As an iconic American knife and multi-tool company started in 1939 in Tigard, Ore., Gerber has forged a reputation within the hunting community as one of the most innovative and dependable knife makers around. Backed by their famous lifetime warranty, Gerber blades are designed by expert knife makers and outdoorsmen, which makes them one of the most heavily relied upon tools for hunters around the world.
New for 2012, the Gerber Myth Series is no different, a line of knives and tools designed by professional hunters and guides who know what it takes to field dress wild game and, if necessary, survive in the wilderness. Including fixed-blade and folding knives, as well as a saw and sharpener, the Myth line is easily identified by its black rubberized grip with brown accents made from a harder plastic. But does the Myth live up to the Gerber legend?
To answer that question, I took the Myth to Kentucky for some all-American whitetail hunting with Outdoor Instincts. My goal during the hunt was to treat it like I’d treat an old hunting truck—dog and abuse it, all the way. That’s because in my mind, a knife isn’t just for cutting; it’s an all-purpose, pry-it-loose-if-you-have-to, saw-through-wood, save-your-life survival tool. If it can’t take the abuse, it doesn’t belong on my belt.
What did I find? The Myth performs extremely well, even after taking a beating. By the time I cleaned a buck with the drop point Fixed Blade Pro, I’d already cleared and cut branches with it around my treestand, pried up a barbed wire fence post, threw it against the ground from 30 feet and used it for an hour of cardboard box tear down at the house. I didn’t sharpen the blade before burying it in the flesh of a whitetail, but it still held an edge considerably well.
The full tang high carbon stainless steel blade didn’t break or scar, even after being lobbed from a tree, while the soft rubberized handle kept from taking any divots either. Although the rubber handle makes the knife extremely light and easy to carry, I thought for sure it would succumb to nicks or gashes, but it did not.
Probably the coolest feature in the new Myth series is the built-in sharpener on the Fixed Blade Pro models. It may not be the fanciest sharpener in the world, but listen Jack, if you’ve kicked it into survival mode in the wilderness and you need a sharp blade, this is one handy piece of equipment. And for the dummies like me out there, Gerber even engraved an arrow in the plastic telling you which direction to pull when using the sharpener.
On the Pocket Folder model, which has a hard plastic seam running down the knife that widens at both ends, there is enough rigidity to keep the handle from collapsing in your hand while still producing a very lightweight knife. There were only minor problems with this setup (see below). A metal spine along the back of the handle locks in place with the blade—typical for a folding knife—and runs about three quarters of the way down, providing extra rigidity. It also comes with a sturdy metal clip for your pant pocket or belt, though Gerber does give you the option of adding a sheath for $10.
The other nice thing about the Myth line of knives is the number of options Gerber gives you: fixed blade with gut hook or drop point, folding with both options, plus the option of a case or belt clip on your folding knife. You can also buy a Field Dress Kit, which includes the Fixed Blade Pro and the Compact Fixed Blade knife. Each of those options is available for under $70, which is a pretty good bargain.
The Little Fella
Without exception, the knife that got everyone’s attention was the Compact Fixed Blade, which includes all the same key components of the Myth line but is designed like a paring knife. What Gerber did was take their classic Pixie model and wed it with the Myth line, giving you the perfect tool for working in tight areas. I found it particularly good for carving out the anus and chest cavity of a deer, which is a lot easier with a smaller, yet equally sharp knife. At just one ounce, it wasn’t a big deal to carry this little guy in my pack and the Fixed Blade Pro on my belt, adding that extra measure of versatility to field dressing wild game.
A Little Stiffer Please
The one thing I’d change in the Myth series is the way the folding knives are built. While the soft rubber material makes the knife extremely lightweight, it also means when you squeeze your fingers on the handle it collapses a bit more than I’d prefer. The reason a rigid plastic or carbon is typically used on folding knives is that you don’t have a solid piece of metal from blade to heel like with a fixed blade, which means you’ve got to do something else to make it one solid unit.
Likewise, if you move the folding knives laterally (like you would for prying) it seems to me that there’s too much give, which could potentially injure you or break the knife. Without the proper rigidity, the folding knives didn’t feel solid enough in my hand, which in turn made them feel slightly cheap.
- Durable blade and handle
- Multiple options
- Affordable price
- Lack of rigidity on folding models