MoV Steel (Stainless Steel with Higher Levels of Vanadium) Hardness is 55/57 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale
- Stonewash blade finish and flat tan on our tested model
- Desert Tan (As Tested)
- Black Micarta
- Gray Micarta
PRICE: $40.00 – $57.00 depending on colors
WARRANTY: Limited Lifetime
USE AND IMPRESSIONS
Here in Alaska we do a fair bit of camping and the fact I usually end up dicing meat or vegetables for stew or breakfast is not lost on me. The idea of having a clever that folds was a big deal for me since it would make meal time much easier on myself and my camping companions. So when the knife arrived I was eager to put it to use in the kitchen and around my property like I would around a camp site or a trail.
The knife arrived in a rather large box from Gerber which was nice but I tore through it quickly to get to my prize. When I swung the Flatiron open for the first time two things struck me quickly. First it really pops open and locks fast which was fantastic. The second thing is the size and weight of the knife at 5.6 oz its a bit heavier than what I was expecting but that’s not a bad thing at all, just something I noticed and wanted to mention.
When I looked at the blade I really noticed the no nonsense stonewashed finish on the blade and the width of the blade itself. The pocket scimitar known as the Flatiron is roughly 1 1/8″ wide and 1/8″ thick and turns out was razor sharp out of the package. Deploying the pocket sword was extremely easy with a flick of the thumb.
FIT AND FEEL IN THE HAND
The G10 handle on the Gerber Flatiron that we tested wasn’t too grippy and wasn’t exactly smooth, it sat in that very comfortable middle range. The backside of the knife is exposed stonewashed steel and might get slippery when wet but was fine during our testing. The large thumb hole opening we found to be very easy to get the tip of your thumb in and open the knife.
During our testing we used the knife with the finger choil (finger notch) and with gripping the knife farther back on the handle. Either position of the hand resulted in clean cuts to all of our test materials with minimal fatigue to our hands. Below we have a short list of materials we tested the knife against over the first few days we had it.
Our testing consisted of two categories of testing which I labeled Indoor and Outdoor tests. The indoors tests consisted of chopping and dicing things that you would find in your house or while cooking on the trail. I found after a while I just diced anything in the kitchen that I thought we would be using soon. The materials tested were the following
- White Onions
- Green Peppers
- Yellow Peppers
- Chicken Breasts
Once I was satisfied the Gerber Flatiron passed all of the Indoor tests I moved to the Outdoor series of tests. This consisted of general use tests like opening and cutting up boxes, rope, packages and even shaving bark off of a fire poking stick around a campfire. More of an every day carry type of scenarios. Below is the list of detailed items I tested the Flatiron against.
- Cutting open FedEx boxes
- Opening mail
- Cutting 550 paracord
- Shaving pine board edges
- Shaving bark from Birch tree branch
- Test cuts on Red Oak 1″x 4″ boards
- Nylon strap
Overall the Gerber Flatiron is a beast of a knife that even after our tests was wicked sharp and was still able to cut onions razor thin. The Flatiron isn’t for everyone and we know that, but for people that need or want it, expect years of trouble free operation with a lifetime warranty to back you up, just incase you run into trouble with it.
This knife will be a perfect fit for people who want to camp, hike, explore and want one knife that can perform most any cutting or slicing that you will need. The Flatiron has limitations being a folding knife but if you don’t use it as a pry bar or a heavy wood splitter it will be worth your time to look into into it. There are several variations available on the Gerber website. We are excited to get out this summer here in Alaska and no doubt the Gerber Flatiron will be in my pocket on my adventures .