Knives and in particular daggers are one of mankind’s oldest tools, dating back to at least the stone age. They have both served as a weapon and a tool, and even in the age of gunpowder, they still have in a place with the modern soldier. But for most of us (unless you are a soldier or otherwise), a knife is mainly a tool, and a dagger, while it can if needed do the same job as a knife, it doesn’t perform as well. For some applications, having a dagger shaped blade is useful when you need the piercing capabilities (such as the Milwaukee® Duct Knife).

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However, the dagger is meant for one thing and one thing only, and that is for combat. Despite this, I personally find them to be interesting collectables and I honestly enjoying looking into the history of them.

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In this blog, I will be reviewing the Gerber Mk II dagger.

The Gerber MK II dagger is a fighting knife manufactured by the company Gerber, with the first models being made in 1967. The Gerber Mk II was designed by a retired US Army Captain Bud Holzman, who based the pattern on a Roman Mainz Gladius. Looking closer at the blade, it also bears a striking similarity to another famous dagger used by the British Commandoes in World War Two, the Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife (also on a side note, this Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife is still being used today).

Commando training-use of fighting knife for close quarter combat

When the Gerber Mk II was first introduced, it had a plain double edged blade. However, during the 1970’s the US military stopped procuring them, as they felt the knife design was “too aggressive” and “not in good taste”. To get around this, Gerber added the serrations onto the blade and market it as a survival aid. In my opinion the serrations make the knife look far more menacing, and cooler at the same time.

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The Gerber Mk II was commonly carried and used during the Vietnam War, also, the Gerber Mk II was the fighting knife used in the movie Aliens (1986, directed by James Cameron). In particular it was used in the scene with Private Hudson (played by Bill Paxton) and the android Bishop (played by Lance Henriksen) with the hand and knife scene.

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The Gerber Mk II has the following specs:

  • Blade length is 6.5 inches (165 mm)
  • Total length is 12.75 inches (324 mm)
  • Blade thickness is 0.25 inches (6.5 mm)
  • Blade type is 420 HC stainless steel.
  • The handle is die cast aluminum shaped with a vase shaped handle and a semi conical pommel for use in close combat.

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  • The Sheath is nylon and features a Mollie webbing attachment. On older versions, they came with leather sheaths.
  • The finish on the blade is black oxide coated.

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Overall the Gerber MK II feel sturdy and the fit and finish is excellent. I do admit, I am not a knife fighting expert, but on thing I know for sure is that getting stabbed by a 6.5 inch blade is definitely bad for your health. From various accounts, it was effective in that role. As for a knife for normal use, it fails miserable at pretty much every thing, as a fighting knife, I am sure it would be excellent for that role.

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The Gerber MK II, like many other effective designs is still being used today, and looking past its military back ground. The Gerber Mk II is definitely an interesting collectable, both for the military enthusiast and Aliens movie fan. Also on an important side note, please don not attempt to replicate the scene from Aliens with the knife if you do happen to get a Gerber Mk II.

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