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Gerber Legendary Blades, Inc.
Type Corporation
Founded Portland, Oregon (1939)
Headquarters Tigard, Oregon
Key people Pete Gerber, Founder
Industry Manufacturing
Products Knives
Revenue US$30 million
Employees 100
Parent Fiskars
Website Gerber Knives

Gerber Legendary Blades is a maker of consumer knives and multitools headquartered in Tigard, Oregon, United States, within the Portland metropolitan area. Currently Gerber is a sub-division of Fiskars Brands Inc, owned by the Fiskars company of Finland. Gerber was established in 1939 by Pete Gerber, and has a reputation for making quality knives of innovative design, designed by famous knifemakers. Gerber was the first Production knife company to collaborate with a custom knife maker when it collaborated with David Murphy.[1]

Contents

History

In 1910, the Gerber family started an advertising firm in Portland, Oregon.[2] While working for the family business, Joseph Gerber mailed 24 sets of kitchen knives to clients during the holidays.[2] These handmade knives were very popular, with then catalog retailer Abercrombie & Fitch requesting more of these knives from Gerber to sell in their catalog in 1939.[2] Gerber then left the advertising business and started Gerber Legendary Blades that same year.[2]

In 1966, the company relocated to a new headquarters next to Interstate 5 in what is now Tigard.[2] Finnish company Fiskars purchased the private company in 1987.[2] Chad Vincent was hired as chief executive officer in July 2001.[2] By 2003 the company employed 300 people and had revenues near $100 million and was the second leading seller of multitools in the United States.[2]

Designs

A Gerber Paraframe framelock knife, the Gerber Guardian Backup knife with sheath, and a Gerber Multi-plier 600 with sheath.

Designers who have since designed knives for Gerber include: Bob Loveless, Paul Poehlmann, Blackie Collins, William Harsey Jr., Fred Carter, Rick Hinderer, and Ernest Emerson.[1] Former Gerber employees who started their own successful knife companies include Al Mar and Pete Kershaw.[1] Gerber built a line of folding knives based on designs of Rex Applegate.[1]

Examples of designs by Gerber are the "bolt action" locking system designed by Blackie Collins, the unique front opening action of the Gerber multitools, and the push button locking Paul knives of Paul Poehlmann. Also unusual are Gerber's niche market products, such as the Clip-it diving knives.

Gerber has been innovative with technologies and materials such as light but tough injection molded Zytel handles, Kraton rubber on handles for enhanced grip, ATS 34 and AUS 8 high carbon stainless steels, and titanium nitride coatings. For his work and Gerber's impact on the cutlery industry, Pete Gerber was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame at the 1985 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia.[3]

Famous models

There are many different models of Gerber knives, including:

  • the Gerber Guardian: A boot knife designed by knife maker Bob Loveless more than twenty years ago. *the Gerber Mark II[1]
  • the Gerber multitool
  • the LMF II ASEK, or Aircrew Survival and Egress Knife
  • the Gerber Gator - A single blade lockback knife with an ergonomic thermoplastic handle molded to resemble alligator skin.
  • The Gerber/Emerson Alliance - The first automatic knife made by either company is based on the profile of Emerson Knives, Inc.'s earlier Raven knife design and is an issued item to certain military units under the NSN (NATO Stock Numbers): 5110-01-516-3243 and 5110-01-516-3244.[4]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Pacella, Gerard (2002). 100 Legendary Knives. Krause Publications. p. 126. ISBN 978-0873494172.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Williams, Christina Dyrness. “Inside Oregon Business: Gerber sharpens edge on growth, marketing”. The Oregonian, October 9, 2003, Business, p. D1.
  3. ^ "Pete Gerber". Blade Magazine. 1985-07-22.  
  4. ^ Karwan, Chuck (2003), "Automatic Success", Tactical Knives 9 (6): 50–54

External links








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