Made in the USA, the Gerber US-Assist 420 knife has an ambidextrous, one handed, assisted opening with a sleek pocket clip, safety lock, and rugged body. I’ve been using mine for several months now, and this is my review.
The US-Assist comes in at 7″ long while open, with a 3″ blade. It closes up to an appropriately compact 4.2″ and is just .5″ thick at its widest. On the side is a small, removable wire clip that slides easily onto a pocket, but still provides good enough grip to keep it from popping out when crawling into a tent, out of a car or even while hiking. The blade is mostly straight edged, with a short serrated section for sawing at fibers like rope. The handle is a sturdy glass filled nylon, lightly textured for extra grip,. The blade itself is constructed of the age old, tried and true stainless steel. It retails for about $99 and is available now.
As mentioned before, the US-Assist has been my go-to blade for several months now. I’ve strapped it to my backpack as a light weight backpacking blade, carried along in my pocket it while traveling, and stuffed it into my work pack for general use. I’ve used it for opening countless packages, slicing meats, modifying gear, cutting through plastics, and much more. Using the blade has been mostly a pleasure. The blade cuts great, with a sharp edge that easily handles most tasks without dulling overly fast, making quick work of camp food prep and cutting nylon webbing to length. The handle feels really nice in the hand, with a surprisingly ergonomic curved handle that’s surprisingly firm, and the textured body feels smooth, but still grips well. I’ve yet to encounter a slip or have it feel off balance in my hand. It helps that the safety lock has performed flawlessly, instilling confidence with tasks that require some grunt. The assisted blade is nice once you get it moving, as it finishes the swing for you, but doing so does require a decent bit of thumb pressure against a relatively small textured knob. It’s not as easy as I would have liked, but the plus side here is that it has never opened accidentally, and never gets hung on my clothing. So, I have mixed feelings about the assist feature.
Still, it’s really not the assist that sold me on the blade, despite that being the prominent feature and it’s tied into the name. Instead, the comfort and feel of cutting with it has sold me. It’s light weight at just 3.8 ounces, and it packs away without taking up any real volume. The clip has yet to let me down, even after locking it to the external pocket of my backpack for many, many miles of rough trail. The stainless blade has resisted rain and humidity, and I haven’t had to sharpen it yet. It’s a solid blade that I’m now carrying with me on every excursion, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it for the assisted opening alone. It’s a nice feature that works well, but it really doesn’t make it any easier. In the end, it’s a wonderful blade that’s easy to appreciate.
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I want to extend a huge thanks to Gerber for their continued support and for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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