A New Knife for Christmas Review.

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A New Knife for Christmas Review.

Post by CanisKil » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:37 pm

This Christmas Eve I received possibly the most hated knife in the Survival/Bushcraft world. Now, I have to admit, I was excited when I gently shook the carefully wrapped box and felt the weight in my eager hands. I knew, I just knew, it was a brand new knife! My wife, a few days before, had let it slip that my Father-in-Law was going to pass to me his Father’s custom knife. A knife he had specially made, one of a set of two that both he and his father owned. It was a point of pride to my Grandfather-in-Law and he loved the knife. You see, my Grandfather-in-Law and I had a special bond, and I loved that man. He was a Veteran of both WWII and Korea, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman in his youth. But I digress.

I tore off the pretty wrapping paper and opened the plain box. You know the box I’m talking about, the plain white box that you get a new shirt in. It was a bittersweet moment when I saw what the box held. Encased in a shiny clamshell plastic cover was not what I expected, but instead, the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife looked back at me. It is hard to describe the initial emotions as I looked down at my present. The twelve year old in me was giddy with excitement while the seasoned woodsman was a bit chagrined. A Bear Grylls knife?

Yes. A Bear Grylls knife. The Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife.

I’d heard the horror stories. Read the reviews. Even watched a few YouTube videos. It is on my personal Do-Not-Buy list. Actually, Gerber, in general, is on that list. That is a story for another time.

My Father-in-Law was excited to give me this knife. Even has a story about his acquisition of the Legendary blade. I dutifully handed over my silver coin and thanked him profusely. That done, I went back to free the Ultimate knife from its plastic prison. Spyderco Endura in hand, I did just that.
First the orange and gray BG inlaid handled, half serrated drop point blade. Then the black nylon and gray plastic sheath. Next I freed the Ferro rod, and finally the How To Survive leaflet.

Please pardon this tangent, but I feel I must:

I do not hate Bear Grylls. I do not hate his shows. Do keep in mind that I’m not a Fanboy, either. However, there is something amusing, fascinating, and just plain ol’ entertaining watching a grown man drink his own urine or squeeze liquid out of a piece of elephant dung so he can drink that as well. We’ve all seen Bear drink, eat, and do some pretty disgusting things. Those of us who know better would never do some of the things he demonstrates as survival tactics. At least, I hope so. I mean, I don’t personally know anyone who would bite the head off a Bullfrog to kill it when they have a perfectly good knife hanging on their belt. Do you?
Ok. Back on point.

The knife has been around long enough that I feel I do not need to get into its spec’s. But for the sake of this review:

• Open length: 10.0"
• Blade Length: 4.8"
• Weight: (with sheath): 14.7oz.
• Weight (no sheath): 11.2oz.
• Steel: High Carbon Stainless 9cr19mov
• Sheath: Plastic backed Nylon

Good Enough.

Holding it in my hand for the first time, I gotta admit, felt good. Nice heft. Comfortable grip. Balance point about 1 & 3/8ths inches behind the hilt. Even shaved hair off my arm straight from the factory in China. The serrated portion, I mean half of the blade, is aggressive. Pointy and sharp. The diamond sharpener is what we may have all come to expect from mass produced knives; too coarse to do anything but damage the edge. The Ferro rod is of a smaller diameter than what many of us carry and seems to have a high magnesium content. To me, that makes it soft and won’t last for long under continuous use. Whistle is loud, but originally attached to the lanyard hole in the pommel. The sheath. What can I say about the sheath? Cheap? Yes. Durable? No. The nylon backing began to split apart after the third day of ownership. Ok, that’s it on first and a half impressions.

I don’t know about you, but when I get a new knife, especially a fixed blade, I tend to fondle it for a few days. It’s been sitting with me on my desk all week. I’ve been handling it as I work, talking to clients, making other calls, and whatever else that doesn’t require both hands. Twisting and turning it. Examining it. Getting used to it. And in doing so have become fairly familiar with it.

I admit, I’ve only actually used it once. Cardboard. Lots of cardboard. I’m not talking gift box cardboard, I’m talking that heavy duty furniture shipping cardboard. I know, you’re thinking; So what? Its only cardboard. Right? ¼ inch corrugated after being broken down in a stack 3ft high. That will dull any blade, I don’t care what kind of steel the blade is.

It did the task. Did it dull the blade? You betcha, but only the straight edge. The serrated half held up quite nicely. No breaking or chipping.

Yes, I did start a fire with the ferro rod. It’s a ferro rod, kinda hard to screw that up. Why the waterproof seal is beyond me, aren’t ferro rods waterproof by themselves?

No, I did not and will not use the attached diamond sharpener. Maybe on an old axe blade after chopping down about a dozen Osage Orange trees…maybe.

