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Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have. 341

Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,470 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have.
« on: June 10, 2021, 03:42:42 AM »
I came across another survival knife today, and it looked awfully familiar in some regards. So much so that i bought it. Mind you, today was the first day i could buy it in Ontario as the store I bought it from couldn't wait for the official opening this Friday. Good on them. Walking into a store and not being able to buy things other than "essential" food items has been a major point of contention with me. I digress...

So I bought this Olympia branded survival knife and knew I was going to compare it to what I already have. This is that comparison. I am going to start with the Camillus Les Stroud stuff first, then move to the Gerber Bear Grylls stuff, and then to the Olympia. I should probably preface this piece by stating that most of these knives date to around 2012 and are probably not in production anymore, or if they are, might be under a different name. For example, there aren't many Bear Gryll items for sale these days. I know, I did a Google search out of curiosity.

1. Camillus Les Stroud SK Arctic Survival Knife.

I was a fan of these Les Stroud knives simply because I much prefer him to Bear Grylls. With that said, most of these survival knives are a bit gimmicky, and the quality is a not so sure thing. Camillus also produced a Les Stroud multi-tool that was so poorly thought out, that one of our members sent it to Afghanistan/Iraq and shot/blown up by one of the United State's finest. Yes, i am not proud to state I also have this travesty of a multi-tool in my possession. Ah the things we collectors do.  :facepalm:

Either way, it was shocking that Les put his name on that multi-tool. I am happy to say the knives are of much better quality and design. The vast majority of this class of "survival" knives tend to have a firesteel attached to the sheath, and the back of the blade will have a rough patch to ignite it. A lot of these will also have a pommel that features a hammer or a glass breaker or something. The SK Arctic follows these norms.

20210609_193925A by Chako, on Flickr

The sheath is of a nice design. At least the firesteel is in the upright position, and it has a large enough handle to make pulling it out something that will not teach the flora and fauna new swear words as you valiantly and futilely try to pull it out.

20210609_194020A by Chako, on Flickr

The back of the sheath has a mesh pocket to store the ever present survival guide. The blade is nice because it doesn't feature any serrations. I alway prefer a plain edge blade even though I do understand the advantages of serrations. The handle is very comfortable.

20210609_194106A by Chako, on Flickr

2. Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife.

This slightly larger knife comes with a full feature sheath.

20210609_194200A by Chako, on Flickr

The sheath has a lot of tricks up its....well sheath. There is a signal mirror on the front of the sheath. Not only that, there is a small compartment under that mirror. Not sure what you could put in there as the space is limited...but it is nice to have...knowing that Camillus tried to pack as much as they could in the sheath. In side pockets, are 2 yellow coloured tools. 1 is a mini flashlight/safety whistle. The other is a firesteel. Note that you get a partial serration on the Ultimate knife. Also note that the sheth includes a carbide passthrough sharpener located on the southern portion of the sheath (the oval under the signal mirror/compartment). I like this as it is super easy to sharpen a blade...not to mention it is mostly idiot proof...well...as much as such things can be.

20210609_194337A by Chako, on Flickr

The back of the sheath also features a mesh pocket for the included survival guide.

20210609_194414A by Chako, on Flickr

When you put the sheath on its side, you can see they even included some rope. You can also see the front compartment opened in the following photo.

20210609_194454A by Chako, on Flickr

As you can see, the sheath is kinda unique at the cost of added bulk.

3. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife.

This knife has a rocky past, with a recall for handles breaking in use. Not only that, if you buy one online, chances are you are going to get a fake. I bought a fake PE version knowingly to compare them to each other. Yeah, the fake is cheaper than the Gerber in fit and finish. Just be warned, the fakes look like the real thing but tend to come in a cardboard box.

20210609_194600A by Chako, on Flickr

I have the partially serrated blade. The included firesteel hangs downwards. This means you risk losing it if it every comes loose. The lanyard includes a nice loud whistle.

20210609_194630A by Chako, on Flickr

The back of the sheath features a information panel that is sewn on 3 sides making a pocket to stuff the included survival guide. The vinyl is a weak point and I think it would eventually rip.

20210609_194703A by Chako, on Flickr

Hidden inside the sheath once you un-Velcro the sheath is a diamond hone. The hone is on an angle.

