Gear Review: The Bear Grylls Survival Knife

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife to try out.  To be honest, I’d never seen the guy’s show, so I watched part of an episode on Youtube to see what it was about.  If he really did half the crazy stuff in a real emergency survival situation that he does on his show he’d be dead inside a week.  Not that he doesn’t know his stuff, but the things these shows do for high ratings would get most people killed.

Anyway, I was looking for a good survival knife and came across this one.  On Amazon the first reviews weren’t that good and I almost didn’t get it, but as I read more it became apparent that the first knives released were more working demos than the real thing and had some problems.  After that it got pretty good reviews across the board.

My ReviewIMG_1086

My first overall impression was that it’s a decent knife for the price. It costs $39 on Amazon.  It’s much lighter than my Becker K-Bar Campanion, but it has a lot more whistles and bells.  Normally I’m not a big fan of extra stuff on a knife, but I will say that some thought went into this one.

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The knife itself has a small whistle attached to the handle for signaling.  It’s not the greatest whistle out there, but it beats nothing.  I will probably move this to the sheath so that it’s not in the way. It also has a feature on the end of the handle that allows you to pound nails, nuts or whatever you need to have cracked or pounded.

The handle is made from rubber and felt very good in my hand although it’s a little thinner than my Becker and the USMC Ka-Bar knife that all knives are measured against.  (At least by me.)

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The various components

There are holes in the knife handle that allow it to be lashed to a piece of wood in case you want to make a spear.  I’m not sure how good an idea it is to do that as it looks like a great way to break your best chance at surviving, but the ability is there.

It also has orange on the handle that makes it easier to be seen.  Remember, this is a survival knife and not a tactical fighting knife.  If you’re using this knife for real you want to be seen. The sheath is nylon and it has a built in sharpener, which is ok, and there’s also a small firesteel as well.   On the back of the knife there’s a flat spot that you can use to scrape the steel with to create sparks.

How it Worked in the Field

This weekend I was cutting poles for my tipi and decided to use the BG Survival knife instead of my K-Bar and put it through its paces. I was disappointed.

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One of the things I didn’t like about this knife is the fact that it has a serrated edge.  Some people swear by them and others swear at them.  I fall into the latter camp.  When I used the knife to limb the tree some of the serrated edge broke off and its light weight made it much harder to cut limbs of even a moderate size.  This Chinese made knife just wasn’t up to the task.  My Ka-Bar cut through the same sized limbs without a problem.

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The serrated edge broke during use

I used it to trim two poles and then went back to my old workhorse the Becker Campanion (BK2).

I did use the firesteel which is small, but workable, and I started a couple of fires with it just to get the feel for it.

In my opinion a survival knife has to be able to take a beating.  I’m not talking about abusing it on purpose, but your knife of choice needs to be rugged enough to stand up to the rigors of field use and part of that use is going to be processing wood.  Whittling, batoning, chopping, splitting, using it as a small hatchet, whatever… it needs to be rugged enough to stand up to this kind of use.  I don’t feel the BG Survival Knife is rugged enough for extended hard use.  I’ve used my BK2 to dig in the ground for spruce root to use as cordage with no problems and don’t think this knife would bear up to that kind of activity.

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I’ve included a picture of both knives below and you can see that they’re about the same size, but if you pick them up the difference in weight is striking with the Ka-bar being much heavier. This knife will have a spot in one of my backup bug-out bags, but until I can find something that will sway me away from the K-Bar Becker I’ll be sticking with my old workhorse.IMG_1084

2 stars out of five for the Bear Grylls Survival Knife.

-Jarhead Survivor

BTW:

What do you use for a survival knife and why?  What makes it so good?

I like hearing other people’s opinion when it comes to knives.

 

 

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56 comments… add one
  • Ranger Man June 8, 2011, 7:04 am

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  • JohnDoe1999 June 8, 2011, 7:30 am

    I use a USMC Kabar, with the serrated edge. I’m not a Marine, the knife was was a gift. I swear by the serrated edge, it’s just harder to sharpen. Unless you immerse it in chlorine water or something, you don’t need stainless steel. Besides, Kabar is made in the USA and that is priority number one for me.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:30 am

      Some people love the serrated edges. A knife is a very personal choice and my advice is to find one that works for you and stick with it. You can’t go wrong with a USMC Ka-bar either. I’ve had a couple over the years and they’ve always served me very well.

