call us: 888-392-5233

Knife Review: Gerber Flat Sage Highbrow Compact Spring Assist Knife

Knife Review: Gerber Flat Sage Highbrow Compact Spring Assist Knife

Posted by SD on Nov 1st 2019

The Gerber Flat Sage Highbrow Compact Spring Assist Knife

When Joseph R. Gerber described his young knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades, as the, “birth of an enterprise that grew into big business,” it was true, but it was an understatement for sure. What had started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts had turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names in knives.

Over 70 years since its founding and Gerber continues to grow. Still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s “enterprise,” Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the ’50s and ’60s (the Magnum Hunter) have given birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame clip folders (the Remix). Gerber is, however, no longer just a knife company. Multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements - these are the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

Gerber says, “Like the men and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable. Decades of innovation and dedication have put us here. Renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem-solving, life-saving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in mind. Today that includes much more than a blade.

Founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, USA, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. And we are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All Gerber products are designed and engineered in Portland, OR where many are produced. We also tap our global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific gear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is backed by our famous lifetime warranty.

Quality, reliability, innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected from us. And whether our products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today we will discuss the Gerber Flat Sage Highbrow Compact Spring Assisted Knife, which is available at BladeOps.

The Blade:

The blade is made out of 7Cr stainless steel. This is a good entry-level, rust-resistant stainless steel. It is made in Asia and does offer the user a good value. However, when being compared to higher grades, this steel does tend to be softer and require more frequent sharpening to maintain the best performance, but it will hold an edge adequately. This steel is really there to get the job done and that’s about it. It is going to do what you need it to do, but it is not going to excel at anything it does or offer you anything that is too much extra. Really, the biggest advantage when it comes to this steel is that it is going to be a good budget level of steel. There are some budget steels that really aren’t worth the money and then there are some that are going to hold on pretty well. This steel falls into the second category. While it is not going to excel, this knife is going to be durable and dependable.

The blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. The stonewash finish is a dark stonewash, or an acid stonewash, finish. This finish is created when the blade first undergoes an acid treatment, which starts to oxidize the metal, giving it a darker tone. Then, the blade is tumbled in ceramic pebbles, which roughs up the surface of the blade. The blade is removed, smoothed out, and then polished, which ensures that the blade is smooth, but that it looks textured. The benefits of a stonewash finish are that it becomes a much more low-maintenance knife. This is because the appearance of the texture easily hides the scratches and smudges that do accumulate over time. Also, it has a certain ruggedness to it that you really can’t find with any other finish. This adds a certain aesthetic and takes any knife to the next level. The acid stonewash finish is perfectly paired with the sleek sage green handle for the perfect balance of rough and elegant.

The blade has been carved into a traditional drop point blade shape. This shape is created by the spine extending straight out of the handle until about ¾ of the way up the blade. At this point, it angles downward to create a lowered tip. The benefit of having a lowered tip is that it is going to give you more control over your cuts than you would typically have. This does mean that you will be able to perform fine detail work with the Highbrow Compact.

The other characteristic of the tip is that it is a fairly broad tip. This is where the majority of the strength comes from on this knife, because there is so much extra metal near the tip. This will allow the blade to withstand repeated piercing or contact in ways that finer blade shapes would not be able to do.

That being said, the drop point does have one major disadvantage and it is due to the broad tip. It just so happens to be so broad that you will not have as much capability of piercing as you would with a clip point or other fine tip.

The last benefit of the drop point blade shape that many people recognize is the larger belly. This large belly gives increased surface area, which allows you to have increased ability to slice.

All in all, the drop point blade shape is one of the more traditional and classic ones that you can come by. It has a wide variety of advantages that make it an excellent option for a lot of different styles of knives, with very few drawbacks

Near the spine of the knife, “GERBER” has been stamped in a darker color.

The blade has been sharpened into a plain edge, which is going to equip you to take on a wider variety of tasks, making this Gerber the perfect EDC.

