While most EDC multi-tools pack more than six functions into a form factor that’s a bit thicker than you’d ideally want, Gerber wants to take the bold step of giving you the bare minimum. In practical use, most of those functions never even see the light of day – the ones used most are the knife, screwdriver, and the occasional toss of the beer bottle crown. Their Armbar Slim Drive EDC multi-tool (upgraded version of Armbar Drive) filters down the usual EDC functions to the least possible ones you’ll actually use most of the time.
The Gerber Armbar Slim Drive has just got the screwdriver, bottle opener, and a sharp blade – giving it a very slim profile – no more than a normal-sized writing instrument. This gives you the practical freedom to carry it with you at all times (literally all times in real-world usage) as opposed to other thick and heavy EDCs that you at most consider carrying in your backpack – no way in your pocket. The advantage here is the specialized function which will help you get through anything required. The multi-tool is designed in a way to give you substantial gripping power while cutting with the blade, and driving or prying the screwdriver tool. On top of that, the frame lock holds the tool steadfast when cutting through tough objects or the odd self-defense situation while walking down the alley on a dark night. The form factor of the overall tool reinforces the sleekness of the design, with a hawk-like form when folded gives it added strength and character.
In the fully opened position of the knife, it measures 6.75 inches in total – almost as good enough as a real knife with a superior grip. The tool comes with a fold-out two-inch bit driver to take care of any screwing tasks that come up. The driver has its own dual-sided bit – one a Philips bit and the other a flathead bit – for times when you don’t have your own driving bits. And yes, pardon me if I just forgot to mention the exposed bottle opener function at the rear end.
I for one can’t wait for normalcy to return so I can step out and meet friends. Working as a writer for a blog means already being used to working from home, and while I’m sufficiently prepared professionally, the absence of a social life is taking a toll on me. It almost feels like the Gerber Armbar Drive is speaking to be by being entirely relevant in times like these. Since I’m stuck indoors, most of my EDC need pertain to indoor requirements, which the Armbar Drive is more than capable of handling.
A tiny, versatile multitool, the Gerber Armbar Drive packs 7 tools into its small, slick frame. The Armbar Drive’s frame integrates a prybar and bottle opener into its design, while the fold-out tools include a full-size plain-edge knife, an awl for making or enlarging holes, a scissor for cutting, and a 2.5” long screwdriver with a 2-sided bit that you can flip and use based on your need. Pretty useful for a multitool that ultimately folds down to the size of your index finger. The Armbar Drive even has a sister variant, the Armbar Cork, which features a corkscrew with lever arm along with a can/package opener… but given that I haven’t seen a bottle of alcohol in over a month now, I’ll leave that be.
Released as a part of their new 2020 catalog, this is the Doubledown, a powerful, 15-inch machete from Gerber. Made entirely in USA, the Doubledown features a unique butterfly-knife inspired folding handle that encloses the blade when shut. Open it out and you have yourself a 15.1-inch machete that can easily hack through wood or game. A patent-pending 4 lock system engages in 3 positions to ensure safe operation under varying levels of stress, while a 420HC recurve blade lets you chop, cut, and baton with ease.
The two-part handle is pretty unique in the machete world, and one would argue that if there was any company that could pull it off, it would probably be Gerber. When closed, the machete occupies half its size, and even comes with its own MOLLE-compatible sheath that lets you carry it around wherever you go.
Gerber’s ComplEAT looks at food in the outdoors more holistically than you’d imagine. Designed to take care of literally every food-related need you’d have, the ComplEAT lets you open, cook, serve, eat, and even clean, putting every single bit of kitchenware you’d need into something that slides right into your pocket. The name ComplEAT just perfectly complements its abilities, because the kit is quite literally capable of handling all your eating needs.
The ComplEAT fits the entire culinary experience into four parts that nest within each other to make them easy to carry. Separate these elements and you’ve got yourself a two-sided spatula, a spoon, fork, and a kitchen-prep multitool. The spatula comes made from glass-filled nylon, and packs a silicone edge on one side as well as a serrated edge on the other side. The flexible glass-filled nylon construction makes it sturdy yet pliable and even makes it heat-resistant, allowing you to cook and serve with it. The silicon-edge on one side helps scrape and clean your dishes and utensils efficiently, while the blunt serrated edge makes cutting through food easy.
The opposite end of the spatula features the docking area to nest your spoon, fork and multitool… however, nest your spoon or fork in the opposite direction and you’ve got yourself a pair of tongs that makes grabbing, tossing, and flipping your food easy. The aluminum-punched spoon and fork look and feel like steel cutlery, but provide an additional corrosion-resistance. Lastly, you’ve got the ComplEAT’s crown jewel, its multitool. Packing a package opener, can opener, bottle opener, and a veggie peeler (or a vegetable opener if you will), the multitool gets you started, allowing you to open your kitchen supplies and get cooking. Designed to be easy to use and maintain, the ComplEAT goes from a small, portable set of nested tools to a veritable cutlery set that lets you prep, cook, serve, eat, and polish your food clean!
