No outdoor adventure toolkit is complete without a few key tools. A compass, first-aid kit, some paracord, and of course, at least one survival knife. Your knife needs to be durable, practical, and ready for heavy use if you’re going to stake your life on it. I know that when it comes to something as important as this, I trust the endorsement of a veteran outdoorsman like Bear Grylls.
What Knife Does Bear Grylls Use?
When Bear Grylls goes on a new journey through uncharted territory, he always has faith in his set of Gerber knives. Bear teamed up with Gerber to make an incredible line of knives and other outdoor kit years ago and it looks like the line has been discontinued. I’ve added some below that are still available, but you’ll definitely need to check eBay for some of the more rare items that you can no longer find.
I’ve selected four of the best to highlight for my fellow Gryllers in this Bear Grylls Gerber knife review so you know which suits your needs best. My four favorites are the Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife, Serrated Edge, the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade – Black/Orange, One Size, and the Gerber Folding Knife, Serrated, Drop Point.
Calling the Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade ‘ultimate’ isn’t just suitable, it seems like a bit of an understatement. While it’s not quite an all-in-one solution, it comes quite close. It packs a flint, a hammer attachment, a built-in sharpener, and of course, an excellent knife. To round out the package, you also get Bear Grylls’ Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide.
Since the knife doesn’t fold, the scabbard is a welcome addition that leaves it safe and secure in your backpack or hanging from your belt. The flint of this knife is attached to the scabbard, and you can replace it there when you’re not using it. It’s a bit cumbersome and difficult to remove, but the tradeoff is that it’s extremely unlikely to ever fall out while you’re roughing it across the wilderness. It has the same excellent, ergonomic rubber grip as the other Gerber Bear Grylls knives, and one of the best blades of them all.
While the blade has the same high-carbon stainless steel material, it’s longer and thicker than the short folding knives. This gives you a bit of extra leverage in comparison, and the serrated portion in particular benefits from the extra size. I found this blade to offer the best, most well-rounded cutting performance.
There used to be an amazing serrated blade version of the Ultimate Knife, but the only chance of finding that now is on eBay.
This knife has the same excellent materials, comfortable grip, and high-quality design as the others, but in a larger package. Choosing between the Ultimate Fixed Blade or one of the folding knives should come down to your practical needs. Personally, I carry this knife as my workhorse and I turn to first for any job. I’ll take one of the folding knives as a backup, and I’ll bring the Parang if I expect I’ll need to use it.
With over 70 years in the knife-making industry, Gerber’s industrial expertise and Bear’s outdoor experience are the perfect combination. This is the first Bear Gryll’s knife that I tried out, and it has a lot going for it. It comes with a military-grade, mildew-resistant nylon sheath that fits easily on a belt loop or in a backpack. You can carry horizontally or vertically, and it’s both lightweight and space-efficient thanks to the folding design.
The dual-sided thumb stud allows you to quickly flick the knife open one-handed, whether you use a right or left-handed grip. The grip itself is comfortable and well-balanced. An ergonomic grip made of textured rubber fits well into your hand, as well as helping to cut down on any slippage. When I hold this knife, I can feel that it’s balanced right around the forefinger as it should be.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to go on a trek with a knife that has amazing features and a poor blade. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that because this knife has an excellent blade. With a blade made from carbon-rich stainless steel, it’ll do a good job of maintaining a sharp cutting edge. You’ll still want to bring a sharpening tool along just in case, though; better safe than sorry. The half-serrated, half-flat, 3.6-inch long knife blade leaves you with a lot of utility. At roughly 1.5 inches long, the serrated portion performs well when I need to do any pushing cuts with it. Cutting rope, paracord, preparing game that I’ve caught, this knife is well-suited to all the tasks I’ve put it through.
The Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife, Serrated Edge is packed with innovative features and at a more basic level, it’s just an excellent knife. Having such a tough, reliable locking mechanism is a big plus, and I’ve never had to fiddle with the thumb stud release the way I have with some other knives. Coming with a complimentary sheath designed specifically for this knife is also a big plus that saves time searching for a suitable sheath separately, not to mention that the sheath itself is high quality.
While the knife is small and easy to carry with me thanks to the folding design, it also packs a lot of functionality with the combination serrated edge and flat edge. Being as small and versatile as it is, I like to bring this knife with me as a backup and second choice after a larger survival knife. That said, you can usually leave the other knives at home as this model is versatile and reliable enough to do everything you’re likely to need from it.
A Parang is a historic weapon with deep roots in the jungles of the Indonesian Malay Peninsula. Suitably, it can cut through any deep roots or thick vines you find blocking your path on a trek through the wilderness. Local tribes have held their faith in the ability of this curved blade-style machete to help them cut their way through the thickest jungle.
For their partnership with Bear Grylls, Gerber combined this time-tested Indonesian tool with cutting edge modern technology. More specifically, the cutting edge of the steel blade is rich in carbon and extremely tough as a result. Between high corrosion resistance and easy sharpening, the composition of this knife is perfect for heavy-duty work in thick jungles and forests.
Slashing through vines and tangled undergrowth puts a lot of stress on the hands and knives of any prospective adventurers. However, the tough, ergonomic design of the handle makes sure your hands won’t be too sore in the morning. A textured, rubber grip, a good weight balance, and a lanyard cord make it quite easy to keep a grip on while you’re swinging through the thicket. The handle feels comfortable and weighty in your grip, and you get the feeling it will stand up to the job you’re getting it for. Durable, full tang construction makes sure that the handle will endure heavy use and prevent the blade from growing loose from the hilt.
This is quite a specialized knife. Compared to shorter knives, a parang isn’t quite as versatile or flexible and takes up more space. That said, the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete does one thing and does it fantastically. If you intend to go hiking off the trails or plan to explore a particularly exotic stretch of wilderness, it’s indispensable. If you live in the woods and the overgrowth is starting to creep towards your property, this is a perfect choice to hack it down. If you’re looking to cut through tall grass, shrubbery, or thick branches, take this modernized parang machete for a spin. For less specialized purposes, pick out one of the other Bear Grylls knives.
The Gerber Serrated Drop Point Folding Knife carries the same excellent construction that their knives are known for. When it comes to the technical construction of the knife, it’s all excellent. Balance is faultless between the grip and the blade, and I have to say that this knife just feels good in your hand.
Locking mechanisms are one of the most important components of a folding knife, and that’s one point where this knife shines. it’s extremely firm and there’s no wiggle to speak of once it’s locked. With a sharp, half-serrated blade, you’ll be able to rely on this knife for most jobs you might put it through.
Speaking of the blade, it’s remarkably sharp and strong for being such a small knife. As a drop point knife, the spine continues down to the point, which leaves it with quite a bit of extra strength. Material-wise, it consists of high-quality stainless steel that does a good job of edge retention and corrosion resistance.
This is a good, well-rounded folding knife that’s well suited for use as a backup. While the blade is excellent, I find that the real selling point for this knife is its excellent form factor. Personally I’d take a larger, fixed-blade knife with me as my first choice, while the small dimensions of the Gerber Folding Knife make it easy to fit in my bag as an extra.
New Bear Grylls Products
We know Bear Grylls is in the process of releasing a whole new line of outdoors and camping gear. Hopefully this includes a new line of knives as well, because this line of Gerber Bear Grylls knives was simply the best!
I’ll keep you updated when I hear of new products that come out.