Picked up this Gerber Yari II on eBay just recently because I was looking for a Medium sized fixed blade knife to mount on my Tactical Vest via the Molle webbing. The Yari II from Gerber not only fit the bill as far as size, sheath and ergonomics goes, but also had superior materials and the reliable Gerber name as well for what seems to me to be a bargain bin price.
When I ordered the $58.99 Gerber Yari from an online seller, I wasn’t expecting much. The knife claimed USA Made and premium CPM-S30V steel, along with a multi-mounting molle sheath complete with Malice clips. Certainly, there had to be some concessions to give all that in a $60 knife!
Instead, boy was I impressed.
This has got to be one of the greatest values in fixed blade knives out there! While the fit and finish isn’t anything to write home about, the premium materials and superb design and sheath are more than enough to make this a hell of a deal.
First I’ll talk about the handle. The Gerber Yari II has a grooved, hard anodized aluminum handle measuring roughly 5″, which is quite different from most other fixed blades out there. There are both pros and cons to the aluminum handle. The grooves are designed in a way to prevent your hand sliding forward more than for retention. Aluminum is also nonporous and will hold up well in the elements. It won’t absorb water or oil and is a pretty tough material for a handle. However, due to its inability to absorb oil, it can also be slicker when moist. Water isn’t too bad, but smoother oils or fats like when preparing meat can make it slippery to handle.
The blade is 4.25″ long, and Black PVD coated CPM-S30V steel, with a tanto blade shape and partially serrated edge. This blade is also available in a drop point version, but the one I have is the tanto. Out of the box, extremely sharp – definitely among the sharper factory knives, I’ve purchased. It’s quite remarkable to get a CPM-S30V fixed blade in this price range, especially the USA Made one with the quality of construction that this blade has. Overall, very happy with the blade. It would make a great camp or utility knife with a secondary self-defense use.
Fit & Finish
Fit and finish are not this knife’s sharp suit. While it’s not bad and well constructed, you’d never want to use it as a showpiece. The PVD finish on the blade shows, even more, scuffing brand new than Strider Knives, and the aluminum handles have some minor marks on it. I was a bit concerned at first that I was sold a used one, but reading some notes online as well as seeing another new one from a local shop convinced me that they just are that way. The grinds are straight and the handles are put on well.
I love the sheath on this knife. For a “free” sheath, its one of the best I’ve seen, with double malice clip attachments for both the handle area and the base of the sheath to ensure a strong attachment to your vest or whatever you may be attaching it to. There is also a few other different ways it can be connected, along with a very nicely designed belt clip attachment as well.
Blade Length: 4.25″
Overall Length: 9″
Blade Steel: CPM-S30V
Handle Material: Type 3 Hard Anodized 6061 Aluminum