      Reply
      • JohnDoe 1999 June 11, 2011, 6:13 pm

        It may not be the most modern knife, but it’s a classic and for good reason. I also agree that it is the standard that all others are held to; nothing has come close thus far.

        Reply
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. June 8, 2011, 7:57 am

    I’ve had a BKT (not Kabar) Campanion for only about a year now, and am still getting used to it. Hell for strong, but the blade is a bit too thick (about a 1/4″ at spine) for efficient animal processing, and this for deer. I imagine the extra size would show even more for rabbit or fish (where you darn need at the very least a pocket knife). Or maybe it just takes practice.

    I do agree the Campanion will last a long time. My go-to blades are generally folding designs, Old Timers, Camillus and Westerns. My sheath knife is kept in the pack or truck, as are a Cold Steel Bowie machete and Spetnatz shovel (which to me deserves awards for BESTEST HANDIEST TOOLS EVER).

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    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:33 am

      j.r. – I agree with you that it’s very thick to try and process game. It’s really a trade off. I tend to carry a pocket knife with a much smaller blade or the Becker Necker for a small camp knife. Could you process game with it? I think so although it’d probably be a little messy; however, if I only ONE knife to take with me I’d take the bigger one. (My beloved BK2) :-)

      Reply
  • Seth June 8, 2011, 8:11 am

    I’ll just stick to my MORA knives.

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    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:33 am

      I’ve never tried a MORA knife although I’ve heard good things about them.

      Reply
  • Spook45 June 8, 2011, 8:55 am

    I prefer a larger knife or a knife with heft. I usea Cold Steel Recon Scout. IT is the closest feel I can find under $200 to a randell. In reality, there is not a knife in this world that has the centered heft and weight that comes with a randell, but I am not waiting 5years or paying 600 dollars for a knife. The BG knife is a fair blade for an amateur or basic camper. But I must agree with your review that it lacks substance and needs more juice. I have the Gerber LMF II, which is very similar in design and it is much more heafty than the BG. I am a knife person, they are everywhere I have so many I cant keep up with them all. I like different knives for different purposes, but for an all around field grade, do everything knife, the CS Recon Scout is my go to blade(until I can swindle or otherwise procure a randell #14:)

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    • Jarhead Survivor June 8, 2011, 10:10 am

      Hey Spook – you ever looked at the SRK? That looks like a pretty nice blade.

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      • Leon June 8, 2011, 8:21 pm

        I’ve used a SRK for 20 years. The knife has been used extensively and hard and never let me down!
        Loved the Bear Grylls knife review. It was a fair and reasonable test.

        Reply
        • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:35 am

          Thanks Leon (and Spook) for your feedback. The SRK looks like a good knife and I might just give it a try one of these days. Spooks blade of choice looks like it might be a tad big for my taste, but I have no doubt it’s a rugged blade.

          Reply
      • Spook45 June 8, 2011, 8:58 pm

        Yea, SRK is a nice blade but it just doesnt have the Rigidity of the Scout Recon. The SR is thick all the way to the point so it never breaks off and the thickness of the blade makes it like a chopping axe, but it still has a sharp refined honed blade. IT just a really good compromise between a field knife and a combat knife.

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  • Odd Questioner June 8, 2011, 10:01 am

    re: ” If he really did half the crazy stuff in a real emergency survival situation that he does on his show he’d be dead inside a week. Not that he doesn’t know his stuff, but the things these shows do for high ratings would get most people killed.”

    …and that is why I prefer watching Les Stroud’s show instead. :)

    Speaking of which, I really do need to get a new knife. I have a positively *ancient* AJ Russell knife (his original shop was up in Springdale, AR, just down the road from my hometown), and it has served me very well over the years… but it was handed down to me, and I really don’t want to continue tearing up a family heirloom of sorts.

    So, I believe I’ll be hitting up Mr. Russell’s store for another. Specifically, this guy: http://www.agrussell.com/rock-creek-oryx-utility-knife/p/CAShhh2510SL/

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 8, 2011, 10:58 am

      That looks like a nice knife too.

      Reply
      • YukonBry June 8, 2011, 2:50 pm

        It looks like a good knife. But then you read close and see ‘Made in China’ at the bottom of that ad.

