Virtually every backpacker/hiker would agree that a sturdy, functional knife is one of the “must have” items in your pack before setting out into the wilderness. For ages man has relied on knives as vital tools in the struggle to survive. The knife continues to fulfill this need quite admirably.
Volumes of information have been written about selecting the “perfect” survival knife. Debate still rages about the “best knife” to pack. I am of the opinion that the “best knife” in a survival situation is the one you have and know how to use! That being said, I would like to review one knife I consider a fine addition to my outdoor gear – the Gerber LMF-II.
The LMF-II by Gerber Legendary Blades is a 10.59” (overall) fixed blade (drop point) knife made of 420HC stainless steel. The serrated blade measures 4.84” in length and is exceptionally thick at the spine. Handle construction is quite ergonomic and made of glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold. At 11.4 oz. the LMF-II has a nice heft yet is delicately balanced. It feels “just right” in the hand. The handle is finished with a butt-cap capable of hammering nails and punching through automotive glass or plexi-glass. The handle is insulated from the blade to protect from electric and physical shock. Its sheath is made of stiff ballistic nylon and comes with two wide web straps for various attachment configurations. Molle straps are attached to the back of the sheath to facilitate use on Molle vests, packs, and carriers. An integrated sharpening notch is ingeniously made into the sheath.
Gerber produces the LMF-II for the US military as the Aircrew Survival and Egress Knife (ASEK). This knife meets military specifications to cut through aircraft aluminum, shatter plexi-glass, baton-cut wood, insulate from electrical shock, hammer, and serve the downed aircrew until rescued.
Retail cost for the Gerber LMF-II is approximately $100.00 with some on-line purchases as low as $70.00. The knife is available in various color configurations as well as offered with or without the safety knife (a seat-belt cutting tool).