Gerber Doubledown bulks the folding knife up to machete grade
The brush-clearing power of a machete packed down into handheld flashlight size, the new Gerber Doubledown is a different style of folding knife. The butterfly-style tool works as a hatchet, machete or knife before folding down to half-size and packing away neatly into its split handle. It gets the job done while traveling much easier than a full-length fixed-blade machete.
With its background in folding knives of various sizes, multi-tools and full-blown machetes, Gerber brings just the right skill set to the table in creating its latest knife. The Doubledown packs a pliers multi-tool-style dual-piece handle that folds around its blade for clean, safe packing. The knife then packs away in a MOLLE-compatible sheath. During opening, the two sides of the handle rotate a full 180 degrees to lock down and provide an ergonomic grip.
We weren't sure whether to roll with Gerber in classifying the Doubledown as a folding machete or call it more of a butterfly knife/balisong. While not as large as the average machete, its 6.75-in (17.1-cm) high-carbon steel blade is longer and wider than the typical butterfly blade. And the Doubledown's 15-in (38-cm) total length falls close to Gerber's 14.3-in (36-cm) Versafix, which it calls a fixed blade/machete hybrid. So "folding machete hybrid" sounds about right for the Doubledown.
The "hybrid" part is particularly accurate because Gerber has designed the Doubledown for three main tasks: cutting, chopping and batoning. The QuadLock system offers three individual locked positions for a secure blade and safe operation.
We'd still prefer a full-length fixed-blade machete hanging off our pack if the task ahead involved muscling through dense jungle or mangrove, but the Doubledown looks like a nice multipurpose hybrid for lighter brush clearing and easier storage. It weighs 18 oz (510 g).
Gerber announced the Doubledown at the SHOT Show earlier this year and plans to build it at its Portland facility. The initial June launch has been pushed back to August, prices to start at $120.