Gerber Fastball Manual Flipper Folding Knife
Product DescriptionThe Fastball is an American-made EDC knife that lives in the place where precision and polish meet. The premium yet practical design has an intuitive finger flipper opening, a full fine edge Wharncliffe blade, and an aircraft-grade aluminum handle. Carry left or right hand with the ambidextrous three-position pocket clip. This steel knife is the kind of edc gear you can keep on hand for any task.
- Pocket knife made from high carbon S30V steel with machined aluminum handles
- Manual finger flipper deployment and reliable detent make this EDC knife safe and secure
- Finger flipper won’t tear fingers up, yet stiff enough for smooth flip knife deployment every time
- Designed as a slim, lightweight knife with single liner for off-centered 3 in. blade
- Gerber knife features Wharncliffe/drop point blade with shallow flat grind and needle tip point
Top ReviewsSo close to perfection it hurts...literally.
by Mark Lautenbach (4 out of 5 stars)
March 18, 2019
I'm always searching for the perfect EDC knife. Every time I get a new knife, I wonder "could this be the one" and every time I am disappointed. There is always one easily preventable feature messes it up.
The Fastball is the perfect size. The blade shape is ideal. The design is beautiful. The fit and finish is perfect. It feels good in the hand. The materials are quality. It wasn't too expensive, relatively speaking. But.....
The detent is way too strong. Between the angle/gimping of the flipper and the severe detent, this knife is irritating to open and dangerous to close. After a few flips, you can certainly feel the pressure on your finger. And when it goes to close it, the blade hangs up on that detent and then SLAMS closed, so you better be sure to be clear or you're getting cut. And often it slams home with such force that it bounces back out. Several times, I've almost put it back in my pocket with the blade slightly open.
Also, the friction of the rough scale coating makes it difficult to get in and out of pocket. I'm hoping this smooths out over time.
Given that I absolutely love everything else about the Fastball, I'm gonna keep fiddling with it to see if it starts to wear down to a more reasonable level. If not, I may open it up and try to file down the nub, but that's risky.
But so far my search for the perfect knife continues.
Simple & Near Perfect
by mad max (5 out of 5 stars)
March 20, 2019
This blade is simple and near perfect. USA Made, s30v Steel, ball barrings, ambidextrous, at $100 you get a lot of EDC capabilities with a lot of options.
The only two things that I noticed is the grinding is slightly off on the edge. Most people would pick up on it, but it is can be easily fixed with some sharpening.
The detent is strong and takes a little pressure to deploy the blade.
Over all near perfect and one of my top 5 in this size range. Like the Spyderco Delicia4, Benchmade mini griptillian, buck Sprint pro, kershaw dividend in s35vn.
Just about the perfect EDC
by Bush shooter (5 out of 5 stars)
April 13, 2019
I've carried a few other knives everyday for the past few years, my favorite being the Leatherman c33T (and c33Tx) mainly because of the screwdriver tools. For my entire youth I carried a Victorinox Tinker (or similar) because I worshipped Macgyver. Let that color my review if you want, but I use the built-in screwdrivers in the c33T daily. People ask "why not just carry a multi-tool?" Well, because I don't want a multi-tool. I want a knife with some screwdrivers.
So that was my standard before deciding to give the Fastball a try. I was looking for something slightly more basic and diminutive in size.
First impressions of the Fastball are:
- Super slimline, low profile frame
- One-handed opening action is the most positive I've ever used. The design is brilliant.
- Blade profile is unique, very cool
- Clip has two positions, you can remount it on the other end of the frame if you like
- One-handed closing took a little practice.
Carrying is a much better experience because of the low profile frame. It's easy to forget it's clipped to the inside of my pocket. On most knives, the clip has a bent-out end to facilitate easy sliding onto whatever you're clipping it to. I don't like it because I wear my knife on the inside of my pocket and that little bent-out metal end scratches whatever I lean against. So for all all my knives I will remove the clip, put it in the vise, and bend the end so that it's not so proud. The Fastball is no exception. The clip is great but I bent the end back a little so it's lower profile.
The edge that comes on the Fastball is pretty decent, but like most factory knives it's just a start.
It's hard to describe how amazing the one-handed opening of the Fastball feels. It's almost effortless, and it's pure geometry of the quillon/guard part of the blade.
