on December 26, 2012
Great knife. Sizable with out being 'huge' it weighs less than a Ka-bar mule which is nice. The blade is sharp straight out of the box.
I only have one complaint, it's stored in the pocket via the clip "Point up" when closed. If the knife isn't 100% closed, or if something in your pocket hits the thumb stud or even you do when drawing it out, the point might come out a milimeter and 'catch' on your pocket or flesh.
I'm careful when I pull out a folding combat knife. Just by nature, but if you're distracted or NOT carreful, it might get you, and as sharp as it is if it does get you, you're going to need stitches.
As for opening, it opens lightning quick and locks back. Online you hear one or two guys saying thiers don't lock correctly but mine is fine. I give it 5 stars, the 'point up' orientation is the only 'flaw' in my mind. one that would be 100% fixed if it was mounted point down in the pocket. There'd be no way for it to 'catch' and open up. Sadly there is no way to change the clip around.
As long as you're paying attention when you draw your knife. Can't get better for a pocket knife. If you don't... she might bite. :)
on May 13, 2015
To be honest, initially this knife would of gotten 2/5. Furthermore, there's a really odd thing about this knife.. it's super appealing even though Gerber is mostly a inconsistent and mediocre manufacturer, they do have some potential (which they usually fumble instead of refining/catching on) which does shine in the Icon, and possibly hence the mostly favorable reviews. It is quite clear though, that at unboxing, the knife is 2/5 or 3/5 level at best, lacking even the most basics of QA. I'm not even a big knife collector, steel snob, or hater, but it should be very obvious to all of us when a Mfr. is doing a poor job (in this case). Good news, if you're a modder, OCD, mechanically inclined, or DIY'er, you can certainly refine the Icon and pick up the slack Gerber dropped on you and immensely improve the blade's performance. If you would like some baseline to other knives in same price point, the SOG Salute is impeccable quality, and a good reference to what can be achieved. Most other Mfr's are about 2-4 steps ahead in terms of QA. While all of this sounds very negative, there are definitely positives, and I'll line it all out in an honest fashion.
Like I said before, this blade looks lovely. Unfortunately it drew all of us in to purchase it despite the very real failures of Gerber being so present, that's how nice looking the knife is. The length is great, if it is legal in your state, and features a nice American style Tanto blade with combo Serrations. Blade material is okay with 7Cr17MoV, nothing notable but will do the job just fine. Ergonomics is alright with a very straight handle and small finger flared guard (slipping may be present in actual fights). For bigger hands, the knife feels pretty spot on. The Icon has heavily textured rubber inlays which aids in overall grip and comparable to wall stucco in form. Casing material is Alu Alloy and is fairly sturdy but cuts down in weight significantly as opposed to other blades in the same length which are extremely heavy (not always bad) that use all steel. Also, the Liner Lock is relatively strong and is made of steel. Pivot interface is overall very simple but can provide good solid compression which helps reducing any lateral play. Thumb studs are large and the blade does have conservative grip serrations. When everything is tightened down, despite a huge blade, is very secure. The blade itself is alright in terms of design and doesn't feature anything very notable.
When I received the knife, things were lacking. Blade slightly crooked (interface is not even/or handle), nothing was even remotely polished or sanded down such as the interaction between the liner and the tang which wouldn't allow the liner to fall in lock, not even close. The liner would often times get stuck onto the tang since it was extremely rough. Action was very weak and the whole interface (screws) was loose from the start. Also, the blade heavily rubbed against the liner and edge of the casing causing distinguished marks on blade's coating which was thin to begin with, the blade was that off-center. This was -only- after 10 open-close cycles. Also, how the blade's edge is tapered is fairly thin and seems to chip more easily. Lastly, the infamous blade tip sticking out (when closed) safety violation was right there too. The recessed detent wasn't catchinf properly.. Not good at all. It's like Mfr decided to throw everything together haphazardly without QA and to add insult, forgot the last few steps. I would be happy to pay $5 more to get a better package, as I said before, this knife has potential. This is why many dislike Gerber flat out and I understand why. While I have had many of their blades (Older gen), this is all fairly saddening that we are settling for less in that sense.
The reason I gave a 4/5 is because I personally fixed the problems and the knife consequently is so much better.
1) Take apart knife, organize bits.
2) Use 300~ then 1k-2k sandpaper to smooth out Tang and Liner lock. Don't go overboard though.
3) Clean other non-essential parts and very lightly sand (1k-2k) other rough edges such as pivot interface. If you have polish, this would be the time to do a general layer and clean. Do not sand down the three screw pillars.
4) You may replace washers with Brass or Fiber washers, but only if they are same Internal Diameter, Outer Diameter, and Width. But I found stock washers not to be the issue. Use Medium Threadlock for the 3 Pillar screw sets. Do not strip!
5) Most important. Assemble knife back together except for the clip-side blade's pivot interface screw. Get a small bottle of Liquid Nails Adhesive, Small Projects, Interior. The adhesive itself is light brown with a silly putty look/texture. This isn't super glue or one way deal (which would be dumb), rather, this is like a alternative formable adhesive and when dries, goes into a very rubber-like/silly putty state. Enough strength to hold things together, but pliable enough to open later on. Apply a small-moderate amount to screw threads and a few small dabs underneath the flat screw head that will mate directly onto the frame. What this will do is secure the screws in a relatively locked position and also provide aggressive thread lock. I found the knife wouldn't stay in a tight/normal hold unless one screw was essentially held down onto the frame plus with the strong thread-locking action. Once you're happy with amount, put pivot screw back in, tighten until you like the feel, -check for centering-, and liner lock.
(i recommend pretty tight for less play, better lock action, blade centering), do a small little extra twist, then keep it set for a while. You can always adjust via non-clip side screw, just don't move the clip-side. Let it sit for a while and you'll notice how much secure it is and how it maintains it that way. Previously, the bolts would spin around in an uneven pattern causing a sloppy blade.
For me, the knife is atleast refined to the point it should of been from the start. I definitely like the blade more. As a result from hand-fitting, the detent holds down the closed blade enough to prevent any accidental slicing. Great knife, just required some work to get it in a desirable state. After basic work, Knife extremely tight, smooth, and confidently locks and closes. Play has been reduced to as little as possible. Now I can use the knife as daily carry with the others.
// Here are some Before and After photos.