I've been collecting knives since childhood. Pocket, boot, dive, tanto, bowie, Swiss Army, throwing, and Rambo... I've got 'em all. As a boy, Smokey Mountain Knife Works and US Cavalry catalogs encouraged me to save my pennies. After the obligatory Swiss Army pocketknife, the first "real" addition to the collection was a Command I by Gerber (pictured below). It was the quintessential boot knife, and if I recall correctly, cost me over $60-- an exorbitant amount for a sixth-grader to spend on anything, let alone a knife!
Since then, my collection has grown, and memories of Gerber knives have been fond. "Legendary Blades" has always been their tag-line. In recent years, I've strayed to trendier nameplates: Benchmade, SOG, Microtech, and Piranha among others. But, I've finally come full circle and returned to familiar territory. Let me introduce you to my new Gerber: the model 06 Automatic.
I say without hyperbole that this is my favorite knife... EVER. For many months, I've been searching for a knife featuring the elusive S30V steel blade. The Gerber 06 Automatic is that blade. To be honest, I didn't find it on my own. One of my buddies with a Ranger tab came into the shop last week to return a rifle I loaned him (months ago) and showed me his 06 Auto. Immediately, I was impressed with its feature-rich design. The "skull crusher" lanyard loop is menacing. The safety selector is reminiscent of a style you would find on a pistol. The aluminum handle is ergonomic, rugged, and solid. The pocket clip is the perfect size-- securing the knife in place, yet displaying just the right amount of handle for watchful eyes to see. The drop point blade is an elegant, classic design-- and partially-serrated. It's also available in a Tanto-style. The finish is stealth-like: operator black.
Perhaps it's the October chill in the air, the strange mix of euphoria and depression that aging another year brings, the 24% year-to-date loss my 401k has taken, the end of triathlon season, the Rays race for the World Series, or the return of college football. For some reason, this Gerber brings me back to a simple time in my life. It reminds me of that day long ago, when a package from Smokey Mountain Knife Works arrived at my mom's house with a shiny new Gerber Command I inside. Just in time for my birthday, not unlike this new knife.
Have a good one and God bless.