Gerber Paraframe I Knife

Priced: $16.20 - $31.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 62 reviews.
Gerber Paraframe I Knife -
The Gerber Paraframe I Knife includes a half-serrated blade to provide fast-cutting ability and still maintain the versatility to handle fine work that requires a straight edge. One-handed operation lets you get the Paraframe I Knife out in a hurry, and the solid locking system ensures it won't close at an inconvenient time. Gerber added an open-cut stainless steel handle for an ideal blend of durability and low weight.


  • Innovative stainless steel frame-lock handle design
  • Frame lock holds the blade securely in place


  • Features a stainless-steel pocket clip for quick access


  • Opens smoothly and easily
  • Non-reflective black titanium nitrate finish on both blade and handle
  • Design allows smooth, easy one-handed opening
  • Partially serrated blade is forged from high-grade surgical stainless steel
  • Handle is cut from 314-grade stainless steel with an ergonomic design that makes it lightweight and strong
Backcountry Edge

Lightweight and easy to clean, the Paraframe I folding knife provides the reliable performance you've come to expect from Gerber. Constructed of surgical stainless steel, the 3" long serrated blade allows a sawing action that is ideal for cutting rope. The stainless steel framelock handle offers excellent strength despite its lightweight design. An integrated clip enables you to lash the Paraframe I directly to a belt or pack strap.
Every Gerber knife comes with a special edge: the wisdom of the ages. The way they balance in your palm, effortlessly open with 1 hand, lock confidently in place and flawlessly perform the task at hand.
The Gerber Paraframe I Knife features 1-hand opening. Blade length: 3''.


Like all eight knives in the Paraframe series, the Paraframe I is based on the same minimal frame-lock design. It’s a beautifully simple, open frame knife with a serrated locking blade that is lightweight, easy to clean and opens effortlessly. Built with a smooth stainless steel handle and a clip for secure travel, the Paraframe I is everything that an everyday carry folder should be.


Looking for a strong, lightweight pocket knife? This Gerber Paraframe I black serrated edge knife might be just what your looking for. The handle is a frame which makes the knife very light. All the metal on the knife, what little of it there is, is coated in titanium nitrade to give the black color.

There is a simplicity to the Gerber Paraframe I that relates as much to function as it does to form. It's a breeze to open. The clip point blade configuration is ideal for cutting in close quarters. Openness rules the day where the handle is concerned-there's more air than metal-so it's quite lightweight and quite easy to keep clean.


The mid-sized member of the Paraframe™ family, this 3-inch clip-point blade is contained within an innovative, lightweight frame-lock handle.

Please Note: This product is not able to be shipped to addresses in New York.


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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Blade Length:3.01"
Blade Material:Titanium Nitrade Coated 400 Series stainless steel
Blade Style:Clip Point
Blade Type:Serrated
Closed length:4.1 inches
Construction:Stainless Steel
Handle Material:Titanium Nitrade Coated 400 Series stainless steel
Knife blade type:Partially serrated
Length Closed:4.11".
Length of Blade:3.01".
Lock Mechanism:Frame-lock
Locking blade:Yes
Max blade length (in.):3 inches
Number of blades:1
One-handed opening:Yes
Opening Style:One-handed opening
Overall Length:7.01".
Weight:2.7 ounces
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Gerber Paraframe I Knife Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Not perfect, but still great.

This is a great knife that I believe many people bash it and forget the good qualities of the knife. Even though I believe this is a great knife, it does have it's flaws.

I received this knife from a cash gift from a family member, then I picked out the knife.

First of all, the black version of this knife is actually black and not gray as the picture on the website displays. I'm assuming their must be a typing or picture mistake.

About the knife:

The metal construction of this knife is extremely durable and still able to be very light weight with an ergonomic design, a great pocket knife. The clip is stiff, and most times trying to clip it on your pocket is a challenge, but it has such a clamping force that it does not slide off your pocket. Problem is the screws in the handle (handle only) keep wanting to fall out. I assume a fix would be to use automotive red Locitie. I have not tried that yet, as I have already lost a screw on the handle.