My one reservation initially was the one-handed closure. At first it felt like closing it required a little too much effort to break the detent and it would accelerate the blade closed, maybe on my thumb. After a little playing with it, I realized that while my thumb was working the release, it was totally protected by the quillon of the blade. You keep your thumb there until you've pushed the blade beyond the detent, then move it out of the way and the blade closes with no effort. I can see how this might take a little practice for someone not used to it.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the Fastball. The form factor, the aesthetic, the dynamic of the one-handed opening...all are awesome. The only thing that could make it better are built-in phillips and flat head drivers. :)
Basically a more expensive Kershaw Dividend
by TechRancher (5 out of 5 stars)
March 22, 2019
I really like US made Gerber knives. I have several and when this one was launched I purchased it right away. It is eerily similar to my House of Blades Kershaw Dividend which I carry daily. The only material difference I can see is the color and the Gerber doesn't have a deep carry clip. The action is very tight, and will probably loosen up with usage. The fit and finish are top notch and the blade steel is durable and will hold an edge. I prefer the color combination of the Gerber, but wish I could find a deep pocket carry option. Very pleased with the purchase and glad to add another quality knife to the collection.
QC is an Issue, Incredible Knife Otherwise
by R. Haffner (4 out of 5 stars)
June 28, 2019
Right off the bat, Gerber needs their QC guy fired if they want to breach into the "enthusiast" market. I consider myself one, and own many knives, including Spydercos, Benchmades and two Kershaw Launches. Usually carry a Para 3 or a Kershaw Leek, and was in the market for something of a hybrid, smaller than the Para, but higher quality/slightly beefier and with better steel than my Leek. Then this thing hit the market, from a company I have no experience with, but I thought hey, this could be the one. Of course, I was also heavily influenced my the looks, which are, excellent. While I'm writing this after having the knife for less than a day (maybe I'll update my review if things change for better or worse), my immediate first impressions are not great, quality control being the major reason why. Refer to the pictures for visuals, but among the things I found (in no particular order):
- Plastic on the backspace is clearly molded cheaply, and some flashing/sharp edges are left.
- The blade grind is off, one side flawless, the other much shallower at the tip. This is particularly noticeable around the tip.
- The blade centering is off. For me, it was slightly to the right. Could potentially be fixed by adjusting the tension on all the screws.
- Tiny tiny amount of left/right blade play. Barely noticeable, but present if you look for it.
- The liner is poorly finished with the black coating. While I'm sure its just an uneven coat, it looks as thought the metal underneath is actually pitted
- The acton feels gritty. Almost definitely a breaking-in thing, but very present when new.
Those are all the QC issues I noticed. Not really QC related, but the one other thing that struck me is how difficult this knife is too close. The detent is so damn strong it's difficult to do with one hand. You have to apply so much pressure to get the blade past the initial detent, with fingers near the blade I've actually closed the thing on my hand twice now. To do so safely, you have to disengage the liner lock, completely alter your grip so your fingers are nowhere near the blade, then shove it, hard, with your index finger. Not fun. Hence stars knocked for comfort.
On the other hand, I don't intend to return this knife, and I like it. I'm a user, and all of the knives I own are worn, with finish coming off and having been resharpened a number of times. I like a distressed look. That being said, all these little issues don't really bother me, because once I'm done with it, it's not going to look anywhere near as good.
My final verdict is this. Gerber has some bad QC issues, and anyone who buys this as pocket jewelry or as a collection piece may be disappointed. But for my use, it will serve just fine (I assume. If otherwise, this review will be updated). The major issue is price. While I have no problem paying over $100 for a knife, I do have a problem paying $105 and having to disassemble the thing to straighten the blade and re-profiling the blade to make it even. For not much more, my Para 3 had a flawless grind, dead center blade and still does to this day, with absolutely zero blade play (Thus, stars knocked for value). Some would say it's unfair to compare a Spyderco to a Gerber, but in this case I feel it is entirely justified. Gerber claims to be making a product to appeal to fellow knife nuts like us, and if that's the case they're going to have to compete with the big dogs, and so far, they are falling short.
EDIT 9-17-19: After about 3 months with this knife, I think an update is necessary. I initially dinged this knife for its somewhat obvious quality control flaws, which a number of other reviewers have pointed out. I'm updating my star rating to 4/5, the only reason for the missing star being QC. Using this knife everyday as a retail manager, I've come to really love it. After my initial review, I took the knife apart and cleaned and re lubricated it. Contrary to my expectations, the knife was incredibly easy to hone in, and after the blade centering was spot on! But the main reason for this update is just how pleasant this knife is to use. Push the flipper, and the knife comes out, push the liner lock and close the knife and it's closed. The overly-string detent I wrote about earlier is something I've gotten used to, and it does not bother me anymore. This knife is a joy to use. After a while of daily use, the knife had molded to my hand in a way that few others have. Opening boxes I'll often use a pinch grip right on the blade to avoid cutting too deep, breaking down cardboard I'll use a full grip and really bear down, and if I'm doing sorting else I can grip the knife with my index finger and use my other fingers for another task. It's a brilliant knife, and if it weren't for the QC issues, this would be a 5/5 knife. I would recommend this knife for anyone looking for a no-nonsense, really well thought out EDC piece.
