Gear for Life (GFL) Fast Eddie Review

There are a handful of little knives that cut above their weight, so to speak. This is one of them.

Named for one of the gear junkies behind Gear for Life, the Fast Eddie has clearly been designed with casual EDC in mind and designed exceptionally well in the category.

The titanium version of the Fast Eddie features VG10 steel, and it is considered the premium option.
The titanium premium version of the Fast Eddie features titanium handle scales and a VG10 blade.

There’s some manufacturing awkwardness that mostly shows up in the action, but it’s otherwise a great flipper that you won’t feel too much in the pocket, both physically and metaphorically.


Overall Length:6.5”
Blade Length:2.8”
Blade Steel:10Cr15MoV or VG10
Open System:Flipper
Blade Thickness:0.10”
Blade Shape:Drop point
Blade Grind:Flat
Handle Length:3.7”
Handle Material:G10 or titanium
Lock Type:Liner
Weight:2.1 oz (G10) or 2.9 oz (titanium)
Made in:China


Edge cuts clean and hard
Decent edge retention
Good four-finger grip for a small knife


Spotty action
QC all around could be a little better

We Got Two Over Here

The Fast Eddie is available with G10 or titanium handle scales.

There are two versions of the Fast Eddie, and Gear for Life was kind enough to send us both: one in G10 with 10Cr15MoV steel, and one with titanium scales and VG-10 steel.

My plan had been to write about the two versions side by side, but there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the two besides weight and feel, so I shoehorned a bit about the titanium version near the end. Stay tuned.

Blade and Cutting Stuff

The Fast Eddie performs above its size and price tag when it comes to carving.

The blade is great. The edge has a hard bite, and the blade stock is so thin that it sails through a cut. It’s the kind of blade that takes some pressure off the handle being good because I rarely need to tighten or adjust my grip much to get the knife cutting right (all the better that the handle is pretty good, though).

The Fast Eddie is a great option if you need a small knife that excels at cutting cardboard.
The Fast Eddie is a cardboard cutting beast.

This thing is super smooth cutting through cardboard. Not just your typical Amazon box holding a funny pair of socks, or your third knife of the month. I was eating up real, triple-walled boxes that held tools and kitchen appliances. Boxes that really knew what it meant to hold onto several pounds with nothing but a bit of tape and four flappy panels.

I spent about an hour breaking down boxes into smaller and smaller squares just to see how far this thing would go, and I never really felt it slowing down. There were definitely a few deformations and it got rougher for cutting paper, but it was nothing a short pass on a honing rod couldn’t take care of.

I would be more than happy to take this knife into an eight-hour day of breaking down boxes.

Fit, Finish, and Spotty Action

Fidget flipping with the Gear For Life Fast Eddie.

The build on this is okay. There’s no rattling, the blade is centered, and the lock feels solid. The action feels a little rough sometimes, though.

The blade kept stopping about halfway up when I pushed the flipper tab unless I added a good amount of force by snapping my wrist. After about a day of fidgeting it smoothed out for a while, but every few days it would go back to feeling stiff and gunky for a bit.

I finally disassembled it to see what was going on inside and found bearings in a plastic casing surrounded by some kind of oil that had kind of clumped up around specs of dirt and pocket lint.

After I cleaned it up and dabbed the inner workings with some clean mineral oil, the action felt fine. More importantly, it kept opening with the same level of fine over several days. I’m still waiting for the action to gum again, but it’s been fine so far.

So this is a reminder to clean the pivots on your knives, sometimes, apparently even if they’re new-ish.

Little Handle Business

The small handle of the Fast Eddie may be an issue for anyone with large hands.
The handle of the Fast Eddie is small but comfortable.

It’s small but there’s plenty to grip here so long as you’re using the knife reasonably. For general household cutting, and even some yard work, I never found myself wanting more handle.

Maybe it’s because the blade cuts that well, or that little forward bump in the pommel puts enough control and leverage in my hand to push through hard cuts. Either way, the Fast Eddie always felt like enough for whatever I was cutting.

It even feels okay enough in a chest lever when I really need that extra muscle. I actually found myself using a pinch grip most of the time, though. The edge was sharp enough to cut with a little finesse, and it’s easy to find spots throughout the handle to get extra grip.

There can be hotspots from the pocket clip and the jimping on the liner lock, but they’re minimal and even expected on a knife this size and in this price range. Neither of those spots really bugged me much until I’d been cutting with a tightened grip for several minutes.

The Pocket Clip

The Fast Eddie is a pocket friendly EDC knife.