I do not know what the gray coating over the metal is. The coating does help from preventing rusting of the metal (Even stainless does rust, over lengthy time). Downside to the coating is that the coating prevents the use of using this knife for a fire starting striking tool such as the magnesium fire starting tool and others that require a bare metal surface as the striker.

From my research on the knife's blade material, it is of 400 series stainless steel. So if your a metal wizard for knife quality, this would indicate the quality of the blade and ability to hold a sharp edge. I have found out the handle is made of 314 grade stainless steel. Out of the box, I did not find this sharp enough to cut steak meat well. The serrated edge of the knife does help to cut the stuff that the fine edge would have a problem with.

Cleaning the knife is not a problem. A standard green scotch brite pad and some dish detergent is all you need.

When I first bought this a couple years back, I tried to get it sharpened on a home knife sharpening kit. I don't believe it worked so well. Maybe the cutting stones was not good enough for that type of metal. Have not sharpened it since.

I have had the knife for a handful of years, but I have only been using it for the past solid year, July 2009 to present and still using. I have put it through quite a bit of abuse.

I use this knife for grilling and casual camping uses.

This knife is one of the many folding knifes that is perfect for casual preparing for the grill at home or on the casual car campsite. I would not recommend this for a survival bag, or stand alone knife for cutting harder materials than food, for example.
MSCRCEI7 at REI on 06/06/2010

Superb value for money

For the price, the Gerber Paraframe simply cannot be beat. I'm not even particularly fond of Gerber products and yet this is by far my favorite and most frequently used knife. I was given my Paraframe as a gift several years ago and I carry and use it regularly. Because it was given to me as a gift and I had no idea what it cost, I was astonished to find how inexpensive this thing really was.

This is an extremely durable knife; I've dropped it down rock faces, on asphalt, in the mud, and in a creek and there is not one single discernable ding anywhere in the frame. The blade (not the edge) has a couple scuff marks but far less than I'd expect with such heavy use.

Contrary to other reviews, I've found that the blade maintains its edge relatively well. I've taken it on several multi-night backpacking trips and it's served my every need. I've cut practically everything with it at one point or another and I've yet to sharpen the edge. The blade opens and closes very easily is very secure and sturdy when opened.

The design is excellent. It's relatively light weight (TacHide nylon core frames are a bit lighter), and is very low profile. I've found it to be quite comfortable in the hand; I hardly notice the belt clip at all. The belt clip is very, very firm and requires some effort to clip it even to a pocket. I don't use the clip at all (I prefer to just keep it in my pocket) but I imagine it would hold very securely. I've seen at least one review warning that you could potentially cut yourself with the blade folded up in your pocket but I just can't see how that's possible. I have relatively small hands and I couldn't do this if I tried.

Overall I'm beyond satisfied with this knife and would immediately buy another if ever I lost it. I can't recommend it enough.
Fiasco at REI on 01/01/2012

I have the non serrated version. I picked it up fro a local Wal-Mart for a mere $17. For the price, it is a sweet knife.
It has a nice smooth clean look to it, and fits well in my hand.
It is fairly sharp right out of the box. Sharp enough that I haven't felt the need to resharpen it since I have had it.
The clip is super tight. I initially had a hard time getting it over the top of my jeans pockets and thought that it would loosen over time. I must say that it hasn't loosened one bit. And I have clipped and unclipped it from my pants pocket several times each day. I definitely have no fear of this thing coming unclipped and losing it.
It is quite light. I bought this knife to carry backpacking, and while I am know UL freak, I do like to watch weight. This knife weighs in at a nice 2.6 oz.
I have had no problems with the locking mechanism, but I do watch to make sure it locks securely each time I open it. I have this fear of a folding knife folding over my fingers, and this does worry me with this knife, but so far it has not been an issue.
The thumb stud is a little high in my opinion, which makes it a little awkward when opening it one handed. It can be done, but not gracefully...
I have read a lot of bad reviews of this knife, but in my experience with it over the last year, I have been quite happy. I feel like this is a hit or miss knife, but I feel like mine is a good one.
For the price, I am very happy with this knife and would suggest it to anyone.

