Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife by Gerber Review 2013/11/27
Gerber has been redesigning the Bear Gryll’s knife range for years now. This is one of their latest offerings, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife. I wonder if it's any better than the rest of range? Let's find out with this full review and field test.
Things are pretty different this time around with the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife. Notable changes like a full tang and improved blade steel. As well as a more robust sheath are all new additions. How does all this impact performance out in the field? I have been using it out and about for a couple of months now and below I have written some of my thoughts on the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife. Compare it to the previous versions that I have reviewed.
Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife Handle The handle has got much better and is stickier than on the other models I have reviewed, with the rubberised grip on the Ultimate Pro feeling really good in the hand. However like its predecessors, its best in the fore hand grip and unlike a true bushcraft knife its ergonomics are not sound for other grips, such as my favourite, the chest lever. The Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife is sold as a survival knife, which in my opinion is for a variety of tasks and not for sitting around camp working with carving wood all day as you would expect to do with a true bushcraft knife. So in this case I think the ergonomics work well for a survival knife.
Knife The Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife is now made with two separate scales stuck to the exposed full tang. I really like visible full tangs; I think it’s a sign of quality and gives the user confidence in using the equipment as you can see the construction of the knife. The base of the handle features a pommel, which is identical to its predecessors, super useful for duties around camp, such as meat preparation. The Ultimate Pro now features a choil, which allows my index to fit inside and unlike some knives I have used and will be reviewing in the future, the choil on the Ultimate Pro knife is large enough not to present a great risk of self injury as your finger has plenty of space to sit. The choil also has a use when you are sharpening the blade with the much improved (now V style) sharpener built into the sheath itself. The choil allows the user to sharpen the entire length of the blade as the handle doesn’t get in the way.
Blade The blade on the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife is made of 9Cr19MoV which is considered a high end Chinese stainless steel. It contains high amounts of Molybdenum and Vanadium which contribute to its toughness, strength and hardness. Corrosion resistance is helped by the presence of Chromium. Using the knife around camp proved successful, its full flat grind requires a bit of adjusting to if you have been accustomed to using a Scandi grind in the past. At battoning, making feather sticks and basic slicing the Ultimate Pro serves up some good performance. I prefer the full flat grind instead of knives with part serrations; it just works better out in the woods for completing finer tasks and I am glad the Ultimate Pro is full flat ground. The choil helps a lot when choking the blade for fine work; I really like its implementation on the Ultimate Pro.
Sheath The sheath contains a small pocket. You can store the mini survival guide that comes with the Ultimate Pro however a much better option is include a basic fishing kit. You will also find a built in sharpener, firesteel and rot proof nylon belt loop. The sharpener in the Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife is by far one of the most improved features over the previous versions. It is a V style pull through sharpener instead of the poorly designed diamond stones found on the previous models. You will not be able to get the best edge using the inbuilt sharpener, but for emergency use out in the field it is a welcome addition.
Firesteel The firesteel included with the Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife is pretty good; however it is rather hard to actually get out. One complaint of older versions was that the firesteel was too easy to get out, and potentially could fall off. It would seem Gerber have gone overkill on the Ultimate Pro as the firesteel is now too hard to open. This would be even harder in colder temperatures when your hands are less dextrous.
Conclusion The packaged offered for the price is what makes this knife. Above all when combined with its solid performance makes for a really good deal. The Ultimate Pro should be completely refined as it’s in its third version; it’s just that firesteel that stops it being an immense product