As a tool geek, I love knives. Not in the creepy serial killer way, or sad fat guy with the ponytail who wears nothing but black T-shirts way, but in a “Ooooh, I get to flatten boxes!” kind of way. Yes, I am a terribly boring person in some respects. But that does mean I appreciate a simple, well-designed utility knife, and Gerber once again has come through.
Unlike some of the multitools on my keychain that I own (and use) far too often, Gerber’s Exchange a Blade knife is a very simple propostion: Unfold it to have a blade for various cutting and shaping purposes, close it and use it as a stainless steel pocket clip or money fold. The nice thing about it, in terms of style, is how discreet it is; it folds into a nice geometric ticket-like shape that protects the blade and allows you to clip it pretty much anywhere.
Another nice touch? Unlike some folding utility knives, this one is fairly simple to swap the blade out. In fact, if you’ve ever owned a utility knife, you already know the process: Get a new blade, unscrew the old one, swap them out, and then put the screws back in. It’s a speedy system as well, and you can just flip the blade to use the protected edge if you don’t have a new one handy.
OK, so it doesn’t sound revolutionary, but far too many folding utility knives have some sort of ridiculous system that doesn’t work to protect the blade, and with general pocketknives, you’ll find yourself sharpening the blade a lot more often than you’d like, especially if your blade sees heavy use. This way, you’ll always have a blade handy, and you won’t have to worry about sharpness or other problems.
If you’d like one of your very own, they’re currently $17.50 from various retailers.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.