Chad Poindexter at on 05/03/2011

Great knife

I needed a knife so I went for the first one I saw, I was pleasantly surprised, I have bought 5 knives since and none of them can compare. I can open this fast enough to put a spring assisted knife to shame (without a wrist flick) if you put a bit of care into it it will always open smooth, although I have found a bit of fine tuning is crucial. I have never noticed any dullness, but I usually sharpen it before it needs it, a couple passes on a diamond sharpener and it will be better then new, and keeping a small diamond sharpener around isn't much of a nuicence.

Very sturdy overall, the lock works flawlessly and is very secure, but also releases smoothly making one handed closing possible also. I've never had any of the previous reported problems of the screws coming loose, any signs of breaking, or any hinge problems. I carry this knife with me everyday and my only real complaints are first, the belt clip is fine, but directly under the belt clip is a piece of the frame that ends directly below the belt clip, this can catch onto clothing and make it difficult to clip. Also the serrated edge is nearly a full half of the blade length and I have found it gets in the way sometimes when a smooth blade is needed, but at the same time is very usefull in its own right.

I have had this knife now for around a year and have seriously tried to destroy it, its doubled as a screwdriver, chisel, hammer, pick, and the infamous "pry tool" and has never let me down and still has most of the finish even!
hp4402cwils at REI on 07/07/2009

Excellent knife for the money

I have two of the Gerber Paraframe knifes, the Paraframe I, and the Mini Paraframe. They are excellent knifes. They are sharp and currently well made. I have notied that some folks seem to have a gripe; that the blade dulls too quickly. Well, some things to consider are: with hardness comes brittleness, and an increased likelihood of chipping and possibly breaking the blade. 30 years ago Buck knifes boasted at how long a Buck would keep an edge. This part was true, but the edge of the blade would constantly chip. A bit softer blade solves this problem. The type of alloy Gerber uses for this blade is actually quite good (Do some research on the web) It is a balancing act between keeping an edge and not chipping (or breaking the blade on a longer knife),when prying-yes I know PRYING IS VERBOTEN! but how many of us have gotten frustrated and used our knifes to pry this or that! Keep a small whetstone handy if it dulls, and you will have no problems. Lastly, the basic alloy that Gerber uses for the Paraframes are used in some of their other knives, and in the knives of other manufacturers that have better reviews for the sharpness of their blades!
Mountaintop at REI on 07/07/2010

A Great Knife That's Inexpensive

I purchased this knife to replace an old swiss army knife that I'd had for many years... Plus it was a great excuse for me to go shopping for new and cool stuff!!! Anyway, Right out of the box, the draw action was smooth. It did take some practice and familiarization to become proficient at the one-handed draw. It's also pretty easy to unlock the knife in order to fold it back up. It seems like every small design of the knife was made to support a smooth and sturdy blade folding. Plus the handle, with its grooves cut out, make for a lighter knife.

As for the sharpness, the serrated edge is GREAT! But the smooth edge wasn't very sharp coming out of the box... Not that it doesn't do its' fair job of cutting rope or twine, or heck, most anything that you'd run into on a normal camping trip. In fact, for the most part, I can cut webbing, on my climbing trips, without fraying the ends. I'd say it's "sharp enough".

I ended up sharpening the blade myself and bingo! I have my perfect knife. I'm thoroughly happy with this knife and especially the price I bought it.
mtkili7105 at REI on 09/09/2007

What would you expect?

The most important thing to note about this knife is its lack of extravagance. One may moan about what this knife lacks as far as advanced modern knife implements, however, for what be sought you should look to pay accordingly. This knife is basic and offers all of the essential elements of a decent blade to equip yourself with. If you want a big drop point for skinning or classy steel types for edge retention then buy those. What this knife offers is a light, durable, blade that one can grind into the ground for an assortment of cutting tasks in basic outdoor needs. Save your specialty blades for their own work. The frame is light. The blade is easy to make sharp (even if the steel wont hold the edge forever). The lock is sturdy and well made. All in all, if you want a basic workhorse for a small expenditure of cash then this blade is highly recommendable.

