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A Really Good Knife, in Theory: Gerber Spire Review

With a breakout design, the Gerber Spire promises lots of upside — but you know what they say: Don't make a promise you can't keep.

gerber spire folding knife(Photo/Josh Wussow
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The description for the new Gerber Spire ($70) is as straight and to the point as its namesake: “The Spire is minimalist in design and bold in execution … Built to endure the test of time, it will quickly become your favorite choice for everyday carry.”

“Bold execution” — even bolder words from a company that’s struggled a bit with its recent EDC offerings. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to fixed blades, Gerber has a few legitimate beasts in its stable, but not much other than the Fastball and Sedulo. And you know what they say in baseball: A two-pitch pitcher is a reliever, not a starter.

So when I saw the Spire on the horizon, my pocket knife senses tingled. A highly questionable superpower, to be sure. But with its slim profile and quality materials, I wondered if this could be the EDC hero Gerber needs.

I spent a week with a company-supplied loaner to see if the Spire could catch lightning in the pocket.

In short: The Gerber Spire should be a wonderful EDC pocket knife. And from its in-hand comfort to its general cutting performance, it proved to be a solid, capable tool. But a sticky opening mechanism takes its toll, and the force required to undo its liner lock made the experience something of a pain. From a materials standpoint, there’s a lot to like here for $70, but Gerber needs to work on their fit and finish.

Gerber Spire Pocket Knife


  • Blade length 2.93"
  • Blade shape Reverse Tanto
  • Blade steel D2
  • Total Length 7"
  • Opening mechanism Assisted Flipper Tab
  • Locking mechanism Liner lock
  • Handle material G10 Scales
  • Weight 2.46 oz.


  • Thin blade stock
  • Reversible deep carry clip
  • Well-ground D2 steel
  • Narrow profile


  • Barely-adequate assist
  • Sticky liner lock
  • Blade holes require cleaning attention
  • Iffy manufacturing tolerances

Gerber Spire Review

(Photo/Josh Wussow)

What the Gerber Spire Gets Right

On paper, the Gerber Spire has a lot going for it: low ounces, decent materials, and a blade length that’s just beneath that troublesome 3-inch barrier. Sure, the assisted-opening mechanism can represent a legal problem depending on your particular municipality, but at least there’s a safety switch to keep things in place.

The deep-carry clip is reversible and lives up to its promise of comfort in the pocket. The G10 handle is also quite nice, with an in-hand feel that speaks to the simple elegance of its design. I commend Gerber for not going full “tacticool” and blacking out all of the knife’s components. The bronze PVD spacers and matching circles on the flipper tab provide just enough color pop to keep things from feeling drab.

Let’s talk about cutting performance. I will always love that sharp-toothed design of reverse tanto blades. This configuration allows you to slip into cardboard and packaging like a surgeon, and it’s incredibly useful in a daily work setting.

Gerber, to its credit, did a nice job with the blade in this case. The stock is thin, and the edge well-ground. It tackled my dinner prep and the boxes it came in.

Its just-under 3-inch reach is perfect for regular EDC tasks, and at no point did I find myself wishing for more steel. Or at least not more on the edge.

What Doesn’t Work

I would’ve liked to see more metal up near those three rhomboids (how often do you get to use that word?) that represent the cutouts below the spine. From a visual standpoint, these are neat. Or at least, the cheese and onions I cut up seemed to think so, as they were drawn to the spaces like glue.

And while I complimented the cutting performance above, the centering on this tester’s blade was pretty terrible. Deployment was likewise rough, to the point where I initially forgot that this was an assisted knife. A loosening of the pivot screw and application of oil helped alleviate these problems, but even now, it’s a just-adequate opener.

Exacerbating this problem is the liner lock. Since my tester suffered from minor stickage, the thin nature of its leaf (while secure enough to keep the blade in place) tended to dig into my thumb when it came time to close the blade.

I should also note that the black oxide coating is already wearing off the flipper tab and even within the safety switch channel.

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Conclusion: Gerber Spire Pocket Knife Review

(Photo/Josh Wussow)

In the end, the Gerber Spire is a really excellent idea for a knife. The design work here is solid, from its easy-carrying, lightweight nature to the thinness of its edge and stock. I very much wanted to like this model, as I recently had good experiences with the Gerber Stowe.

And in fact, I do like the blade, with the exception of the oversized holes, and many of the materials that come into contact with your hand.

But it’s the rest of the package — the limp opening assist and the sticky lock, particularly — that keep this from being an unqualified recommendation. It feels, unfortunately, like the manufacturer skimped on its tolerances.

And with so much competition in the $70 range these days, it’s hard to look past the indented skin in my thumb.

Josh Wussow

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