Gerber Gear has long been a household name for knives, multi-tools, and other equipment. They are a brand that every military servicemember is familiar with, and one that every Exchange store on post carries. From my experience, their gear is sometimes a hit-or-miss but I always find a use for whatever it is. One of my more recent additions is the Gerber Airlift Folding Knife.


Blade Material: 5Cr13 Stainless Steel
Blade Length: 2.8” (7.1 cm)
Overall Length: 7.0” (17.7 cm)
Weight: 3.2 oz
Handle Material: Stainless Steel
Lock Type: Frame lock

Specifications courtesy of Gerber Gear

My thoughts and review

The Gerber Airlift is nothing special and there is nothing about it that makes it a coveted folder. However, it is probably one of the best deals you’ll find on the market. The Gerber Airlift has an MSRP of $25 but can be bought on Amazon for $18 at the time of writing this review. For the price point alone, this is a knife I have no problem recommending if you want a spare knife in your bag or car. With that being said, you get what you paid for and the Gerber Airlift does have a few minor issues.

First of all, the frame lock is an undesirable locking system. The frame lock on the Gerber Airlift can be a little difficult to release. This is by far the biggest complaint that users have with this folder. The indent to unlock the blade does not protrude far enough out of the frame to easily depress in order to fold the blade back in.

Secondly, the 5Cr13 steel used is a less than average steel. It can handle simple everyday tasks but is a step down from the standard 154CM or S30V steels that are popular on the market from most manufacturers. This isn’t a surprise as this is how Gerber is able to offer this knife at such a low MSRP. The steel choice here isn’t a dealbreaker though as long as you don’t plan to put the Airlift through extensive abuse or don’t mind sharpening it regularly. For that reason, the Airlift’s best role is as a backup folding knife rather than your primary knife.

The verdict

The good
-Less than $20

The bad
-Poor locking system
-Less than average steel

The Gerber Airlift is as simple as a folding knife gets. There isn’t anything unique about the knife design and there isn’t much room for customization as the pocket clip only has one position, tip-down. Though the Airlift leaves much to be desired, keep in mind that the knife can easily be purchased for under $20. Having an extra knife around is a good measure of preparedness, just in case. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

We enjoy hearing back from our readers. If you have any experience with Gerber Gear, let us know what you think.