Best Survival Knife [2020]

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The Bear Grylls name on a Gerber product is a little bit of a marketing angle. Whether or not you’re a fan of the TV personality, shouldn’t be a factor in choosing this high-quality, versatile survival knife. Afterall Gerber has spent years cultivating a strong reputation for providing high-quality tactical products at reasonable prices. You see this in the features of their model 31-001901 Pro Knife.

The 4.8-inch blade has a sturdy full tang that extends all the way down into the handle which has a non-slip rubber grip. The pommel also doubles as a hammer, which is nice for pounding in tent stakes.

The Gerber 31-001901 Pro Knife also comes with a sheath made from mildew-resistant nylon, which also has a built-in pull-through carbide sharpener. It also has a waterproof holder, with a ferrocerium fire starter rod.

Bowie knives have long been popular for their overall size, and utility. Mossy Oak is an American company that started out selling high-quality camouflage products. In more recent years they have evolved into other niches including survival and hunting knives.

This knife by Mossy Oak has an impressive 10-inch blade is made from 440 C hardened stainless steel, which provides its superior edge retention and rust resistance. The blade also has a set of saw back serrations and a clip point.

The 5-inch handle has a full tang for maximum blade stability as well as a comfortable non-slip rubber grip. This will certainly help to minimize hand fatigue if you need to use it as an improvised machete for clearing light brush around the campsite or stalking a blood trail.

Celtibero is a high-quality Spanish manufacturer that borrows some of its brand image from the Celtic people of Spain’s hardy Basque region. The Celtibero Cocobolo has a 5.8-inch blade made from a special MOVA stainless steel, which is in an alloy with Molybdenum – Vanadium.

This gives is superior corrosion resistance as well as making it less likely to chip or suffer a damaged point. It also has serrations on the back of the blade which are primarily meant for striking a fire steel rod.

It has a full tang which seats into the comfortable Cocobolo wood handle giving it a total length of 10.8-inches. This package includes a leather belt-worn sheath as well as a sharpening stone and fire steel included in the purchase.

How We Picked

There are a few things that make a quality survival knife stand out from the rest of the pack. Keeping a keen eye out for them can make a world of difference between a knife that lasts you for years on end, and one that leaves you with nothing more than buyer’s remorse.

Tang

This is a term indicating the depth that the base of the blade goes into the handle. It’s exclusive to fixed blade knives and doesn’t occur in folding bladed units. With fixed blade knives, we always looked for a full tang, which provides you with a long-lasting, firm blade. A partial tang blade is increasingly prone to looseness, failure, and even injury as time goes on.

Blade Length

Blade length has a little bit of personal preference to it, based on how you intend to use the knife. What’s important is that the blade length is reasonable to the handle length. You don’t want a long blade that fixed into a tiny handle when clearing a light brush.

The Grip

The larger the knife and the longer you are likely to use it in a single application, the more important the grip becomes. For example, a Bowie knife that needs to serve double duty clearing brush needs to have a comfortable non-slip grip to lessen hand fatigue while also keeping a simple case of sweaty palms from becoming a major safety problem.

Sheath Features

Many survival knives can also double as tactical knives. This makes things like MOLLE compatibility handy. Especially if you use a MOLLE compatible tactical backpack for camping, hunting, and hiking. Still, there are some people simply want a knife with a pocket clip or a simple belt sheath that hangs at their hip.

Manufacturer Reputation

Compared to many other types of outdoor equipment knives are relatively easy and inexpensive to make. This invites lesser manufacturers to flood the marketplace with units that look nice in a display case and gleam with marketing phrases, yet end up lacking in long-term quality.

Whenever possible, we tried to keep an eye out for manufacturers who have at least a few decades of experience and a well-earned reputation for quality in the industry. These manufacturers have invested a lot in making sure that they stay near the top of the market, which gives them far more staying power than a fly-by-night newcomer who just wants to grab your money before moving on to inventing the next new can opener.

Gerber Bear Grylls 31-001901 Ultimate Pro Knife, Fine Edge

Specs

  • 4.8-inch blade length
  • 10-inches overall
  • 13.7-ounce weight
  • Full tang
  • Nonslip rubber grip
  • Pommel doubles as a hammer
  • Mildew resistant sheath
  • Pull through carbide sharpener
  • Firestarter rod made from Ferrocerium
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Comes with a matching pocket knife

There are some people who will besmirch putting Bear Grylls name on a knife. If you are one of these people, you might want to look past the marketing aspects of this knife and focus on the manufacturer. Gerber has spent years developing a strong reputation for providing high-quality tactical products at reasonable prices. You see this in the features of their model 31-001901 Pro Knife.

Gerber Bear Grylls 31-001901 Ultimate Pro Knife and sheath

It has a sturdy full tang, with a handle that ends in a pommel which can also double as a hammer. It also has a non-slip rubber grip. The stainless steel blade measures in at 4.8-inches, which makes it a legal carry knife in states where 5-inches is the legal maximum.

Gerber Bear Grylls 31-001901 Ultimate Pro Knife in sheath

The sheath is made from mildew-resistant nylon and has a pull-through carbide sharpener. There’s also a waterproof holder, which includes a ferrocerium fire starter rod.