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Cut the Garbage Gifts: Go Bespoke With Gerber Custom

Finding the perfect gift is a challenge — but Gerber's Custom knives and multitools make it a lot easier.

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Finding a personal gift can be tough. Sure, it’s easy enough to find something that everyone has. But what about something special — something one-of-a-kind?

Gerber Gear created its Custom tool to fill that niche for customers. The brand’s Custom creator allows you to fashion your own blade or multitool to the exact taste of your favorite person.

From poppy color schemes, to laser-etched graphics, to personally lettered details, the Customs tool lets you create your own piece of Gerber legacy and tradition.

To learn more about Gerber’s Custom offerings, we asked some of our staffers to make their own knives and tools. Here’s why and how they chose their designs, and who they’ll be giving them to down the line.

Design Your Gerber Custom

Chris Carter: Terracraft Fixed Blade

Design Overview

It’s downright difficult to conjure a design for the most interesting person you know. Do I allude to his desperate journey sailing a rickety reed raft across the Pacific? His snow-blasted expeditions on Aconcagua? His father-like love for wild turkeys? Nat Geo explorer Thom Pollard is a beautiful enigma. 

In the end, I went with the countless forays on Mount Everest — perhaps his most intimate affairs with adventure — as fodder for this design. On these expeditions, he latched onto the Buddhist concept of “Anicca,” the nuanced notion of impermanence. Rooted in this concept, Thom epitomizes hope, optimism, and passion, imparting these traits to everyone he encounters. 

With this in mind, I drew two ink designs: a rough mountainscape of Everest, and “Anicca” written in a stylized pali script. Gerber’s handy user upload feature made it a cinch to scan these drawings, chuck them onto the blade, and adjust them to my heart’s content. I placed the Everest drawing on the back and “Anicca” on the front — satisfied with how well they complemented the blade.

Gifting: Who and Why?

They say never to meet your heroes, but after meeting one of my favorite Nat Geo filmmakers, Thom Pollard, in 2020, his legend has only grown in my mind. Genuine joy and contagious energy follow him, and he’s quickly become one of the primary mentors in my life. This blade goes to him.  

On a southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2021, my partner and I arrived at the gateway to the White Mountains, dejected, footsore, and weary. Frankly, the trip hung by a thread. Thom and I had schemed of meeting during my trek, as his cabin was nearly a stone’s throw from the trail, and he took us in with open arms. 

Countless naps, gluttonous feasts, and intimate fireside chats later and he sent us on our way. But not after outfitting us with the necessary gear, food, and inspiration for the task ahead. “Anicca” — impermanence — is one of the ideas he instilled in us. “No matter how hard it gets, nothing is permanent. Everything changes.” Coupled with tall tales of adventure on Everest, we left impassioned to finish the trail. And finish we did! 

Years later, Thom and I still connect whenever possible, and his mentorship has morphed into genuine friendship. This past August, Thom invited me to return to New Hampshire to officiate his wedding. An unbelievable honor. When given the opportunity to design and gift someone a custom knife — the recipient wasn’t a hard choice. 

Sam Morse: Assert Folding Knife

Design Overview

I’ve always wanted a legacy folding knife to bear my family name. This customized Gerber Assert mixes all of the qualities I could want in a multigenerational blade: A subtle, earthen color scheme, superlative metallurgy, and laser-etched details that’ll make it stand out for decades to come. 

Of particular note, the laser-etched mountain art, combined with my family name, will make this a cornerstone of my EDC that I’ll eagerly carry on every adventure — from road trips, to river voyages, to quick hikes to extended backpacking missions.

This’ll be the type of carry that I make up reasons to bring along — stoked to bear this blade and pass it down through my family.

Gifting: Who and Why?

My father, Bart Morse, passed away when I was 5. My older brother was 7. I’m still on the fence about having kids, but my brother, Max, has taken the plunge, and he now has two. 

Before his death, Bart would take us to a fishing lodge in the Ozarks we called “Fish Heaven.” He loved the outdoors, and he would have made it a priority to share that with us.

As an adult, my older brother isn’t outdoorsy, but he wants his kids to be. He’s asked me to be “the cool uncle” who swoops in to take them on backpacking and snowboarding trips. I can’t wait to play that role in their lives and instill in them the same love of the natural world that I have. It will truly be the honor of a lifetime.  

Because we lost Bart so early, I’m particularly drawn to sharing those outdoor adventures with my niece and nephew. For these reasons, when they come of age, I’ll be passing the Gerber Assert to my nephew, Milo, and niece, Margo. As a family heirloom, it’ll enshrine our bond and celebrate the adventurous spirit of the Morse family.

Rachelle Schrute: Center-Drive Multitool

Design Overview 

I’m a sucker for greens and browns and love the contrast between the neutral tone of the body and the black tools. The options were seemingly endless, but I love the idea of being able to create a tool that fits seamlessly with my other gear without just looking like every other tool you can buy over the counter.

