“Everyman should carry a knife” – CSM Albert Morace, Special Forces, USA.
That statement holds true. I was 5 or 6 when my uncle gave me my first Swiss Army pocket knife. Since then, my requirements have changed immensely and so have the folders of today. I base my choice of folders on a few requirements. The knife has to be from a reputable company, it needs to withstand abuse, hold an edge, and it MUST be able to be opened with one hand. The Gerber 06 Auto exceeds that criteria.
For starters, if you live in this country and you’ve never heard of the brand Gerber Gear, there is an issue. If you’ve served in the military and haven’t heard of Gerber, then you are lying. Most of the Gerber branded items I’ve been issued over the years have been multi-tool variants, all of which had a great reputation of being hard use. Throughout the years I’ve also owned a few Gerber knives, all of which were good knives.
I received my first Gerber 06 a few years ago from a friend of mine who had it issued to him. It is a sturdy knife and the reliability factor is evident. The blade is S30V steel, which is pretty much industry standard for higher end blades as it is one of the best compromises in edge retention and steel durability. While many people prefer G10 for their knife handles, I prefer anodized aluminum which is exactly what Gerber uses for the handles on the 06 Auto. The blade is just under 4” at 3.8”, has a nice sized belly for slicing and a pretty thick blade.
While not advised with any knife, I have used the Gerber 06 auto blade to pry open doors and ammo cans and the blade held up fine. The firing plunger is very large and can easily be activated with gloved hands. The safety switch is also pretty big, and when the blade is opened, can be activated to act as a secondary lockup or to keep locked while closed. The blade has a solid lockup when opened and no wobble. It is a bit slower than some of the other auto’s I’ve handled, but it is also a heaver knife. The handle has finger grooves that my hand forms to quite nicely, and when opened has the feel of a fixed blade knife. The spine of the knife has some jimping on the top and bottom that keep your hand from slipping. The spine is also open which facilitates ease of cleaning. At the bottom, there is a glass breaker/palm strike and lanyard hole.
The 10TH Anniversary 06 Auto is the same mechanically as the rest, but has an OD green Cerakote coated handle, and a stonewashed blade. On the side of the blade is has a reverse facing U.S. flag which is the military’s authorized way of wearing the flag on the uniform.
The Gerber 06 Auto feels good in the hand and holds up well in the field. It’s been issued in the military for over 10 years and has a great reputation across the board. The 06 Auto is a great choice for those who are looking for a hard use folder with easy one-handed opening. It comes standard with a belt mountable nylon sheath, is made in the USA and includes Gerber’s limited lifetime warranty.
The Gerber 06 AUTO 10th anniversary edition is available through the Gerber Service Program at a discounted rate for MIL/First Responders. You can also purchase them through authorized Gerber dealers for around $160.00
Author – Tim M. is an Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and is currently a K9 handler for ARSOF. In his free time he enjoys shooting, working out and hitting the trails with the dog.
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