        The fact is AG Russell was once a good company…Now they just stamp their name on the products of other manufacturers. I’m also just down the road from their old shop, and know from dealing with them that you cannot rely on their products, their honesty, or their warranties. I wouldn’t buy a pair of tweezers from those frauds.

        I’ll understand if this post is deleted as a malicious personal rant. But my intentions are the best. I appreciate the terrific people on this site, and would hate for any of you to have the same bad experiences I have had with that company.

        Yukon

        Reply
        • Odd Questioner June 9, 2011, 12:58 pm

          Yep – noticed the China sourcing when I looked back in later as well.

          You can get originals, but be prepared to shell out $200+ for a good-sized one.

          *sigh*… guess I get to keep searching. :)

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        • Odd Questioner June 9, 2011, 12:59 pm

          PS: No offense taken, at all. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been back home.

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          • YukonBry June 9, 2011, 2:03 pm

            Glad to hear I didn’t rub you the wrong way. I’m an Arkansan myself, and I’m usually very hesitant to speak ill of Arkansas people and companies. But A.G. Russell is ..well…the Bear Grylls poser of the knife industry. Just my opinion. Perhaps others have had better experiences.

            When I was a kid there was a guy in Conway, Arkansas who would make you a knife to your own specs from old sawmill blades and deer antlers. I would love to find him still in business somehwere.

            Best of luck.

  • EZE June 8, 2011, 12:24 pm

    I open & cut alot of boxes at work, so I like a serrated edge for sawing through stuff. I’ve never broken any teeth off. I usually carry a Boker AK74 or S&W S.O.R.T. assisted. The Boker pocket clip goes right up to the edge so the knife is completely inside my pocket. the SORT & others usually stick up out of the pocket 1/2 to 1 inch.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:37 am

      Hi EZE – this knife would probably cut boxes and stuff ok, but I was really whacking it against the branches and I just don’t think a serrated edge can take that kind of abuse. Maybe another knife with better steel could take it, but this one sure couldn’t.

      Reply
  • az1 June 8, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Have a BK #7 and #2….
    price won’t break you and they work !!!

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:38 am

      That’s another thing I like about the Becker line – you won’t go broke using them. My BK2 isn’t a pretty knife by any definition, but it sure as hell will get the job done!

      Reply
  • sput June 8, 2011, 1:32 pm

    For general survival I would probably choose the BKT 7″, brutal and efficient. But that said, I would not feel shorted by some of my others, like a Puma Hunter, Kabars, Cattaragus, and customs by Dan Valois and others. One is none, and two is one, and a big collection makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:39 am

      That’s right Sput. If you have a big collection of a variety of knives you’ll always have a tool for the job.

      Reply
  • Anonymous June 8, 2011, 1:39 pm

    i’ve got multiple glock field knives in various bags and backpacks… i also carry various folders for tasks suited for them – but i keep a glock field knife handy always for if SHTF

    cheap and nearly indestructible… some amazing videos on youtube of them – cutting 2×4’s, concrete blocks etc… watch this multi-part series and see if you would feel confident doing this with your knife.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOOS3qrNKUk

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:41 am

      I watched a couple of the vids and that knife sure took a pounding.

      I’m pretty sure my Becker would stand up to it although the handles would probably break off with the hard pounding. The blade itself would probably do ok though.

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  • Jim H June 8, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Ah knives…

    Sorta like guns, everybody has their favorite.

    I suppose that I would fall into the “ak47 mentality” for field knives. It must get the job done, and put up with a lot of punishment and occasional neglect. I must not be so attached to it that I fear to mar it, or use it, and thereby decrease it’s value.

    I read a few knife forums, and there are some proud pictures of knives by all kinds of people – and invariably the knives appear unused. HOW would you know a knife is worthy, unless you use it? The same pictures are accompanied by glowing comments about how good they are. I sorta look at those the same way I would pretty girl who’s never been kissed – I mean sure they’re pretty, but they might kiss like dead fish.

    Becker knives, as you note without comment, are now manufactured by Kabar. Original Beckers were made by Camillus, who is out of business. Kabar bought the rights to make them. One GLARING exception to their collection is the Becker Brute.

    http://www.amazon.com/Becker-Brute/dp/B000DZDEOG

    You can occasionally find one on Ebay. The reason you dont find them more often, is they’re pretty much loved by all who own them.

