Gerber Outrigger XL ReviewApril 28, 2014
- Aluminum Construction
- Assisted Opening
- Assisted Opening mechanism requires a break-in period
- Rubber handle molding can peel off
- Dirt/grit can hinder assisted-opening operation
After substantial use of the Gerber Outrigger XL, I found I really like this knife and the fact that it provides a open-assist on an aluminum frame for less than $60. But, I fear that the over-molding will be a deciding factor in just how long you use this knife as your every day carry knife.
The Gerber Outrigger XL is a lightweight, assisted open folding knife. It is constructed out of aluminum, keeping it light and durable.
Construction & Materials
I’m pretty excited about the aluminum frame which kept the weight of the Gerber Outrigger XL down–its very light for its size–without compromising the structure or durability of the knife. The over-molding around the outside of the handle, however, didn’t even make it out of the house. It began to peel off the frame after a couple of standard durability tests.
Ease of Use
Most knives can be used right out of the box. In the case of the Outrigger XL and its assisted opening feature, it needs to be broken in. That is, it needs to be operated several times to ensure a smooth, consistent opening. Once broken it, the mechanism worked exceptionally well when it was clean. Once some grit got into the knife, though, it jammed up pretty easily.
Steel Quality & Edge Retention
Gerber uses 7Cr17–a Chinese stainless steel with a hardness between 55-57–that resists rust and holds an edge effectively but it can be chipped. A bead-blasted surface improves the overall “stainlessness” of the blade.
Besides the over-molded rubber, the Outrigger XL is very well made and will stand the test of time. I found that I had to cut the peeling rubber away from the front of the knife as the loose flap got in the way of the function of the blade.
Affordable knives featuring assisted opening mechanisms can be nightmares. In the case of the Outrigger XL, after a few flips, the system worked like a charm. The Outrigger features aluminum handles and frame, which keeps down weight. But the rubber molding around the outside of the handle (designed to improve grip) peeled off during testing.