Over the past few decades, I’ve owned a LOT of knives. From playing mumblety-peg and whittling sticks with my blue Cub Scout knife, to trimming shims and opening #%<%(^$ clamshell packaging today, a knife has always been a handy item to have on hand. I’ve had good knives and crappy knives, and there have been too many to count, even if I wanted to. This is primarily because I’m extremely prone to losing them. I’ve lost them on job sites, in the woods, at TSA security checkpoints, and who knows where. Hey, if I knew where I lost them, they wouldn’t be lost. The folks at Gerber recently sent us a Gerber Fastball Folding Knife to check out. Join us for a quick look at it, before I misplace it….
I’ll start out with a disclaimer: I am not a knife expert/enthusiast/aficionado/geek/whatever. Although I appreciate a nice-looking knife, I don’t collect them (mainly because I can’t seem to hold onto them long enough to accumulate more than one or two at a time). My skill set doesn’t include an in-depth knowledge of knife metallurgy. I DO have an appreciation for useful, well-made tools, though. And while I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, I have a pretty good eye for discerning good stuff from junk, and I use a knife pretty regularly. End of disclaimer.
Getting To The Point
The Gerber Fastball Folding Knife is a general-purpose knife, what many refer to as an EDC (Every Day Carry) knife. Given my track record, I refer to it as a CEDUILI (Carry Every Day Until I Lose It) knife. I may be going for a record with this one, though; I’ve had it almost a month!
It’s a very solid-feeling little knife, with a 3” black-oxide coated blade, and a body made of aircraft grade aluminum. It has a very smooth finger-flipper opening mechanism, and a snug-fitting clip to keep it from disappearing. We’ll see. Here’s a list of the knife’s features, followed by a cutting edge promo video from Gerber:
• S30V Wharncliffe blade
• Ball bearings for consistent action
• Precision detent provides “lightswitching” operation
• Easy-off Liner Lock release
• 3-position clip
• Black oxide coated blade
• Blade length: 3.0”
• Overall length: 7.1”
• Weight: 2.7 oz.
• USA Made
• Limited lifetime warranty
Gerber Fastball Finger Flippin’ Fit And Finish
When the Gerber Fastball folding knife arrived, it was nicely nestled in a classy-looking gift box. As I liberated the knife, I was immediately impressed by the look and feel of it. At only 2.7 oz., it’s very lightweight, but still has a nice heft to it. The anodized aluminum handle gives it the look of a knife that’s ready to get to work.
Speaking of which, the S30V blade on the Gerber Fastball is ready to start slicing and dicing right out of the box. It has a good, sturdy profile, and the edges were cleanly and evenly sharpened all around. At the end is a sturdy – and very sharp – tip.
Many of the pocket knives I’ve used had no clip, so I’m used to just dumping the knife into my pocket, and rooting around for it when I need it. Having lost so many knives in the past, I’m leery of a clip that lets the knife poke out of the top of the pocket opening.
The clip on the Gerber Fastball is robust and exerts good clamping pressure, though, and I had no trouble with it jumping out of my pocket. So far. For maximum versatility, the clip can be installed in any of three positions, or you can just leave it off.
Even though I may not be a connoisseur of cutlery, I still appreciate a good-looking knife. The Gerber Fastball is available in three colors: Flat Sage, Urban Grey, and Black. We received the Flat Sage version from Gerber, which is similar to a matte olive green. I think it looks pretty sharp. Sorry.
Flip It – Flip It Good
Naturally, when the Gerber Fastball arrived, the first thing I did was to flip it open. Doing so is easy and intuitive, and is accomplished by placing your index finger on the detent, and giving it a quick press while flicking the knife away from your body. It takes a bit of pressure on the detent to start the action, which is good – I don’t want it coming open randomly.
The blade swung out quickly, and locked solidly in place. The action was very smooth, thanks to Gerber’s B.O.S.S. technology. What is B.O.S.S. technology, you ask? It’s a set of bearings made with Balls Of Stainless Steel. To prove how mature we are, we’re just going to leave it at that.
When the blade is fully open the liner lock holds it firmly in position. The lock lines up dead center on the blade, and there is absolutely no blade movement. When your chore is finished, the blade can be closed with one hand. Just push the liner lock aside with your thumb, and the blade will start closing.
Get your thumb out of the way, give the blade a nudge with your finger, and it will snap shut. A protruding nub at the base of the blade prevents thumb decapitation; I never felt my digits to be in peril, although when using ANY sharp cutting implement, it pays to remain focused.
The Gerber Fastball Goes To Work
When the Gerber Fastball arrived, I tossed it into my pocket, and made it my CEDUILI knife. I used it on a wide variety of mundane tasks: Opening and breaking down cardboard boxes, cutting twine, sharpening carpenter’s pencils, trimming shims, opening #*&%!&$ clamshell packaging, and so forth. The knife is so much fun to deploy, I found myself looking for reasons to use it.
Since it was always with me, it had the misfortune to be pressed into service for some less-typical chores. While extending a small roof and re-roofing the whole thing, I used the Gerber Fastball to score the old felt paper for removal.
After adding ice and water shield to the new roof, I used the knife to trim all the edges. It provided a nice clean cut, although the knife wasn’t so nice and clean when the job was finished. A mineral spirits bath, and a little time with the whetstone, solved that.
The Final Cut
After carrying and using the Gerber Fastball for the past month, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a well-made, reliable EDC knife. I carried it primarily in my pocket, and its slim profile and light weight made it barely noticeable. Even after being subjected to some tasks that probably aren’t in its job description, everything still lines up where it’s supposed to be, and the knife operates flawlessly.
At 3” long, the blade is well suited to all those putzy tasks around the home, farm, ranch or job site. The blade is sharp and sturdy, and should hold up well. For the skeptics out there, Gerber backs the knife with a lifetime guarantee. Priced in the $100 range, it may not be the best choice for a serial loser (hey – of knives). I really like the quality, though, along with the fact that it’s made in the USA – with Balls Of Stainless Steel, no less. Best of all, it’s just plain fun to use, and with any luck I’ll be able to keep having fun with it for a good long while.
Buy the Gerber Fastball from Cabelas, currently on sale for around $80
Buy the Gerber Fastball from Amazon, currently around $100