Bear Grylls Pocket Tool Review – vs – My Swiss Army Knife
The Gerber Bear Grylls Pocket Tool is designed to be a bare bones, folding, every-day-carry, pocketable multi-tool that sports a few basic components including a fine-edge blade, bottle opener, Phillips head, medium and small flat head screwdrivers and the Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival pocket guide.
This tool does not come with a sheath or belt clip as it is designed for carrying in your pocket, bag or pack.
The closed length of the tool is 3.2 inches or 8.1 centimeters and the overall open length with the fine edge donned is nearly 5 and a half inches or 13.9 centimeters.
The width is just over 3/4s of an inch or 2 centimeters… and the thickness of this tool is about 5/8s of an inch wide or 1.6 centimeters.
My tool weighted in at 3 ounces or 85 grams.
Now, the Swiss Army Tinker is a little longer, about the same width and quite a bit thinner than the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool.
The Tinker is also about 30% lighter than Pocket Tool at about 2 ounces or 57 grams..
Like the Swiss Army Tinker, the guts of the BG Pocket Tool are supported by an internal, stainless steel metal frame that is covered over in what feels like a pretty durable molded plastic.
Then on both exterior sides of the Pocket Tool, there is a rubberized, raised gray grippy material that is common to tools in the Bear Grylls line. I will say that the chunkiness of this tool and the grip material make it feel pretty good in my hand, when I forced myself to think about it… where the Swiss Army Knife could much more easily slip from my hand due to its very smooth, glossy surface.
Now when I pocket tested the Bear Grylls tool versus the Swiss Army Tinker, the Tinker was a LOT less noticeable due to being a third less heavy, and quite a bit thinner than the Pocket Tool.
Neither were uncomfortable in my pocket… but the Bear Grylls tool was quite a bit more clunky feeling until I forgot it was in my pocket.
Now let’s look at what’s inside…
Let’s start with the blade…
The Bear Grylls Pocket Tool blade is made or 5Cr15 Stainless Steel. The blade is about a 2 1/4 inch or 5.7 centimeter fine edged blade that was pretty sharp out of the box and is can be opened with one hand using the hard plastic thumb stud.
However, I do have a bit of a concern about the thumb stud…
It just kinda pokes through the other side and is secured in a hole somehow…
I fear that if you whack on the spine of this blade, I think you could break the thumb stud off and then it would be a bit challenging to open the knife since there is no thumb nail groove.
To close the knife, simply close it. There’s no locking mechanism of any kind except for the stout spring locks… which are pretty strong and should keep this tool open when you want it open… and closed when you want it closed.
In comparison, the Swiss Army Tinker main blade is a bit longer and not quite as wide as the Pocket Tool’s blade… AND on the other side of the Tinker… there is a cool little clip point, fine edge blade that’s great for fine work AND the combination of the Tinker’s two blades make the Tinker a perennial favorite with backcountry whittlers and wood carvers… which is actually the reason that I purchased this Swiss Army Knife in the first place.
The Phillips Head Screwdriver
I’ll have to admit… because of the strength of the internal spring locks, and the mid-tool positing of the thumb notch, my wife and I both had a hard go at opening this screwdriver.
But once opened, you have a pretty capable screw driver.
If you put the Tinker and Pocket Tool Phillips head screwdrivers side by side… you would see the Tinker’s driver is uniquely positioned in the center of the tool which gives the leverage and dynamics to really torque on a screw and apply a lot of downward pressure when needed… but makes it challenging to turn a screw in a narrow space.
Flat Screwdriver and Bottle Opener Combination
These are nice quality.
Here’s the comparable flat screw driver / combo on the Swiss Army Tinker with the addition of a small notch that is designed for stripping wires.
Small Flat Head Screwdriver
The BG Pocket Tool has a small flat head screwdriver, which is fine.
On the Tinker, there is a smaller flat head screw driver combo at the tip of a very functional can opener.
Let’s Lay It On the Table
As you open up both the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool and the Swiss Army Tinker side by side, you can see in addition to the large blade, Philips head and two flat head screw drivers, the Swiss Army Tinker has:
A smaller blade, can opener, wire stripper notch, reamer / punch and hidden in the butt end there is a plastic tooth pick and functional tweezers on the other side…All in a thinner and lighter package when compared to the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool.
In general, owners rate the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool right around 4 out of 5 stars.
Many owners love the low weight, yet thicker, sturdier feel of this tool compared to other tools like Swiss Army knives. Many comment on this tool being perfect for every day carry and use and the fact that the knife takes and keeps a nice edge. The number one complaint of owners is that all of the tools… except for the blade… are hard to open using your finger nail.
But most of all, folks love this tool for the combination of its quality and price… which is a street price between $10 to $15 U.S… online… compared to an $18 – $22 U.S. online street price for the Swiss Army Tinker.
We rate the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool at 3.5 out of 5 stars for being a pretty decent-for-the-money pocket multi-tool that is priced well at just over $10 U.S. online.
We took off a star and a half because this tool is hard to open, it is a bit bulky and it would be nice if it had a few more tools built in for survival. We really like what you get with the Swiss Army Tinker for just a few more bucks like the additional blade, can opener, reamer punch and the tweezers… and I personally like the thinner, lighter feel of the Tinker in my pocket. I prefer belt clip knives, but when I do pocket carry, the Tinker is toward the top of my list.
So who is the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool for?
This tool is a solid, pretty good quality tool… for everyday carry in a pocket, pack or bag. It’s a helpful tool for around the house, at work and for day hikes, backyard camping and for responsible Scouts, Bear Grylls fans and for anyone who might need a good quality knife and a few screw drivers that you can pack and carry in your pocket.
This tool is not really designed for survival (at least not in my opinion) and it’s not due to the quality, which is pretty good, but the choice or lack of helpful survival tools… unless you are a spartan survivalist and a 2 1/4 inch pocket knife suits you just fine in a pinch.
That being said, the Bear Grylls Pocket Tool is a pretty good value for the suburban Bear Grylls fan with strong finger nails, who wants a dependable, helpful, and low cost, bare bones, EDC tool in their pocket at all times.
Before you go, let’s look at a few other alternatives to this tool…
If you’d like a more full featured pocket tool and don’t mind paying a few extra bucks… look at the Swiss Army Tinker.
For a really small, pocket carry multi-tool, you might like the Gerber Bear Grylls / Gerber Clutch mini-multi tool.
For a very nice, small and light weight single blade pocket knife, check out the Bear Grylls Compact Scout Knife.
And if you’d like a classic, high quality, three blade and super small pocket knife similar to the one your Grandpappy used when he was your age… check out the Schrade, Old Timer, Junior pocket knife.
Okay, we’ve just taken a look at the Gerber Bear Grylls Pocket Tool.