From that title, you probably half expect this post to pitch you a link to a product listing for a folding knife like a Gerber Pocket Square or a Gerber Paraframe Mini.
Now, to be clear, those are excellent examples of a great small Gerber knife, but if that was your hunch, you were wrong.
This article is going to take a totally different approach. Folding knives are pre-broken anyway, and despite their convenient form and high fidget factor, there is nothing a folder can do that a good fixed blade can’t.
So no – this article is going to send you in a totally different direction – but we still have a great suggestion for a small Gerber knife.
Enter the Tri Tip Cleaver
The Gerber Tri Tip Cleaver is a boon of a small Gerber knife with a lot of things going for it. No, it isn’t a folder, but on the other hand, it does capitalize on the recent popularity of pocket cleavers – much like the CRKT Pilar and CJRB Maileah have done.
But those are folders and this is not. This one, which is available with either a black or a stonewash blade, is 5.75” overall with a 3” even blade and a straight edge. It’s fairly hefty, too, at 9.92oz. (Plus there is no frame lock or pocket clip to break or fail.)
The Tri Tip Cleaver features checkered aluminum scales and a nylon sheath that is MOLLE compatible and features a little tab for excellent secondary retention.
The Tri Tip’s blade is made of 7Cr17MoV, which in our estimation is a perfect steel for this application. The low carbon makes the steel slightly softer and easier to resharpen whereas an added bump of molybdenum and vanadium makes the blade a lot tougher and better able to bear abuse.
This stainless steel blade is also useful for outdoorsmen because, despite its average-at-best edge retention, this alloy is highly corrosion-resistant, which makes it good for extended trips in the woods or on the water. (And, in the absence of stainless steel handles, the aluminum is lighter, just as strong, and basically corrosion-proof.)
The design of the knife is also very unique. With three points and a false chisel edge, this knife is great for carving and detail work, but it is still tough enough to do some light chopping and batoning. It’s also useful for fleshing and scraping, too. The two main points are also great for precise puncturing tasks. It probably isn’t great for cleaning fish or game, but it’ll do.
The knife also features a full tang construction and the scales are comfortable and adequate, providing a sure, full, fairly slip-free grip that’s consistent in a wide range of conditions.
This is the sort of innovation and ingenuity that you can expect to see from Gerber, which colors similar models like the Versafix and Quadrant.
All-in-all, it has a lot of features going for it and is great as a fixed option for everyday carry, and the fact that it isn’t a folder is a pretty big deal, because given its compact dimensions, you can really rough it and and the blade will be no worse for wear.
And even if you do roll or blunt the edge, the steel is soft enough that with a mild-grit stone and a dollop of elbow grease, you can probably bring it back up to speed in a few passes.
Where Can You Get This Small Gerber Knife?
Looking to get a chance to own a small Gerber knife like one of these but want to see where you can get the best price?
One of the best prices you can find on these knives right now is online at WhiteMountainKnives.com. Their current price is better than both SMKW and KnifeCenter and they have both models, the black and stonewash versions, for under $40.
Check out their website to learn more or get in touch with them at WhiteMountainKnives@gmail.com.