OK, so at first we were like, WTF, then we were like, OMG, now we're like, ILY. There, I used all the acronyms, excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth. What will not make you throw up is the Gerber Tri-Tip Mini Cleaver, an improbable little knife that had us scratching our heads at the beginning but soon won us over with its versatile utility. The Jake Gyllenhaal of knives, if you will.
The first thing we noticed unboxing the Tri-Tip is the sheath. Many, perhaps most, knives include a sheath almost as an afterthought, with not a lot of attention paid to the design. The Tri-Tip sheath is broad to accommodate the cleaver profile, and has a small tab you depress with your index finger to draw or sheath the knife. It's a secure retention system, and allows the other cool trick of the sheath which is the square grid of mounting holes that allow you to carry it with handle up, down, left or right, as well as to adjust the depth of carry in the up and down positions. The belt slide will work with belts up to an inch and a half. Really a nice sheath design.
The Tri-Tip itself is built from fairly affordable materials, as one would expect of a knife at this price point, but that just means a little extra care in use and maintenance. Handle and blade are each about three inches in length and the blade is about two inches in height and 3/16 inch wide on the spine, so it's a solid little thing in your hand. The front of the blade is not sharp, but slightly rounded over for scraping purposes, and the bottom cutting edge is rockered for effective chopping, slicing and dicing. The Tri-Tip feels like a combination of ulu and santoku, and it handles very well for anyone with small to medium hands.
The blade material is 7Cr17MoV, similar to 440A steel and a common choice for survival blades. It holds an edge well enough when used for common camp kitchen chores, and you can even use it to baton small pieces in a pinch, though we wouldn't make that a habit. Overall the Gerber Tri-Tip is a handy little knife for the aspiring backcountry chef in your life, and at a reasonable cost to boot.