    They are just the s**t. A kukri style blade, without the extra curve, a 1/4 inch blade with a flattened spine 1/3 of the way down, so that you can also use them as a splitter.

    I see 500 dollar knives here and there, but for the most part they are ALL water-table cut blanks that have been ground to fit a pattern, heat treated and painted. Very very few, blades are actually made and forged. Sure there’s the “design” but paying for a name is stupid. As Rangerman found out, a name affixed to a survival tool is often put there simple to sell something based on hype or publicity.

    I just bought a Cold Steel San Mai Gurka Kukri. God that knife gives me major wood. Heavy and sharp – it shaved hair off of my arm right out of the box. So I then put it through a couple of 2/4’s (new sappy pine) and was still able to shave hair. It’s tough, wish it weren’t so BIG, but I know it just wont be breaking or losing it’s edge.

    Steels. I was wandering about a sporting goods chain store waiting for my daughter to try on some clothes and wandered by their knife area. Without exception ALL of the knives were one sort of stainless steel or another. Most I would guess were 220 stainless. A very very soft steel that needs constant sharpening to maintain an edge, easily dulled and much weaker than an old western or case knife. I just wont buy a survival knife that’s not made from tool steel (within the 10xx family of steels). Some of the newer composition stainless steels, like the ones used by Cold Steel or Spyderco, are perfect for folders, but wouldn’t stand up to field use in a survival knife – but I always have on in my pocket for things like skinning.

    Another blogger said it best, there is nothing a big knife cannot do that a small knife can. Sure it’s unwieldy to skin with a Becker Brute, but you can do it. You CANT chop a 2 inch branch with your folding pocketknife. You can’t use your 3 inch fixed blade to cut turf for a shelter with the same efficiency as a six inch or longer blade. In survival situations, you end up doing a lot of chopping, and small knives wont stand up to it. I have small knives, but I don’t hike without a large one.

    What do I own? A LOT. I’m partial to TOPS knives, all are solidly made and they’re not as expensive as the “brand name” knives that people THINK are custom. Each one has heft and is tool steel. The only exceptions being their folders, which they admit are chinese manufacture. But they don’t have many folders.

    I do think, however, that Cold Steel’s products are meant to be innovatively useful. I have their spetsnaz shovel, and a few other useful edged things of theirs, they do stand up to abuse. I just got one of their Spartan folders, and MY GOD it’s solid. You can even open it by flicking your wrist, CLOSING it however, takes both hands, the lock is very very strong. The only 1/4 inch thick folder that I respect (so far).

    You’ll never say “gee, this is too much knife” for a job in the wilderness, and you sure as hell NEVER want to say, “wish I had a different one”.

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  • geeknik June 8, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Bear Grylls? Seriously? That guy is the laughing stock of the entire Internet. Now give me something endorsed by Les Stroud, and I’ll be interested. =)

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    • NoMEPreppy June 8, 2011, 10:30 pm

      I think I saw something along those lines.

      Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:43 am

      I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I had never seen this guy’s show although I have heard of him through the grapevine. Some of the stunts he pulls are foolish and it seems to me that putting the idea in people’s heads that that’s the stuff you have to do in order to survive when lost in the wilderness is nearly criminal. Just sayin’…

      Reply
  • ChefBear58 June 8, 2011, 4:54 pm

    I’m with you on the Kabar Jarhead! I love mine and wouldn’t trade it for anything! However, in a survival situation I would likely call on several knives/tools. For example, I keep several different blades in my JEEP at all times, if I were to have to say abandon my vehicle for whatever reason I would have a MAX-AXE, Gerber hatchet/knife combo (knife tucks into the base of the handle, they recently had a recall on them but I have never had a problem), Gerber 3″ folding “skeletonized” knife, Gerber Multi-Tool, (the last 2 are on my person at all times), an OLD Buck rubber-handle skinning knife, a Rapala fillet knife, a few different styles of throwing knives (I have used them for hunting rabbits, squirrels and small birds), my OLD Buck whittlin’ knife and of course a few Swiss Army knives.