The ability to customize the blade with engraving led me down a rabbit hole that could have consumed several days, but I settled on the family name and mountains. It’s just enough to feel like it’s a special, one-of-a-kind piece without being over the top.

Gifting: Who and Why? 

This feels different than a knife — because it is. It’s going to be a family tool. And yes, it will be wrapped up and opened by the whole crew as a collective gift to the fam. I can already see it being used in our adventures moving forward.

We’ve gotten away from traditional gift-giving more and more, moving toward shared experiences instead. This feels like it fits into that mode of thinking. It will live in our gearboxes for everything from camping trips to hunting trips, truck tinkering to s’more stick whittling. 

Will Brendza: Sedulo Folding Knife

Design Overview

I could have gone buck-wild with all the options in the Gerber Custom Shop, but the more I played around with different colored features, the less wild and wacky my design became until I had a very basic and largely colorless knife on the drawing board.

And I love it. It’s simple. It’s functional. It feels like the kind of knife that would be right at home in a backcountry ski pack (although, don’t drop it in the snow because it’ll disappear like it’s camouflaged). 

Gifting: Who and Why?

When I was designing this blade, I had a few people in mind for possible gifting. I mostly thought about my dad, who teaches cross-country skiing and guides snowshoeing tours at Beaver Creek — it would look great with his pack. However, I just bought him a knife for Father’s Day.

Then I had a rather selfish epiphany: my birthday is coming up on the 24th. And damnit… I need a new knife, too! So, I decided that this sexy Gerber slicer is gonna be my gift to myself this year, and it’ll be a mainstay in my backcountry ski pack. Sometimes you just gotta treat yo’self!

Luke House: Strongarm Fixed Blade

Design Overview

When designing this Strongarm, I wanted to create a sleek knife with a touch of personal flair. I opted for the tactical black-on-black color scheme — I like how the silver Gerber logo and font pop.

For the blade itself, you can choose between a serrated edge and a plain edge. I went with the plain edge because most of the cuts I make are smooth, and the plain edge generally gives the user more control over the blade.

The serrated blade might be a good option for anyone who wants the option for push and pull cuts, as the serrated portion acts like a saw. It enables the blade to cut through strong materials like rope, leather, or even bone.

On the blade, I incorporated a small house design (via Gerber’s image upload feature) for a subtle personal touch. It’s the same design that my three brothers and I have tattooed on our arms — the benefit of having a common noun for a last name is that you can draw it on things.

Gifting: Who and Why?

I’m going to gift this knife to my dad. We spend a lot of time together as a family on the water in Rhode Island and in the woods in Maine. From building beach bonfires, fishing, shucking oysters (carefully), and just general work around the house, a sturdy blade is always good to have. My dad gets this knife so he’ll feel less obligated to get the House tattoo and so there’s a blade everyone in the family can rely on when we visit my parents’ home.  

Sophia Robinson: Fastball Folding Knife

Design Overview

I am somewhere between a camper and a glamper, and for me, the part of camping that veers into true glamping territory is the cooking and eating. Nothing tastes as good as it does when you’ve finished a long hike and are getting ready for the sun to go down at the campsite. I love to cook and especially love to cook for others, and feeding my friends after a beautiful day together in the outdoors is an experience I hold very close to my heart. 

I chose this knife for its charcuterie-friendliness and all the food possibilities I saw from it — the flat tip is perfect for cutting through salamis and cheeses. Like most things I own, I chose a design that I felt reflected my own particular aesthetic — a sleek black handle with a crocodile-patterned blade felt like it fit right in with the rest of my belongings. Creating my own design allowed me to give this knife a light feminine touch that I rarely see in pocket knives, and makes me feel like it was truly made for someone like me, a quasi-glamper.

Gifting: Who and Why?

I planned on giving this to my best friend and fellow camper/glamper — we do our makeup together and borrow each other’s favorite outfits, but have also walked ridgelines, surfed waves, shared tents, and climbed mountains together. And she may be an even better campsite cook than me.

This knife exists in both of those worlds with us — chic, and also powerful. After seeing the final product, however, I don’t know if I’ll be able to part with this one.

Adam Ruggiero: Savvy Folding Knife

Design Overview

I’m a firm believer in two things: doing things your own way, and irony. Sometimes, you learn best by messing up. And frankly, you have to have a sense of humor about being humbled. What better way to remember to do things better, and have a laugh, than by making fun of your own folly?

Also — sometimes it’s actually good to not overthink a situation (measure once) and go all in (cut it twice!). Bottom line: You have to try your damned best, and you have to be OK with whatever happens. Anything that helps you remember that simple lesson is worth engraving in steel.

Gifting: Who and Why?

This one goes to my best buddy. He’s a tradesman, and a damned good one at that. He doesn’t miss cuts and he doesn’t skimp on measurements. So I’d send this to him as a polite reminder there’s always another way of doing it all — maybe not the right way, but possibly more fun!

This post was sponsored by Gerber Gear. Build your Custom Gerber knife or multitool at Gerbergear.com.

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