I have carried a Gerber multi-tool for many years and still do so I was excited to check out their StrongArm fixed blade. I got to test it in the field through a couple of training operations and it withstood everything from opening MREs to some light bushcraft in the form of shelter construction. To be completely honest I did some light prying with it as well to test durability and it didn’t even mar the finish.
I only had one complaint with the StrongArm and it wasn’t even the knife itself. I could not stand the sheath. The knife was so durable and strong and this sheath felt about to break if I put any stress on it at all. Now granted it dealt with the mild to moderate abuse I threw at it, it just felt weak. The sheath has multiple mounting options which with just a belt on work great, however, its molle system needs a bit of work if you want to run it on a minimalist belt such as the Tyr Tactical Gunfighter belt. I easily modded it to work with a reversal of the clip and some zip ties to lower its ride height so I could still access it with a plate carrier on.
The knife itself is a pure beast. From my casual shaving of sticks to prying a window open it took it all in stride. The finish is durable and even the fine-honed edge showed no signs of rust after the inevitable rainy field op. The knife fits the hand perfectly and the rubberized grip aids with holding it even when the hands are muddy, wet, or the user is wearing gloves. The thumb falls naturally on either the spine of the knife for more precise tasks or onto the built-in guard making for a comfortable hold in either position. I also appreciate the lanyard loop drilled through the window breaker pommel making retention of the knife via “dummy-cord” easy movement in thicker environments.
The Gerber StrongArm overall is a solid feeling attractive field knife that is easy on the wallet. I look forward to more work with it as it seems capable of handling any task. I will most definitely be making a Kydex sheath to my own specs very soon but it just made its way onto my belt as a dual-purpose field knife and defensive weapon.
Author – Tanner Hodges is an Active Duty Marine Infantryman currently serving as a Platoon Sergeant with 3dBn 2d Marines. He holds two infantry MOS’s (0351/0365) and has completed Infantry Small Unit Leader’s Course, and Advanced Infantryman Course. He has trained in Mountain Warfare, Desert Warfare, and Jungle Warfare all around the globe.