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Gerber River Shorty

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Gerber River Shorty fixed-blade knife

Terrible dive knife.


  • Friction locking system


  • Steel

I am an avid snorkel and scuba diver. I love to lobster, harvest muscles, scallops, spear fish, and just about any underwater sport there is, I do! I find myself in need of a good dive knife on some of my more random adventures.

I could not believe the lack of quality when it came to such a knife from Gerber. I have many other fine Gerber blades, and generally love their commitment to a higher standard. However, this was not the case with the River Runner.

I bought this as my dive knife, having lost a few in the past due to poor sheath designs. I was initially drawn to this knife because of the sheath. The sheath is a tension sheath, in which the blade clicks in and out of, it is very sturdy and one that I wish other companies would copy. The knife fits in either way also, which is a plus.

The sharpness of the blade out of the box was not lacking, I did feel the need to give it a good once over on a stone. On my first dive with the Shorty, I used it to pry some mollusks, kill an octopus that I caught, and even cut some fishing line I found wrapped around my leg at one point. It performed wonderfully!

However when I got to the surface I noticed some rust on the blade by the hilt. Nothing a little steel wool/lemon juice couldn't take care of, but rust nontheless. I rinsed it with fresh water, then proceeded to treat as mentioned above. The rust came off, but the next day when I awoke, I actually found the blade had rusted even more just sitting in the humid air.

I was told it was stainless steel, what type I still don't know to this day. I have had other 440 type stainless steel fishing and diving knives in the past, but none have ever rusted like this rust bucket. I would go through the aforementioned process after every dive it seemed, and enough was enough in the end. I sold it.

Still to this day I am not sure if I had a defective knife, or what, but I can say that I never saw it without rust after that first dive.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25

When I started guiding ten years ago this is the knife I bought. I've lost it, broken it (it's hard to do), cooked with it, used it as a box cutter and saved my own life with it. I've bought 5 of them when I heard it was discontinued and I'm down to two. Simply put the most useful knife I've had.

I don't know about rust, I've never seen any. But I heard that it's coated and if the coating goes away it can rust. Don't know if that's malarkey but so far it's never let me down. Ever. 

Price Paid: 30$ can

Like all Gerber knifes, this is an excellent product. I keep it attached to my PFD when I canoe. It has a thick, strong blade that is very sharp. I usually don't like serrated blades but this one will go through a rope very easily. The blunt tip is a good safety feature while on the water and makes a good pry/digging tool.

It can be difficult to sheath and unsheath with one hand but overall a very nice and durable knife. Mine is 15 years old and is still in great condition.

Price Paid: $24

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Price Historic Range: $16.93-$46.89
Reviewers Paid: $24.00-$25.00
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