Among many new products for 2014, Gerber Gear
known as Gerber Legendary Blades) has greatly expanded their handheld
flashlight line and added an interesting fixed blade. The Cortex® line of high-lumen
handheld lights joins the Gerber Gear line of Recon-M® line of lights. The
Recon-M lights are 3 to 25 lumen units that use NVIS, Green, Red, Blue and IR
filters. The new Cortex line is puts out up to 675 lumens of White light. All
have a tailcap switch, pocket clip and aluminum body.
Many LED handheld lights produce 500 lumens of White light.
The huge advantage of the Cortex line over the competition is the battery options.
Called Omnivore Technology, both the Cortex and the Cortex Compact are built to
run on either CR123 batteries or AA batteries.
CR123 batteries are very expensive and not available just
anywhere, while AA batteries are very inexpensive and available anywhere
batteries are sold, literally. Think aftermath of natural disaster or other
civic crisis. Think adaptability.
With three CR123 lithium batteries, the Cortex produces a
brilliant 675 lumens of White light with a 1.8-hour runtime on High. On Low, it
puts out 30 lumens for 40 hours. With AA alkaline batteries, the stats are 390
lumens for 1.0 hour and 28 lumens for 15 hours. In addition to High and Low
modes, the Cortex lights also have a strobe function.
Gerber makes a Cortex Compact light that produces up to 110 lumens.
Their Cortex Rechargeable light is also adaptable. It can use either a
rechargeable battery (500 lumen) or two CR123 batteries (590 lumen).
There are dozens of makes of LED, handheld, high-lumen
flashlights. The ability to use either CR123 or AA batteries, even on the
rechargeable light, makes the Gerber Cortex series definitely worth a look. The
Cortex has an MSRP of $104.
Also new for 2014 is a military and tactical-oriented fixed
blade, the Prodigy® Coyote. The Prodigy is a slightly lighter version of the LMF®
II. The Prodigy-series uses a 4.8-inch long, 0.190-inch thick blade made of
420HC. The 420HC alloy is different than 420. The HC stands for “high carbon,”
which means it can be brought to a higher hardness than 420. The 420HC
stainless-steel alloy has about the same toughness and edge retention as 440-C
Gerber uses 420HC, 154CM and S30V in various fixed blades
and tactical folders. The use of 420HC in the Prodigy-series keeps the costs
down. While 420HC is not a high-end stainless steel, it does produce a good
knife steel with good corrosion resistance and edge holding ability.
All three knives in the Prodigy-series use a partially
serrated blade. The Prodigy Coyote uses a drop point blade. The Prodigy-series
has one option not found on the LMF II blades—a Tanto blade profile. The full-length
tang is black ceramic coated, partly for corrosion resistance but mostly for
glare reduction. The Prodigy-series has a different pommel design than the LMF
II; however, both use an exposed pommel perfect for glass breaking.
The prominent cross-guard is molded from hard plastic.
However, the handle is over-molded with a sticky, injection molded, rubber
compound TacHide™. The texture, feel, comfort and grip with TacHide are
outstanding. Bare hands or with gloves, even soaking wet, the grip is positive.
Gerber Gear put a lot of effort into the friction-release,
thumb-lock, Prodigy sheath. The MOLLE-compatible sheath has dual-snap handle
straps and a leg strap. The molded plastic and ballistic nylon sheath is
extremely functional—a perfect match for the Prodigy Coyote. The Prodigy Coyote
has an MSRP of $82.