Additionally, I recall that it used to be packaged with a small pocket version which only helped with the value of this product but this may only be for a specific version of the paraframe II or something like that.
Presea at REI on 04/04/2010

I have this knife without serrations, and it is a handy little blade. I use it mostly if I need a knife for a day trip, or for around camp and it performs well. I have de-limbed small deadfall, and build shelters with just this knife, whittled, cooked, eaten with, pretty much anything you can think of. I found that the blade was tight at first, but after some oil and working it for a while, it flicks open almost as fast as an assisted opener. After this break in period I found that the blade became less stable laterally, causing play when working it hard. Left and right thumb studs are handy if you need to use your other hand, or are a lefty like me, but the left stud is obscured behind the pocket clip, making it a little more difficult. The low weight is nice to have, making it a barely noticeable addition to your pack. Not the best knife around, but all in all a very nice one that handles well.

Shane O'Donnell at on 04/29/2009

7 years of hiking and still in my gear

I purchased my Paraframe I in 2004, and it has never failed a task. As an avid backpacker I encounter many situations requiring a stout, sturdy and versatile blade. This one is in my pocket at all times.

Unlike some of the reviewers, I've never had a problem with opening or closing the blade with ease, or any nagging blade dullness. I do, however, take care of it. A drop or two of household oil at the hinge and along the blade keeps it clean and quick. And sharpness? I read someone used a "sharpening kit" -- not sure what that is. A good small whet stone worked with some oil on it keeps mine plenty sharp.

It's interesting to me that this knife garners so much attention, based on the number of reviewers. Maybe drawn to it like me by the innovative, weight saving handle design.

sierrabob at REI on 03/03/2011

These other people don't know knives

Don't listen to the other posts. I have 372 knives. This, out of the box, can shave hair. If that's not sharp enough please tell me what is. It's a test I use and have a large patch missing on my left arm from testing sharpness. Cuts everything. Was hesitant about the belt clip as this is my first but it's built well enough that the clip sits high enough and is long enough to hold fast in rough and tumble situations. It also has a very low profile. You really have to try to reach the blade through the frame. Safe enough to not mistakenly cut yourself but for little kids probably not good. It's a gerber, it's light, sharp and you can't beat a dual purpose knife. Fantastic deal at [$]. Look around...everyone else sells this type of blade for [$]+. Can't fail. Buy it and enjoy it!
BT21 at REI on 04/04/2008

Negative Reviews:

A disapointment

I purchased this as a replacement for a spider co knife that REI no longer carries. Since the store no longer has a knife counter, I had to just examine it in the package and make a guess. If I'd been able to try it, I wouldn't have bought it.

The positioning of the knob for one handed opening is too close to the hinge so that you can't get decent leverage. About 3/8" further along the blade probably would have been fine.

The locking mechanism is part of the handle springing into the blade opening to lock the blade in place. That works great. The problem is that to close the blade you have to put your thumb completely over the blade opening and press on the far side away, at the same time as you are preparing to swing the blade closed into said opening. Gee - no possible way that could lead to accidentally closing the blade on your own finger.

Finally, the lightweight "paraframe" combined with the positioning of the clip so that the contact point is inside one of the "holes" in the frame means that it is all but impossible to slide into a pocket or onto a belt. Instead you have to pry the clip open with your other hand as you are shoving it over the lip of the pocket or whatever.

I'll probably keep this in a drawer somewhere in the house just in case, but this is not a knife I will take with me or use on a frequent basis.
COAnderson at REI on 08/08/2011


I know knives, I collect knives, I even own several FISKARS made Gerber knives, back then Gerber meant something. Sadly, the trend to make things cheaper also means things are made in taiwan/china/you name it... And while I agree, Gerber MADE a good knife a few years ago, the stuff they are slapping theri names on now is just terrible. I wish I could post this on all the Gerber knives, as a warning.

