July 19, 2011
Survival Gear Test: Gerber's Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife - 6
by Tim MacWelch
In several recent survival classes, I have observed my students using the new Ultimate Knife from Gerber’s line of Bear Grylls equipment. I decided to run it through the paces myself to see how it operated for some typical survival chores, and here’s what I found out.
The Chopping Test
I started with a test that medium to large survival knives should be able to accomplish – chopping green wood and dead wood. A 2-inch diameter medium hardwood sapling under a little tension chopped cleanly through in 6 seconds for me, which is the speed you’d expect from a much larger, heavier knife.
A dead and dry medium hardwood branch at 2 inches in diameter took 13 seconds to cleave, but that was still a good time, as dry wood is harder to cut than greed wood, especially when cutting across the grain.
The Carving Test
The Knife Features
Having done a fair bit of carpentry over the years, I really appreciated the waffle head design on the pommel hammer—just remember to keep it in the sheath when hammering. You don’t need the knife tip coming near your face while you are pounding a stake into the ground.
The Sheath Features
The spark rod performed well. Personally, I like a bigger spark rod as it lasts much longer, but this is a good back-up. You should always carry lighters and matches for instant flame.
The diamond knife sharpener was a great feature, but I wish there was a file for sharpening the serrations.
The abundant and well-designed features of this knife really make it go above and beyond the average survival knife. The overall utility and usefulness of Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife make this one tool seem like a whole line of outdoor equipment. With an MSRP of just $60, this knife is a tremendous bargain, too.