Lauded for their conduciveness to both everyday carry and outdoor use, Barlow, swayback, and jack knives have been carried all over the world for generations. And while these old-school styles of knives have gone primarily unchanged over the last few centuries, Gerber has recently put a contemporary spin on the genre with its all-new Mansfield knife.
The Mansfield sports an unmistakably traditional industrial design, though once you start to scratch under the surface the folder is a contemporary item through and through. Constructed around a stainless steel frame with a non-locking slip-joint mechanism, the Mansfield features a set of grippy Micarta scales equipped with a custom pivot collar, flush-fitting hardware, a mini lanyard hole, and an embossed Gerber-branded pressed steel pocket clip. Alongside the use of modern Micarta scales, the Mansfield further deviates from traditional designs through its larger scale. At 7.40” overall, the Mansfield is markedly larger than your average antique jack knife, affording it markedly more utility.
The Mansfield also boasts better performance than a jack knife of yesteryear. Mated to the Micarta handle-set is a 3.15” blade with a hybrid Wharncliffe-drop point profile and a modern D2 stainless steel construction. Deployed via a classic nail nick opening, the Mansfield’s blade also features a Scandinavian grind — a type of edge that’s pretty much universally seen as the best possible choice for outdoor and survival uses. What’s more, in typical Gerber fashion, the Mansfield also comes backed by Gerber’s generous lifetime warranty. All in all, the Mansfield manages to offer what many view as the best of both worlds, with its decidedly old school appearance and objectively modern performance.
Available now in Natural or Olive Micarta handle options, the Gerber Mansfield Slipjoint Knife has been priced at $47.