The Handle:

The handle is made out of a green anodized aluminum. Aluminum itself is a widely popular option for high-quality 

Gerber Sage Highbrow Knife

knife handle materials. Aluminum is tough, durable, incredibly corrosion resistant, and best of all, it is lightweight. However, it is also prone to getting scratched.

Aluminum is known to be a low-density metal, which is where the low weight of the handle comes in from. A low-density metal is a metal that is going to provide you with the heft that you need to take on all of your tasks. It is not going to make you feel that you cannot rely on the handle—instead, it is going to give you enough heft in your hand that you feel confident. Confident enough to take on whatever comes your way. That being said, it is not going to weigh you down. This is a smaller knife, so any of the heft that you can get from the handle is going to be appreciated.

One of the negative aspects of aluminum is that it is not going to offer as much grip as knife materials are going to offer. Also, aluminum has high conductive properties, so in colder environments, this knife may feel cold to the touch, which can hinder your use of this knife.

This handle has been anodized, which is a process that changes the make-up of the surface of the aluminum. It adds a sleek sage green color to it, but it also enhances all of the good qualities that the aluminum already has. Not only that, but it counteracts with some of the worse qualities that aluminum has. For example, it will not be as easy to scratch after it has been anodized.

The handle does look a little bit edgier. The spine is completely straight until about 7/8ths of the way to the butt. At that point, it does angle down toward the butt, which is a pointed. The belly starts off with a large finger guard that is enhanced by the larger flipper. There is a slight finger groove, more so by design necessary instead of the comfort that you could expect from it. However, it will give you a bit of a better grip on it and add a bit of comfort. The belly then angles outward straight to about 7/8ths of the way up the knife, where it curves around to the butt. All in all, the shape of the handle is simple, sophisticated, but one that you probably wouldn’t find on many other knives. Gerber has created more of a classic than anything else.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip can only be attached for tip up carry, but it is reversible for either left or right-handed carry. This does help to make it ambidextrous friendly, and paired with the flipper mechanism, most people will be able to be fairly comfortable while using this knife. The clip is stonewashed to match the blade. Going down the length of it, “GERBER” is in a darker grey, almost black. The clip is kept in place by two silver screws, which do match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

The Mechanism:

This is a spring assisted knife that has been equipped with a large integrated flipper as well as a slide lock.

A spring assisted knife is a type of pocketknife that is not quite an automatic knife, but it is also not a manual knife. To open this knife, use the flipper to start deploying the blade, and then the spring will kick in and finish opening the Highbrow Compact for you. There are a few benefits to this style. The main ones are that it is not going to fall under the same legal issues that an automatic knife would, but it is going to feel a lot smoother than your basic manual opening pocketknife is going to.

The flipper that has been integrated on this pocketknife is much wider than your typical flipper. It does still have the triangular shape to it, but it is much blockier than is standard. The biggest benefit of a flipper is that it is ambidextrous friendly, because it can be accessed from either side of the knife. Plus, once the knife has been opened, the flipper is going to greatly enhance the finger guard, because that is where it ends up resting.

To use a flipper, you are going to pull back on it. It will be protruding out of the spien of the knife when the blade is in closed position. This will swing the blade open and lock it into place, ready for use. Also, while using the flipper, it never puts your fingers in the path of the blade, which does create a safe opening mechanism.

The Specs:

The blade on this Highbrow Compact measures in at 2.8 inches long with an overall length of 6.9 inches long. It weighs in at 4.4 ounces. For the size of it, this is a little on the heavy side, but nothing that should be annoying.


This spring-assisted model features a flat sage green anodized handle and a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish.

The Highbrow Compact is the perfect EDC for your pocket with a clean look and dual-lock design. Actuate the blade with one hand with its integrated finger flipper and feel confident in its closed position with the slide lock built into the spine of the knife.

This version of the Highbrow is currently in stock at BladeOps. Click here to order yours today.