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
by Totally ImAussieBull (1 out of 5 stars)
June 17, 2019
I watched several YouTube videos re: this Gerber Fastball knife, and they were very favorable. So based on the $99.99 price point for an American made knife and all the online chatter, I ordered one. I was SOOOO hopeful that Gerber had gone back to their roots of high quality American made knives...finally. Well, I was very disappointed. Am I a knife snob? Yep, and I should be for a $100 item! The knife I ordered showed up with a small divot/inclusion on the blade's backbone just to the left of the Gerber symbol with the knife closed, I could hang my fingernail on it and it looked like a small center punch mark(noticed that even before cutting off packing zip tie). The blade was off center to the right when the knife was closed. The lock mechanism was too aggressive, meaning it locked too far to the right on the back of the blade. This problem led to an obnoxious scraping and tougher than normal operation of unlocking for closure of blade. The grind on the blade edge was uneven and there were nasty scuff marks near the heel of the blade on both sides. Finally, the logo proudly stating "Made in Portland" etc. was washed out in the center, and could barely be seen at most angles. Based on other AMAZON reviewers, I have a Kershaw Dividend headed my way tomorrow, and the Gerber Fastball is getting sent back. What a huge disappointment! Bottom line, this knife should have a price point more like $10-20 and logically be made in China for the amount of flaws I encountered. I most likely will NEVER buy a Gerber product again, just like I said the first time they sold out. Buyer be warned.
I love this knife
by talespinner42 (4 out of 5 stars)
April 25, 2019
I just got this knife as a replacement for my previous EDC which is likely somewhere in the fields of our 80 acre farm (I still hope to find it). First impression, its very light,and yet very well made. It pops open just as advertised, but I can see that if you don't have strong hands, getting past the initial detente might be a small issue, not a problem for my jumbo hands. I really do not see what others are talking about in refolding being a danger. Mine closes smoothly and easily with one hand and stays that way in my pocket.
The clip is really tight. I love it (clip failure is how my last knife kept falling out of my pocket). The design is so slim and light, I can't even tell I am wearing it.
The edge is fairly sharp right from the factory, but I think I'll spend some time on it tonight with the wet stone. This isn't a complaint; it is actually one of the sharpest factory made blades I've ever gotten, but no factory sharpened blade is ever going to be sharp enough.
The only issues I have with it are a bit of roughness on the spine, where it looks like Gerber should have smoothed it out a bit more and the grind on the edge itself, which is uneven at the tip. The edge itself is straight, but it looks like there was a bit too much material on the left side of the tip so to meet at a straight edge they had to take out a bit more material on that side. It doesn't really change the function of the edge at all and is mostly cosmetic. I doubt I would have noticed it much if someone else hadn't mentioned it in a review. These two issues are the only things that keep me from giving it 5 stars.
I highly recommend this knife.
This is my new favorite knife!
by Brandon S. (5 out of 5 stars)
June 9, 2019
since I started carrying a pocket knife daily nearly 20 years ago, I have been constantly on the search of "the perfect knife". i'll let you know that it still doesn't exist....but this knife comes darn close! I love the look and finish first off. it's a great looking knife. Next, it comes from the factory with an excellent sharp edge, pair that with the premium S30V blade steel and that shaving sharp edge lasts a long time. I love the solid detent ball and the bearing system. This knife is not spring loaded or assisted opening, but I have NEVER had this knife fail to fully open with the flipper. When I hand it to a friend to try they wear it's spring loaded. it has an amazing action, and no blade play, and perfect blade centering. I swore off Gerber products years ago, but this gave me hope for their future offerings.
by bonedoc,Top Contributor: Woodworking (2 out of 5 stars)
May 31, 2019
I'm not a knife expert by any means, but I've carried them all my life and this knife, while very well made, has such a stiff action that I returned it immediately. Yes, it may have eased up over time but that has not been my experience with other knives. My wife, who trains horses and has strong hands had to use her thumb to get the blade open and said only "send it back". My SOG flipper is night/day smoother and easier to open and has a much better release mechanism. To me this knife is expensive and there is just no excuse or need to have this stiff of an opening mechanism.
Best EDC knife I have ever had
by Travis Decker (5 out of 5 stars)
April 9, 2019
I have owned lots of knives over the years, and for a standard pocket knife this is the nicest one I have ever had. All of the subtle design features just add up to something nicer than the sum of the parts.
Multiple locations for the clip, great opening mechanism, feels solid in the hand when in use. Just the right knife to have in your pocket for most things. I continue to be impressed by some of the higher end made in USA Gerber products. Leaps and bounds better than the lower end stuff. Well designed and just feels right in your hand. I will probably purchase a few more to give as gifts this holiday season!
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