20210609_194726A by Chako, on Flickr

The Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife is comfortable...but then, all of these knives feature good ergonomics.

4. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Survival Knife.

I guess a lot of folks complained about the Ultimate Knife, so Gerber came out with the Pro version. Note that the firesteel is now in the upright position. There are also a few upgrades over the older design.

20210609_194759A by Chako, on Flickr

One thing I do not like about this knife. They were so worried about you losing the firesteel, that they made it very difficult to liberate it from the sheath. There is a protrusion from the sheath that mates with a hole on the firesteel. To successfully remove the firesteel, you need to pull away from the sheath while tugging it away from its berth. I find you need the knife tip to do this with any success. Well at least you won't lose it in the bush...but then, when you need it, you might not be able to remove it from the sheath. it is one of those select your poison kinda thing.

20210609_194944A by Chako, on Flickr

A nice touch is the hidden location for the included survival guide. Pull on the ribbon to remove the guide. Pushing the guide back down the also pulls the ribbon back into the sheath. Simple but effective.

20210609_195018A by Chako, on Flickr

Some notable improvements include a full tang. Apparently the Ultimate Survival Knife did not have one of these...hence the recall. The Pro did away with all that broken handle shenanigans. Another improvement was tossing away the diamond plate for a carbide sharpener built into the sheath.

20210609_195038A by Chako, on Flickr

5. Olympia Survival Knife.

Now we come to the reason why I am doing this little comparison. The Olympia caught my attention because of its colour. it is glow in the dark green. Yes, it actually glows in the dark. When I saw it hanging lonely on the peg, I thought it reminded me of the Gerbers I already had. When I brought it home, and compared them to my examples, my nagging suspicions were confirmed.

20210609_195116A by Chako, on Flickr

The handle and knife looks like they came off the same assembly line to the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife. The sheath also has a downward facing firesteel. This one is more secure than the Gerber though. Not as secure as the Gerber Pro...that is a good thing. When i spied the Olympia on the store peg, I thought the cutout on the southern part of the sheath was a knife sharpener. I was mistaken. It is a belt cutter. The pommel features a rather blunt glass breaker. Different from the vast majority of these knives that feature a striking surface.

20210609_195155A by Chako, on Flickr

When I examined the back of the sheath, I had to seriously laugh. This was entirely hidden in the packaging. The included knife sharpening diamond plate is not hidden at all. This means, if you wear this knife on your belt, you will soon need a pair of pants. This is bonkers.

20210609_195241A by Chako, on Flickr

I had to check out the glow in the dark goodness. I turned my lights off and took a photo. The Samsung S21 does amazing photos in near darkness. it glows...confirmed.

20210609_195354A by Chako, on Flickr

Conclusion.

The Olympia is a near knock off of the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife. It even includes a diamond hone, although I wish they hadn't. I like the glow in the dark green rubber, but this would not make a good hunting knife because of that. The Camillus Les Stroud line I think is now discontinued, I am certain that the Bear Grylls line is also discontinued. I still find these types of survival knives interesting...mind you, you are reading an article from someone who finds the Rambo style hollow survival knife interesting as well. The Olympia...if you do find one, stay clear unless you like to make holes in your pants. What a design feature!

Some good nicknames for the Olympia are: 1. The Hole in One. 2. The Diamond Bitter. 3. The Raspy Slicer.  :rofl:
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 03:48:36 AM by Chako »

A little Leatherman information.

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No Life Club Posts: 1,949
Re: Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have.
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 02:32:13 PM »
Interesting. I didn’t know of the Camillus or Olympia ones.
So these are the modern version of the 80’s hollow handled survival knives then.
 :cheers:

Andrew
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,470 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 08:50:13 PM »
I guess you could say that.   :D

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,769 Born to multitask.
Re: Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have.
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2021, 05:14:41 AM »
I'd rather have glow-in-the-dark than just high vis orange. Nice! :like:
Out of all those Les Stroud knives, I wanted to buy the Waorani machete. It had a great sawback spine. But it has been discontinued for a while, and impossible to find. :-\
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,470 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Olympia Survival Knife...compared to others that I have.
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2021, 12:21:11 PM »
Why did I not know that even existed? I do have the SK Jungle machete.

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles

 

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