For years I’ve carried a Gerber shovel and axe in the tool box on my truck “just in case”. When I was training and hunting with my bird dog years ago I grabbed a set of Gerber game shears that I still use to this day. I’ve always known about Gerber knives but until recently I really hadn’t had much exposure to them. Fortunately though, I decided to branch out a bit from my old standby blades and give them a shot. What I found out is they offer some tough, innovative, quality tools, at a price point we can all get on board with. I wasn’t just window shopping either, I put several of the models to use in the field and they performed quite well. I’ll be reviewing the Gator, Exo-Mod Series, and the DTS which should cover just about any hunting adventure you could come up with in North America.
Of all the knives I trialed this is my probably my favorite. The big thing that gives the Gator the nod is the fact that it’s made right here in the USA which puts it near and dear to my heart. The specific model I trialed was the Gator Fixed Drop Point Plain Edge. For hunting, I am a huge fan of drop point blades. I’ve tried all different kinds but have not found a more useful style for hunting or all around utility.
Just handling the knife it felt like there really wasn’t any task that it couldn’t handle. It just had a utilitarian feel to it that if you had to carry only one knife on a weeklong backcountry camping/hunting trip this would be it. After the trip you would just keep it in your truck so you’d always be prepared for anything that may come up until you needed it for your next adventure.
The spine of the blade was thick but not bulky. Giving it plenty of backbone to handle any less than graceful rudimentary job. The handle material ensured a secure grip by grasping your hand just as much as you were grabbing it. I don’t know what the exact material is but it’s slightly soft on the exterior but firm in it’s core. The friction it offers your grip while elbow deep in the chest cavity of a hog is most excellent. The blade was at home gutting, skinning, quartering, and butchering wild hogs from a trip to Texas this past summer.
420HC Stainless Steel, Overall Length – 8.5”, Blade Length – 4”, Weight – 5.4 oz
The Exo-Mod series is quite possibly one of the most innovative collection of cutting utensils I’ve had the pleasure of using. The series includes a drop point, caper, and saw in a striped down skeleton form with a unique sheath system that snaps together while maintaining a relatively slim profile. With the three different pieces, Gerber pretty much covers the gamut of situational usefulness.
I packed the trio in Sept for an early antlerless season one man deer camp. As I was gearing up I felt confident just tossing them in my bag knowing that I would be covered for the weekend. The skeletonized handle actually felt good in the hand. There is some plastic cladding that at first I wasn’t too sure about. I was hesitant that it may not offer the surest of grips in bloody/wet conditions. After using the Exo’s on two deer that weekend any concern I had was gone. Once covered in blood I had no issue maintaining a secure grip on the knives.
Having the two knives and a saw at my disposal made the gutting, skinning, and quartering job pretty simple. The drop point to gut and skin, the capping blade for the cut around the anus in the field, then up and around the legs once hung on the gambrel. The saw is something that I have come to appreciate over the years. During the gutting process I find it much easier to get the animal cleaned out if you split the pelvis and open up the chest cavity by sawing the sternum. The Exo saw made this a breeze. I also used the saw to cut off the bottom of the legs, ribs, and neck. Rather than pop out the ball and socket on the hind legs I just cut the hip bone in half and tossed it in the cooler.
Drop Point: 7Cr Steel, Overall Length – 8.56”, Weight – 2.6 oz
Caper: 7Cr Steel, Overall Length – 7.33”, Weight – 1.8 oz
Saw: Length – 7.55”, Weight 2.6 oz
I will admit that I have not put the DTS to use in the field yet. I plan to trial it during the upcoming deer firearm seasons but fully expect it to leave nothing to desire. My initial thoughts are it definitely qualifies as a big game knife. The DTS has plenty of heft to it and the blade is sized to handle game as large as elk or moose. The really nifty accessory that I‘ve never seen on any other knife is the serrated tendon cutter. Leave it to Randy Newburg and the folks at Gerber to come up with this genius idea. For those who wonder why you would need this, wait till your next remote elk hunt. Or even in my case, a lot times I have to break hogs or deer down so that they fit into a cooler. Breaking animals down at the joints can wreak havoc on the sharpness of your blades or worse yet, break one if you’re doing too much prying.
I prefer fixed knives but this folder has me very curious if my mind may get changed. It’s orange so I don’t lose it during the field dressing process and has built in reflectors so I don’t misplace it at night halfway through an elk in 6” of snow. Of course it locks open and is easily unlocked when the job is done. The handle has rubber accents to keep your hand and fingers where they need to be out of harms way.
When I see this knife, its one I can just throw in my day pack and forget about it. Doesn’t take up much room, doesn’t weigh much, and can handle any job I might encounter during a day in the field. I can hit the woods and feel comfortable that if I am successful in killing an animal that the DTS has my back getting game from the field to the cooler.
440C Stainless Steel Primary Blade, D2 Serrated Tendon Blade , Overall Length – 8.9”, Weight – 6.6 oz
My first experiences with Gerber knives have proven to be extremely positive. Based on using them in real life hunting applications over the course of the last several months I wouldn’t hesitate to carry any of them afield. The fact that Gerber has paired with the likes of Randy Newburg and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation prove that they value us as hunters and also the wild game and places we have come to love and protect. If you’re in the market for some new cutlery I would recommend giving Gerber and specifically any of the items mentioned above a good look. You won’t be disappointed.
Note: I received these knives at no charge in exchange for an honest and open review. I have delivered this to the best of my abilities. I receive no financial compensation if you do or do not chose to purchase any Gerber product. As can be seen in the pictures I used these knives and was completely satisfied in their performance.