Gerber Mark 2 was “canted” so as to assist with the attack. This was done to emulate the traditional fencing foil.

The ringed grip of this Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife was designed to imitate the grip of a fencing foil.

Fencing students often wonder why the fencing master will “cock” or “cant” their fencing blades down and then to one side.  This is done to make the blade ergonomically easy to use.  This practice has been common for centuries.  A properly canted blade will make “sticking the point” an easier task.

Interestingly, when designers were asked to create a fighting knife for WWII the men, Mssrs Fairbairn and Sykes, developed their famous knife with the ringed grip that resembled a foil grip of the time.

When Gerber was asked to design a knife for Viet Nam they originally “canted” the blade of their Gerber Mark 2.  This may have allowed the sheathed knife to lay along the soldier’s back for comfortable carry, but the primary purpose was to allow the user to hold their wrist straight while the blade angled into its unlucky target.  Gerber ended this design when too many were returned.  The intention of the design was misunderstood, and owners believed they were sold defective, bent blades.