Gerber has been in business for seventy years and has gained a reputation for producing innovative and reliable knives made of high-quality materials.
The Gerber knife business was founded somewhat circuitously. In 1910, Joseph Gerber founded Gerber Advertising in Portland, Oregon. He toiled away as an advertising executive for nearly thirty years until he happened upon a better business.
In 1939, Gerber commissioned a small number of handmade kitchen knife sets to be given away to his best clients as a holiday thank-you gift. When Abercrombie & Fitch got a hold of one of these gorgeous sets, they requested Gerber produce more for their catalog. Seizing the opportunity, Gerber left his advertising business to form Gerber Legendary Blades.
Nearly fifty years later, in 1987, Gerber Legendary Blades was acquired by Fiskars. Gerber continues to operate in Portland and is currently the second largest multi-tool maker in the USA.
Gerber was one of the first mass-market knife manufacturers to work closely with custom knife designers. Over the years, such designers as David Murphy, Bob Loveless, Rick Hinderer and Ernest Emerson have all contributed successful designs to Gerber’s lineup.
Gerber’s other claim to fame is as the birthplace of two other well-known knife companies. Al Mar worked at Gerber before leaving to form Al Mar Knives and Pete Kershaw was an employee at Gerber before founding Kershaw Cutlery.
Today, Gerber produces over 120 models. Some of their best-known fixed-blade models include the Gerber Gator, the LMF II ASEK Knife and the Big Rock Camp Knife. Clip folding knives include the Paraframe, the Torch, and the Gerber-Emerson Alliance. Their Flik is one of their most popular multi tools.
Gerber is also well-known for introducing new technology and high-end materials in its knives, giving it a reputation as a high-quality manufacturer. In some of its knife blades, Gerber uses AUS-8 and ATS-34 steel. These are considered high-end, high-carbon stainless steels. Handle materials include Zytel and Kraton rubber.