Thursday, March 4, 2010
Gerber Mini-Remix, dual thumbstuds my ass!
I picked this one up today...more impressions to come soon. For now I'm in awe of Gerber's misinformation regarding their own product on their own boxes and website. This design, at least, the way it folds, is sort of like CRKT's classic K.I.S.S. knife. It's more-or-less a framelock, just like the Descent, which I talked about the other day (see below). On Gerber's website, this Mini-Remix knife is listed as having "thumb studs", yeah, plural. Even weirder, on the Mini-Remix box, there's a simple description of the knife and its key features. it actually says "dual thumbstuds". The way this knife is built, dual thumbstuds are an impossibility, no way around it. If Gerber wanted this folder to be ambidextrous, they'd have had to use a horizontally mounted thumb disc, like the kind we see on many Emerson knives and some older, time tested Benchmade designs like the original Stryker.
Just by looking at these pictures, without handling the knife in person, you can tell that an opposite-side thumbstud (to open the knife in the left hand), simply would not work. The knife only comes with one thumbstud, suitable for opening with your right hand. There's no room for an opposite-sided stud, the knife would not be able to open or close if it really had "dual thumbstuds". I don't think this is any type of sneakiness or misrepresentation on Gerber's part. I think it's simple laziness, and a lack of attention to detail. Maybe that's what happens when a once truly great cutlery factory makes more and more of its products in Chinese and Taiwanese factories? Could that be it? Could it be that some previous drawing-board-incarnation of the Mini-Remix actually DID have dual thumb studs? Maybe it's a simple misprint.
Either way, it's not a big deal, more amusing than anything else. Of course, if I was a lefty and had looked at the specs, say, online and ordered the knife sight-unseen. I'd be a little turned-off upon receiving my new knife and realizing it's only truly usable to those who use their right hand dominantly!
Written-spec errors aside, it's a nice little folder. Again, just like the Descent folder I bought the other day, it's VERY stiff to open, even though it appears to ride on dual (yes two) teflon washers. It is a "mini", so it's light, and like the similar Descent, the pocket clip is mounted high and folded over for deep pocket carry, maybe one of its best features. The large open pivot hole that the blade tang actually pivots around, is neat, because if you want to clip it onto maybe, a Nite-Ize S-Biner or other, even thicker carabiner, it works just fine. The ring-like pivot area just simply expands your carrying options a bit. If you have small enough hands and fingers (I don't), it allows you to grasp the knife and slip your index finger through the hole, allowing for better control. My fingers/knuckles are simply too thick, my index finger goes barely past the knuckle closest to my fingertip. I might like this design better overall if it was twice the size of the Mini. The sheepsfoot blade (again, much like Gerber's Descent) is cool-looking, and the aluminum frame seems durable. The knife, as a whole is pretty roughly finished, the blade's edge came razor sharp, but there are many sports on parts of the frame, lock and handle that appear rough, not quite unfinished, but simply unpolished, with a few small burrs here and there. I believe this factor to be a part of foreign manufacture, we even see some things like that on American made knives. I have two newer Buck Knives which are USA made, and both of them had a few fine scratches on the blade right out of the box, brand new. Little things like that don't bother me, an $18.00 USD knife is meant to be used, thrown in a pocket with change, and sharpened frequently, so tiny fit and finish problems aren't a huge deal for me. For that matter, I'm not even really bothered by the Mini Remix's "dual thumb studs" claim, it just seems like a simple, silly and avoidable mistake. So far, my impression of the Mini Remix from Gerber, is terribly mediocre. I like the razor edge, and the way the clip is mounted, but so far, that's about all.