Gerber StrongArm Knife

9.7 score
[Editors rating (9.7)] = ( score (9.7)/10

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Editor rating: 9.7 / 10
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Gerber StrongArm Knife Review Facts

During a survival expedition or on a simple weekend fishing trip, the StrongArm fixed blade is a multifaceted tool that carries on the Gerber legacy of rugged tactical knives. Designed and built in Portland, Oregon this knife features a full tang blade made of stainless steel that is a ceramic coated black to resist corrosion and sits on top off a rubberized diamond texture handle. Providing a solid grip for a controlled, confident application every time, the handle also features a striking pommel positioned at the bottom that can be used to easily break through most hard surfaces. Held within a pressure-fit sheath this knife can be mounted in different ways to your person or pack for any outdoor application. Gerber has been making survival knives for the US Military since the late ’60s and the durable StrongArm knife provides reliable use whether on-duty or exploring the wilderness. We go over all of the features and applications of this Gerber product below in our extensive review and see why so many people have chosen this evolutionary knife over the rest.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Extremely functional knife
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality blade with corrosion resistant coating
  • Great sheath retention
  • Adjustable carry options
  • Needs to be sharpened for aggressive use
  • Small handle

Size & Weight

The StrongArm is 9.8 inches overall with a 4.8-inch steel blade and weighs 7.2 ounces overall adding to its versatility and compatible features. This fixed blade is 3/16 of an inch in thickness and is a traditional style that doesn't try to one-up the standard military style survival knife but instead evolves it with new technology. In terms of fixed blades, it’s slightly smaller than its competitors and balances nicely with equal proportions of handle and blade. It’s about a half inch shorter than it’s predecessor the LMF II Infantry but has an almost identical blade length. Some users online disliked the smaller size saying it limited their ability to break apart large pieces of wood or perform more complicated tasks but the StrongArm is very easy to carry and is perfect for those trying to keep packs light.


Composed of 420 HC stainless steel which is considered one of the more affordable types of steel, this fixed blade is available in a fine or serrated edge depending on your preference. The edge is symmetrically ground and very sharp providing brute strength that is capable of performing numerous cutting tasks. The blade can cut rope, wood and even thin metal for tinder but you’ll need to sharpen it from time to time after aggressive usage. The matte black Cerakote brand ceramic coating on the blade offers more crafty usage due to its low visual profile that blends in with the outdoors, as well as preventing corrosion for a longer blade life. Many online users claim this knife provides a perfect balance while cutting every time.

Aiding in control and comfort the refined 5” handle is made out of glass-filled nylon that's covered with a smooth rubberized grip making it practically indestructible and impervious to moisture. There is a wedge-shaped pommel at the base that can be used to penetrate glass or break apart hard surfaces. This exposed piece is also coated to prevent corrosion and features a hole for a lanyard loop. Jimping on both of the inside edges and a diamond-texture pattern on the handle improves safety and handling. The handle has felt small for some users with larger hands while most are still able to comfortably wield the knife.

The knife also comes encased in a modular sheath system that is a distinctive feature of Gerber products. The cover is high-quality nylon that can be vertically attached on a MOLLE vest or as a drop leg mount as well as carried horizontally on a standard belt. The Sheath employs both inactive and active retention depending on which mount you use. The active retention is the simple snap button strap while the inactive retention comes from an indent in the middle of the handle. The sheath locks into this indent and secures the knife in place.


The amount of comfort the lightweight StrongArm provides the user is just another great feature setting it apart from others like it. The rubber grip coating makes it easy to carry while the neutral shape of the handle allows for a multitude of grip options. It’s raised diamond textured pattern glues the knife to the user's hand even if they are wet, cold, or gloved and won't ever slip. The pattern is rigid but not coarse enough to rub the skin raw so even after extended use chopping wood, the skin on the fingers and palm will remain unphased. The equal proportions between the blade and handle balance the knife making it ergonomic and comfortable to hold.

Another great product we reviewed is the Gerber Suspension NXT Multi-Tool, so make sure to check it out as well.


Knives typically have a good amount of sheath options available with the more experienced knife collector typically going for a customized hold that they feel more comfortable carrying, but with Gerber, you are getting all of those added accessories stock with this knife. The kit includes a MOLLE mount for easy attachment to tactical or fishing vests, a drop leg system and a belt loop attachment for horizontal carry. Unfortunately, since the knife doesn't fold it is too big for a horizontal concealed carry but still exceeds as a snag-free add on when worn from the waistline. The fact that it can safely attach to packs with the belt mount allowed users to safely attach it to their favorite camping bag and knew it would always be there.


