Is the Gerber Strongarm any good?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by DangerZone98, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. DangerZone98

    DangerZone98

    Dec 7, 2019
    Just curious about this model as I never had a Gerber before. I like the utilitarian no-nonsense design, but does it perform well?

    Intended use would be house/camp chores, nothing too crazy. No batoning or prying definitely.
     
  2. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I think it's 420 steel, so if you want something with long edge retention, I'd look at something else.
     
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  3. joe90

    joe90

    319
    Aug 17, 2001
    I like it. :)

    Plethora of reviews out there showing what it can do.
     
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  4. jmgruber

    jmgruber Gold Member Gold Member

    251
    Dec 27, 2018
    Search Gerber Strongarm Gauntlet on YouTube
     
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  5. jmgruber

    jmgruber Gold Member Gold Member

    251
    Dec 27, 2018
    There are probably better options for house/camp chores
     
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  6. Riz!

    Riz!

    May 5, 2014
    I have one. I like it a lot. For 420 steel its performed fantastically. I have “better” knives but it holds its own. The sheath is really nice and kicks the entire package up a notch.
     
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  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    It's not bad at all for what it costs. Solid piece of easy to sharpen steel.
     
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  8. Revolverrodger

    Revolverrodger KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2007
    It’s a great knife and the price is good !
     
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  9. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    It is US-made, sheath seems good (if a bit tactical) and it looks well-made.

    ...but MAN, what is with them and mostly refusing to us anything but 420HC?!

    Their models that use 154CM or better should be HEAVILY marketed for how much better they hold an edge. They could then move upscale a bit, while still being cost competitive.
     
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  10. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    386
    Nov 7, 2016
    Gerber has GREAT designs and fairly decent build quality. And in recent years they have even begun using slightly better steels on some models.

    But I'd personally still pass. The company has a little ways to go before I consider them to be worth giving my money to.


    In place of a Strongarm, I'd instead suggest you take a look at a Ka-Bar Mark 1 in Kraton (2221).
     
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  11. TheJon

    TheJon

    170
    Apr 12, 2014
    A few of my brothers have them, they like them well enough, personally I think for a little more you can buy a Mora Garberg that I prefer, but they're not bad at all.
     
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  12. Gideons

    Gideons Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    The StrongArm has great reviews, but personally, I won't buy it because of the 420HC steel they use.

    I always thought the Gerber StrongArm in 154cm, or really any better steel would make it a must-buy for me.
     
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  13. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    386
    Nov 7, 2016

    Agreed. Put the thing out in a well heat-treated s30v and it would be a great knife.

    Gerber's heat treat on their 420HC is questionable at best.
     
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  14. DangerZone98

    DangerZone98

    Dec 7, 2019
    Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll keep the Ka-Bar in mind.
     
  15. DangerZone98

    DangerZone98

    Dec 7, 2019
    The Garberg was also on my radar. Looked like a pretty solid knife that didn’t scream tactical, hehe. In the end though, I went with the Kansbol instead. Great knife too, that one.
     
  16. DangerZone98

    DangerZone98

    Dec 7, 2019
    I’m actually not that knowledgeable on 420HC. How does it stack up compared to other carbon steels? Say 1095 or 5160?

    It’d be nice to have the Strongarm in a more premium steel. Like 3V or INFI.
     
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  17. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    386
    Nov 7, 2016
    420 HC is stainless steel, 1095 and 5160 are carbon steels.


    I suggest you do a Google search on the differences, there is lots of info out there on all three.
     
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  18. Smiling

    Smiling

    Nov 21, 2019
    Less edge retention than say, 1095 and I'm not sure about 5160 as I never used it.
    It is stainless tho, and that's it's biggest advantage. Is it tough?
    Yep, it's soft and thick so it has to be tough.

    It won't rust or break without abuse, but it won't really be a slicer and if you grind the edge thin to cut better then you can expect some rolls.

    It is what it is, a soft low end stainless steel. It is good deal for the price, but it's still not the best deal for the price. I personally see no reason why I'd want to buy it, but if you like the design that much - go for it...
     
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  19. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Even in 420hc you should have a good experience with the Strongarm. The sheath is pretty decent for the money, and the blade will handle abuse relatively well. 420hc in that hardness will be a snap to touch up on a myriad of stones, and even steeling on a rod.

    I think using a stainless steel is a smart choice for a knife that won’t need much care, and can be used in more corrosion environments without needing much attention. I’m thinking it’s marketed for the masses as a survival knife, and it’s built accordingly.

    For the price, it looks like one of Gerber’s better offerings.
     
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  20. Knifelvr97

    Knifelvr97

    19
    Aug 18, 2020
    The Strongarm is a great knife, just look at the many reviews on YT. Here for example Mayor's:
     
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