Bear Grylls Compact Scout Knife - Great Cheap Pocket Knife?

Bear Grylls Compact Scout Knife - Great Cheap Pocket Knife?

It’s funny, but with all the big knives I get in, you would think a little guy like the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact knife would go unnoticed.

But recently, when I was showing some friends around our studio, I had a bunch of knives sitting out and the one that got the most attention was this little knife. Maybe it was the contrast in size, the solid feel or how nice it fits in the hand and in the pocket.

Well, whatever caught the eyes of my guests didn’t matter for the next few minutes as I kept my eye on the knife and made sure that I got it back from all of its admirers. Funny, but now I know what to get them for Christmas. Okay... so the Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife is the little brother to the VERY popular Bear Grylls Scout knife. It’s a lock blade folding knife that’s meant to slip into a pocket and pouch and that’s good because it doesn’t come with a sheath or belt clip.


Its overall length is 5.8 inches and it’s blade length is 2.5 inches, with a closed length of only 3.3 inches. And get this. It weights less than an ounce at around 27 grams.


Now let’s talk about the blade. The blade is made out of high carbon stainless steel and has what seems to be very good quality grayish anti-reflective coating that has lasted well now after several weeks of use.

My blade came really sharp, actually much sharper than any of the other knives that I’ve tested from the Gerber Bear Grylls line up except for the Bear Grylls Compact Fixed blade knife that was razor sharp out of the box. And after a few weeks of use, the Compact Scout knife blade can still shave the hair off of the back of my hand. The blade is a very practical drop point design which has a convex curve from the back toward the point.

Drop Point Blade

Drop point blades are very good for general purpose use, which is what this knife is best suited for. A little more than 1/3 of the blade surface toward the handle is serrated and the rest of the blade is a fine edge).  Serrated blades are very common today in all sorts of knives, simply because many knife owners like the fact that serrated edges make cutting things like cord, rope limbs and other stuff much easier.

And serrated edges usually stay quite sharp long after a neglected fine edge is quite dull. But serrated edges have their drawbacks because depending on the serration style and the habits of the user, the serrated tips can chip off quite easily and serrated edges are a pain in the butt to sharpen unless you have the right tool.  

So, for sharpening serrations, I recommend the Smith’s Pocket Pal or the Bear Grylls Field Sharpener. One other drawback to serrations, especially in a smaller knife, like the Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife is it’s inability to carve well because the serrations toward the handle make it tough, if not impossible to carve with any detail since you need the leverage of the bottom part of the blade closest to the hand to safely, effectively and accurately bear down on the wood and control your carving.

So, if you were thinking of using this blade for carving - now and again - I recommend you look else where. Or pick up a separate folder for carving. I’ll recommend a few alternatives at the end. But if you want the added cutting power of serrations in a small knife package, this little guy might be the knife for you. Okay, enough said about serrations.

Blade Spine

Now the spine of the blade has about an inch of notched rasp to give some grip surface to your thumb and forefinger as you extend them onto the back of the blade for leverage and control.  

Blade Locking Mechanism

The blade tucks safely for carry into this very solid composite handle. The knife opens easily by grabbing the spine of the blade or using the nail notch and your thumb nail to don the blade.

The Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife uses a proven, traditional locking mechanism that’s been around forever, or at least since I got my first pocket knife... so the open blade snaps firmly in place, like it should. My knife had NO play or give once locked. And I like the blade pivot hinge, which is really pretty hefty for a knife of this size. To store the blade, simply push on the lock bar and fold the blade away into the handle.  


The handle is just a tad over a quarter inch wide, which is really thin compared to most pocket knives. And honestly, it’s thinness and low weight make the knife almost unnoticeable in my pocket. So, much so that more than once I’ve had to stick my hand in my pocket to make sure the knife was in there.

The handle seems durable enough for every day use and the fit and finish of the blade, locking bar, the two pivot posts and handle are really well crafted with a high degree of precision and honestly, this knife exceeds the quality of many of the other knives and gear in the Bear Grylls line. The handle has a notched pattern that helps with the grip.

But let me be clear, this knife handle does not have the rubberized over molded grip covering that many of the other knives and tools in the Bear Grylls line enjoy. I imagine adding a rubberized grip would have significantly increased the weight and width of this knife - I think Gerber made a good choice not adding a rubberized grip and compensated for this well by designing an over sized finger notch into the handle.

My hand just locks onto the handle and the notch also makes this knife very comfortable in my hand. Now from the mid-section to the butt end of the handle, there is this rounded convex cutout. This allows the hands of adults and younger Scouts to comfortably grip the knife and adds significantly to the comfort and control of this knife in my hand. And because of the these two cutouts, this knife fits small and medium sized adult hands as well as the hands of younger Scouts. Now there’s a small lanyard hole in the butt end of the handle for attaching things to the knife or attaching this knife to things.  Oh... and I almost forgot... the Compact Scout knife also comes with the helpful Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide... which is a valuable bonus.  

Now Lets Talk About Owner Comments

Owner reviews usually average at over 4 out of 5 stars. Many owners love this knife’s compact size and low weight. A small minority feel that the knife seems cheap because of the plastic handle. Yet many others talk about how sharp and durable the knife is and how it’s a great carry-all knife. Several comment on how the Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife is sharp and holds a blade nicely... And many comment about the great value this knife is for the money.

Our Rating We rate the Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife at 4 out of 5 stars for it’s fit and finish, edge sharpness and retention, handle design, durability for such a small and light knife and the fact that this knife won’t break the bank at an online street price of around $10.

So Who is this Knife for? The Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife is a great general purpose blade for responsible Scouts, hikers, bikers, campers and weekend warriors. However, if you want a knife you can also use as an effective carving tool, look elsewhere.

The knife edge serrations make this knife about useless for any serious carving. The affordable Gerber LST folder may be a nice alternative.

Okay, but if you want a great back up knife or a useful, durable, compact and light weight knife they you carry all day, every day, in your pocket or pack and ten bucks sounds good to you, the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife may be the blade you are looking for. If you would like a nice larger folding knife that is designed for a bit more rugged use check out my review of the Gerber Bear Grylls Scout knife or the Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath knife and the Schrade First Response folder is another great knife to consider. For a smaller fixed blade knife, check our Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Fixed blade review and the other other knife reviews under the Video tab of our YouTube Channel or search this website. So... we’ve just taken a look at the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife. For your convenience I’ve included links to the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Scout knife and all of the other knives and tools that I’ve mentioned, throughout this article. Until next time... Be Prepared... Because You Never Know,

~ David

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