Open main menu

Gerber Big Rock Camp Knife

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Gerber Big Rock Camp Knife fixed-blade knife

The Big Rock Camp Knife is a great general-purpose fixed-blade camp knife. While it does use cheaper materials, it is relatively inexpensive and can handle years of abuse.


  • Full tang
  • Texturized rubber grip
  • Exaggerated finger groove
  • Snaps securely into sheath
  • 440A Steel holds an edge
  • 440A Steel is rust resistant


  • Serrated edge is designed for left-hand use only
  • 440A Steel is difficult to sharpen

To be honest, I can't remember when I originally picked up this knife. This is one of those items that has been in my pack for years and has somehow managed to survive 



The blade on the Big Rock Camp Knife uses 440A stainless steel (.65% - .75% carbon) instead of a high carbon stainless steel like you'll find in more expensive knives. This comes with a bunch of advantages and disadvantages.  

440A stainless steel is an iron alloy made with chromium and carbon resulting in a steel that is fairly rust resistant and very hard, but can also be brittle and difficult to sharpen. While 440A does hold an edge, the edge you get on this blade won't be nearly as sharp as what you can get from a comparable high carbon blade. However, I have found it to be more than what I need for a camp knife.

The handle is made from fiberglass with a rubberized coating. While this is comfortable in the hand, it isn't as grippy as some other knives I have used. Gerber gets around this lack of grip by providing an exaggerated finger groove, but I do still feel more secure with a less slick grip material.

The sheath is made of nylon fabric with a plastic insert to help protect the blade and retain the shape of the sheath. Again, this isn't the greatest quality sheath out there, but has proven more than up to the task of holding a camp knife.


The Big Rock Camp Knife's design makes it a great general-purpose camp knife. It features a full tang and a large drop-point blade with an oversized belly. The full tang gives extra stability, balance, and overall durability while the blade design gives you a nice large slicing area and more versatility than a clip-point would offer.  

If you want even more versatility, you can get the Big Rock with a 1/2 serrated blade. Unfortunately, this option loses some of its appeal if you're right-handed. The Big Rock's serrations are angled for left-hand use only.

The finger groove on the Big Rock is exaggerated to the point of almost forming a finger guard. Either way, this indentation / protrusion will help keep your hand from sliding up and over the blade while splitting wood or performing other camp tasks.  

The handle itself uses fiberglass scales with a rubberized coating. This textured rubber doesn't provide as much grip as I usually like, but it does provide a nice comfortable grip. The handle is terminated with a lanyard loop that accepts standard 550 paracord.


The Big Rock's sheath includes a large belt loop so that you can wear your knife at your side. Otherwise, the sheath locks the knife securely in place and keeps it from puncturing your gear should you choose to carry it in your pack.


Personally, I have had no issues with this knife's durability. Given the type of steel used for the knife blade, I would have expected more issues with breakage along the serrated edge, but so far I have had a great experience with this knife.  

I generally use this knife for prepping food and firewood at the campsite. Even after years of bludgeoning this blade to split larger sticks / logs, it is in perfect shape.


This knife was originally designed as a hunting knife, so it's more than up to the task of preparing camp food.  It's actually much larger than what you really need for most camp kitchen tasks.

When it comes to splitting wood, this knife can be bludgeoned into branches / small logs using another stick / log. The tip also works well for splitting wood.


Once you have your firewood split into manageable sized pieces, you can make a decent feather stick to increase surface area. However, it doesn't do nearly as good a job as a Mora knife due to blade material and width.


Source: bought it new

Great all-around camp knife. Beefy enough for the tough work, but small enough to work around the camp kitchen.


  • Durable, full tang blade
  • Holds an edge pretty well
  • Nice sized grip that really sticks to your hand
  • Blade width is thick, nice for batoning fire wood


  • None found so far
  • Do agree that a flatter butt would be nice for hammering

I got this knife after first ordering the Gerber Freeman Guide. I have the Freeman Guide folding knife with the wooden handle and it is a fairly beefy knife. I thought the fixed blade version would be too, but it was actually smaller than the foldable and the handle was too small for my hand.  

