Gerber’s ubiquitous Prodigy knife is an enigma. On the one hand, this survival and military styled knife is priced for the entry-level user while boasting a robust list of features aimed at higher level users. But on the other, one must weigh some of Gerber’s newer knife offerings such as the tarnished Bear Grylls line which call into question this companies ability to produce worthy products. Let’s take a closer look at the Prodigy:
420 HC Steel has become more popular over the last 5-10 years having been adopted by Buck Knives, Strider, Condor, several smaller brands as well as OEM-fresh-from-China-no-name blades. Known for its mediocre edge retention, this lower cost tool steel has extra chromium to increase corrosion resistance and added carbon for cutting power. Heat treatment is everything and the question is whether or not Gerber has successfully implemented the steel in their products. We will find out in the video below.
“MIRS Compliant” – OK, so it meets some little known military standard for knives. Not sure what that means and one would guess most similar knives are MIRS compliant as well so we won’t dwell long on this clever bit of marketing.
The Prodigy’s sheath is rubberized and includes a leg strap along with nylon attachment points for molle-compatability. The nylon portion is not done particularly well but it is done and by itself this sheath would probably run $25 retail. Remember, this is a $45-$50 knife that includes the sheath.
The rubberized handle is super grip-worthy and to be honest I have ZERO complaints. In fact, it’s rather nice. A full-length, through tang protrudes from the butt of the Prodigy in the form of a lanyard loop and glass breaker. But there’s more to like here such as the blade’s black ceramic coating and 1/2 serrated edge .
However, without edge durability and performance the Gerber Prodigy could be all hat and no cowboy. Check out the video below as I put its through its paces and then some to see if Gerber’s seemingly faltering reputation as a knife maker is deserved.