The Gerber EZ-Out is a knife I have spent a lot of time with. It is a simple, inexpensive knife composed of a stainless steel blade and a Kraton grip with rubber inserts. It has a removable clip for pocket carry.
I have carried this knife more or less constantly for the past couple of years, only recently replacing it with a Benchmade Mini-AFCK which has a bit more sex appeal. Nevertheless, the Gerber EZ-Out has served very well.
Part of what I like about the EZ-Out is its price. I paid about $30 for mine a while back and they have come down a bit since then. The stainless steel blade is not an exotic designer steel, just an ordinary stainless. It took me a long time to get “my edge” on the knife but it now shaves hair effortlessly and holds the edge fairly well. Through all of the camping and daily carry, the blade hasn’t corroded or discolored. If I lose it on a trail, I’m out $30 not $300. But if I did lose it, I would miss it, because it has handled everything I have thrown at it.
If I have a criticism of the knife, and perhaps the reason I switched to the mini-AFCK, is that the EZ-Out isn’t a quick opener. You can open it with one hand, so I guess it qualifies as a “tactical folder” but there is some resistance since it doesn’t have steel liners. The blade rubs against the Kraton handle material rather than steel liners, and that causes more resistance than a polished steel liner. The only problem with the knife that I had was that the screw which holds the clip on and adjusts the tightness of the handle to the blade had a tendency to work loose and I had tighten it and put a bit of blue Loctite on the threads.
I’m not one of those ultimate warrior knife fighter types who would rather take on a bad guy with a blade than a gun. My use for a knife is mostly utility rather than tactical. I open dog food bags, remove splinters, cut fishing line and whittle with my knives for the most part. Nevertheless, I carry the knife on the left side so that I can draw it while preventing someone from grabbing my pistol on the strong side. In other words, I think about the tactical dimensions of the knife while hoping I never have to employ them. Right now, I have the Mmini-AFCK on the weak side and the EZ-Out on the strong side, not so much because I’m expecting a knife fight, but simply that I can’t quite bring myself to retire the EZ-Out.
The Gerber EZ-Out is strong on utility. I doubt that it would be the choice for those who view their knife as their primary personal defense weapon, but for a very useful and reasonably priced survival tool, the Gerber EZ-Out represents excellent bang-for-the-buck.
Some thoughts on knife fighting:
I have collected and studied knives since I was a little kid and have thus far avoided engaging in a knife fight in these 48 years. The thought of engaging in a “spit blood in your face” knife fight is utterly repugnant to me. The human mind naturally recoils from the thought of cutting another human being or being cut by a knife. I think of my knives as utilitarian survival tools. They trim sticks, cut rope, open packages, clean animals, whatever. I would find it annoying at best to try to get through a day without a good pocket knife. I have owned just about every kind of knife you could imagine, and my preference is for good solid knives with quality steel and stout construction — a stainless lock-blade folder of about 4″ in blade length seems to be the optimum utilitarian configuration for me. Folding pocket swords don’t work for me and the very tiny knives seem a little bit silly to me. Despite this highly utilitarian perspective that I have on knives, it pays to consider the “tactical” characteristics of your pocket cutlery. There are times when you just can’t carry a gun. There are certain close range attacks that do not permit the drawing of a gun even if you have one. There are some situations in which a good knife is better than a gun. A gun does only one thing; a good knife does many things. I would rather deal with Mr. Evildoer with a gun, but I feel undressed without a good knife.