- Created: Wednesday, 11 April 2012 05:07
This here stabby tool is another example of looking fairly plain yet has clever design features that make it stand out in other ways. SAH stands for Safety Auto Hook so the big show is definitely the integrated cutting hook built into the handle. I've seen designs where hooks are built into the handle, but this is certainly the first time I've seen a hook that retracts back into handle. The retracting design cuts down on bulk and accidental snagging while giving a more "basic" knife appearance. To make up for the speed of an open hook design that is always ready, the auto hook is spring loaded with button on the side. This button includes a safety which is locked when close to the button and unlocked when slid away. It sounds a little much at first, but once in hand it is very intuitive for one to grip the knife as if they were going to use the hook, then slide the safety off while pressing the button very soon after with their thumb. For added security, one can even slide the safety back in the locked position to make sure the hook stays deployed even if the button is pressed. Although great to have the option for added safety, I find it fairly optional as my hands don't compress the button while handling in hook use mode. Additionally, worst case scenario the hook would just start to retract which isn't necessarily a hyper dangerous consequence. To retract one must press and hold the release button and then push back in the hook which can take a dash of elbow grease due to the aggressive spring. Common methods to do this are just with 2 hands or if a stable platform is around one can do a single hand method by pressing the release button while jamming the hook back in.
Another cool extra is what Gerber designed as a Dzus Fastener Driver up on the top end; which is good for tightening or loosening Dzus Fasteners (commonly used to secure panels on aircraft). For those like me who aren't cool enough to be around aircraft all the time, the tool also works great as a flat head screwdriver tool which certainly comes in handy with photo equipment and more. Onto core features, the handle is G10 on one side and stainless steel on the other which offers good grip on one side while being nice to your pants on the other. As a nice touch, there is a cut notch on the G10 side to allow easier access to the thumb stud. This small change noticeably helps out my smaller hands do a consistent blade deployment. The metal half then forms into the frame lock system which I am always a fan of for dependable blade security even while twisting. Once locked there is a little play in the blade, nothing drastic, just not as solid as say the ZT frame locks. Out of the box, the pant clip was too loose for my preference as the knife escaped a couple times while sitting. Fortunately this was easy to fix by removing, then bending the clip a little to get more tension. Overall the grip is comfortable in both knife and hook modes. Some jipping (spine grip cuts) would have been nice at the button end, but I can understand why it is slick manufacture wise since that is where the hook retracts.
Not to be forgotten, the blade is a drop-point style with partial serrations, overall medium in size (3.6") made up of CPM S30V High Carbon Stainless Steel. Between the serrated blade and the auto hook, the SAH is quite the rope / webbing belt cutting machine, yet the drop point end adds some more general use versatility. Although the Gerber S.A.H. Knife certainly is catered to a search and rescue user for cutting people out of seatbelts or harnesses, I still found it to be a solid EDC knife. Having the hook be so accessible adds to some creative uses such as cutting off tags, webbing, and similar materials where a blade slash would be a more dangerous method. Additionally I put the driver tool to use a lot dealing with tripods, mounts, and similar hardware.