First and foremost a camping knife, the StrongArm was actually founded around the fundamentals of military survival training so this well developed little knife will provide you with the ability to perform all tasks needed to endure the wilderness. It will hold up during the day to day work and stays sharp enough for stripping wires, slicing through a cloth and cutting paracord for a long period of time. When it comes time to cut through thicker materials like while camping, you may need to run the blade over a sharpener a time or two to get the full power of the StrongArm.

One of the most important things you need in order to successfully camp outdoors is having the ability to process wood for kindling a fire. Larger, more robust knives might be able to initially split oak and other types of logs but this knife will smoothy chip the wood into tiny pieces with ease. Many said even after cutting through large quantities of wood in a single sitting the edge did not suffer any twists or cracks in the blade which shows the quality of this Gerber product.

Cutting rope is another noteworthy task aiding in the success of a camping trip. Based on the extensive field testing users online put this Gerber product through by cutting rope for tent security or holding heavy objects upright the StrongArm never falters. It slices through single or braided strands like butter and the sharpness of this knife will ultimately last longer than your strength will.

Master the culinary tasks needed to prepare food in the wild with the StrongArm in your grips. Peel and cut up fruits for an afternoon snack, slice through vegetables at dinner time, and even process game after the hunt ends. It will make translucent slices of garlic, chop potatoes with little energy, and glide through steaks or chops. The sharpness of this knife will allow you to remove scales with efficiency and dress a freshly caught fish in a short amount of time. Whatever your mission, you are sure to succeed with this knife around.


Most of the applications of a survival knife will constantly test its durability -- such as chopping and wood and cutting rope. Based on the thousands of happy online customers who purchased this knife and have been using it for years, the StrongArm holds up. One feature of a long-lasting product is a full tang. The tang is a protrusion of the blade steel into the handle of the knife. It is usually the center of weakness and leaves the knife prone to breakage if it doesn't run through the entire handle. The StrongArm is a solid, sturdy fixed blade knife because of its full tang, ceramic coating, and rubberized patterned grip. However, some online customers believe the coating of rubber may break down with usage as is common with applying enough pressure over time. The blade is coated with Cerakote ceramic, a finish regularly used on firearms and is made of durable materials resistant to abrasion, corrosion, and chemicals, that look nice and keep it from breaking. In terms of constant ability, this product will stand up to any common or extreme tasks you throw at it.


Finding the value in the price for this American made knife is not difficult when other less functional products can be routinely found for higher foreign-made prices. Many customers online ascribe an additional worth for items that can still claim "Made in the USA" on their labels, like this Gerber knife. The StrongArm provides excellent features at an affordable price. While some other knives have the same properties as this one, many are lacking one important detail -- the multi-wear sheath system. The amount you would spend solely on a well-designed and made sheath can nearly double what you’d be looking to spend. If you’re the type of person who cares about getting a reliable, expertly designed product for the right price this is the right choice for you.


Gerber currently offers a lifetime limited warranty for all of its products within North America and guarantees a defect-free, functional product for as long as the original consumer owns the product. So if you receive a product that is in less than ideal shape the company will repair or replace it free of charge as long as the defect isn’t from normal wear and tear. A similar 25-year limited warranty is available for all countries outside of North America.

Key Features

-Fine or serrated edge options
-Full-tang 420HC stainless steel blade featuring Cerakote to deter corrosion
-A rubberized diamond-textured handle for a firm grip
-Handle available in black or coyote brown
-Striking pommel at the base of the handle for emergencies or breaking apart small objects
-Blade clips into the plastic sheath with positive retention
-The sheath system comes with attachments that can be worn in multiple ways

Bottom Line

The StrongArm by Gerber is a special product for its price, affording quality features and ultimate versatility. It is a thoughtful design that keeps your outdoor exploration in mind, where survival can become a challenge. It does the brand legacy justice by helping the user perform all necessary tasks while working outside or just camping for a few days. You can easily start a campsite by cutting ropes for securing a tent, to cutting up kindle for a fire, and even dressing the fish that you caught earlier for dinner. Get it all done with the least amount of effort thanks to the cutting strength and enhanced precision of the StrongArm.

Reviewers online admire the timeless look of this fixed blade, whether its the plain or serrated edge, as well as its ergonomic handle that provides super grip and of course, its ability to slice with extreme ease. As with most manmade products, there are a few problem areas despite its 5-star standing on Amazon. The negatives include the size of the handle being too small for some and the need for regular sharpening on bigger jobs. Most of these issues are forgettable when you consider the huge number of benefits that are available. Overall, this is a knife that you can use for your bushcraft or similar projects and it comes with a few different carrying features. This helps it to stand out among the other products of its type and also the preferred choice of a lot of people. Once you get a hold of the StrongArm you won't know how you survived before without it.