Gerber re-introduces an old Gerber design, the Steadfast, this time with modern materials and reliable but venerable ideas. The modern Steadfast matches the old pattern superficially but isn’t quite what it used to be. In old-fashioned high carbon steel, this was a much better knife.
Now made in China, this rat tail tang fixed blade knife uses only 440A high carbon stainless steel, so expect a serviceable edge that needs frequent honing. Razor-sharpness is still possible, but 440A won’t compete with the edge retention of higher quality steel. Workmanship of the Steadfast is good, with solid stainless steel blade guard and bolster, but the synthetic handle covered with textured SoftGrip is only functional. You won’t buy the Steadfast for its looks.
The heavy six-inch blade of this 10-3/4-inch hunting knife features a false upper edge and clip point. Weight of the knife exceeds 11 ounces, above the weight of many hunting knives which have equivalent function but a more modern design. The most striking good feature of the Gerber Steadfast is the grip, not the blade. With two deep finger choils built into the handle, there’s very little chance this solid and strong knife could ever slip from your hand. The sheath of ballistic nylon which comes with the Gerber Steadfast includes a protective insert to prevent the edge or point from cutting through the fabric — another good feature skipped by some cost-cutting manufacturers. Snap closure adds extra security.
The Gerber Steadfast really is a step back, but if you’re looking for a utilitarian hunter/skinner, it’s not a bad choice. Gerber could have left it in the archives, though, because this version is only ordinary and doesn’t make anyone long for the good old days.
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