As for this knife, I have seen several in pieces, several with hopelessly dulled blades, and I had to see for myself if it was just the people using them or if Gerber really had fallen that far... they have. Mine fell apart within a month, screws missing, dullwithin a week of normal everyday household chores, and for the life of me I couldnt get it to take an edge with any sharpener short of a carbide 'scraper'

Gerber continues to disapoint me, and the sad thing is, other knife makers are following suit. Try a USA made Kershaw, Buck, Benchmade, and be aware that these companies are outsourcing too.
McJoeDonald at REI on 10/10/2008


i have had the same model knife for about a year or two and ive loved it. and lost it at my cabin a weekago.s o i ordered this same model because the picture shown was the same as my old knife. but when the new one arrived its not teh same knife as in the picture. the shapes are differnt. it isnt as smooth and its a bit heavier and heavy duty feeling. ibought from gerber due to teh fact that it was a solid knife manufacturer. rei should keep there pictures updated to keep customers like me from being hesitant to never use the ease of online buying
redneckjack at REI on 06/06/2010

screw posts come loose

The screws holding the knife handle together started loosening up after 6 months. Tightening them never seemed to be easy (a very small star driver wrench needed). I would hope the Gerber folks would use some kind of locking substance on the assembly line. The screws on mine came loose at inconvenient times and eventually all came apart and got lost. Could not find any source for replacement screws and posts. If I do, I will attach them with loctite.
bald guy at REI on 10/10/2008

Gerber Paraframe

This appearance and light weight of the Paraframe is great, but the blade really leaves something to be desired.

While it can be sharpened easily, it doesn't hold an edge very well.

The knife is easily opened and closed with one hand and the locking mechanism is sturdy and easy to operate.

The Paraframe would be a great knife if not for it's inability to hold an edge.
ekincam at REI on 08/08/2008

A very flawed design

Maybe it takes a while to break in, but out of the box it's quite difficult to open and REALLY hard to close. WAY harder than my other liner locks.
The hip looking cutouts in the handle are big enough to stick a finger in. NOT what you'd want when closing the blade.
I got this thing on sale so it's not worth my time to take it back.
bikeseattle at REI on 06/06/2010

My Paraframe fell apart!

I loved the looks of this knife. Also it seemed sturdy for its relatively light weight. However, after having it only a short time and after very light use one of the screws fell out and was lost. I no longer trusted it and got rid of it. Maybe I could have returned it but it hadn't occured to me at the time.
pkanawha at REI on 05/05/2011

do not waste your money

i bought this knife because i needed a small pocket knife. i picked gerber for their reputation. that was a huge mistake. this knife dulled very quickly and within a month or so it fell apart and i had to throw it away. look for a knife from Benchmade or Buck. theyre more expensive but will last a lifetime.
shortie at REI on 11/11/2008

Good Knife... Bad Clip

The knife seems to be a good one, but the clip hits with the frame in a way that makes it a real pain to get it into a rear pocket with out the frame catching on my pocket. I wear a knife in my back pocket almost everyday for work and this one will not do.
Brian FF/PM at REI on 07/07/2008

Not durable

The hinge broke on the knife thus rendering it useless. I exchanged for a new oneand it happened again. This exact same problem happened also to a friend's knife.This is unacceptable, regardless of all its other positive qualities.
MSebastianT at REI on 08/08/2008

Neutral Reviews:

Not a bad knife, few minor issues.

I bought this knife for a field project on the mid Columbia River studying fish eating birds and general daily use. Being on the river 6 days a week I picked this knife because of its price point and size.

My major issue with the knife is the location of the pocket clip in relation to the thumb flick knob thingys... the thumb knob for left handed use is right where the clip would sit on your pocket and probably wear a spot off your pocket edge eventually. The thumb knobs do not screw off like other knives I have had in the past so my solution was to saw it off with a hack saw (I'd recommend using a clamp of some sort to hold it in place so as not to cut yourself... or scratch the gunmetal coating off) and then filing down the rough edges. I left about a 2mm nub which is slightly less then the handle itself just in case it is needed for the right handed thumb knob to stay on. After a few days it seems to be fine.

