Anyone who’s a fan of quality knives is no stranger to the premium blades Gerber’s been producing for over seven decades. Based in Portland, Oregon, the American brand has achieved worldwide popularity and pertinence thanks to their relentless drive to construct gear you can rely on when the stakes get cranked up to 11. Known as a master of knives and tools, Gerber is focused on constructing problem-solving products for adventure-hungry individuals. We were lucky enough to examine their latest creation: the Gerber Fastball Knife.
Proudly constructed at Gerber’s Portland, Oregon facility, the Fastball is a sleek flipper knife built to be an everyday carry champion. This ambidextrous pocket knife is a workhorse tool made with innovative features we’ve come to expect from the reputable knife and tool company. Spending plenty of time with the blade, we analyzed the construction and capabilities of the knife to see if it lives up to its promising name. With Gerber’s sterling reputation always on the line, let’s see what this knife brings to the table.
Build: This blacked-out beauty feels like a premium tool right when you pick it up. We noticed the smooth feel of the aluminum handle immediately, which makes it a delight to hold. It’s a slim knife as well so it won’t take up too much real estate in your pocket. However, if you have bigger mitts, it might feel a little small in your hands. It’s a lightweight knife that you can move with nimble precision, but durable enough for any task. The daily performer is very well put together and seems like it can last a lifetime with the proper maintenance.
Visual Design: The overall stealthy look of the knife with its black oxide handle gives it a no-nonsense vibe. It has a tactical demeanor but with a more streamlined look when compared to other EDC knives. The blade has a light stone-washed finish to give it a sense of grit to juxtapose against the silky smooth handle. You have the Gerber logo on one side of the blade and the make and model on the other side, which is standard for the brand, keeping the graphics to a minimum. The entire design of the knife looks aggressive, but it never goes overboard.
For this EDC knife, Gerber went with CPM S30V steel, which is made by Crucible Industries. It’s built using corrosion- and wear-resistant stainless steel created by Dick Barber with the help of professional knife-maker Chris Reeve. This premium grade steel is used for high-end knives, making it fitting for the Fastball. Since it’s made with S30V, the blade is easy to sharpen and provides you with reliable strength to survive through significant abuse under grating conditions. It also has a light stone-washed finish for a rugged look and a black oxide covert coating.
Straight out of the box, this 3-inch blade is immensely sharp. The Wharncliffe design of the cutting tool makes it perfect for day-to-day tasks, as well as self-defense. Although the spine is rounded, it has a more tactical feel than a traditional Wharncliffe blade, as it has some slight curves. At the base of the blade, you’ll find a well-built finger flipper that’s easy to use. By pushing down on the flipper with your forefinger, the blade swings out with some initial resistance. However, the minimal extra effort you need to flip the blade open prevents accidental deployment.
The Fastball has a slim aircraft-grade aluminum 4-inch handle, providing a comfy, stable hold in any conditions. You’ll find a backspace with some notches for additional grip. It also features Gerber’s B.O.S.S. (Balls of Stainless Steel) technology ball-bearing system for seamless opening every single time. Thanks to the B.O.S.S. tech, the flipper mechanism is a treat to use and never failed during our time with the knife. Deploying the blade with its “light switch” operation almost feels like spring is utilized. The functionality of the ball bearing system ensures timely action.
Once the blade rotates out, it’s stabilized by an easy-off liner lock release for guaranteed security. You can feel it lock into place once the blade lines up with the handle in one swift motion. It also features a 3-position pocket clip for ambidextrous carry so you can switch it up as needed or even remove it completely. The pocket clip rides a little too high for deep carry in your pocket, but that’s a very minor issue to an amazing EDC knife overall. It also has an oval hole right by the clip if you prefer to carry it via a lanyard.
Gerber hit a home run with their Fastball knife design. The cutting tool’s B.O.S.S. tech ball-bearing system allows the blade to flip out with authority so it can be ready for action in one instant movement. With the innovative technology, you’ll experience smooth action every single time.
The other aspects of this knife, such as the S30V Wharncliffe blade, 3-position clip system, and aircraft-grade aluminum handle, push this blade to the top of the list of pocket cutters to consider. Gerber truly made a product that lives up to its name, and we’re not surprised at all. We highly recommend the Gerber Fastball Knife to anyone looking for an all-around EDC winner.