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Hands-on Gear Review
Gerber STL 2.0 Fine Edge Review
Cons: Fiddly to hold and sticky to close.
Bottom line: A small, durable pocket knife for occasional use and ready carriage.
Gerber's STL 2.0 Fine Edge knife is the thinnest in our review and the third lightest. The blade is considerably longer than the ultra-portable Top Pick Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife and a little longer than the poorer scoring Old Timer 180T Mighty Mite. The tiny and simple construction means that this knife could go anywhere with you. However, wherever you take it your usage will suffer. In extended use and heavy tasks the small and thin handle of this Gerber knife simply doesn't support applying pressure to the blade.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Pocket Knives of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Gerber STL 2.0 is a tiny, reliable pocket knife. Gerber's pedigree of tool and knife building shows through many details. In testing we had a few quibbles, but overall the STL 2.0 Fine Edge is well done.
Blade and Edge Integrity
Gerber blades are well made. The steel holds an edge and sharpens easily. This workhorse blade will serve the user for a long time. Our testing found nothing notable, good nor bad, about the "Fine Edge" blade on this Gerber knife. And your usage will be similarly reliable and predictable.
The STL 2.0 Fine Edge is very compact and simple in construction. Basically, aside from the joining and pivoting hardware, the knife is three pieces of steel — the blade and two frame pieces. One of the frame pieces is cut and sprung such that a tab protrudes to lock the blade open in use. Generally speaking, our reviewers appreciate simple design. However, in this case, Gerber may have taken it a bit too far. The frame lock is easy enough to use, provided it clicks into place reliably. But the thin and somewhat-sharp-edged frame pieces cut a bit into the users hands in heavy use. Again, provided the user expects only light application of this knife, it should serve well. The knife, despite its small size, can be opened with one hand from either side. Cold or gloved fingers are not usually able to accomplish the task.
The construction is simple but occasionally feels a bit sloppy. Our testers found that the locking mechanism regularly took some two-handed fiddling to disengage. Otherwise, the knife seems durable and up to years of light-duty service.
This tiny knife virtually disappears in a pocket. For the occasional knife user, the compact stature and light weight will be very welcome. There are holes in the frame that can be threaded with a mid- to large-sized key ring.
None to note.
One who purchases and carries this knife for occasional and/or emergency usage will be pleased with years of reliable service. In nothing more than periodic usage, the quirks of the locking mechanism will go virtually unnoticed. The compact size and light weight will virtually disappear in a purse or pocket.
This knife brings Gerber's quality blades to a very inexpensive package. This knife costs less than many fast food meals, yet will last years and years.
As compared to knives in our selective test, the Gerber STL 2.0 Fine Edge leaves something to be desired. However, it is important to remember that we pre-screen the field for the "best of the best." Up against a mesmerizing and mystifying field of knives on the market, Gerber's compact cutter stands out for reliable quality. Given the choice to spend just under $20 on a gas station "toy" knife, or the Fine Edge, the choice is clear.
— Jediah Porter
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