We’ve covered quite a few EDC knives over the years without realizing that there’s no resource that guides you through the types of knives. Knife blades have evolved from culture and from need. Some knives are designed for everyday tasks, some for rough outdoor use, some for hunting, and some for combat/self-defence. Each blade design has a distinct silhouette, and has developed over the years based on need and on use. Knife materials have evolved over time too, ranging from the various alloys of steel, to Titanium, to even some with ceramic coatings for extra strength.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but rather focuses on highlighting different common types of blade designs that exist in the world of EDC, their purposes, and showcasing one exemplary knife in each category! __
One of the most common knife blade designs, the straight back is called so because of the blade’s straight spine. Perhaps one of the most old-school styles, the Straight Back features a straight-ish blade edge too, with the edge curving tightly right at the end to meet the spine. These knives are common and easy to maintain and work wonderfully for cutting or slicing tasks, thanks to the long, straight blade. The County, by James Brand, embodies the simple beauty of the straight back, with a long, 2.5inch Sandvik steel blade and an exquisite ebony wood and stainless steel handle to match! Click Here to Buy Now
A common knife design for hunting, the drop point is called so because the spine of the blade (above the edge) drops downward, Giving it a more pronounced tip. The edge of the blade travels upwards to meet the gently dropping spine at this somewhat centrally located tip, making it a knife that’s almost as functional as a spear, and an ideal knife for piercing. Most Swiss Army Knife multitools make use of the Drop Point knife, but our favorite is the Gerber Pocket Square. Almost halfway between the straight back and the drop point, the Pocket Square’s blade has a spine that does a gentle drop. Obviously, the modern drop point isn’t meant for combat or hunting, but could work well for any sort of cutting, slicing, and piercing work you’d want to do outdoors. It has an elegantly designed handle to allow it to blend into your urban lifestyle too, making it a rare piece of EDC that appeals to the urban as well as the rustic! Click Here to Buy Now
The Clip Point follows the same style of nomenclature as the last two blade types. While the straight back came with a straight spine, while the drop point had a curved, dropping spine, the clip point comes with a spine that travels straight for a portion of the distance before suddenly clipping across in a concave cut. If the drop point provides a sharp tip for piercing, the clip point goes the extra distance by making the tip a little bit narrower and therefore sharper. A common blade for hunting, the clip point’s tip can pierce hard surfaces, but damages easily too, given how fragile and thin it can be. The Gator by Gerber is considered a classic in the clip point category. In production since 1991 (when it was voted as the most innovative knife of the year), the Gator comes with a stainless steel blade and a glass-filled-nylon handle with an alligator-leather texture for superior grip. Click Here to Buy Now
There’s a very small distinction between a drop point and a spear point. Both of them have the spine and the edge converging and curving towards a centrally located tip, but the spear point’s spine is ground down to have a sharp edge too. While drop point blade spines are usually thick, spear point blades have thinner spines, almost like spears. This gives them the advantage of having sharper tips than drop point knives, and somewhat more resilient tips as compared to clip point knives. The CRKT Snap Lock makes the cut in this category quite simply for its brilliant design. Produced in 2004 (when it won the most innovative knife award), the Snap Lock was a runaway success, but CRKT discontinued its production after a few years to move onto newer designs. Given how popular it was (especially for its incredibly innovative folding mechanism), the company finally decided to reissue the knife and the Snap Lock was resurrected. You can’t say that about most knives! Click Here to Buy Now
The Sheepsfoot features a straight blade and a curved spine, resulting in a blade that looks almost like a sheep’s foot or hoof. In most ways, it’s the absolute opposite of the Straight Back and features a design where the tip aligns with the blade’s edge. The Sheepsfoot blade design offers a nice, long, straight edge for cutting and carving (and can be easily sharpened too), whereas the tip isn’t particularly pronounced, and doesn’t work for piercing. The SOG Snarl is a wonderful example of a Sheepsfoot blade that doesn’t let its size be a disadvantage. Small and potent, like a stick of dynamite, the Snarl comes with a one-piece construction that fits easily on lanyards or even in pockets (it comes with a nylon sheath). With an overall length of 4.3 inches (half of which is the blade), the Snarl has two ways of gripping it. Traditionally, holding the area behind the blade like a handle, or using its finger-hole for far more dexterity and control… allowing you to go about all sorts of tasks with it by holding it in a fashion that works better for you. Click Here to Buy Now
