When you talk about full blown survival knives there are only a handful of knives I can honestly recommend. The Gerber LMF 2 is one such knife. The knife has been hand crafted from the ground up with insights from the U.S. Special Forces – Gerber actually made the blade electric proof on a recommendation from a special forces team serving time in Iraq. The story goes, they ran into problems when slicing electrical lines because the tang of the knife ran the full length of the blade. Gerbers answer? An insulated tang that runs just to the tip of the handle and then stops. This slight gap makes the blade completely electrical proof while keeping all the benefits of a full tang:
Gerber is one of the few blade manufacturers making and forging their knives in America. They are an American Made company who listen intently to real comments and criticisms of those who know what a knife needs to do.
**Note** Gerber has 3 different versions of this knife – The LMF2 infantry, LMF2 survival, and the LMF2 Asek. These are the exact same knives. The only difference between the models is the handle color and whether or not the knife ships with any accessories. For all intents and purposes, this review will only cover the features of the knife itself.
|Blade Length||4.84 inches|
|Total Length||10.59 inches|
|Blade Material||420HC Stainless Steel|
My first thought was, Gerber? aren’t those the guys that make baby food? Upon further research I realized these are two completely different companies. I ordered the knife. When the knife came, I knew right away this thing was serious. It’s a weighty no-nonsense blade and I know it is fully capable of doing serious work in the bush. On the pommel of the handle is a glass breaker you could easily bust through glass or hammer with. Some knives have this feature but they feel like they would bust if you attempted any serious hammering. The serrated edges are sharp – it’s like having a full blown saw on a knife. I can’t wait to take it into the bush for proper testing. Out of the box it was sharp enough to shave the hairs right off my arm.
The blade itself is wide and smooths down nicely into a drop point tip. Drop point tips are ultra strong by nature. The blade is perfectly suited for serious tasks like chopping and batoning. The spine is flat allowing you to crack down hard straight over the top for wood chopping, and, makes it easy to use with your ferrocerium rod. The material in question is a stainless steel known as 420HC. Stainless steel is virtually indestructible. While it won’t take an edge like carbon steel, I found the Gerber LMF2 sharpened up quite nicely and held an edge over a long period of time. Stainless steel is also extremely resistant to rust so don’t worry about getting it wet.
The signature feature of the LMF2 is the serrated edge. I found this portion of the blade to be quite useful for sawing smaller pieces of wood and slicing off those last little bits of chopped tree. I know a lot of guys don’t like the serrated edges. I never understood the philosophy behind that. A serrated edge will saw through cordage and branches faster than a flat edge. And contrary to popular belief, serrated edges are actually quite easy to sharpen with a diamond sharpening rod. Lastly, the blade is coated with a black residual oxide. This makes it tactical (shiny blades give away your position) and also adds an additional layer of protection from rust and wear.
The handle is fashioned with a glass filled nylon material. It has a rubber feel rather than a hard plastic one felt on many knives. Great for wet weather grip. One thing I enjoy about the handle is the built in lashing holes. You could attach this blade to a stick and make a spear with only a bit of paracord. Also integrated into the handle is the glass breaker pommel. This thing feels extremely reinforced. I’m not afraid to go full bash mode on anything needing a solid hammering. Overall, the handle is strong and well suited to life in the bush.
The sheath material is made of Ballistic nylon with a fire retardant coating. With many knives, you usually get a junky sheath. I like the sheath for the LMF2. The blade snaps securely into place and doesn’t wiggle around while it’s on your belt. It’s designed for both a left hand and right hander and completely MOLLE compatible. It also features a built in blade sharpener. I never use these as I opt to personally sharpen my blade with quality tools. I’ve found these built in blade sharpeners are largely a marketing gimmick. None the less, the sheath is solid and does the job. Oh yeah, it also comes with a secondary strap for attachment to your leg or calf.
As always, I take every knife I review straight out into the bush for a proper field test. Having reviewed many other knives before, I already knew how this blade was going to perform just by feeling it in my hands. Regardless, the field test is where the rubber meets the road and I always like to see how each knife stacks up in the bush. Primarily, I want to know if the knife can chop/baton wood and how well it slices. I also like to see how long the blade retains its edge before I have to take a sharpening stone to it.
On all accounts, the Gerber LMF2 performed just as well as I thought it would. Here you can see how easily it chops straight through a small tree:
To test the edge I like to make feather sticks. The knife had no trouble make find wood shavings from a whole piece of wood:
Let’s do a bit of prying:
Overall the blade performed very well in the bush and retained its edge throughout the day. The serrated edges also sawed through everything I could throw at it. I know a lot of people will say “but a knife aint supposed to be used to chop and baton.” I always say, in a survival situation your knife is gonna have to do many things. Often times you do not have the luxury of having all the best equipment on hand. In survival cases, your knife is the end all be all and its good to know it can handle the job. I have no doubts this blade can handle anything you throw at it.
The Gerber LMF2 is a full blown survival knife. It is not an every day carry knife, nor a knife I would take out on a one day camping trip. This is a beefy knife designed to blast you through even the most fully blown survival situations. When there is serious bush work to be done or you are down behind enemy lines, this is the knife you want to have on your belt.