Would I throw the knife? Um, no. Its only ¾ tang and the pommel is embedded in hard plastic and if you miss or it hits the target pommel first it’ll most likely break. Why would you throw your knife in a survival situation anyway? I’ve broken many full tang knives made specifically to throw with misses. So, no, no throwing the BGUSK.

Would I use the pommel as a hammer? Again, no. Embedded in plastic. It would be simply stupid to do so and would break the handle. I have to ask you, dear reader, would you use your favorite knife to smash rocks or beat it against a 2ft diameter log as hard as you can?

I really have a hard time believing that so many people out there use their knives to drive tent stakes into the ground. Really? There’s no other improvised tool in the woods that you can use other than your knife’s pommel? Hmm….surrounded by all these big sticks, I’ve batoned wood for my fire, I still have the baton, but I’m gonna use my knife to beat a tent stake into the ground. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but on that I’ll call you a Dumbass to your face.

Would I use it to baton wood? Yes. If I can use my Mora Bushcraft to baton, why not ol’ Bear’s knife? Both are ¾ tang. I don’t see or hear anyone complaining about batoning with the Mora.

The whistle with lanyard. I bet if I yank real hard I could pull the lanyard loose from the whistle, probably not even all that hard. Best to reattach it to the ferro rod and loop it up in the Velcro strap that holds the plastic scabbard in place.

If I had only one thing I got to change on this set up it would be the nylon sheath. Of everything included, it’s the worst. I mean the worst! Two pieces of thin plastic backed nylon sewn together with regular thread. Really? Mine has come apart in three places already, in less than a week with minimal use. Gorilla glue has been my friend in repairing it.

So, to end this eye-bleeder, I have to say overall I like this knife. I like it the same way I like Pokemon Go. Or mopeds. Or the Fresh and Fruit Rooty-Tooty at Denny’s. Or silk undies. I would have a hard time carrying this knife outdoors where people would see me. Especially serious outdoorsmen. Or even any other adults. We’ll call it a guilty pleasure and leave it at that. OK? Ok.

First choice? No. Second? No. Maybe 11th or 12th, maybe.

This knife is marketed to the un-knowledgeable. The armchair survivalist whose only experience in the bush is through their Television sets or the day they were born. I think a lot of people in our community forget that. We already have the skill set to make it back alive, most of them don’t. We have our Kabars, Bokers, ESEEs, Condors, Spydercos, Moras, and all the other high-end or semi high-end knives.

They don’t know any better. Did you the first time you saw that hollow handled knife with the ball compass in the pommel?

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you giggled a little bit throughout this bit.

For now, my inner 12 yr old is gonna go play with my new beater knife and try not to break it.

OH! Almost forgot. Here’s a video that I think fits the bill that tested this knife beyond the limits or pretty much any knife out there. How would your brand o’ blade perform?

What is Time to a Wolf?

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Re: A New Knife for Christmas Review.

Post by BigJesse » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:09 pm

I've known a few people with that same knife. I've really only heard good things about it. Not a bad knife to start with at all.
I heard there was a second rendition after version 1 had some major critical flaws.

Awesome review. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: A New Knife for Christmas Review.

Post by Bill » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:32 am

I had one of the originals, the 1st runs that had some of the major issues. It worked ok, I did not like the half a blade of serrations and they did not hold up. I have the second run of the knife the one with a straight edge and it is a much better knife, it lives in my truck tool box. It works fairly well and is going to become my son's heavy knife for scouts, the horribly loud colors on it make it great for him to find when he sets it down somewhere around camp. I also have the 3rd run of the knife, the Ultimate Pro and with the 3rd one they got it right, i mean it is a major upgrade, better steel, better sheath and a real workhorse knife, also full tang instead of 3/4. For a factory knife at around 50 bucks it is a great blade, they also changed the blade geometry somewhat. I use it regularly, as with any major production knife marketed for the masses it will not be a good as a custom knife but for the general masses or people on a limited budge its great. I am not a fanboy but I have several of the BG line of products Gerber made and many of the 2nd and 3rd run products are great, especially for the price point, many of them I got bundled from walmart.com at 1/2 of the list price and they have served their purpose for me well. I need to go back and do video reviews on all of the products. But that of course requires time.
"Well, crap I left it in the other pack." Words of a bushcraft gear junkie.


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Re: A New Knife for Christmas Review.

Post by NeckRed Gringo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:23 am

To be honest the only bear grylls merchandise i have had was the ferro rod and it wasnt half bad. Ive watched all of the serier from the Grylls and find it entertaining.Every outdoorsman that does a 3rd the things we do in the bush would know better then trying to climb and swing from everything if the chips were truely down. The knifes are just Gerber trying to bank off a TV show, and cant blame them for trying to make some coin. The first knife I ever used doing bushcraft and camping chores was the Mora I still carry to this day. I have bought some terrible things since but with time comes broken knives. All in all I think if the only thing you had was that, it would be a hell of alot better than a sharp rock. Thanks for sharing

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