So many knife makers today strive to make the latest greatest whiz-bang do everything knife that they fail miserably and end up not producing even a decent line of affordable products. Then there are those knife makers who have been around for a long time; know what they're doing; design funciontal, efficient knives and market them accordingly. Gerber Legendary Tools is such a manufacturer and the Gerber 06 Fast is such a knife. I received a test sample and... well, you know what I did to it. Let me tell you how well it survived.
First the basics of the knife: Blade Length: 3.8 inches (actually cutting edge length)
Overall Open Length: 8.6 inches
Length Closed: 5 inches
Weight: 5.7 ounces (just over a quarter pound)
Handle Material: G-10
I couldn't find any information on the blade steel.
Assisted opening action with a piston lock in the handle.
Now, let me get a criticism out of the way.
This knife is set up as a right-hand only pants-pocket-only carry knife. The clip is not reversible, neither from side to side nor end to end. I understand minimizing production cost but I don't think it would be too much to ask to be able to put the pocket clip on either side, or to put it on the other end maximizing draw efficiency for carrying the knife inside the waistband or in a shirt pocket.
That complaint voiced, I have nothing else negative to report. The slide lock embedded in the grip slab is positioned comfortably for manipulation by the thumb. Since this is an assisted opening knife, the thumb lock also serves as a "safety". With the knife folded shut, you can put the slide lock in the rear position, locking the knife shut. To open the knife you then push the lock forward and push gently on the thumb-stud (which is, oddly enough, ambidextrous) to start opening the knife. Within less than 1/4" inch of push the spring mechanism will catch and push the blade the rest of the way. The blade locks open with an authoritative click and locks securely in place. To unlock the blade and fold it shut the thumb lock has to be pushed toward the blade (an un-natural motion in normal use) to unlock it and then you can fold it closed.
The 3.8 inches of cutting edge are comprised of 1.5" of chisel ground serrations and 2.3" of double-bevel plain edge. The blade is Tanto style and the corner turn of the blade is nicely done. The handle and G-10 grip slabs are ergonomically shaped with curves milled in for the index finger and middle finger and a gentle curve for the ring finger and pinky. There is a hilt also milled in which is a good design feature given the thrusting strength of the Tanto blade style. The pommel has a striking tip (even if that wasn't the intentional design use) and a lanyard hole. Where the hilt helps minimize the risk of hand slippage during a penetrating thrust, the pommel end of the grips curve slightly to hold the pinky in place - a handy feature if you do use the pommel for striking.
Now, to the abuse report...
As with all knives I test I feel the need to ascertain that they will actually cut. I mean, it seems simple enough, but never assume, right? So, out to the shed I went to gather my test materials: rope, twine, 1" nylon webbing, 1/2" ugly plastic yellow rope, 1/2" braded rope, ugly plastic construction bucket and a few other assorted items.
The combination serrated / plain edge had no problem pulling through most of the items in a single pass. Fishing line, string, twine and the 1" nylon webbing were cut clean. The nylon webbing took a good strong pull, but I / the knife managed. Even the 1/2" rope was cut in a single pull, but the ugly plastic rope crap took two passes (I think it was me, not the knife). Cutting chunks of the plastic construction bucket took some effort but were successfully cut. Turning the bucket remnants on its side I also had no trouble punching the knife down through it several times. The knife felt secure in my hand and I wondered what else I could manage.
Pulling out saw-horses and some two foot square pieces of 1/4" plywood I did some over-hand swings to see if I could punch the knife through the plywood. I won't say it was easy, but I managed. Punturing the wood the first 1/4 to 1/2" wasn't much of a challenge with a strong swing. Past that I was forcing the knife in past where the blade tapers near the tip. It wasn't easy but I still managed.
Checking over the knife after the fact I found that the edge was still in good condition and the lock had no play in it. It was still snug. Holding the blade (carefully) in one hand and the handle in the other I tried wiggling them and could detect no play there either. It had survived what I threw at it.
Online I've found the Gerber 06 Fast listed as low as $54.99 which is a pretty good price for a knife of this quality and design. If you think it'll meet your need, search around online and I'm sure you can find a price you're happy with.
Check out this and other Gerber Knives on the Gerber Tools website linked below.