Gerber Emphasizes Affordability in New for 2018 Lineup

Gerber’s new for 2018 blades, slated for a mid-year debut, showcase the Portland, OR cutlery veteran’s evolution in some key categories. When the premium G1 launched last year, Gerber conveyed their desire to cater to the enthusiast community, but they’ve also made it clear that affordable, functional designs remain their core philosophy. This is the side of the business they’ll emphasize in 2018, with six of the seven new mainline products hitting sub-$100 price points.

But, the new knives exhibit a more developed, cohesive style that may still appeal to a mid-range enthusiast. Gerber built off the clean, industrial look they established with the US-Assist, and blades like the Kettlebell and Flatiron cater to current knife fads such as “little big knives” and cleaver-style blade shapes. 2018 also brings an emphasis on EDC and outdoors roles, rather than the military/tactical side of things. Two multitool releases also help follow up on the success of the Center-Drive, which first turned heads in 2016.

The Propel automatic served as inspiration for the Empower, which streamlines the Propel’s well-known design and button-lock action into a more EDC-friendly package. S30V steel and 3.5-inch spear point-style blade are familiar workhorses at this point, but the Armored Grip handle scales, which are chemically-etched aluminum inlays, generate visual interest.

Gerber Empower

Spine and Vertebrae
The Spine and Vertebrae are new budget-friendly outdoors blades that check a lot of boxes. Both the 3.8-inch bladed Spine and sub-3-inch Vertebrae carry flat ground, drop point 7Cr17MoV blades and benefit from full-tang construction. Oversized, rubberized handles make for comfortable grips, and both knives are carried in a singular Kydex sheath that uses an oversized clip for multiple carry solutions.

Gerber Spine and Vertebrae

The Flatiron’s 3-inch 7Cr17MoV cutting edge emulates meat cleavers and is complemented by a finger choil and angular, full-size handle. The Flatiron comes in two different colors of G-10 and stays open with a stainless steel frame lock.

Gerber Flatiron

The trend of little big knives continues to chug along and the Kettlebell is Gerber’s take on the form. Its handle is just big enough to accommodate all four finger and the two-inch drop point blade brings an interesting visual tweak to the tried-and-true style. Two different colors of coined aluminum can be had for the front scale, while the locking side is a stout but small frame lock.

Gerber Kettlebell

Suspension-NXT and Truss
Gerber tells us the original Suspension multitool is one their best-selling products in the category. The reign may continue with this sequel. It adds a wire stripper, medium flathead driver, awl, file, and ruler, but manages to be much lighter than the 9 oz. original, weighing only 6.4 oz. Meanwhile the Truss is an all-new design, a heavy duty multitool with 17 practical, all-purpose implements. Like the Suspension-NXT, it sports spring-loaded pliers.

Gerber Suspension-NXT and Truss

Knife featured in image: Gerber Flatiron