I can't really comment on the rest of the knives features or durability yet as I've only had it for a week so far and haven't really used it for much more than cutting a zip tie and cleaning my finger nails, but it seems to work fine for that. The blade is fairly sharp out of the package and will shave a few hairs off the arm, but not quite razor sharp, which is fine for me.
Matt the Marine Biologist at REI on 03/03/2012

Not for Lefties

I bought this knife looking for something basic while also taking advantage of some of the new frame-locking technology out there. Having passed up the multi-tools as simply 'too much', this was a great option, in terms of size and weight, for the price.

After bringing it home and practicing opening the blade using the thumb rests, I found that the non-detachable belt clip got in the way and made for an awkward grip. Plus the hinge (still) needs a lot of massaging in order to slide the blade open without wrist flicking. I'm sure Righties will have a much easier time with it.

That said, once the blade is open it is securely and rigidly locked using a segment of the frame. You'll be surprised how study it feels and how well this innovative design works.

I made the decision to return my Gerber Paraframe for another brand (rhymes with 'lemonade') with a swappable belt clip and smoother movement. As a Lefty, both of these are worth the extra cost.
jabooee at REI on 05/05/2008

Not deserving of the Brand Name

I've now owned this knife for roughly 5 months now, and it has gone from Yosemite to the Appalachian Trail. Over time, my satisfaction has decreased

I bought this knife after losing my Buck in the Chattahoochee, and at first I was quite happy with it. Smooth opening, sharp blade, and it seemed very solid. However, I noticed some dulling in just a week or two of moderate use. Combining this with the fact that the knife had an odd alignment (which you may have to feel to understand) I was beginning get frustrated. To further frustration, I found that when trying to clip the knife on my pants pocket (regardless of clothing size), fabric would get caught between the frame, the blade, and the clip. Easily fixed, but very annoying.

While it isn't a total loss due to its comfort, and durability, it doesn't quite deseve to be a Gerber.

(I highly recommend the Gerber Powerframe, best knife i've ever owned)
cbgoershel at REI on 08/08/2009

Good knif until trying to open a Coconut

For the price, this is a great knife. Sadly, it does dull quicker than I would have hoped. If you are an avid adventurer and use your knife regularly, I would recommend going with a little bit nicer of a blade. BUT, if price is an issue, this is a great gift or "beginner" knife for those young adventurers. And, you don't have to worry about loosing it because it is so inexpensive.

The knife served me well until I tried opening up a Coconut, and then it failed me and the locking mechanism broke :( So, to correct the problem I went back and bought the "Gerber Big Rock", a more manly knife capable of opening Coconuts!
little sunny day at REI on 12/12/2008

The handle doesn't provide much slip resistance or grip, but other than that it is a solid blade. I lost my first one on a flyfishing trip, and liked it enough to by a second one. It has a more sturdy blade then both of my SOG multi-tools. I don't use this very often anymore, but really appreciated it when I did.

Eli Hauschild at on 05/04/2011

I picked up the Paraframe to save weight. It's a decent knife and does the job in most cases, but it's not perfect.
It needs sharpening more than other knives I own with similar price points and the locking mechanism started needing a little extra help after a few uses, so it could be dangerous to someone in a hurry.

Steven Jones at on 09/24/2013

It's light and compact, but it dulled way to easy. I tried sharpening the straight part of the blade, but it just wouldn't stay sharp. I guess for the price this could be disposable more or less. I went to Sog knives and haven't regretted it at all. I have 3 now.

Brady Haws at on 04/29/2009

Solid trail knife. Takes a little while to loosen the blade, but with some work it is easy to flick out with a hand. Solid blade. There are better blades out there, but for the price, this one does great.

Richard Taylor at on 04/14/2011

pretty decent

this is an ok knife but is a little too thin so it's hard to get a good grip on it. I also have a hard time getting it to close but that could just be me. Nice sharp blade.
I want that gift card! at REI on 09/09/2007

Not the best knife

This is a cool-looking knife that I thought would be better than it is. My main problem is that every time I open it, the blade seems to get looser and looser. I'm returning it and getting another Gerber.
Levibd at REI on 04/04/2013