Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Gerber Survival Items Review

So, Gerber’s representatives said they’d like me to check out some of their survival-related items and write up a review. I figured, why not?

So, here’s what they sent me:

Versafix Pro Machete

So let’s start with this machete first.

Closeup of the blade:Nice handle:I hate packaging like this but luckily I opened the pocket knife first so I could cut it out:Not a fan of this sheath but it’s functional:

So, I’m not really a fan of carrying something like this but it could certainly come in handy. The metal’s ok and the build seems pretty tough but honestly I don’t think it’d ever see much use. I could see keeping it in your car but I’m not sure I’d even put it in a bug out bag unless you don’t have another large knife. The sheath is ok but it’s a little clunky with the placement of the velcro and the button. Still a decent knife for a small machete though. I’ve certainly seen worse.

From their website:

  • Unique high durometer overmold provides unprecedented handle comfort
  • Skeletonized, weight-forward design for improved chopping
  • Full tang construction
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel
  • Lanyard hole
  • Paddle release sheath enables 1-hand operation
  • Positive retention click in sheath, pack compatible
  • Overall length: 14.3”
  • Blade length: 9.0”

Fastball S30V Manual Flipper Folding Knife

The next item is a pocket knife.

Now, this one I quite like. I love the sage green color and the s30V metal is definitely a plus. Because it’s not a spring-assisted opener, it’s not quite as easy to open as the old Gerber FAST knife I got when I went to Afghanistan but it’s more comfortable in my pocket and you won’t run into trouble if you carry it in some of the more fascist places that don’t let you have a spring-assisted opener. That’s not to say it’s hard to open though. Even new, it pops open with a quick flip of the finger.

From their website:

  • S30V Wharncliffe blade
  • Ball bearings for consistent action
  • Precision detent provides “lightswitching” operation
  • Easy-off Liner Lock release
  • 3-position clip
  • Blade length: 3.0”
  • Overall length: 7.1”
  • Weight: 2.7oz

Impromptu Tactical Pen

Next up is their tactical pen…

I’m a bit torn on this one. The color is great and it seems to be very well-built. I also love that it uses the Rite in the Rain waterproof pen cartridge inside. The tip has a glass-breaker on it, which would be hella uncomfortable for anyone you may decide to poke with it and you could use it if you needed to break the window of a car (pro-tip, if you ever need to do that, hit the glass nearer to the edge than the middle and it’ll break easier). The pen is a tad large though to do any real writing with it. It’s perfectly fine if you’re just gonna write down some notes but I wouldn’t want to write with it for a couple hours. Gets some bonus points for being tacti-cool though.

From their website:

  • Overall Length: 5.59″ (14.19 cm)
  • Closed Length: 5″ (12.7 cm)
  • Weight: 2.4 oz. (68 g)
  • Material: Steel
  • Rugged, machined steel body with Cerakote™
  • Stainless steel pocket clip keeps the pen handy
  • Integrated glass-breaker tip features tempered steel and is designed to get you out of trouble
  • “Rite in the Rain” ink cartridge works in all conditions, inside and outdoors
  • Reliable push-button mechanism deploys ball point mechanism
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in USA

Center-Drive Muti-Tool

Next is a multi-tool…

I think a multi-tool is one of the most useful things you can carry in a backpack or any kind of emergency kit. I usually don’t like the little tips (even though they come in handy) because I always lose them but because they all fit inside the sheath and it stays quite compact, I like this one. The tool itself is quite well-made and it seems to function like it’s supposed to. This is not a cheap Leatherman knock-off. If you don’t have one of these, definitely get one.

Here’s the whole multitool and tips in their sheath, attached to my trusty old 5.11 Rush 72 pack (that I’m quite fond of). If you look closely, I also have the knife clipped above that into the Molle of the strap:

From their website:

  • Closed Length: 4.7″
  • Open Length: 6.6”
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • One-thumb opening system
  • Spring-loaded needlenose pliers w/ X-Channel rail system
  • Rotatable carbide wire cutters & strippers
  • Full-size 3.25″ 420HC fine edge blade
  • Magnetic 3.2″ Center-Axis bit driver
  • Pry bar w/ nail puller & bottle opener
  • Serrated blade
  • Awl, file
  • Magnetic flathead and phillips bits
  • Lanyard hole
  • Fabric sheath included
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in USA – sheath made in China

So that’s it for these items. I think some of these are better than others for part of a survival kit but unlike most of the crap that’s out there, at least this is all well made. The multi-tool, knife, and pen are now in my daily pack that I keep in the car and take with me if I’m sitting in a coffee shop or whatever but the machete is gonna just stay in the car. Might never use it but whatever.

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.


  1. I find Gerber gear marginal. I have a multitool that malfunctions occasionally so it’s been replaced with a weatherman. A folding lock blade that couldn’t take much abuse and the blade chipped.

  2. Good out of the box reviews – field testing is real! Agree about a quality multitool – indispensable. Leatherman guy from ‘way back’ myself. Fixed a few roadside motorcycle issues with one. Nice to get ‘free’ gear! Tomahawks are all the rage now but I like a quality(?) medium-heavy 14 – 16 inch machete from South America for cutting heads off belly crawlers in AZ desert (only when necessary). Pretty good defense weapon with a little practice…..strapped on pack.

  3. It’s after Veterans Day but I wanted to thank you for your service to this country. Just read your ‘bio’ – impressive! I too joined under Uncle Ron in ’84 but ended after ‘4 in the Corps’.
    Semper Fi – Paul

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