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Gerber Metolius Exchange-A-Blade E-Z

Gerber Metolius Exchange-A-Blade E-Z

I reckon that Gerber must have thought their original Freeman X-Change-A-Blade system was a good idea, as they have re-packaged it in the new Metolius model. It does look a bit more modern and techy over the pear wood handled design of a few years ago, but in essence it’s the same!

Half Knife

Instead of carrying a number of knives in the field – general hunter, gutting blade and bone saw, the Metolius Exchange-A-Blade E-Z offers three separate blades that attach to a common handle. The build is interesting and unusual in that it uses a strong and solid, steel, full-tang handle with alloy bolsters and synthetic (TacHide) inserts to improve grip.

It comes in a flat/wide nylon belt sheath/pouch with the knife in one section and the two spare blades in the other. Both are retained by elasticated straps and press studs with Velcro keepers to keep them clear of the edges. The individual sections have plastic inserts to stop damage. Blade selection is easy, on the left of the bolster is a flush, ringed button. Push it in, grip the sides of the blade and pull it free. Here you will see the fork-like engagement system. The replacement slides in when the button is depressed and it only takes moments.

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Tools for Task

The main blade is a rather deep 3.7” drop point, with a concave grind, short choil and a jimped and relieved rear spine for extra thumb purchase. In use the deep/rounded tip is not ideal for cutting around a deer’s anus to free the waste pipes, something more pointed would be preferable. However, for general tasks no problems, though I would have preferred a deeper choil.

Next the reverse-edged, 5” E-Z Open blade. Essentially a gutting tool the curved edge is on the inside and designed to be run up the stomach without puncturing intestines. This is aided by a polymer ball on the end to negate tip damage too. Finally the saw, at a generous 5.8” it shows diagonally opposed teeth much like the Swiss Army pattern and has a rounded bumper at the tip, again to reduce damage to organs. Though I see this as primarily a bone saw its length makes it an ace at cutting through reasonably thick branches too.

Keep it Clean

In use I had no real complaints about the system, as I said I’d like to have seen a bit more tip on the drop point, but it will still cope with cutting of that nature reasonably well. The ability to swap blades as to butchering jobs is most practical and both the saw and gutter are of a useful length.

My one concern is keeping the locking mechanism clean to avoid contamination build up and ensuring safe engagement and easy insertion/removal. As blood and even tissue is going to get down into the locking button and slot in the handle all too easily…

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