Ask the Gear Guy

Should I buy a Gerber or Swiss Army knife?


Q. Hey Gear Guy, I’m debating on whether to buy a Gerber pocketknife or a Swiss Army knife. My friend says Gerber; but I’ve heard Swiss Army my whole life. Which one should I buy?
– Sharp Jake, Mapleton, Utah

A. The answer is: You’re both right. Swiss Army pocketknives are legendary for their quality and usefulness. There are two companies that manufacture Swiss Army knives, Wenger and Victorinox — both make excellent knives. As for Gerber, they are a great knife manufacturer, too. Gerber has been manufacturing knives for the past 70 years, and makes a wide range of knives from standard folders and sheath knives to multitool-type knives like the Gerber Fit ($41; gerbergear.com). Similar to a Swiss Army knife, it’s packed with useful tools, 10 in all, including a fine-edge and serrated knife blade, scissors, tweezers, a few screwdrivers, and a super bright LED flashlight.

Comments about “Should I buy a Gerber or Swiss Army knife?”

  1. Buckley says:

    Leatherman buy one 60 bucks at Bass Pro I have the Wingman best multi tool I have ever had. Also look at Brownng knifes they are tough!!!!!!!!!! If you need a really strong locking blade get the bear grills knifes they work vey well.

  2. Eman5000 says:

    The kershaw burst is cool.

  3. ape says:

    swiss army knives are more durable and have much more to offer.

  4. Jack says:

    I don’t know but i wold go with swis army

  5. outdoorsman says:

    i found a knife on a hike and it has scratches all over the blade. what should i do to fix it?

  6. troop29 says:

    Gerber’s are no longer made in America. I know Swiss army knives aren’t either, but Switzerland beats Chinese junk any day.

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

      Gerber still makes their very best knives in Portland, Oregon. My Gerber LMF has PORTLAND,OR USA proudly displayed on the blade.

  7. bossman says:

    as for multi tools i prefer a sog or a claus.

  8. wxman says:

    If you need to minimize cost then go with the multi-purpose Swiss Army. But these knives aren’t the most robust. A locking, single blade folding knife is the most preferred design of an Every Day Carry (EDC) knife. Kershaw, CRKT, Buck as well as Gerber are popular and inexpensive. Many carry a separate multi-function tool, like a Leatherman, SOG or Gerber to complement an EDC. Lots of choices at reasonable prices if you shop around.

  9. camoscout NM says:

    I have both a Gerber and a Swiss Army and the both work very well. Either would be a good buy. Good luck

  10. awesome says:

    well, get a lock-back like a leatherman or another brand. then, you are less likely to cut yourself.

  11. pcanywii says:

    well, i’d say to just go to the scout store and get an eagle scout lock-back stainless steel, just like mine. it is very safe and is meant to last a lifetime…

  12. kershaw says:

    you should get the kershaw volt 2 or relly any kershaw assisted opening knive.
    I have a assisted opening knife (the volt 2) and love kershaw assisted opening
    knives.

  13. 🔫 says:

    id say listen to who you trust but id choose gerber

  14. 11th doctor says:

    both victorinox and gerber are good knives but if you are looking for something versatile then go for the swiss. but if you want a multi tool, go for a leatherman. I own one, it is the best multi tool I’ve ever used. mine was about the same price as a good victorinox.

  15. the eagle says:

    get a swiss army knife

  16. kid knife expert says:

    i personnaly like gerber but swiss i realy good t but not there hiking boots i am trying to find a realy nice gerber and i want a fixed blade

  17. forager says:

    I have a swiss camper and a buck two blade for folding blades. I carry both all the time. If you are a NCIS fan. remember Gibs rule 9, “never leave home without a knife.” I also live by the rule two is one, and one is none

  18. Old Jake says:

    Really depends on what you are going to DO with the knife. I did a lot with ropes and pioneering so I carried a rigging knife, plus one of those new German or Swiss army knives, the ones with the saw blade. Cant say how often I needed to use that saw. But carrying two knives on my belt. made me have to wear suspenders!

