I first learned that Bob Keller, founder and CEO of Gamut Resolutions, was working on a new signature knife about eight months ago, when the two of us started working on “A Commando’s Tale,” a profile for my newspaper.
I wished him well on what I knew was not an easy endeavor.
These days, a signature anything is difficult. There are a lot of firms out there more than willing to take your money to build your signature widget, as long as you do all the design work and take all the financial risk.
When I heard Bob was collaborating with Bastion LLC — an American firm known for high quality EDC gear, knives and gun parts — I knew the result would be a very special blade.
It was a year in the making but the collaboration certainly worked.
I got my knife last week.
The results are stunning.
The Gamut Resolutions signature folder weighs 5.6 ounces.
It’s nine inches long open, and five inches with the blade closed.
Fit and finish are incredible.
The most striking feature is the blunt or screwdriver tip.
Note: This is not a knife for stabbing sharks, spies or ninjas. This is a workhorse — a pocket toolkit.
Since Bob spent his military career in Army Special Operations, he learned what worked and what didn’t.
“This knife is based upon my combat deployments,” he said. “I broke the tip off of ninety-nine percent of the knives I used overseas. That’s why it has a blunt tip. It’s meant for prying or screwdriver work.”
The handle and pocket clip are titanium, which reduces the overall weight of the knife without sacrificing strength.
The blade has a Tanto style, and is partially serrated. The serrations are aggressive, meant for rope or other hard work.
The knife uses ceramic bearings, resulting in an action that’s silky smooth. It is as easier to open than many assisted-opening knives I’ve used.
The pocket clip is secured with torques, which I believe are far better than other types of retaining screws.
The knife features a lanyard hole if you prefer that extra bit of security.
It retails for $150 and is available on the Gamut Resolutions website.
Whenever I have tried an all-metal knife or tool, there are always issues of comfort. The handles usually bite.
My Spyderco “POLICE” model will destroy the inside of your hand with heavy use, as will my generation-one Leatherman. I wear leather gloves when using both.
Not so with the Gamut knife. Thankfully, there are no sharp edges or angles on the handle.
Whether you use a foil, ice pick or reverse ice pick grip, this handle will not bite.
It is the most ergonomic all-metal knife I’ve ever used.
The serrated edge was meant for aggressive work, not just aggressive looks.
It took only a few strokes to part a taunt half-inch manila rope.
It took about two strokes to cut three taunt strands of 550 cord.
I tried the screwdriver tip on a rusted screw on the patio table in our backyard — a screw I thought was never coming out. The screw squealed and emitted a puff of dust as it popped loose. The blade never so much as flexed.
Most all-metal knives I’ve tried work well as long as they’re dry. Douse them with water or any other liquid and they’ll usually slip out of your hand. Not so with this folder. The aforementioned ergonomics will keep the knife welded to your hand regardless of sweat, water or blood.
No review of this folder would be complete without a discussion of the S35VN steel used to construct the blade.
It’s a “super steel,” perhaps the best knife steel available.
Blade Ops says the steel’s composition — which features carbon, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum and niobium — results in “an incredibly hard, high quality steel offering superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness that together make this a top grade steel at the top of its class.”
“Many high end knife makers use CPM-S35VN. The list includes luminaries such as Benchmade, Chris Reeve Knives, Spyderco, ProTech Knives, and Boker to name a few. Whether you are looking to buy a knife with S35VN steel or looking to make one, it is quite obvious that this high-end grade steel will perform to the highest quality in regard to toughness, wear-resistance, and machinability, providing a pleasant and outstanding experience for both knife makers and knife users,” Blade Ops stated.
Knife Informer rates S35VN steel as a “premium” knife steel for its edge retention, corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening.
“Many would argue this is the ultimate in ‘mainstream’ knife steels and you would struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness and stain resistance for the money,” Knife Informer wrote.
As Bob co-hosts a weekly podcast with me — “Think, Aim Fire” — I am somewhat familiar with his military career, which includes numerous combat operations as a member of this country’s most elite units.
That said, I would both purchase and strongly recommend this knife even if its designer was a supply clerk shoveling paperwork somewhere in the bowels of Fort Polk.
The Gamut Resolutions Signature folder is the newest addition to my EDC kit, replacing a folder that cost more than twice as much.
To sum: Buy this knife.
It certainly won’t disappoint.