When looking for a great knife, I have 3 main area’s that I judge a knife off of. 1) What is the steel? Does it Rust? 2) Is said knife durable in extreme elements? 3) Is it serrated, partially serrated or non-serrated? With all those factors coming into play, I tend to stick to either Benchmade or Gerber. Benchmade’s are great and probably all around the best knives out there (you get what you pay for) but what if I told you that you could have Benchmade quality in a $125 fixed blade knife? That is where the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife comes into play.
Maritime elements are extreme, especially in the summertime. Humidity and salt water is no Bueno to knives, so the first test for a knife’s quality is running it in maritime operations in the dog days of August a couple hundred miles off the coast. 4 weeks, 28ish days, 100+ degree heat. I decided to run the LMF II Survival on my calf. The only downside to the LMF II is that its big (10 inches) but that’s also a good factor for “Survival” (It’s intended use) but its hard to run on a low pro plate carrier like what I run during maritime operations (The First Spear AAC Frog). The LMF II Survival was designed by a veteran named Jeff Freeman and was intended to be used to cut through anything and everything. Helo Egress? It’ll cut through the fuselage skin, plexiglass and it’ll sever just about any seatbelt. Need to chop wood in a wilderness survival situation? It’ll do that as well!
I’ve always wanted to run a knife on my calve and go full Rambo. The first rule in a gunfight – always look cool. The LMF II Survival on your leg looks badass especially when you’re wearing a high-speed maritime helmet, a combat shirt with the sleeves cut, the First Spear AAC Frog and a pair of colorful Hurley board shorts with a 10-inch knife strapped to your leg. It says you came to work on the top and came to party on the bottom! (I just hope my boss doesn’t find out I was wearing neon blue and red board shorts during operations!). Now back to the LMF II Survival – the rust factor (I never rinsed the salt off) was almost not noticeable. Just a few spots that could be easily removed with a little coke and a toothbrush.
Now let’s get to cut tests – through just about any line I could get my hands on it cut through like a hot knife through butter. I was also very impressed with the way it handled through many types of wood. Maple, Oak, you name it. The LMF II Survival features a 420HC drop point blade, with the handle made of a textured rubber. The textured rubber handle is ideal for hammering or chopping as your hand will not slip down the handle. Last but not least, it features a sharpener that comes attached to the sheath and is very easy to remove. The Knife sits securely in the sheath and does not rattle or move and it removes very quietly to reduce noise. The second and last downside to the LMF II Survival is the fact that the knife is difficult to pull out of the sheath. after about 20 times of pulling it out, it starts to loosen and you are easily able to access your knife in a situation that demands speed.
Should you buy this knife? In my opinion, yes. It has Benchmade quality in about half the price point. It is great for survival, stowing on your pack, or running it as a drop leg knife. The guys and gals over at Gerber really nailed the design of this knife and it definitely deserves more credit than it gets. It has been field tested and maritime tested by me and it lives up to the Gerber name.