Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete

Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete

Usually, I make my own blades and tools, but when I saw this survival machete on the shelf at my local Wal-Mart I had to have it.

I liked the shape of the blade, and upon picking it up it was clear that there was some weight to the blade.

Attempting to bend the blade while it was in the package proved difficult and it made it worth trying out.

It cost significantly more than the uber-flexible cheap machete hanging next to it, but paying for a quality product shouldn’t scare you.

A tool should hold up over time and perform the job at hand. And I’ve experienced disappointment with plenty of inexpensive machetes that deflect off of any branch thicker than a pencil.

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This “parang” style machete comes with the Gerber lifetime warranty. You can read about the warranty here:

The features listed on the package are:

  • Angled Blade – Ideal for clearing brush or tree limbs
  • Robust High Carbon Steel Blade – Enhances strength, corrosion resistance and ease to sharpen
  • Full Tang Construction – Boosts Durability
  • Ergonomic Textured Rubber Grip – Maximizes comfort and reduces slippage
  • Lanyard Cord – Acts as guard enhancing grip security
  • Nylon Sheath – Lightweight, military-grade mildew resistant *Includes Land to air rescue instructions
  • Priorities of Survival – Pocket guide contains Bear’s survival essentials

This product is “made in china” for Gerber as many of their products now are. But the warranty is good and the quality is very high for a made in china product.

Testing and Analysis

Of course the first thing to do was to get the package open as fast as possible and find some brush and limbs to attack. It helps to read instructions first as it’s easy to hurt yourself using a sharp cutting instrument.

The Machete Blade


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Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete | Machete Blade

The first testing was of the machete blade itself. It was nice and sharp out of the package but the edge could use a little polishing with a whetstone.

It isn’t easily bent, it has significant weight to the blade and the shape and profile lend itself to easily slicing through stubborn brush and limbs. It’s one of the best blades I’ve seen on an affordable production machete.

It’s shorter length makes it easy to work in confined spaces. And the weight being moved forward makes it gain momentum in the swing quickly. It behaves differently – and possibly better – than a traditionally shaped straight blade.

The Grip and Lanyard

Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete | The Grip & Landyard

The grip lends itself easily to my hands. If you have large NBA player hands it may be a little small for you. The rubber grip with the raised and recessed areas gripped my bare palm well, and it held onto both leather and composite grip gloves well.

The lanyard is functional but made of inexpensive cord. I’ll be replacing my cord with 550 paracord and as a survivalist item using paracord could have been a selling point for Gerber.

Make sure to use the lanyard at all times when swinging the machete. There are instructions on how to use the lanyard but putting it around my wrist worked as well. Take a minute and experiment with the lanyard before you start swinging! Failure to do so could result in a missing digit easily! The forward arch on the blade moves the weight forward and it could easily get out of control.

The Sheath


Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete | The Sheath

The sheath appears to be of sturdy construction and will likely hold up over time.

However the belt loop is a little small – it may not fit on wider belts – and I’m unsure of how well the nylon strap will hold up.

The sheath does use some sort of metal rivets to hold it together which should resist the blade damaging the sheath.

The blade slides in and out easily and is quickly secured with the Velcro retaining strap.

On the outside of the sheath there are alpine rescue signals with illustrated examples. This is actually a really neat feature in my opinion.

The Pocket Survival Guide

Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete | The Pocket Survival Guide

I think they could have done much better with this item. It’s not a huge selling point, but I think it could make people happier with the product.

It’s basically a 10” x 10” piece of water-resistant paper that has basic survival instructions printed on it and then folded up to fit in a pocket.

A water-resistant guide with a cover and waterproof container would have been a much nicer addition.

However, this guide could prove invaluable to someone with little survival experience or knowledge. I’ll throw it in one of my survival packs.

Overall Score and Opinion

Click here to see Nicks final tally on whether or not the Gerber Parang Machete is a deal or a dud

Want to know more Gerber products? Check out these related articles on our site:

Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Kit Review

Gerber Shard: A broken piece of a better tool?

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Review

29 Responses to :
Deal or Dud: The Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Machete

  1. Tim says:

    Looks nice but I just don’t buy Chinese if it can be at all helped!

  2. owen thordarson says:

    Send me one, i’d be happy to use it and submit a review on it.

  3. CT Walter says:

    I have used this machete for about 6 months in dense P & J woods. It has held up under the abuse. A strong benefit not listed is the offset of the handle means a lot less tearing of the knuckles on tough juniper. You can still get cuts and tears but it happens much less frequently than it did with a straight blade. Also, it is not so heavy that you can not swing it fast enough to cut light, flexible, green branches (which is a problem I had with the Bushmaster ~ just a little too heavy for little stuff) If you are not careful the nylon and Velcro strap likes to cover the opening to the sheath and it is easy to cut. Ooops! It is strong enough to cut fire wood if you don’t have a traditional axe, but I haven’t tried to split wood with it. Definitely recommend this machete.

