In the past years we’ve seen ESEE dominate the market when it comes to survival knives. ESEE has long been the standard but that all changed with Gerber. Gerber has 3 knives which are now held as some of the best knives on the market for the best prices. The Gerber StrongArm, The Gerber Prodigy, and The Gerber LMF 2 all hold their own in the ring and represent some seriously powerful blades in the bush.
At first glance though it’s difficult to spot the differences and make a firm buying decision. Let’s take a spotlight look at these blades and highlight the features and differences between each knife.
|Blade Length||4.5 Inches||4.75 Inches||4.84 inches|
|Total Length||9.8 Inches||9.75 Inches||10.59 inches|
|Blade Material||420HC Stainless Steel||420HC Stainless Steel||420HC Stainless Steel|
|Weight||7.2 oz||8 oz||11.67 oz|
The chart above gives you a good idea about the core differences between each of the blades. You can see that all of these blades use the same type of steel and are more or less the same length. The LMF2 is the longer and heftier of the group lending itself well to doing some serious damage. The LMF2 was the signature knife sent to the US armed forces for direct use in the field. The design implements a partially insulated tang to cut through electrical wire without getting shocked. I usually advocate for FULL tangs no matter what but this could be seen as an added feature. The LMF2 also has drilled holes to quickly transform the knife into a spear with a bit of paracord lashing. Also, with the added length and weight comes more steel…and a bigger price tag – The LMF2 is going to run you over $20 dollars more than the StrongArm and Prodigy.
The StrongArm and Prodigy are nearly identical in price tag and perhaps even more difficult to decipher the core differences. The Prodigy has a slightly longer blade and weighs in only slightly heftier than the StrongArm. Still, you will be paying just a bit more for the StrongArm. Why is this? My guess is the included sheath. With the Prodigy you’re getting a basic nylon sheath with limited mounting options. With the StrongArm you’re getting a much better sheath with modular mounting options. The StrongArm sheath can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or on any Molle compatible webbing. It’s up to you to compare both sheaths and decide which one you like better.
Besides the sheath you can also see a clear difference in the handles. The shapes and textures of the handles are much different. With the prodigy you have the textured over-mold while the StrongArm has the rubberized diamond grip. Both handles grip very well even in wet weather conditions. You can also see the glass breaker points are located on different sections of the pommel. The point on the StrongArm is strongly centered while the point on the Prodigy is angled off to the side. I like the angled approach personally, you feel like you can get a nice strong crack.
Price wise the Prodigy and the StrongArm cost nearly the same. The LMF2 is significantly more costly. I can’t say the extra cost is justified. Besides the insulated tang there isn’t much of a difference between the knives at all.
I’ve reviewed all of these knives as individual posts. Read these for a more in depth look at each blade.
Looking at all the points and features of all the knives it’s obvious the LMF2 is in its own category considering the cost. The StrongArm and Prodigy are much more comparable. In fact, they are so similar you could almost make a decision based on the looks of the knives alone. In that case I personally spring for the Prodigy. I don’t require a super fancy sheath to justify the few extra bucks of the StrongArm. Plus, I like how the pommel breaker is angled off to the side. With all this taken into account, both knives will do any job just as well – I can guarantee that.
Which one do you choose?