    As far as that Bear Grylls jack-ass, didn’t he get caught staying in some plush hotel when he was supposed to be out in the bush filming his show?! I know I saw one where he was in some swamp in the deep south, he pretended to be “noodling”, and if you watch REAL close when he pulls up a catfish near a stump… it has a stringer through it’s mouth! I have no use for somebody who wants to just “show-boat”, and make a complete mockery out of an issue that some of us actually take seriously! I am not surprised a knife bearing his name didn’t hold up to a single heavy use!

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    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:45 am

      Hi Chefbear – you know, I looked that up and there’s a video on Youtube where Letterman interviews him and puts him through the wringer, and yes, he admits a lot of his stuff is staged. Not what I would consider real survivalism at all.

      Reply
  • Prepared N.D. June 8, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Timely article. I just talked my wife into buying me a BK2 for father’s day yesterday. I feel even better about my choice now. I read a bunch of good reviews on it, but this review comes from a much more trustworthy source.

    @Chef, is the rubber handle on your Buck orange? That’s the one I have. I have no clue what model it is, my dad gave it to me. He used it hunting and used it every day at work – I can still shave my arm with it. Damn good knife. If I had to guess, it’s at least 20 years old.

    Reply
    • ChefBear58 June 9, 2011, 3:48 am

      Mine has a black handle, and a curved blade. It looks kinda like a scimitar, it is extremely efficient at skinning, but is also great for cutting meat (I LOVE this knife for game-processing, I can get every last scrap of meat off the bones of a deer!) and gutting. It also works well for cleaning fish, I have used it for filleting, and the only drawback is that the blade is a little thick for getting perfect fillets, but it does get them pretty close (not quite as good as the one I carry in my professional knife kit, but it’s a great field knife).

      My father gave it to me when I was about 9-10, when I earned my “Totin’ Chip” in Boy Scouts. I received that knife, a US Military issue Vietnam-era machete and a hatchet that his father gave him for being inducted into the “Order of the Arrow”. I won’t go hunting without it! If anybody can find one, I am pretty sure they don’t make it anymore, it is an excellent choice for a sheath knife!

      Reply
      • Spook45 June 9, 2011, 2:32 pm

        My favorite meat processor is a cheap ass winchester(Gerber) with a gut hook on it. Ive skinned as much as 3 deer without having to stop and sharpin it! ITs a cheapo but it has good steel and it holds an edge. The gut hook is a god send when you are actually gutting a deer. Just start a lil hole in the skin and hook it in and unzip that bad boy like a zipper! Clean and smooth and never busts guts! I LUV IT!

        Reply
        • ChefBear58 June 12, 2011, 12:15 am

          I also have a Winchester skinning/gutting knife, which I received for Christmas about 5-6 years ago. Mine has a gut-hook, about a 3.5-4″ blade with a wooden handle and full-tang. It works great for anything I have used it for so far, and it’s CHEAP (price, not quality). I saw one not long after I received mine, at wal-mart for like $14 with a sheath and a sharpening stone. As you mentioned Spook, it holds an edge VERY well, it’s pretty light-weight, and feels pretty good in my hand even though it has a bit smaller handle than what I would typically like. I particularly like it for small-game, but it does work for big-game.

          My favorite knife for gutting/skinning big-game, is a Gerber EZ-Skinner ( http://www.gerber-tools.com/Gerber-E-Z-Skinner-22-48398.htm ). This thing is PERFECT for field dressing, and can skin even the toughest of beasts with ease! I liked it so much that I bought one for my girl, my cousins (5), my huntin’ buddies (4), my dad, my brother, a couple of my Uncles (3), and got one of them for one of my favorite teachers at school. They all love ’em too! A few of them were skeptical, but after some prodding from me to try them in the field, they were quickly sold! I have to admit, it is a VERY specialized knife, and therefore doesn’t really do much other than it’s intended task very well. However, with how well it does it’s intended task, it will ALWAYS have a place in my kit!

          Did I mention that with the way the EZ-Skinner is designed (the way the handle rests in your hand), it makes it so you can use it for literally hours on-end without getting tired?! The most I have used mine was while at “deer camp” a few years back, all of us who went got a deer by the second day, my friends grandfather actually shot 2. I had just recently got my EZ-Skinner and wanted to “put it through its paces” so I volunteered to skin deer until I got tired. We had 12 deer hanging in the shack (some of them were almost frozen because they had been shot the day before), and I skinned all 12 of them in about 1.5hrs! My hands, arms never got tired, stiff or sore (aside from holding them above my head for to long), the knife felt like a VERY sharp extension of my hand. I don’t back a knife lightly, I am VERY picky about my knives (which shows in the $1k professional kit that I carry with me almost everywhere), and expect quite a bit from them, but the $15 Gerber EZ-Skinner has my endorsement hands-down!