I kept it as a backup knife and ordered the Big Rock for about $25. This is the knife I thought I was going to get beforehand. It is nice and sturdy, with an oversized handle that is really grippy. I wanted a knife that I can use to build a campfire and then use it to prepare food and this one does exactly that. Plus at $25, if I end up losing it or damaging it I won't feel bad about having to buy another one.

The sheath is a bit chintzy but it is functional and lightweight so I really don't want to downgrade it. Again, for $25 I don't expect some nice leather sheath. I do recommend keeping a sharpening stone in your backpack. The blade can still get nicked and does dull up some over time.

Update:  Here are a couple of pictures showing relative size as compared to my hand.



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25

Great knife that you won't be afraid to abuse as a reliable tool.


  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Good grip


  • Cheap sheath

After considering purchasing a more expensive knife like an Ontario or KaBar (which are both great knives), I settled on the Big Rock. I picked mine up for $25, which can't be beat. For that little money you don't have to worry about losing it, and won't think twice about using it hard. 

I've used it for everything from splitting kindling to slicing food.  It is still razor sharp. The grip is good.  If you so wish, you can peel the grips off and wrap the handle in paracord.  I've heard so many people complain about the sheath.  Yes, it is cheap, but it is also light.  That gives it points as a backpacking knife. 

I am not disappointed with this purchase. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25

Meant to slice and dice


  • strong
  • durable
  • 440A SS
  • not too big
  • durable sheath


  • benefit to have a flat (sqare) butt for hammering
  • clasp needs maintenance
  • could easily be a little 1/2" bigger

Excellent strength and durability, especially with the knife being one plate of steel all the way through the tang to the super strong lanyard hold hole.

The overmolded handle is very nice, almost gripping your hand as much as your grip it.  A very good fit.  Altogether the knife is just the perfect (relative) size.

Sheath, is also a great fit for the knife with a belt loop that holds it just right at slightly above belt height. The clasp / press stud lock will need a little maintenance to reduce corrosion and is at a perfect position for quick release with thumb.

For any improvements,

  • it could have a sharpener pouch with stone built into the sheath.
  • the blade could benefit by being 1/2" long to then be 5" long
  • A flatter end section on the butt, for hammering and the lanyard tie underneath or recessed a little

Yes, I do recommend and would buy again at REI.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $39.45

For the money...unbeatable.


  • Light
  • Thick blade, full tang
  • Comfortable handle


  • Sheath
  • Not much

Thought I'd add my two cents on this blade. I've had it for a couple years now. I paid $30. It's a substantial knife that will baton or pry if required. The rubber handle is comfortable for large hands and very grippy. Has a lanyard hole. Made from Gerber mystery metal but it's good quality for $30. Will throw sparks from a firesteel very well.

If you want a tough knife with a quality feel for $30-ish bucks, this is it. I've seen much worse for more $$ but not much of this quality for so little. The sheath is of decent quality with a snap to retain the blade.

I own more expensive knives but on a limited budget I would not hesitate to recommend this knife.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30

Ive been using this knife for about 2 years. It's cut, hacked and used as a hammer, and it's still my favorite knife.

This is the best knife for the money. And it's cheap enough to replace if you lose it. Trust me on this one.

Price Paid: $35

Awesome knife. I have had it for about 3 years now and it holds an edge, sharpens nicely, and has hacked through almost anything I've needed it to.

Just as the other person said, for the money - you can't beat it.

Price Paid: forget

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price MSRP: $37.00
Historic Range: $19.93-$48.30
Reviewers Paid: $25.00-$39.45
Product Details from Gerber »

Recently on Trailspace

Atlas Aspect Review

Panorama Knife Best of Switzerland Universal Knife Review

Kelty Asher 55 Review

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Review

Pleasant Pond Mountain, 7 April 2024