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I wasn't sure which forum to post this in, so I decided to put it here on my blog page.
I won the Case Carhartt Caliber here on IKC in one of Jan's contests, and have carried it daily since then, so obviously I like the knife a lot. Recently I ran across this Gerber at the local swap meet, (got it for $7.50), which I believe to be an "LST", or a model 400, (nothing other than "Gerber" and "Portland Oregon" are on the blade).. As you can see, they are very similar in size and shape, and both sport "Zytel" handle material, (supposedly "nearly indestructible").
After carrying and using both of them I must say that I now think the Gerber is a slightly better knife. Of course the Caliber is a fine knife too, but the Gerber is heavier than the Case, and opens and closes like it was on ball bearings; literally the smoothest opening/closing folding knife that I own. It also has a lanyard hole, which the Carhartt does not. Why? I have no idea, it obviously has no ball bearings, so all I can think of is it has tighter tolerances than the Case version. Both knives feature tight, sharp blades, positive locking mechanisms, and of course that "nearly indestructible" handle material, but somehow Gerber trumped Case in mechanical operation. Whether by design or accident I don't know.
I'll keep both in my EDC rotation, as both are high quality, well built knives, but I think the Gerber will be in my pocket more often just due too it's smooth operation. I'll have to keep my eyes open for more of these.
However, I can't say anything negative about Case Caliber knives, as my current "favorite" knife is another Calier I own, a Case Caliber Tan Peanut, but between the two knives below I have to say the Gerber wins the prize for "smoothest".
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