          As far as “processing”/butchering game/meat… NOTHING beats my professional kit. It’s made by a smaller company called Ergo-Chef, their knives are (at least in my opinion) MUCH more comfortable than the much more expensive Wustoff, Henkle, or even Global options that some Chefs prefer. My favorite thing about these knives, aside for the fact that they hold an edge better than any other professional knives I have used, is the fact that the handles are designed to fit the curvature of your hand and accommodate my slightly-odd/off-set grip. I can cut all day long with my 12″ Chef/French knife and not get the cramps/spasms in my hand that other knives cause. Here is what I have in my professional kit from Ergo-Chef – 12″ Chef, 10″ Chef, 7″ boning knife, 7″ flexible fillet, 3″ paring, 5” “Knuckle Sandwich” Utility knife, 12″ carving, 14″ off-set bread knife, 2.5″ Tournet knife (AKA “Birds-beak”/”Sheep’s-Foot” paring knife), 7″ Santuku, 6″ utility knife, 14″ Diamond-Steel (honing tool/”sharpener”)… All of those are Ergo-Chef, but I also carry- 6″ Henkle Cleaver, 7″ Global Santuku, 10″ Global Sashimi knife, 2.5″ Henkle tournet knife, and a pair of no-name 14″ Chinese Cleavers… I keep them in an Ergo-Chef knife kit, and like I said carry them almost everywhere (you’d be surprised how often I get asked to cook wherever I go!). This massive kit is not for everyone (especially if you aren’t a Chef), but having a couple VERY high-quality knives can do the job of many cheaper knives and last MUCH longer (when I eventually have kids they will likely inherit these knives!)

          Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:47 am

      Prepared – I hope you enjoy your knife as much as I do. When you pick it up and use it for awhile, then go to a lighter knife you’ll think, “Whoa! I’d better be careful with this one ’cause it’s not as tough as my Becker.”

      Reply
      • Prepared N.D. June 9, 2011, 10:09 am

        Speaking of Bear Grylls. His advice will probably get most people killed and ALL of the survival shows are staged to an extent. If something dramatic didn’t happen, nobody would watch.

        I still like to watch because 1) it’s fairly entertaining, and 2) he does ridiculous stuff that I would never think of. After seeing it done a time or two, I at least have the idea to work with and may be able to find a safer way to do the same thing. One instance that pops into mind is he used two poles to climb down a 50 foot well to dig for water in the desert. I would have never thought of using poles to climb down a tight space. That at least throws a new last ditch, life or death option in my mind to work with.

        Les Stroud is a pretty sharp guy. He seems to study quite a bit beforehand and is usually more knowledgeable about the local plants. He also plays it safe and mitigates his risks like you would do in a real life situation.

        Dual Survival is my favorite so far. Dave reminds me of a mix between Bear and Les, but Cody is even more conservative than Les and tends to think in terms of extreme efficiency when dealing with only primitive methods. I’ve learned a pretty good bit from Cody – his shelters and friction fire abilities are awesome.

        So I think you get the most benefit if you watch all three shows. You get knowledge from the entire risk spectrum and multiple trainer backgrounds.

        Reply
  • NoMEPreppy June 8, 2011, 10:35 pm

    Idont watch Bear anymore. I do like some of the other shows that have been on Discovery. Ascot a knife, when I’m in the woods, in addition to a pocket knife and a multitool, I’m usually carrying a forgecraft kitchen knife. Solid, thick carbon steel. Takes and keeps an edge AND it’s versatile. Made a sheath for it. Carry it on my belt. I usually also keep a small ax and shovel, as well as a couple other knives in the jeep “in case.”

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:49 am

      I saw a show on Youtube called Dual Survival with Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. Both of these guys have their own survival schools and it seems much more “realistic” than some of the others I’ve seen. (I’ve never seen Les Stroud so I can’t speak to that.)

      In one of the episodes Cody doesn’t get the fire lit. I doubt if they’d ever show that in another program, so I liked the fact that they show failures as well as wins in that series. Check it out and let me know what you think.

