OK, I’ll admit it… the Bear Grylls knives from Gerber are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. In general I’m not a fan of Gerber knives but I really like the Bear Grylls’ knives. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about them that I like. I just find them very appealing for some reason. I recently bought (won) a Bear Grylls Grandfather Knife in an eBay auction. In this article, I’m going to do a review of this very interesting little knife.
As the name implies, this pattern is designed after a knife that Bear’s grandfather carried during World War II. He passed the knife onto his son (Bear’s father), who eventually passed it along to Bear. I have never seen a knife of this exact design before. I would classify this style of knife as being similar to a camp knife or a Boy Scout knife. But the layout of the blade and tools is different from what I’m used to. It has a very unusual looking blade. I suppose it’s a clip point blade, but it has virtually no belly in it, which results in a very acute point.
According to BladeHQ.com, the blade steel used in this knife is 5Cr15Mov. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about all of the different blade steels, but in the interest of trying to provide a complete review I’m trying to provide as much information as possible. The little bit of research I did on this steel indicated that it doesn’t hold an edge particularly well, but is easy to sharpen, and I can confirm that as being the case with this knife.
In addition to the blade, this knife has nice compliment of useful tools:
- – Flathead screwdriver / bottle opener combo
- – Phillips head screwdriver / small nail file combo
- – Corkscrew
- – Lanyard ring
I’ve read a few reviews of this knife online that criticized the corkscrew. It seems a lot of people would prefer a can opener instead of a corkscrew. I disagree. I definitely prefer the corkscrew over the can opener. I very seldom, if ever, need a can opener when I’m away from my kitchen. I suppose the few times I’ve gone “car camping” I probably used a can opener, but far more frequent is the number of times I bring along a bottle of wine when my wife and I go on a picnic, or a day hike, or paddle out to an island, or go on a getaway weekend and stay in a hotel or a bed-and-breakfast. I have a much more frequent need for a corkscrew than a can opener. And I’ll be honest, if I’m out in the middle of nowhere and I’ve got a can of pork-and-beans and bottle of Merlot, and I only have one kind of opener… I want the corkscrew. 🙂
The handles have some kind of rubberized material molded over them, and I really like it. It makes for a very secure grip. Bear’s initials are embossed in a little plate on one side. The bolsters appear to be made of brass, and I think they look pretty nice. There’s a nice contrast of colors between the blade and the handle grips and the bolsters.
The lanyard ring is my least favorite feature of this knife. It just looks out of place. One of the things I like about this knife is it’s heft. It has a nice, sturdy feel in the hand. And then it’s got this little whimpy-looking lanyard attachment. It really detracts from the appearance in my opinion. I would much rather have a bail-type lanyard ring on this knife. Update: In an attempt to improve the appearance, I made a lanyard for this knife out of paracord. Click here to see a video showing how I made the lanyard.
Fit and Finish
The fit and finish of this knife is not perfect, but I don’t get overly concerned about those details on a knife in this price range, as long as the knife functions well. It’s not a piece of art, it’s a tool. The springs protude a little above the liners, and machine marks are visible on the springs. Likewise, on the pins through the bolsters you can still see the marks where they were cut off. It doesn’t look there was any attempt to file and polish them smooth. But to tell you the truth, I like the way the pins look.
- – Blade length = 2.7″
- – Closed length = 3.75″ long
- – Overall length when blade is opened = 6.5″
- – Weight = 3.5 ounces
- – Blade steel: 5Cr15Mov
- – Fine edge blade
- – Flathead screwdriver
- – Phillips head screwdriver
- – Bottle opener
- – Small nail file
- – Corkscrew
- – Lanyard ring
In all honesty, I really like this knife. I’ve been carrying this knife pretty much everyday for about 2 months now and I have not been disappointed. It’s a great everyday carry knife and would make a great camping knife. As I’ve already admitted, the Bear Grylls knives have been a guilty pleasure of mine, and this knife continues that trend. I’m a big fan of pocket knives, and a big fan of slip joints, and this one is just another interesting entry into that category of knives. I have to admit when I first saw a picture of this knife online I was not impressed. I thought it looked a little goofy. But it grew on me, and after I actually got this one in my hand, I became a real fan. There’s just something about the way it feels and the way it performs that makes me appreciate the way it looks. That probably sounds kind of strange, but that’s the only way I can think to describe it.
Unfortunately I believe that Gerber only did a limited production run for this knife. I don’t think they are being made any more. I don’t know that for a fact, but I believe it to be the case. So they’re a little hard to find. On the Gerber website the knife is listed as “currently out of stock”. I checked a few other sites and it was listed as either “out of stock” or “discontinued”. I did find a few sites that still have it, but I don’t know how long that will last.
The best option for finding this knife may be eBay. That’s where I got mine from. I won an auction for my Bear Grylls Grandfather Knife for $21.50 and then I paid $3 for shipping. So I got this for less than $25. Not too bad. And that’s a good price point for this knife. The price on Gerber’s website is $32. So you’d expect to be able to get it for less than that at some retailers. For $20 it’s a damn good knife. For $25 it’s a pretty good knife. I’m not sure I’d want to pay much more than that. Now all that being said, these knives are getting scarce, so their price will most likely go up and you’ll need to decide how much your willing to pay. I just checked eBay and there were two of these knives listed. One was an auction, current bid was $29.99. The other was a Buy It Now, listed at $49.11 plus $12.75 shipping, which is a crazy price… way too high, especially the cost for shipping. I buy a lot on eBay and I refuse to buy from anyone that tries to gouge me with shipping costs.
I also created a video review of this knife on my YouTube channel, check it out below.
So what are your impressions of this knife? Do you have any types of gear that you consider a guilty pleasure? Leave me a comment below and let me know!