Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Gear Closet: Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife

A few years back I reviewed the Bear Grylls Folding Sheath knife, finding it to be a well built and very functional piece of gear to have in your pack in case of emergency. At the time, the Bear Grylls line of products from Gerber was relatively new, but it was clear that the company had put a lot of thought into its design and construction. Fast forward to 2013 and the Bear Grylls line has continued to evolve with subtle improvements and changes to the formula being implemented over time.

Recently, my friends at the Outdoor Pros sent me the top of line BG Ultimate Knife for review and I was eager to put it to the test. Considering how much I liked the first Bear Grylls knife that I used, this new version has some high expectations and standards to meet. Turns out I needn't have worried however, as the Ultimate Knife lives up to its name, offering everything you could hope for and a lot more.

The knife's carbon stainless steel blade is just shy of five inches in length and offers both a fine and serrated edge, which gives it a nice level of versatility. A very comfortable, rubberized handle provides a sturdy grip and a nice feel in the hand, which helps to make deft and precision cuts when necessary. The base of the handle is capped with a stainless steel end that can serve as a hammer in a pinch, while the sturdy construction gives you the feeling that his is a knife that can stand up to plenty of punishment.

The Ultimate Knife is lightweight and well balanced which adds to the overall feeling of confidence when holding it in your hand. Additionally, the blade held a nice edge and did a nice job of slicing through rope, wood, plastic and a variety of other materials. My model was sharp out of the package, although I did spend a little time honing the edge a bit further before testing.

While the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is a solid product on its own, Gerber throws in a few extras that extend its functionality a bit further. For instance, it comes with a lightweight and comfortable nylon sheath with an integrated edge sharpener. This comes in handy if you find yourself out in the field with a dull blade. A clever and useful fire starter rod is also included and stores safely in the sheath as well, while a safety whistle dangles on a lanyard at the end of the knife's handle. A mini-copy of Bear's Priorities of Survival comes with the knife too, proving useful tips for living off the land should you find yourself stranded somewhere. Thankfully, it doesn't provide instructions for drinking your own urine or wrestling a bear.

Overall, I feel the Gerber has done a great job of creating a versatile and useful knife for hiking, backpacking or climbing. It is comfortable in the hand and slices through most materials quickly and easily. I did find the addition of the safety whistle on the end of the handle to be a bit distracting however, so I snipped it off and stored it in my pack. Having a safety whistle while traveling in the backcountry is always a good idea, I just didn't appreciate it hanging off the end of the knife. Aside from that I have no real complaints about the Ultimate Knife, finding to be well built and sturdy, yet lightweight and easy to handle. It even comes at a great price point, with an MSRP of just $62. Not bad for everything that it brings to the table.

Note: There are a number of reviews online complaining about the quality of this knife and how it actually breaks quite easily. Most of those are for an older version of the Ultimate Knife and Gerber has since changed the design and created a more rugged version  that doesn't suffer from the poor craftsmanship that plagued earlier models. Indeed, my version is as sturdy and solid as any knife of this kind that I have ever used and I didn't find it to be cheaply built in any way. The lower quality Ultimate Knife should be out of the sales channel by now, so anything you buy should be the upgraded one. Just in case however, Gerber provides a lifetime guarantee which will replace your knife if you ever run into any problems.

Thanks again to the Outdoor Pros for sending this my way!

3 comments:

Tom Ham said...

Great post. a few years back I actually purchased one of the first knives that came out. I then cought wind of a recall and tested what they said was going wrong with it. Sure enough it was faulty. Gerber sticking by its brand paid for me to send it back, and sent me one of the new ones...it really is a good knife!

mina thapa said...
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Vanessa Rogers said...
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