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Backpacker Magazine – June 2012

Survival Lab Knife Test--The Final Cut

Can your keychain knife hack through rope? Wood? Bone? Didn’t think so. We tested 14 packable blades to find the toughest, most versatile survival tool for hikers.

by: Ted Alvarez

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Fine Edge (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Fine Edge (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Fine Edge (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Fine Edge (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Tec X Inceptra (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)
Tec X Inceptra (Photo by: Ben Fullerton)


BEST FOLD-UP
Tec X Inceptra
Power: This tough stainless steel blade (with aluminum handle) is the rare folder that won’t crumple when you hit it with a hammer to split logs. The ratchet-tight lock didn’t buckle when torqued.
Precision: A thinner tip (due to the dramatic drop point) drilled holes better than the Gerber, but this knife shined at making feather sticks (below). The superior edge easily shaved a branch into quick-ignite ribbons.
Verdict: Simple, sharp, secure: This blade nails all three. A hollow core saves weight, the blade stayed hair-splitting through our tests, and the anodized grip looks uncomfortable but actually nestles into the palm, thanks to a perfectly placed finger notch. Bonus: It’s more compact than a straight blade, without shorting strength. Bummer: Only two extras: a pocket clip and a landfill-worthy hanger.
$25; blade: 3.5 in., 4.3 oz. (no sheath); tecx.com

Runners-up Read reviews of other blades—including our favorite ultralight, ultraluxe, and multitool knives Click Here.

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5

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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star
Stanley
May 26, 2014

Yikes. No no no. Read proper ones here <a href="http://bestsurvivalknifehub.com/">BestSurvivalKnifeHub.com</a>

Star
Travis
May 26, 2014

This is bad. Just read the site http://bestsurvivalknifehub.com for the best info.

Star
Reality
May 11, 2014

Your reviews are a joke, and you should be ashamed of being such sell-outs to your advertisers. Your stock is plummeting.

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Stephen in Eastern TN
Dec 11, 2013

Nothing Bear Grylls is "the best selling survival..." ANYthing in the world. This is why I no longer subscribe,you cater WAY too much to your advertisers....worthless article :(

Star
Mike
Oct 20, 2013

Review your testers ,I have watched you guys start to sink in certain areas ,one of the reasons I don't subscribe anymore after being a loyal reader for over 25 years

Star
BC
Oct 20, 2013

You highly rate garbage knives then hit me up for a subscription

Really?

Star Star Star Star Star
john
Oct 19, 2013

I have owned this knife for over a year.i LOVE it its never lost it edge, i use the firestill all the time at home for cookout fires.This is the best knife i have ever owned and iv had a bunch,best part is it cost under $50.

Star Star Star Star Star
Thizzle
Jun 05, 2013

Mora. End of story.

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Thizzle
Jun 05, 2013

Mora. End of story.

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SoCalled
Mar 31, 2013

Under 100$ survival knives to concider :

(at least 5" long and good non-stainless steel)

(preferably servicable and easily field sharpen)

(must be full tang, sorry no Mora on my list, but these are great knives if you dont require full tang. I do.)

Buck 119 (my choice. timeless)
Condor Bushlore (Small buisness going big)
Condor Bushcraft Basic 5"(best $-performance ratio)
Cold Steel SRK (homerun from CS)
Becker BK2 (if you dont know these, get out)
Becker BK7
Ka-Bar Fighting (of course. timeless as well)
Schrade SCHF9 (steel ? but price is great)
SOG Force (a thick beast. Tank to go)
Ontario Rat 7 (1095 steel. Great choice. Awesome)
Bokker VoxRold (China.Red flag but great reviews)
Scrap Yard SYKCO 511 (check out this knife guys)

All these knives cost between 30$ to 100$.

The Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is a entry level knife aimed at kids who like gadgets and cool stuff sub par compared to all blades above. Its the best selling knife world wide, thanks to their very effective marketing team, the Gerber global presence in every sport stores in occident and the numerous paid "reviews" in the major magazines and websites.

You just been "Grylled". Congratulation.


Star
APZ
Mar 25, 2013

Try using what the Pro's that go into harms way every day use. Look for an NSN on the label, that means that someone else has tested it with their life on the line. Don't overlook Ontario.

Star
SoCalled
Mar 19, 2013

Oh my ...

Very bad advice$ your desk chairman listened at, BP mag. I hope you guys read the comments here and copied/pasted some to your bosse$ because they will destroy your magazine in no time.

Bear Grylls ? Ok, put it on the list somewhere and cash the check. But try to look like you know some of your stuff with a solid top 3. And specify a price range.

Under 50$ - Buck 119 (period)
Under 100$ - BK2/KOA Bushcamp/Vox Rold/SOG Force
Under 200$ - Several choices. My pick: RC-6
Over 200$ - ++choices.Mine: BRKT Magnum Fox River

Bear Grylls Survival toy ?? Unless Gerber pay me, it wont be on my list ...

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Traig
Feb 24, 2013

Horrible choices and even worse example pictures...one of the worst articles ever written

Star
Joe
Feb 02, 2013

I hated the Bear Grylls blade, worst blade purchase I've ever made.

Star
BELOVED
Feb 01, 2013

Wow backpacker mag with all your resources and clout you got to be kidding when you do a knife review and dont even mention ESEE knives let alone pick one up to test it.......That's crazy.......I am a complete outdoorsman and would not think about hikeing my Highlands in N.J. without my ESEE 3,4 or my IZULA......Come on backpacker gerber bear griyls knife are u kidding me

Star Star Star Star Star
corwin
Feb 01, 2013

I'd agree with Realist. Any knife review makes the knife geeks froth at the mouth. I've made it a week in the wild with just a knife I made by flint-napping a river rock so I feel qualified to say you guys are missing the point. It appears that they chose a small group for testing of widely available knives and none of them are BAD knives. Even the BG knife is based on Gerber's LMFII, which is a very good knife. If you know nothing about knives you won't be disappointed with any of these. That's the target audience of this article. If you've been into knives for a long time of course you will be aware of better options, but don't dismiss viable tools out of some kind of anti-retail/anti-product spokesman sentiment.

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