      Reply
      • irishdutchuncle June 9, 2011, 9:59 am

        i saw a little of the show, last week. they did some stupid stuff that reminded me of Bear Grylls. (they were climbing with vines, or something) we need less of that. (and Cody needs to get himself some shoes… )

        in reality t.v. a “failure” usually means a couple days in the hospital, at worst. if we put ourselves into a similar situation, someone finds our decomposing remains, the following spring. (if ever)

        Reply
      • PrimalCane June 9, 2011, 1:59 pm

        I’m definitely happy they brought Dual Survivor in to balance out Bear’s antics. When the show first came on I thought Canterbury was going to be my guy, but Cody has won me over. I would love to see one (ore more) of his books reviewed on the sight. His philosophy is pretty basic and centers around body temperature. everything you do is to maintain 98.6° – breathing, shelter, water, and food all revolve around your core temperature.

        The barefoot thing is partial hippie philosophy, but has its roots in solid logic. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the idea that shoes – especially ones with thick soles (think sketchers tone-ups)- aren’t the best thing for your ligaments and muscles, specifically the ones in your foot. While I’m not going to walk around barefoot, I got a cheap pair of canoe shoes that are basically rubber socks and liked being a little more in tune with my feet. My hiking shoes are Merrell and I LOVE the way they fit, and it just so happens they have a new line of “Barefoot” shoes that I am eying. Maybe a Fathers Day gift list in the making.

        Oh and as far as knives go I’m looking at the RAT 3 with the Micarta handle, heard the handle on the BK2 was the weak link… any truth to that?

        ~PrimalCane

        Reply
        • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 2:17 pm

          Being prior military myself I can put myself in Dave’s place no problem and I get a kick out of how he gets mad at Cody for going bare foot all the time; however, when I’m home I rarely wear shoes myself, so I can somewhat understand where Cody is coming from. Although in the winter I will put on a warm pair of boots!

          I know that these shows are mostly for entertainment and take it as such. Like Prepared ND says above, you can take out of these various shows what you need and just enjoy the rest.

          Maybe I’ll do a post about these survival shows and get some of your opinions as well. Guess that means I’ll have to watch this Stroud guy in addition to Grylls. Honestly, I watched about thirty minutes of Grylls and thought, “Man, what a hammer head!” There were several shows put together and in one scene he jumps into freezing cold water in the ice wearing nothing but a bathing suit! I can’t remember what point he was trying to make, but it was a crazy thing to do. I used to dive in the Atlantic Ocean right through the winter and I KNOW how cold that water gets.

          From what others have said Les Stroud is worth watching, so I hope to enjoy his shows.

          Reply
          • PrimalCane June 9, 2011, 2:28 pm

            Les is better than Bear, he is more a “sit and survive” guy, whereas Bear is a ” since we are here lets go cliff diving” guy. It’s the difference between “Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom”, and say… “Fear Factors” wild kingdom. One has way more fluff.

            There was another survival show about a married couple that was funny to watch too. I don’t think I learned a thing from it except maybe how to deal with your wife in a survival situation when she is hungry, dehydrated and cranky. I take that back, I learned one of the best lessons ever. They also had a few failures and had to get airlifted out, so I don’t know if they’ll be back.

          • ChefBear58 June 11, 2011, 11:23 pm

            I think you will find Les Stroud MUCH easier to watch than Grylls. He actually goes to a similar location to where he will be shooting a decent time in advance, where he seeks out local guides to teach him the “finer points” of survival in the particular area he is focusing on. For example, he did a show in the Kalahari Desert where he went in and sought out local villages, hunters and guides. They taught him how to set “traps” for scorpions, hunt little birds that make some huge nests in the few trees around the desert, and avoid cobras. He also gives credit where it is due, if he learned something from them that he shows you how to do in his show, he tells you that he learned it from them and then goes into how to do what needs to be done. I find him to be MUCH more “level-headed”, conservative (as mentioned by others) and resourceful. I also REALLY like that he shows you some basic “bush-medicine” in his show. When I lived in Panama, I would go out on camping trips/hikes with my Bot Scout troop regularly. I learned REAL fast down there that the moist environment of a jungle will literally rot the skin right off of your body (especially your feet). I learned from a US Army Ranger that you can use a chunk of a termite nest, tossed onto smoldering coals, to “smoke” fungus/jungle-rot off of your skin (it supposedly works because of the high concentration of urea in the nest, yes that is basically termite urine/excrement). It was interesting seeing him use this little trick to treat the jungle-rot that was destroying his feet, and again to me it was even more interesting that he gave credit to a local guide who told him that this would provide effective first-aid. I also particularly enjoy the fact that he focuses on morale in a survival situation. He carries a harmonica with him in all of his shows, and notes that the “boost” he gets from something so simple, yet familiar to himm really helps his will to survive (there was an episode where he was “stranded” on an island and used his trusty harmonica to make a spear for fishing that was freakin’ awesome too!). He also throws in a healthy dose of humor into his show, and doesn’t seem to take himself to seriously, which is nice because some of the survival-show folks can come off as pretentious (Grylls) in my opinion.

