Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gerber Paraframe II Review

I picked up a Gerber Paraframe II after encouraging a friend to buy one then remembering I had given mine to an Ex-Girlfriend (Note: NEVER give your best knife to your girlfriend, make her buy her own). Technically I gave my Ex a Paraframe I, which has a .52 of an inch shorter blade than a Paraframe II. My Paraframe I held up to using it as a box cutter while working at a PetSmart for well over a year and my EDC blade for at least 2 years before I stupidly got into cheaply made Chinese 420 steel knives that looked cool and fell apart after 3 months. Either way I'm happy I have a Paraframe II Fine Edge (My last one was a partially-serrated blade) as an EDC knife.
This particular knife comes in at a 4.2oz weight
with an 8.27" open length, 4.8" closed length, and a 3.53" blade length. Speaking of the blade it is made out of 400 series stainless steel (Which is magnetic, remember that). The body (and presumably the clip as well) are made out of surgical stainless steel which has been TiN (Titanium Nitrate) coated.
The blade of the knife has been TiN Coated as well with only the sharpened portion of the blade remaining uncoated. The TiN coating does have a tendency to show fingerprints and residue.
The mechanism for this knife (which has no lock to keep it closed, just open) is considered a "frame-lock" where part of the frame moves to lock the knife into an open position. To keep the knife from opening inside the pocket there is actually a small magnet in place of one of the screws that is pressure fit inside of the knife which holds the steel (400 series steel is magnetic, see?) in place.
When I first purchased the knife it was a bit hard to open and close, it seemed stiff but I played with it for 30 minutes and it loosened right up to where I like it and hasn't gotten any more loose since then (about a month and a half). I know my friend who I recommended this knife to has had that problem with his so it's probably hit or miss on this point.
The open frame design saves quite a bit of weight and adds greatly to the aesthetics of the knife, this does however, present a few problems of it's own. With such an open design other objects can find their way into the knife, I have problems with spare change inserting itself next to the blade as if it belongs there, like a stubborn cat.
 Another problem is pocket lint, it collects more pocket lint than a lint trap in a dryer. The last problem I can see with this design is that it can hurt the ergonomics of the knife if your hand isn't a hardened manly hand forged from hard work, blood, and sweat. So for you girls and girly-men you might not like that, to see if I could get it to mark my had I squeezed the knife as tightly as I could for a few minutes and it left a red mark on my hand...
So I guess I don't have this problem. I personally love how this knife feels in my hand and I've used it for way more than the "intended uses".
My massive man hands actually almost dwarf this knife, but it is a good size (technically above VA carry limit) and I prefer the size it is to its smaller sister, the Paraframe I.
In the end, it's a good knife for the money, I had a $5 gift card so I got a bit of a break on the price of $24.97 from Walmart, if you have a local Walmart I suggest getting it form there as you have some choice as to which one you end up getting (ALWAYS ask to see all the knives they have and pick the best of the group). If you don't have a local knife store or place that would sell you one, This was the best I could fine online but it is a plain (non-TiN coated), partially serrated blade. at $15.95 plus shipping and handling this will end up being slightly more than I paid for mine. Like I said, Walmart.

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