The pocket clip has great retention. Almost too good sometimes. When I’m wearing pants with thicker pockets I have to prop the clip up a little to get it to slip in smoothly.

It also sticks up a little at the end, which is nice when my pockets are thin enough for me to put the knife away one-handed. But it also sticks out enough to pose a catching danger.

It’ll grab at a coat sometimes as I’m putting it on, which is a pretty good recipe for losing a knife down the road.

The Titanium/VG10 Version

There are both budget and a premium steel versions of the Fast Eddie.

A lot of things feel smoother about the titanium Fast Eddy, including the scales.

The action feels a little nicer and seems to stay that way longer, although I did feel it getting gummier the longer I used it on hard cutting (by which I mean breaking down dozens of cardboard boxes). It has the same ball bearings in a plastic ring as the G10 Fast Eddie, but it does feel a little like the tolerances are tighter, so the action feels cleaner and seems to stay that way longer.

The Blade’s About the Same

I didn’t notice a lot of difference in performance with the VG-10 blade, but I didn’t expect to since the 10Cr15MoV used in the cheaper version is the same as VG-10 by composition. It’s just a Chinese steel standard rather than Japanese.

The Titanium Handle Does Its Job

The milled lines texturing the titanium handle are doing a lot of work. I never felt in danger of dropping the knife. I’m not a huge fan of the way titanium looks or feels, but I have to admit I always felt confident in my grip, even though the titanium scales on the Fast Eddie are a little smoother and heavier than the G10. Maybe that’s a credit to the shaping, or just the base fact that small knives are easy to hang onto.

Kind of a Category of Its Own

One of the best points in the titanium Fast Eddie’s favor is that I couldn’t really come up with an alternative in the same size and price range. It’s the smallest and cheapest knife with titanium scales I’ve owned up to this point, and I’d call it a good start to a collection in that area.

Comparison and Alternatives

The Civivi Elementum is a classic compact pocket knife. that is a good alternative to the Fast Eddie.
The Civivi Elementum is a possible alternative to the Fast Eddie.

There’s no shortage of little fixed blades to choose from, but I was surprised how hard it was to come up with other knives around the same price and size that felt this well made.

The Civivi Elementum was my first thought. The G10 Fast Eddie runs about the same price as your standard Elementum. The handle shape is a little more neutral, and the hollow grind on the blade definitely feels slicier. And, it has to be said, the action does feel better, although the knife as a whole feels a little less robust than the Fast Eddie.

You also have a much larger range of options in terms of style and materials with the Elementum. In fact you could up in price to the Damascus Elementum and have a good alternative to the titanium Fast Eddie.

The Vosteed Corgi is closer in size, and is definitely comparable in terms of action, cutting ability, and pocket-space economy. It generally come at the same cost as the G10 Faste Eddie too. I’d be less inclined to use the Corgi for harder tasks because I still haven’t really learned to trust button locks, but I love the blade and Nitro-V steel for daily tasks.

It’s a “Leave Everywhere” Kind of Knife

The Gear For Life Fast Eddie ships with a carry bag.

This is a good knife with very minor QC issues, but I can happily put up with a spotty action when the knife cuts as well as the Faste Eddie. It’s a neat little design with easy-grip ergonomics and a nice edge with a hard bite. There’s a lot of work that can get done with this little package.

I’ll also add, speaking from a place of bias, that the G10 scales are the way to go, even with the possibly better manufacturing of the other. The titanium was too sleek and colorless for my tastes. I’ll admit to liking the heft, but it seems counter to the Fast Eddie’s design as a cheap and lightweight EDC. The titanium does more to remove personality than add class, in my opinion.

The GFL Fast Eddie with black handle scales.

I’d recommend getting every color of the G10 Fast Eddie and a couple more. Leave them around your home. Put one on your desk and in your car. Put two in the garage, and another by the sewing table. You will use this knife. It’s cheap enough that it doesn’t hurt to lose or break it, but it’s good enough that you’ll always be happy to find it again.

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Andrew has been a commercial writer for about a decade. He escaped from a life of writing mundane product descriptions by running away to the woods and teaching himself how to bake and chop stuff up in the kitchen. He has a background in landscaping, Filipino martial arts, and drinking whiskey.

2 thoughts on “Gear for Life (GFL) Fast Eddie Review”

    • We don’t usually mention price or availability in any specific way because those things tend to change, especially over the last couple of years. Instead we try to draw comparisons to knives that are similarly priced, although looking over this review, I’m realizing I didn’t do a great job of that this time around. I’ll fix that up.
      Thanks for reading, Dean.


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