I recently purchased a Gerber Profile fixed blade knife as a general camp knife.
I obtained the belt knife from a nationwide retailer. The Gerber website does not list the Profile nor does a search on the Gerber site provide any return for the knife. The knife is an import and may be exclusive to the retailer. I paid $20 retail.
The knife is similar in many ways to the Gerber “Big Rock” with some cost reducing features. The Profile is full-tang knife with textured rubber handle material. The blade is approximately 4" long. The blade is a clip point with an unsharpened false edge on the blade top. The blade is not serrated.
The ricasso (thick section separating the handle and sharp area) extends downward to form a blade guard contoured to the user’s index finger. The top edge of the ricasso has thumb grooves milled for an enhanced thumb grip. The Profile looks to be well designed, but it is somewhat lacking. The thumb milling on the upper ricasso is poorly placed and doesn’t closely contour to my thumb placement when holding the knife with a thumb forward grip. The thumb milling terminates abruptly, leaving my thumb pressing uncomfortably on the narrow false edge.
On a positive note, the blade is over 1.25" wide at the ricasso and is quite strong. The entire blade is covered with Gerber’s dark grey corrosion resistant finish. The handle has a lanyard hole and the rubber material is contoured and relieved where my fingers rest.
The knife works well when held in a normal grip or when held by the rear of the handle and used with a rotating, downward motion to chop shavings like a small machete. The coating has worn off in areas, but this is normal with the hard use a camp or hunting knife is subject to.
As it is difficult to find information on this knife, I am unsure about what steel the blade is made from. It is likely to be a good quality, high-carbon stainless. Regardless of one’s political views on imported products, the technical reality is that Gerber produces high quality blade steel regardless of the country of manufacture. Modern metallurgy and computer-controlled heat treating allows Gerber to produce consistently high quality blade blanks at any manufacturing facility worldwide.
The blade was very sharp when unboxed. Gerber, like many knife manufacturers, no longer sells lower-end knives with a razor edge. Unskilled or careless users have apparently cut themselves due to poor knife handling skills or inattentiveness and blamed the manufacturers. Like all recent knives from Gerber, the Profile holds the original edge for a surprising time. The blade is sufficiently sharp for general camp use and can be sharpened with a little effort after dulling use.
A fair quality nylon belt sheath is included. The sheath is of noticeably lower quality than the knife. The sheath outline does not closely match the blade shape and is, overall, of lesser quality than the knife. The snap strap which holds the knife in the sheath does not fit tightly. The knife can move up and down in the sheath about an inch. This isn’t an issue when standing upright, but does expose a section of sharp edge if wiggling about when prone or crawling around the brush.
I am very satisfied with my purchase. I knew that such an inexpensive knife would have shortcomings-at that price, some aspects would have to be compromised. I can accept the poor thumb milling and sheath issues. I purchased the knife as a backup hunting knife or “rough use” camp knife. The blade is good quality and the knife has held up well when cutting campfire shavings or notching sticks for general camp use.
I recommend the Profile for use in any scenario other than your main camp or belt knife.