The Gerber Mark II: A Historic Fighting Knife


The Gerber Mark II Is One Of The Most Famous Combat Knives Ever Issued To The American Military. First Introduced In 1966, It Still Endures Today.

When it comes to military knives, few are as universally beloved as the Gerber Mark II. First issued for use by U.S. service personnel in the Vietnam War in 1966, the knife has stayed in production since with the exception of 2000-2008.

The Mark II was successful due largely to its well-designed blade and lightweight. The blade is 6.5 inches long, and contemporary versions of it are made from 420 HC stainless steel. The handle is made from die-cast aluminum which helps keep the weight to just eight ounces. 

What Makes The Gerber Mark II Special?

The Mark II stands out thanks to its blade design. There are many combat knives and bayonets, such as the M7 and M9, that are modeled after the classic dagger or spear point. The Mark II also has a double-edged spear point blade but with one massive exception: the wasp waist.

The wasp-waisted blade has a narrower section of steel, akin to how a wasp’s body narrows at its waist. On the Mark II, this narrower section comes toward the guard, and the edge on both sides has small serrations. Not the deepest you’ll find on a knife, the serrations are still there to cut.

Very few modern combat knives have the wasp waist (other famous American models like the M7, USMC fighting utility knife, and M9 don’t have it), and it is the visual signature of the Mark II.

Can I Buy A Gerber Mark II Today?

Yes, you can, but it’s not so straightforward. Gerber is, of course, still in business and thriving, but go to its website and you won’t find a Mark II for sale. There are other serrated tactical knives but no Mark II.

To purchase a Mark II today you’ll have to either go to sites like ebay or retailers such as Knifecenter, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, etc. Other makers offer knives similar to the Mark II, but if you want the real deal you’ll have to dig a little bit to purchase one yourself. 

However, the ones of recent make that are available are reasonably priced at right around $100-$115.

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  1. Carried a MKII in a chest rig for quite a few years while in the AF. Still have it. and No, it’s NOT for sale.
    Also have the MK I as an excellent “boot knife”.


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