Gerber LMF 2 Review – Best Survival Knife for the Money? – 2017

When you are on your adventure and need a tool for all your camping and hiking needs, a survival knife is of utmost importance.

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Black is a handsome looking knife that can very well be your knight in shining armour when you are out on your trail.

The Gerber LMF 2 survival knife has been designed by a former military man and field tested with real troops, which means it can take quite a beating and live up to your survival needs. With infantry based designs incorporated into its features, it is made to be rugged enough to meet your various needs than just a plain knife.

Whether you are stuck in an aircraft or in a drowning vehicle, you can quickly remove yourself from the dangerous situation and put the excitement back in to your adventure. Enjoy camping or hiking with the very capable Gerber LMF 2 and you will be amazed at how much it can do.

Features of the LMF 2 Infantry/Survival knife

Blade

Steel blades are known for their strength and durability. The blade of the Gerber LMF 2  is made of 420HC Stainless steel that is rust-resistant and extremely durable to stand all the slicing, chopping, prying and digging.

The blades have a comboedge, with the front half of the blade sharpened for regular chopping and cutting activities. The rear end of the blade is serrated for cutting through different materials such as cloth, rope and seat belt materials. It makes an excellent strap cutter and can be crucial in an emergency situation.

This survival knife is 5mm or 3/16th of an inch thick and is strong enough to baton and can even slice through well at the same time.

The blade has a drop-point design with a curve running form the spine of the blade to the blade’s point. Drop-point blades are much stronger than their plain counterparts and can be very useful specifically for bushcraft activities and for all survival situations.

Handle

The handle of the LMF 2 is made of Zytel, which is a type of glass-filled nylon. This is then coated or overmolded with TPV that is textured for a good grip.

The handle is also more flat and wide; this means you have a larger surface area to grip. It also comes with a lashing hole and the fact that it is wide, makes it easier to be lashed on to a stick to convert it into a spear if needed.

The knife is not a full-tang as it does not go all the way to the end of the knife. This is because it has a gap at the end to separate it from the  stainless steel butt cap.

The stainless steel butt cap is physically separated from the tang to avoid electrocution while cutting through wires. The separation also helps in shock absorption when it is used as a hammer,  lowering the amount of shock transferred to the users hand.

The butt cap is painted and has a sharp pointed edge which is strong enough to break plexi glass or any safety glass. This can come in handy while on an aircraft or even to break the window of a car in case your vehicle ends up in water.

Sheath

The knife comes with a sheath that is colour coordinated with the knife handles and is made of nylon backing to protect the knife from damage. The knife itself is held in place with a friction lock mechanism.

The sheath comes with straps that can either be strapped onto a belt or a molle vest for easy carrying. You can also carry the knife strapped on to your calves or thighs for easy access while on the go. The leg straps come with an elastic portion for a comfortable fit and has a rubber inner lining to keep it in place without slipping.

The best feature of the sheath is however, an in-built V-type sharpener made of carbide, so you will never ever have to deal with a blunt knife when on the field.

Size and weight

The total length of the knife is 10.50 inches while the blade length is 4.84 inches. The knife weighs 11.39 ounces and is heavier for its length. But the weight of the knife comes in handy for many survival situations like chopping, hammering and batoning.

Field-tested

This Gerber infantry knife was originally intended for use by the US Air force as is evident from its air-craft friendly features such as the strap cutting serrated edge and the glass-breaking stainless steel butt cap that is separated from the tang with a gap.

The LMF 2 is field tested, which means it is quite versatile and is tough to be used as a military, survival, tactical, camping and industrial knife even though some might doubt its strength with its 3/4th tang.

The brand Gerber is quite synonymous with outdoor gear and their lifetime warranty speaks for their quality.

What’s not great?

The Gerber LMF 2 survival knife is chock full of features that its pros far outweigh its negatives. Nonetheless, as a user even a small negative can make you decide on a different product that will fit your requirements better. So read on, as we tease out the features that some users think can be improved on the LMF 2.

  • Handle grip – The rubber gripping sheath on the handles seem to be a problem area and some users report that it tends to wear off easily. This happens after repeated heavy use such as chopping of wood. Also, the gripping material seems to wear off with repeated removal and insertion into the sheath. The material also seems to behave poorly in tropical weathers with high humidity.
  • Serrated edge – The serrations on the lower end of the knife are angled to the right making it very useful for left-handed users. But it can cause slipping when used by a right-handed person.
  • 3/4th tang – Full-tang knives are known for their strength but the Gerber LMF 2 is only a 3/4th tang or push tang going only about 80% of the way to the end of the knife. But this is a feature deliberately designed to separate it from the steel butt cap. This avoids possible electrical shock when handling live wires and also acts as a shock absorber while hammering or using the butt cap to break glass.
  • Heavy – The knife weighs 11.30 ounces which is not as heavy as its competitor models. But it has been designed with a 60/40 split between the handle and the knife. Due to this, the knife feels heavier and so carrying it strapped around your legs or thigh can become tiring on prolonged use.
  • Sharpening – The integrated sharpener of the sheath can be used to sharpen the drop-point and the sharp edge of the blade, but because the lower part of the blade is serrated, it needs a separate sharpening tool such as a diamond rod. But this is only a minor con as the blades keep their sharpness for quite a long time.

How does the Gerber LMF 2 fare?

There are many similar survival knives in the market that compete with the LMF 2 infantry or survival knife. For e.g. the Aircraft Ka-Bar USMC and the  Becker BK2 have similar features as the Gerber LMF 2.

  • The LMF 2 has the best sheath anyone can ask for and one that comes with an integrated carbide sharpener to keep your blade in its maximum working efficiency at all times.
  • If your exploration involves an aircraft, the LMF 2 will be your best bet as it has a brilliantly designed strap cutter that can cut through webbing such as seat belts. Another aircraft-friendly design of the LMF 2 is the physically separated buttcap, which means you can confidently cut through electrical wiring without the risk of being electrocuted.
  • Blades should be at least a quarter of an inch thick for good lateral strength. At 5mm thickness, it is not as thick as the Becker BK2 but is thicker than the Aircraft Ka-Bar USMC and many other survival knives and hence can really take a lot of beating in the wilderness.

The Gerber LMF 2 also has a very affordable price tag of under $100 but with a lot of features packed into one than its competitors.

So is the LMF 2 the right one for you?

Going on an adventure can be very exciting, but also involves a lot of risky situations. Having a versatile tool on hand to manage various extreme situations can mean the difference between life and death.

The Gerber LMF 2 is definitely not your everyday carry knife (EDC), and EDCs also cannot do as much as the LMF, especially when you are out on your adventure that involves more than just camping.

The LMF 2 has everything going for it from strong steel blades, comfortable grips on handles, part-serrated blade, steel butt-cap and an easy carrying sheath with integrated sharpener.

If you are looking at an all-rounded simple versatile knife, then this knife is not for you. But if you want something really rugged and one that can handle a lot of survival situations that require reliability, then this is the best survival knife that you can get for under $100.

Clinton B.
Gerber LMF 2
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