  • Granite Prepper June 9, 2011, 12:00 am

    Fehrman “Last Chance” for day-to-day with a custom made sheath from Armor All Leather and an ESEE Junglas for backpacking/showshoeing……found battoning wood with the junglas better than a hatchet!!

    Reply
  • Jarhead Survivor June 9, 2011, 8:49 am

    THat ESEE Junglas looks like a beast!

    Reply
  • Atom June 9, 2011, 3:00 pm

    Busse Combat Grade Anniversary Steel Heart 1. Compared to this knife everything else looks frail and dull, by a lot. Goes nicely with a Busse SAR-3 or a Blind Horse Maverick Colt. I also think my Busse Fat Game Warden makes an excellent survival knife in a much smaller package. You cannot beat INFI, especially in a survival situation.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 11, 2011, 10:26 pm

      I checked out the web site and those models aren’t listed right now, but the other knives there are all in the $400 neighborhood. I have no doubt they’re good knives, but I’d be afraid to take them out in the woods for fear of losing it or breaking it!

      Reply
  • RUGGEDFOX June 10, 2011, 6:00 pm

    I like the U.S. AIR FORCE/U.S. ARMY Survival knife the best and it is what I have carried since the military and still have today 20 years later. It has the best edge of any of my knives and can do anything. I do also have the bear grylls knife, ka-bar, Gerber LMF, and a couple more.
    The Military Knives seem to be the best and I won’t spend big bucks on a knife I might lose as I lose stuff regularly. The AIR FORCE/ARMY pilots survival knife can be picked up for 35-50 dollars just beware of the imitations and make sure you get an original G.I. issue. Keep up the great work and I look forward to more posts.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor June 11, 2011, 10:27 pm

      I’ve heard good things about the Air Force survival knife, although I’ve never held one in my hand. That’s more my price range!

      Reply
  • T.R June 23, 2011, 9:07 pm

    I’m sorry , but I have a real problem with that guy . If anybody tried half the things he shows as survival , they would get killed or at the very least , seriously injured . He obviously knows what he is doing but its not practical for anybody who isn’t a Green Beret . I find Dual Survival a better show as well as practical , those two guys think so differently that it adds an element of interest to the show that most of us may run into if we are with another person . Cool thing is , they both know what they are doing , but their approach is totally different . Thumbs down on Barnum & Baily Grylls knife , it may be an ok product but if it has his name on it …..i’ll pass . Give me an old fashion USMC Ka- Bar ;)

    Reply
  • hermes Garden July 27, 2011, 6:22 am

    Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can take away me from that service? Thanks!

    Reply
  • SSG11B3PCIB June 9, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I have numerous knives that I carry in numerous ways, but my BOB has a USAF Survival knife that was carried in Desert Storm and I carried in 2 tours of Iraqi Freedom.

    Reply
  • Jordan August 4, 2019, 12:44 pm

    I know this review of the BG Ulitimate knife is from 2011, but I think you may have inadvertantly reviewed a Chinese Fake knife from Amazon. Looking at the pictures you took of the blade and sheath, it appears that your knife you tested was a fake BG knife. The lettering font on the knife isn’t correct and there are some little inconsistencies from the true original Gerber Knife. I’ll copy and paste the link. Gerber’s website also has some photos of fake knives that consumers may refer to as well.

    https://www.thecounterfeitreport.com/product/396/Bear-Grylls-Ultimate-Knives.html

    Perhaps a revised review of the true BG knife may be in order!

    Reply

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