Friday, September 21, 2007

Gerber Vallotton

I've decided to start reviewing some of the products I own. I figured knives would be a good place to start.

The first product:

The Gerber Vallotton - *****

Stats:
* Overall Length: 6.4"
* Length Closed: 3.8"
* Length of Blade: 2.6"
* Weight: 4 oz.
* Safety: Sliding switch
* Action: Spring loaded, thumb stud.
Retail: 47.95
Normal: 29.99
I Payed: 25.00


Pros: I like almost everything about his knife. The blade's strong, and has remained very sharp. The opening is smooth, fast, and is powered along it's full travel*. The sound is even nice, although I can't really describe it in text. It opens via a well-placed, easy to use thumb-stud.

Cons: The grip feels a little cheap, and some parts of it were even a little sharp. I had to file the edges a little to make it more comfortable. The safety works well, and seems to be very, well, safe... And I think this is a con. While the knife is closed and the safety is disabled, barely brushing the switch will enables it. Meaning that you can't leave the safety off. Whats the point of a fast-opening, spring-assisted knife, if you have to fiddle with a safety switch first?
The clip is very nice, angled, and flush with the edge of the knife. It fits perfectly in my left, front pocket. Unfortunately, I use knives in my right hand... and the safety is designed to be used with the right hand. This requires me to take the knife out, slide the safety, turn it over in my hand, open the blade, then pass it to my right hand.

Overall: I like the knife, it's a great value, and I recommend it to others, but it's just not as quick to open as most knives.



Notes:
*This is something I've noticed other knives lacking. Some knives use a spring to launch the blade and then rely on inertia to fully open the knife.
Why does this matter?
If the blade hit's something while it's opening, it becomes stuck at that point.
This knive does not take that shortcut, making it much more reliable.

3 comments:

  1. I love this knife a lot, the best $24.99 Wal-Mart purchase ever!! Great design, rock solid, razor sharp with a stout & heavy blade. There were enough positives to eliminate any cons with me. Yes, the safety does need to be used, but it's located in the absolute most convenient place I've ever seen on an assisted knife, doesn't slow me down a bit...I also love how the safety is dual purpose, transforming into the blade lock when open (and it locks solid). The finishing touch for me is the low riding tip-up pocket clip...the handle butt is shaped perfectly to disappear into the seam of your pocket. Just a brilliant, well thought out little gem. With Wal-Mart carrying them, they should do well...they desrve it!!

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  2. Thanks for the nice review. I love this knife. One question, If you use the knife in your right hand, why don't you carry it in your right pocket? It's not the fault of the design that you choose to carry lefty. Also, you asked the purpose of an assisted fast opening knife if you have to fiddle with a safety? Well, one handed opening is facilitated & I think they are concerned with pocket deployment. OUCH!
    Thanks again.

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  3. About the pocket, left vs right...

    The angle of the pocket-clip aligns perfectly with the angle of my left front pocket.
    The angle is obviously off by a bit if carried in the right pocket.

    I see this as a 'con,' since more people, myself included, carry in the right pocket (and the safety seems to be designed for the right hand as well).

    I can post a picture of what I mean, if you're interested.

    And for the safety: if you see my post on the Kershaw LEEK, I mention that I carry it with the safety off. I've never had it, or any other knife, open in my pocket. Spring assisted knives in particular require a good deal of force in order to deploy.
    I would prefer to carry this knife without the safety, but its design does not allow for that.

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