Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife - Review
I can’t remember a survival knife ever causing as much of a stir as the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife. It’s no wonder. With over 70 years of designing finely crafted knives that last, Gerber has teamed up with former British SAS man, adventurer and hero of the popular ‘Man vs. Wild’ TV show, Bear Grylls, to put together a hybrid survival knife that has captured the imagination of millions.
Though most of us won’t ever need to make a shelter out of available vegetation or kill, skin and eat a boa constrictor, it’s nice to know that we could with the Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife.
The marketing for the Bear Grylls survival blade is amazing and the knife is all-in-all pretty darn good too. And somehow Gerber surprised everyone with a crazy-low street price of between 40 and 50 bucks.
Although there are many comments from those who bought the earliest versions of the Gerber Bear Grylls that say, “It is a piece of junk,” obviously the company responded and has fixed the problem, which seemed to center around the steel pommel on the butt-end breaking off with use.
Now, most reviews of the current version Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife, from around February 2011 on, seem to confirm that Bear Grylls and Gerber came up with something special and have fixed the early issues.
Bear Grylls Ultimate - DesignThe first thing to notice is the design. It’s sleek, it’s manly enough, and it’s efficient. Designers elegantly integrated a pile of useful knife, sheath and emergency features into the Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife package that I have not seen anywhere else.
Okay, so let me get out my major gripe about the survival knife design. I’m honestly not much of a fan for all the “BG” branding and the whole flashy orange “racing stripes” all over the Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife and sheath. There I said it!
This may be helpful if you are fighting an alligator in muddy water or drop your knife and due to the bright orange racking stripes you are able to see and recover it... but if you are in a survival situation where you need to stay concealed, the “bling” factor of Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife would not help.
Here’s another thing. I just love a great knife. I don’t want to be noticed because of it. So, I wish they offered it in a less flashy color package.
I don’t see a real outdoorsman wearing one of these...and that’s too bad. Because there are many reasons he should.
Drop Point Blade
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate has a stainless steel drop point blade. Although the weight of this knife suggests a thinner blade than the LMF II survival knife, the company did well by making this knife with a drop point blade. Drop point blades are stronger in all the right places and extend the usefulness of the knife while preserving the edge of the blade.
Furthering its usefulness, the Gerber Bear Grylls boasts a straight to serrated edge blade. The serration increases slicing and chopping speed and also allows for sawing through thicker items like wood and bone. Nice!
Many owners report that the Bear Grylls blade is high quality and holds an edge well. This knife is also perfect for wet environments due to its quality stainless steel blade.
Handle Comfort and Grip
Many owners of the Gerber Bear Grylls comment on the comfort of the handle, saying things like, “It fits like a glove.” The handle is reported to be ergonomic, comfortable and provide a good grip.
At the base of the handle is a stainless steel pommel for hammering. The early Bear Grylls Ultimate seems to have had early problems with the pommel falling off. This was not good for it's initial reputation. However the general consensus of recent reviews suggest that the problem no longer exists. Gerber has also confirmed this.
To the contrary, owners often now report “beating the tar” out of the pommel and the Bear Gyrlls Ultimate in general and it taking the abuse quite well.
The sheath of the Gerber Bear Grylls survival blade is sufficient and has a velcro strap to hold it in the sheath. Also integrated into the Bear Grylls sheath is a diamond sharpener. Although this won’t get your blade razor sharp, it will keep it serviceable between sharpening.
Fire Starter Rod
One of my favorite features of the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate is the fire starter rod that locks into the sheath. With the use of a special “striker” notch on the back of the knife you can get a blaze going quickly.
The attached lanyard cord holds a small but loud emergency whistle to the handle of the Gerber Bear Grylls. This could come in handy if you are alone and injured or require help from a neighbor.
Maybe my favorite features are the included land to are rescue instructions and Bear’s “Priorities of Survival” pocket survival guide. It’s good to have a great knife like the Bear Grylls. It’s better to know how to use it when in an emergency, disaster or survival situation. It’s great to have the basics printed and included on the back of the sheath.
Weight and Balance
The weight of this Bear Grylls knife with the sheath is nearly 10 ounces less than the LMF II series knives. This is good if you want an innovative survival knife package without the weight. Owners report that the Gerber Bear Grylls knife is balanced well and feels “solid” and “well made.”
Here are two other notable knives in the Gerber Bear Grylls line that are worth considering:
Gerber Bear Grylls Parang (Machete)
This parang is essentially a modern version of a machete. With a 13 1/2 inch blade this baby will make short work of brush, branches and vines. It comes with an ergonomic, extra-grippy handle and a lanyard cord to make sure you grip is tight. The sheath is made of thicker nylon. You also get the pocket survival guide. Learn more...
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Knife
This suitable but smaller version of the fixed-blade Ultimate Survival knife folds to less than 5 inches for easy carrying in a pocket or the included sheath. It’s nearly 1 1/2 inches shorter than the fixed-blade version and does not have the pommel end. The Gerber Bear Grylls folding survival knife is also about half the weight of the fixed-blade version. Easy to open with one hand, it locks secure when open. Includes the pocket survival guide. Discover more...
If you are looking for a very good survival knife for non-tactical, non-military operations the VERY affordable and feature-rich Gerber Bear Grylls knife may fit the bill.
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