Bear Grylls and Les Stroud have long been at the top of the ranks for the most popular survivalists on the planet. They both have hit shows. They both have their own line of products. Both being survivalists of course they also have their own signature knives. Is one better than the other? In this knife showdown we pit the two knives together in an all out deathmatch!
First, take a look at the review I did on the Bear Grylls knife and then take a look at the one on Les Strouds knife. At the top of each of those reviews I have created tables outlining the specs of both knives. You’ll notice right off the bat they are nearly identical to each other! Was this by mistake? I think it’s possible that Les Stroud’s knife came out to market first and then Bear Grylls had to one-up the blade length by a measly .25 inches!
Taking a look at the chart you’ll see the blade length on the Les Stroud knife is 4.75″ while the length on the Bear Grylls knife is 4.8. Some might say a quarter of an inch can make all the difference. I’m not so sure about that and I’ll let you decide if the extra length is a game changer or not.
Another thing to note is that you can’t find any specs for the Bear Grylls knife indicating what kind of blade material was used. It’s clearly some Chinese stainless steel but there are so many varieties out there. Looking at both blades it is very possible they are both using the same exact material. Maybe Bears plan was to swipe the material and keep everything on the hush hush. Well, maybe the conspiracy theorist in me is coming on too strong! Whatever the case, both blades sharpened up the exact same.
You will also notice besides the length the blades are nearly identical in every other way possible. Both feature a drop point and both have a serrated edge. Something is certainly starting to get fishy about this!
Moving on the handle is more of the same similarities. Sure the colors are different but you can clearly the see the same design elements in the finger grooves and the overall shape. The one difference is the Les Stroud knife has a hammer point on the end of the pommel. This is one thing missing from the Bear Grylls knife. I’m not entirely sure how hard you can hammer with this thing but you can give it a go if you want. Some traditionalists would balk at you for hammering with a knife, opting to find a rock or something other than your most prized and valued survival gear.
The handles do seem to be made out of slightly different materials and I did feel that the Bear Grylls handle had a better grip. Something about those grooves allows the hand to get a good handle on the blade even when wet.
The sheaths are quite different beasts and it’s about time something changed up here. The Les Stroud sheath features a Kydex holster and a nylon backing. The knife slips into the Kydex holster and is secured with a single nylon strap. The sheath also features a number of bells and whistles including a signalling mirror, a flashlight + whistle, a ferrocerium rod, and a built in blade sharpener. All of these items are as cheap as possible, the one redeeming quality being the signalling mirror which is half decent.
The Bear Grylls sheath comes with all of the same things minus the signalling mirror and the flashlight. I found the Bear Grylls sheath secures the blade in a much more secure manner than Les Strouds. It also has 2 nylon velcro straps to further secure the knife at different parts. You can feel the blade snap securely into place. It’s this feeling that tells you your knife isn’t going to fall out on the trail.
Now let’s discuss price. For the most part all things have been fairly equal up to this point. As of this writing the Bear Grylls knife will cost you $20 more than the Les Stroud knife. Is the slightly extra length on the blade and the better sheath worth the cost? I’m not so sure. The Les Stroud knife is on hell of a deal I must say.
The final verdict
At the end of this review we discovered that these two blades are nearly identical for the most part except for a few minor features. We also discovered that Les Strouds knife is $20 cheaper than Bears. The choice is now on the table. Perhaps the final deciding factor can be answered with the following question…
Who is the ultimate survivalist, Les Stroud or Bear Grylls?