  19. woods guy says:

    Check out the swiss army knife “hiker”. It replaces the corkscrew with a Phillips screwdriver and has a fantastic saw (its an amazing saw). I use this knife many times each day. If I lost all my worldly possessions, this would be my very first purchase!

  20. mert says:

    Swiss Army. They come with extra tools too that can be very useful.

  21. mert says:

    swiss army. theyr’e genuine with some helpful tools.

  22. Eric says:

    Go for a Leatherman. Buy the best that you can get and you’ll have it for life. If you buy something inferior you will end up spending more money in the long run replacing it. Besides, Swiss Army knives are less safe as they don’t lock. If you ever had a knife fold on your fingers you wouldn’t use a non-locking knife again.

    • SwissArmy Fan says:

      Except in the UK Eric, where locking tools with a blade of any size are illegal and possession carries a potential jail sentence!

      • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

        That is because the United Kingdom of Great Britain gives little or no freedom to bear arms. It is silly that you are not allowed to carry a locking knife.

  23. FFS says:

    Victorinox Hunter + Mora for me

  24. zemmy says:

    a swiss arymy knife

  25. like a boss says:

    swiss

  26. blind duchess says:

    I would go for the ka-bar (marine combat knife)

  27. Raptor says:

    I have a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife with a magnifying glass. I’m saving up for a Leatherman but I don’t think any of them have a magnifying glass.

  28. xam says:

    swiss army

  29. gamemaster24 says:

    You should buy a Smith and Wesson knife. They are really good quatlity and they lock.

  30. nateman says:

    i personly dont like gerber but the spyderco tenaicious $30 (amazon) & the victorinox swisstool any model $80 – $120 (amazon) you can also get the swiss tool with BSA logo on it too

  31. bob says:

    neither, look at geting a case. they are made in the Usa and have been in buisness sinse 1883

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

      CASE makes good old-fashioned folding knifes but I would take Swiss army or Gerber over case. Case is GREAT for classic stag handled knives but they dont have the best

  32. The master of pocket knife decisions says:

    I have a gerber that i use for camping. but if you’re going for multi tool, go for swiss army. my simple gerber takes care of all my needs and its lightweight, but its up to you.

  33. _________________ says:

    I personally think you should get a Swiss army knife. The reason is I have 3

  34. Jason says:

    Gerber does make some product in the US. You just have to keep an eye out.

  35. Delta Force says:

    Swiss Army. But remember there are a lot of good knives out there; better than both you asked about. Buck, PECK, Schrade, Columbia River, Kershaw, Damascus, Cabelas …
    Be a leader; choose for yourself rather than following others on this. Who knows, they might change because of you. :^0

  36. duke of nothingham says:

    buy A small gerber sheath knife it is what I carry and is much more useful (and safer) than any folding knife.

  37. Bear Grylls BSA President says:

    Swiss Army is the way to go mate.

  38. hscout14 says:

    I personally prefer a good leatherman multitool. They all have locking tools and you can send it back if it ever breaks and they’ll replace it no matter what. They have supergood quality but are a litte expensive.

  39. T-Man says:

    I use both : swiss army for multiple uses and locking knives for cutting carving etc

  40. Girl Leader says:

    i really don`t care about that , but your question made me want to know about them .. i`ll chose Gerber .. i don`t know why but i think i like it .. :)

  41. The Scouter says:

    I have a Gerber knife and when I went camping the locking blade made it easy to use. Also, mine came with a serated blade AND a fine blade. I highly recommed it.

  42. A Scouter says:

    I personally prefer Gerber because they are lock blades, but it is better to look at both and decide which one suits your needs better.

  43. TwoblueM says:

    I find a small Swiss army knife good for hiking when weight matters thay tend to be lighter than a multitool but for camping and general wilderness use I carry a nice folder or fixed blade. That all have there uses like any tool.

  44. Off-trail monkey says:

    Swiss Army. But remember there are a lot of good knives out there; better than both you asked about. Buck, PECK, Schrade, Columbia River, Kershaw, Damascus, Cabelas …
    Be a leader; choose for yourself rather than following others on this. Who knows, they might change because of you. :^)

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