The Kiridashi comes with an unusually small cutting edge that occupies just a tiny part of the blade. The best and most common example is the medical scalpel. Extremely sharp and with a nasty tip, the Kiridashi is supposed to be an all-purpose utility tool that works in any and every situation. Inspired by the Japanese Kiridashi, but with a design that elevates the original, the Craighill Desk Knife is daringly unique, enough to make our selection for this category. Just over five inches long and slightly thicker than a half inch, Craighill’s Desk Knife has the proportions of a chunky metal pen, but comes with truncations on its sides to reveal a Kiridashi-style blade where the two truncations taper off. This makes the Desk Knife an absolute treat to hold, as it fits beautifully into one’s grip, and even to maneuver, making for a handy, and suave looking letter opener, box cutter, or scalpel-style paper cutter. Graceful, tasteful, and practical, the Craighill Desk Knife looks and feels remarkably unique, with a design that’s oh-so-simple but equally breath-taking! Click Here to Buy Now
Another Japanese blade, the Tanto is named after a traditional short dagger that was carried by the samurai of feudal Japan. Tanto blades come with straight lines and sharp cuts. Imagine the Straight Back knife, but instead of having the edge curving to meet the spine at the tip, the Tanto’s edge breaks into two, creating two edges and two tips. The tanto’s blade works well in combat/tactical situations as well as works wonderfully as a recreational outdoor EDC knife blade too. CRKT’s Septimo tanto blade, however, has a more intriguing backstory. Designed by Jeremy Valdez of the 7th Special Forces Group (hence the name ‘Septimo’, meaning seven), the Septimo’s main motivation for this design arose from his 2009 deployment to Afghanistan, where, the lack of a proper slicing tool prevented him from being able to cut through straps or move debris, following a helicopter crash. Duty to his fallen comrades and brothers and sisters in arms drove him to design the Septimo with a tanto-style blade for use as both a safety tool as well as a combat weapon a desert-proof black oxide finish. The blade even features a single serration at its base (near the hinge) for effective strap-cutting ability. Click Here to Buy Now
With a distinct blade that looks like an eagle’s talons, the Karambit comes from Southeast Asia. Used in both hunting and combat, the Karambit was designed to be held both straight or upside down, and used for swift, slashing motions, cutting through tough fruit/vegetables, hide, or even in combat. The Karambit, today, still sees itself being used sparingly in Filipino martial arts, but is more popular as a collector’s EDC knife, solely for its intriguing nature-inspired claw design. Probably the most intriguing of them all, CRKT’s Provoke comes with a karambit blade and an unusual folding mechanism. It uses a parallel motion linkage, as opposed to a single-point swivel. The result is a knife where the blade can slide outwards even as your palm is wrapped around the handle. The action is swift, decisive, and the blade doesn’t even have to touch your palm or fingers as it slides outwards and in, and works in the same way a jungle cat’s claws deploy or retract, probably paying the greatest homage to the Karambit’s claw-inspiration. It also makes the Provoke incredibly hypnotic to look at (especially in slow motion!). Click Here to Pre-Order
Four pivot points and ingenious designing makes Gerber’s Freescape Camp Saw a slim, portable delight. Designed to occupy no more space than a baton when folded, the Freescape takes less than three seconds to open up into a robust and capable hacksaw.
The design not only makes the hacksaw compact, it ensures it stays safe. While hacksaws aren’t really portable (you wouldn’t put one in your backpack), the Freescape’s folding design not only makes it easy to carry, the body of the hacksaw actually becomes the sheath for the blade, covering it completely so it doesn’t accidentally snag, rip, or cut anything.
Opening out the Freescape is simple. Just unlock it by opening out the grip unit and the rest is pretty intuitive. It uses the industry standard 12″ blade that opens out of its sheath, does a 180° and locks into the body again. Press the grip down against the Freescape when it’s opened and it locks into its new shape, robust and ready to cut. The blade can easily be replaced after it wears off, or if you want to switch between different blade types. It also comes with a small protective sleeve that slides on it to prevent the blade from making extra contact with air or moisture, therefore preventing it from rusting. The entire unit when opened, works like a proper hacksaw that can be operated with both hands, and when folded down, occupies less than a quarter of its previous space and weighs a mere 0.9lbs (420g). Throw it in your backpack, or under your car-seat and forget about it!
Most folding knives go for the rugged/jagged aesthetic… and for obvious reasons. However, the Gerber Pocket Square Knife isn’t like most knives. Probably one of the most design-conscious tactical knives I’ve seen in my lifetime, Gerber’s knife embraces minimalism and conscious detailing in a way that soothes the soul!
The Gerber Pocket Square Knife was designed to blend stylishly with your regular EDC, allowing it to become a knife you carry for its style quotient first, and its superior build and functionality second. Designed with a machined aluminum handle that feels great to the touch (like almost all smartphones made today), this sleek blade is equipped with a 3″ drop point 7Cr17MoV Stainless Steel blade. The handle also features a liner lock, a removable and reversible tip-up pocket clip, while the blade comes with a beautifully textured ambidextrous thumb lift that allows you to unfold the blade using either hand. Will you look at that beautiful, minimal, slick handle though!