    1. Tina says:

      Peanut butter and jelly woods?

  4. Donald says:

    I’ve, “boycotted” Walmart for everything from treating employees’ bad
    to most item not lasting very well at all. I think the Term, “Throw
    Away Society” began with products from walmart. I happen to need a
    machete I’ve got some decent knives , hatchets, & a tactical hatchet
    that throws well w/ a hole pucher on other side. It’s a touch piece for ANY reason. I’ll try this Only on your recommendation, hope your
    right on!

    1. rev. dave says:

      @Donald – read my comment below yours. I think you will find it helpful. And just BTW, these are available all over the place – you can avoid Walmart if you want to and still get one. Mine came from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

      1. Tina says:

        Dick Sporting goods refuses to sell us handguns and modern sporting rifles. I was told by a manager that Corporate office thinks they serve no legitimate purpose.

        I will never spend a dime in a Dicks store.

    2. Nick says:

      I check out products at Wal-Mart mainly because most of the readers do as well. I don’t support their business practices and they usually carry sub-par products. In fact the machete hanging beside this one on the shelf was only $6.59. I knew it was a POS before I even picked it up. This machete is available at many major retailers and on the full post (on PrepCabin) there is a link to where they’ll deliver it to your front door!

    3. tony says:

      Smokey mountain knife works has them too.

  5. rev. dave says:

    I’ve had mine about 2 years now, and bought it because I wanted to try the parang style blade. Mine also needed an edge ‘tune up’ and it took a while to get it right.

    At first I didn’t like it – couldn’t quite get the hang of using that style blade. But I used it to trim suckers off the trees on the property, and then used it to make kindling out of all the smaller (< 2") branches from a load of firewood. After that I knew what it could do and was actually impressed.

    Now I love that blade. And I love it so much I just bought a "barong" style machete that's a little bigger. I'm looking forward to getting familiar with that one as well.

  6. Tim says:

    I got one online not at walmart.I have been using it for 2years from clearing brush for trails to cutting firewood.I am very impressed ,that is hard i have been using blades for over 35 years,still have my old K-bar..Replace the lanyard with para-cord and use it because it will get away from you.. The sheath is the biggest down side the belt loop will not hold up needs Velcro to strap to leg.I was not paying attention one day while putting it back in sheath and put it in backwords and it cut through the stitching ,and a little bit of my finger,this thing holds an edge.I am going to get a buddy of mine that works with leather to make a sheath for me. Play with it some as it swings different than most machetes
    I give this tool an a+

  7. Josh says:

    The “Alpine Rescue Signals” attached to the sheath is sewn on only three sides. This is by design, so you can put the “Pocket Survival Guide” in it, instead of carrying it in your pocket where it might get lost. I received a Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife (partial serrated version) as a present, and found that it also worked quite well. I keep it in a survival cache at a hunting site for emergencies. For production survival knives I prefer my Gerber LMF II with a homemade survival kit, but the Grylls knife does combine some decent supplies in an easily carried package. I use a Kukri made by a local blacksmith instead of a machete.

  8. CaptTurbo says:

    Strange how everybody buys into the anti-Walmart media hype. They are the largest employer in the US and treat their employee better then most all other companies. They stand behind service men and women when they have to be away to serve. Go see what Target does for their people. The leftist unions are the one spreading the defamation and of course the lapdog media trumpets it for them. I find it strange that this crowd has been sucked into that nonsense.

  9. Hornboy says:

    This seems like a good tool. However, what is the matter with the “real” machetes used by indigenious people of the world? We seem to get excited if someone puts their name behind a product, puts it an a plastic package and markets it. Often, the new products are not any better than what is available for a quarter of the price. Of course, all this subject to conjecture and opinion and what tool you are trying to use for what purpose. Any kind of parang, with a thicker blade, is more useful for processing the harder wood found in northern climates when compared with a typical machete. This parang seems to be better to us because it, to northerners, a more useful type of “machete” and new to us. The parang is really a distinctive different tool from a machete and has been a well developed tool for hundreds of years. This product is mostly about marketing rather than inovation. Maybe that’s true of many things.
    I wonder how many hours the reviewer has actually logged using a machete? He says to “make sure to use the lanyard at all times when using the machete”. I’ll have to disagree. Whenever you use a machete, you should make sure that there are no people in close proximity and that you arc of your swing it not such that the end of it would ever be one of your body parts. So, if you mess up or get tired and lose control of the machete, you probably want it to come out of your hand and fly away from you. You DON’T want it continue, uncontrolled, in an arc that has a pivot point at your wrist, held close to your body by that lanyard!

  10. Steve says:

    I will keep my woodsmans pal thank you it will cut rings around this and has, tried it did not like it and will stay with the tried and true

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