Reviewed: Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool

 

Reviewed:

Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool

Verdict: + Separate blades, easy access tools, survival guide - Short blades, bad screwdriver

Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi tool using the tools and photo showing the case.

Design and build quality

Okay, so we’re talking about Bear Grylls here. If you haven’t heard of him, you’ve not watched T.V in the past 5 years. For those who don’t know, Bear is an ex-S.A.S soldier, the epitome of an outdoorsman, fairly mental (he eats nasty stuff, a lot.), an all-round nice chap (follow Bear’s Twitter feed for proof), and knowns more than the vast majority about surviving in the wildest of conditions. He is The Man. Working alongside Gerber, he’s released his own version of a multi-tool. So, how good is it?

The Ultimate has a nice modern look to it, and it’s very compact too. For its size though, it’s surprisingly heavy at 268 grams (9.5oz), which is even weightier than the big SOG we tested!  As this is also a Gerber, the quality of it is mostly decent all-round. As Bear doesn’t like multi’s normally, he designed the Ultimate to have tools on that are all useful, and none that aren’t. This is the case, and it’s kept to what you need for the outdoors.

Our favourite features

First off, we really like the fact you don’t have to open the handles to access any of the tools, apart from the pliers of course. This is a very good thing, and well thought-out as it means quick ‘n’ easy access when you need them double-time. The sprung pliers are good, as they don’t open too far, have a nice, light spring and the handles are comfortable and grippy too.

There’s nothing worse than a blade or other gadget snapping back onto your fingers when using a multi, but happily the tools on the Ultimate all lock firmly into place, giving you peace of mind. These can only be unlocked by pulling down two sliders on either side of the handles. Although we take slight issue with the blades on the knife (see below), we do respect that there’s separate serrated and straight-edged blades, instead of there being one combi-blade. Kudos deserved there.

Another aspect we enjoyed was the scissors. These are small, sharp, well-sprung and a good deal of force can be applied with them. Lest we forget too, the brilliant foldable Bear Grylls mini survival booklet which slips into its own pocket in the sheath. Awesome professional info for building shelters, traps, signalling, navigation and lots more. We like this!

Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Multi-Tool test. Image shows the various tools of the product.

Any drawbacks?

Our biggest gripe with the Ultimate was with the philips screwdriver on it. Whichever size or type of screw head we tried it on, it either didn’t fit or would barely grip, bizarrely. As well as screws around the home, we tried it on at least 5 types and sizes on the engine bay of a 4×4, and couldn’t get it to work properly on any. This definitely needs changing.

As mentioned, the serrated and straight-edged blades are separate which is definitely good. However, they are also very short which can slow your time cutting things. Sharpness-wise, we found the straighty to not be honed enough straight from the box, and a little dull, but the serrated blade was nicely finished.

Although the wood saw on the Ultimate Multi-Tool has plenty of aggressive and sharp teeth they clogged easily and it is, again, a very short length making sawing anything larger than a couple of centimetre’s diameter difficult and slow.

Price

With an RRP of £49.99, we feel the Ultimate is priced a little too high. However, as always there are a stack of savings to be had through a quick search via Google, and we’ve seen prices well under the above figure, making it more appealing.

Who’s it good for?

Bear Grylls obviously designed the this with a focus on outdoors use. The Ultimate would be a good starting point for a younger person wanting to get ‘into’ their multi-tools and camping. That’s definitely not a demeaning comment of this multi, but with it having cool styling and shorter and less aggressive blades than most, we’re sure a lot of young dudes and dude-esees would be very happy, and much safer, with the Ultimate as a gift.

Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Multi-Tool review. Image shows the pliers open on the tool.

Need-To-Know Info:

+ Two separate blades, access to tools without opening handles, pocket survival guide

Bad posi’ screwdriver, heavy for size, blades are short

Weight: 264 grams (9.3oz) | Dimensions closed (mm); Length 98, Width 46, Height 24 | Functions: Details here | Colours: Grey | Website (click): GerberGear.com / GerberUK  |RRP: £49.99 / $58.00 (prices vary hugely)

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Thanks to Barker Publicity  for sorting the Gerber multi-tool for us.

Words: Chris Davies | Photo’s: Chris.D, Matt.D, Nath.F | Other Testers: Nath.F


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