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. Since then, I have written a buyer’s guide of camping knife reviews, make sure you check it out.
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 high expectations and standards to meet.
It 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 Build Quality is Top Notch
The knife’s carbon stainless steel blade is 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 hand, making deft and precision cuts when necessary.
The handle’s base 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 this is a knife that can stand up to plenty of punishment.
Lightweight and Well Balanced
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 various 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.
My Thoughts on the Ultimate Knife
Overall, I feel the Gerber has done a great job creating a versatile and useful knife for hiking, backpacking, or climbing. It is comfortable in 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 several reviews online complaining about this knife’s quality 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 upgraded.
However, just in case, Gerber provides a lifetime guarantee that will replace your knife if you ever run into any problems.
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