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Gerber E.A.B. – Travel-friendly knife… -ish

I have always liked knives, since I got my first Victorinox when I was kid.

The idea of carrying a Swiss Army Knife is so deep in my heart and brain that I can’t imagine myself without a multitool. Let’s be totally honest here. I grew up in the 90s, watching MacGyver pulling off the craziest shit with his small multitool.

Yeah, I know, I know. You can’t pick a lock with a blade like that.

However, knives are serious thing and, like a lot of thing in our society, they are regulated in Europe. Regulations are slightly different from country to country, but in Germany, the main rules for carrying pocket knives are:

  • You cannot open it with one hand
  • It cannot have a locking blade

This was quite a bummer for me: I couldn’t carry my Victorinox anymore 😞

Victorinox Trailmaster

Do you see the hole in the blade? Yep, one hand opening 🤦🏻‍♂️ Plus, once you open the blade, the blade locks, for safety reasons, of course. That makes 2 out of 2 for “No bueno“.

Luckily for me, Victorinox has a million models, so I could choose a more “Germany friendly” model in a matter of minutes. I went for a Victorinox Climber:

Victorinox Climber

and I also added a mini screwdriver, like this

because I wear glasses and you never know when a screw will come loose.

The Victorinox Climber is super useful, with its two blades: usually, one for food and one for stuff, boxes, letters etc. It also has scissors, a bottle opener (critically needed in Berlin 😂), a can opener and other useful tools. Important notes for carrying it: the blades don’t lock, so you need to be careful when you put pressure on them, and you can’t actually open them single-handed.

As an EDC (Every Day Carry), the Victorinox Climber is more than enough and I’m so fond of it that I have given them away as gifts to a many friends over the years. When someone needs a blade to open a box in the office, and you pull out a knife, people look at you weirdly 😱. If you give them a knife for their birthday, you won’t be the weird one carrying a knife anymore.

Everyone carries a knife now 😉

Over time, a common issue bubbled up though. In a few weeks, you get used to carrying it and one day you are at a security check, trying to board a plane. Yep, back to “No bueno” zone.

The typical solution is that they take the knife away and everything is fine. Pretty straightforward and a bit sad. Now, I don’t want to step into the “There is no f*cking way you could hijack a plane with a 6cm pocket knife” discussion, so I’m gonna drop it.

To avoid losing a knife every time I fly, I grew into the habit of leaving my Climber at home when traveling. However, if we talk habits we also need to talk about how many time I reached for my pocket and then realize: “Ah shit! I’m abroad.”

A few of you are probably thinking about having a luggage and shipping the knife to destination or buying a new knife when landing. Unfortunately, that’s not how I’m used to travel. I travel very light and I can survive quite a few days with only my carry-on backpack and buying a new knife and throw it away at every trip is just a waste.

After a few years, I recently found an alternative to leaving my knife at home 🎊 I bought a Gerber E.A.B:

Gerber EAB

The Gerber E.A.B is not a knife and I don’t expect it to be a proper knife. It’s an utility blade. You, basically, have a replaceable blade in a very nice and solid “blade holder”.

Utility blades are produced according to international standards and this allows you to buy them practically in every gas station, hardware store, DIY supermarket department around the world and they will fit in your utility knife. I believe this is the biggest win of the Gerber E.A.B.

My next step will be investing a few bucks to by a so-called “TSA approved” multitool knife and check if I can carry a tiny scissor with me when I travel and I want to take care of my beard 🧔🏻

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