Is this a good knife?

Is this a good knife for a backpacker?

Gerber Harsey Air Ranger

I don’t know the specific model, but I carry a Gerber and I am very happy with it. You do need to keep an eye on the clip, though, as the screw can work its way loose.

      • I heavily prefer knives that can be opened one-handed, and I tend towards the Spydercos because when closed they have no sharp edges exposed to snag on clothing (can’t say the same for the ones that have the little posts on the blades). Not that you’ll be fighting off bears or street thugs or anything, it’s just a heck of a lot more convenient over the long haul to be able to open it without using two hands.

I’m partial to Spyderco knives too like the lightweight Endura. Very versatle with a half and half blade. I’ve also got a plain edge Native which is my everyday knife.

That is a good deal at that price. A fine knife, light weight, nice blade.

Yes, it is a good knife. I have a Gerber that I carried/used until my daughter, (who is active duty military), gave me a Benchmade auto.

I’ll second the comments about Gerber making a fine blade, but I should offer one word of advice about buying a one handed knife - try it out first! When I was in the market for a good one hander a few months ago I opted to buy locally so I could play with the knives before buying. I’m so glad I did too because that saved me from buying a knife that would’ve been nearly unusable for me. I discovered to my amazement that I couldn’t open Spyderco knives easily at all! My hands are too small and the way that hole thing they use is placed I simply can’t get any of their knives to open. All told I spent about an hour in the knife shop talking to the clerks and testing out knives before deciding on a Benchmade 721 Mel Pardue This was simply the knife that fit my hands the best and was easiest for me to work with either hand.

The thing with a high quality knife like the one your looking at is that you’ll be stuck with it for a long time, so it has to be easy for you to use, and if you ever need it in an emergency… well you get the idea. Seriously, try before you buy, make sure the knife fits you before you commit to it!


I carry a Spyderco Rescue knife in my turn-out gear and have had great service from it. I would not hesitate to recommend it for an all-around utility knife. With the money that you save, perhaps you could buy a second knife with a pointy end, like a Buck model 110. And with the money you still have left, you could buy a Lansky sharpening system.

Holy cutting edge, Batman! I just took a look at a website that had the Gerber Harsey Air Ranger for $49.95! That IS a great deal! Please disregard my previous post.

I’ve carried a Gerber for the last twenty years and I’m sick of it. I like the construction and slim profile. I really enjoy the fast, one hand opening it permits. I do not like how quickly the blade goes dull. Super hard steels are really hard to sharpen and do not seem to hold their edge for very long.

I’ve had the same experience with my Buck Fisherman. I really like the long, fixed blade for camp cookery. It leaves you with plenty of edge length for food preparation. There is no hinge to pack up with food detritus and the high-finish blade is easy to clean. Yet, it still goes dull before the devil can get his pants on.

I’m in the process of converting to a Puma 972 Game Warden. I’m less than happy with owning a Nazi Knife[sup]©[/sup], but sick and tired of having a dull blade that needs sharpening after every other use. This one was shaving sharp out of the box. The second blade is an ideal solution for my own applications. I intend to keep it in reserve for emergency self-surgery or really putting the hurt on someone. Its profile is not much wider than my Gerber. Yet, it has a longer blade and a drop point (which I prefer), besides providing a spare edge.

You bet it cost a few pennies more than the one you are considering. I managed to pick up my pig-sticker for $112.50 compared to the $250.00 routinely asked on eBay. However, I’m pretty confident that this one will kick the proper amount of boo-teh during its lifetime.

While checkering on the Air Ranger’s scales will mitigate some of the problems, I still have reservations. If you never intend to pack in four season climates or climb above the treeline, then you may do just fine. I would not want to own a metal scaled knife if I had to use it in freezing weather. Remember the old jokes about licking the flagpole? Wooden scales seem far better suited to many more applications.

I suggest you check eBay for other bargains before you go with this particular item.

Actually, if I was you, I’d upgrade to this one (get the half-serrated blade):

I carry it as my every-day work pocketknife, it’s excellent for that purpose. Heavy duty, but not really heavy. The one you noted above is really a light knife. It might not be up to some of the tasks.

Reminds me of the time some friends and I were at The Sports Authority store. A very strange looking man in a trenchcoat looking at knives. We then overheard the man say to the salesman, “Is this the biggest one you got?” Weird. Not that guys in trenchcoats are weird, it’s just this guy was clearly on some kind of a mission.