Although Gerber calls this a Survival/Combat knife, I believe that title has more to do with marketing than with what this knife really is, which is a survival knife. If you really wanted to get down to the nitty gritty, any knife can be classified as a “combat knife”. Anyhow, I chose the Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife as my first survival knife review. I have a couple of these and they are like a Timex. They take a beating and keep on going (notice how I avoided using the Timex trademarked phrase? LOL)
The Gerber Prodigy in the picture is the most recent purchase of this model. I found it, along with some other knives, listed in the Classified section of my local paper. I picked them all up for a song!
The Prodigy is another one of Jeff Freeman’s design. I call it the little brother to the Gerber LMF knives, because basically they’re a scaled down version of the larger knives.
The Gerber Prodigy Survival Combat Knife is MIRS (Military Integration Resource System) Compliant. The sheath is also MOLLE compatible. The nylon sheath comes with a leg strap with buckle plus additional straps for securing it in many different configurations. The actual part of the sheath that protects the blade secures to the Nylon via two screws and a strap at the bottom of the hard plastic sheath as well as two hook and loop straps that wrap through and around the hard plastic section. One feature that I love about the sheath is the friction release thumb lock. This keeps the knife in the sheath nice and secure. One major complaint that I have is that the hard plastic sheath does not have a drain hole! At least I couldn’t see one and I find this alarming that it would be overlooked.
There was a time when I hated serrated knives. It was my belief that any knife with any serration was a cheap knife and the only reason for the serration was because the manufacturer used cheap steel and the knife wouldn’t hold an edge.
How times have changed! I now lean toward knives with serrated edges. And not only on my Survival knives, but my hunting knives and every day carry knives as well. A good quality knife with high quality steel increases it’s effectiveness when they are serrated!
The Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife is no exception. This would be a great knife even without any serrated edges. But about the first half of this knife has a meaty serrated edge. It’s sharp folks! I’ve hacked through sheets of tin, green tree limbs, seasoned lumber as well as many other materials with my other Gerber Prodigy’s and they’ve all performed very well. I can tell you that it takes quite a bit to dull the serrated edges of this knife.
Serrated edges are a must on Survival Knives in my opinion. As I stated above, a serrated edge just increases the effectiveness of a good knife. The options for what you can cut and hack with such a knife in a survival situation just jumps tremendously when your survival knife has a serrated edge.
The Gerber Prodigy has a black oxide coating for corrosion protection. It also dampens any shine that could give a person away in a combat situation. The days of mirrored finishes are over for good combat knives!
Moving right along, the blade of the Prodigy is 4 3/4 inches long, with the knife being 9 3/4 inches overall. The handle is a molded soft grip handle. I must say, this handle fits my rather large hands perfectly. It’s not too big or too small. More importantly, I can hold onto it while working with the knife. It doesn’t matter if I’m digging, hacking, cutting, sawing or whacking, I can keep a firm grasp on this knife. The end of the handle comes to a pointed end with a steel tip. You can add a lanyard onto the handle at this area, although I don’t know why you would, or use it for puncturing sheet metal or breaking glass in an emergency. If you choose to break glass with this bad boy, I sure you have have some thick leather gloves on. The steel tip on this knife is not as prominent as it is on the LMF series.
Another thing that I dearly loved was that the blade come out of the box hair shaving sharp! That’s a huge plus in my book. It tells me that the manufacturer cares enough about their knives and the Customers who buy them to put a sharp edge on them. I don’t care who the manufacturer is, if I get one of their new knives and it’s dull, I just feel the knife was cheaply made.
There’s not much about the Gerber Prodigy survival knife that I would change. It’s a great survival knife and I carry one on most of my camping trips. If I plan on being out longer than a few days, then you’ll probably find me carrying the Gerber LMF II.
As stated earlier, I don’t consider this a Combat Knife, although it will do very well in that situation. I believe if you’re wanting a knife strictly for tactical or combat purposes, there are better choices out there. But for survival, you’ll be hard pressed to find another knife and sheath combination that will beat the Gerber Prodigy Survival Combat Knife.