Survival Gear Review: Todd Grey Role Knife

I am not by nature a “knife” guy.  I often have several on me but they are tools that I use as needed.  My likes and dislikes are simple and rarely do I go outside of my comfort zone.

By Captain Bart, contributing author SurvivalCache.com

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My survival knife fixed blade of choice is my KA-BAR Army sheath knife.  I like it, it feels good in my hand, single edged, proper Survival Knife Reviewlength and balance so why look at another blade.  Then this Scorpion Knife designed by Geoff “Tank” Todd arrived in the mail.  Interesting enough knife but not my style.  It was double edged, serrated along one side, BLACK with a tactical style sheath, but OK, the folks at SurvivalCache.com wanted a review so I’d look at it.

First impressions

It didn’t fit my hand quite as well as my KA-BAR. Not bad, mind you, but I like the feel of the KA-BAR slightly better. It was sharp, straight razor sharp, right out of the box.  Solid, single piece of steel from point to the punch at the base gave an air of rugged reliability.  The sheath is set up to attach to anything complete with molle mount points so you can hang even more stuff on it.  Also rugged as befits the blade.  So, OK, maybe it might not be a complete waste of time to try it out.

Field work

I had some clean up work that needed doing so the knife and I go out into the back yard.  There were some tree roots that had grown over some antenna leads and I needed the roots gone.  The serrated blade made short work of the problem.  This is where I ran into my ‘double edged blade’ issue.  I have a bad habit (one this knife just might correct) of using my weak hand to grasp the back of the knife and add a little extra force when using it to saw stuff. Unless you want someone to get suturing practice do not do that with this knife.  The blade is plenty sharp enough to not need the extra force and the back side would slice through a gloved hand in a heartbeat.

The smooth edge was very effective as a small machete for cleaning away brush, small shrubs, weeds and other debris.  I ran a quick survival gear review todd grey knifetest on the punch and it quickly and easily embedded itself into soft wood (pine).  Not wanting to actually break glass (didn’t want to do the clean up) that was as far as I took the punch test.

As a punch it seems effective but my preference is for the solid, flat base of Kay Bar type knives.  A little more force needed to break glass perhaps but I think I will more likely need a small hammer than that punch in the woods.  In a fight scenario the punch would be more effective, no doubt, but I tend to think knife fights will be an extremely rare occurrence.  In the same vein, I tried throwing the knife at some targets.

I am strongly biased against throwing knives.  Once you’ve thrown it, you are down disarmed.  Not a good thing, especially if your target runs off with your knife still stuck in it.  With that caveat and my poor skills at throwing, I found the knife fairly easy to throw with a 6 in 10 success rate for sticking in the target.  Given the punch on the end, even when it hit base first (I said I wasn’t very good) damage was done.

I wanted to test the side load capability of the knife so I devised several test to safely see how much side load it would take.  I did not Survival Knife Reviewwant to be holding the knife if I broke it for fear of being cut so I wedged it into several locations and used my weight as the force.  The knife flexed of course under my 200 lb load but it did not break or permanently deform.  Not treatment I’d recommend for any knife but it is nice to know it is solid.  The force was smoothly and gradually applied, no sudden shocks but I think I can say it is an extremely well made knife.

The lanyard of course has a multitude of uses in the field.  I slipped it around my wrist when out picking black berries.  I used the knife to clear away extra brush (there be snakes in Houston) and once the berries were exposed I could just let go of the knife. Convenient and I didn’t have to go hunting the knife among the thorns.

It cleaned up well with warm water and paper towel dry.

Summation

The Todd did everything it should have done extremely well.  Even for someone like me who is a little leery of double-edged blades, Survival Knife Reviewit was a pleasure to use.  The sharpness of both blades quickly got me out of the reflex of putting the weak hand on the blade for control.  It just wasn’t needed.  Rugged, reasonably water proof with a sheath that is not concerned with moisture this knife kept its edge through a couple of weeks of hacking, sawing, digging  (OK, you should never dig with your knife but sometimes folks do, so I did), high side loads and reasonable neglect and abuse and it is still in great shape.

This is not a knife I would have ordered online.  It is not a knife I would have picked up at a show.  If I had picked it up, I probably would have put it back down because it fit differently than what I liked.  All the negatives noted and considered I still like this knife.  The grip difference seems right for the knife.  Simply rotating it in the hand changes it from a serrated blade to a smooth blade and the feel doesn’t change. It never slipped when I had wet hands and I never felt like I wasn’t in complete control of the blade.

Nope, this is not a knife I would have tried out on my own. I would have been wrong.

Available from Samuel Staniforth, LTD £103.36  (Click Here)

Specs from the website:
Designed by Geoff ” Tank” Todd from New Zealand, the world’s foremost military Master Instructor of European Close Combat.  The best of everything has gone into these knives – NZ design – Sheffield Made – French Steel- British Grips – US Coatings and NZ sheaths.  Made with the Operator in mind, including all specialist role requirements.  Great for Military roles, Hunting, Survival and General Bushcraft and Hiking. – Full Tang Construction.

Blade – 5″ Long – 420 Stainless Steel – 80cm Rope cutting Serrations

Grips – Unique blend of Glass filled poly and Rubber – with thumb groove and side ridges for extra grip.

Total weight 450g

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25 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Todd Grey Role Knife”

  1. Better be nice for that price. Double to triple the price of SOG or Gerber- which are decent.

    Looks much cooler though.

    Reply
    • For the same price in USD I would much rather buy a Hawke's Hellion Elite knife, which appears to have a better design and more utility.

      Reply
    • SOG and Gerber are serviceable knives for EDC, but except for their highest-end knives I would not choose them for a survival tool. Their steels are generally on the lower end, with poorer edge retention, and their heat treats are inferior. Benchmade is better in terms of quality, but I hate their primary bevel. Something like a Busse is what you want, or a Swamp Rat if price is an issue. For the price, you are buying end-of-the-world durability, quality steel, an excellent heat treat, good ergonomics, and solid design. My primary survival knife is a Swamp Rat Ratmandu, and for something in the range of $150 you cannot find a better all-purpose cutting tool. Remember, this may be the last knife you own for the rest of your life. Price should be a consideration, but it should be the last one.

      To address the OP, a double-edged blade is a poor choice for a survival knife. As you discovered, it prevents you from using your weak hand to guide or steady the blade, and it also prevents you from choking up your grip, or batoning with the knife. Removing material from the spine also makes the blade weaker in absolute terms, although your test suggests that the build quality of this particular knife makes that a non-issue. Serrated edges are also unnecessary, as an adequately sharp plain edge will cut as well as a serrated one through thick material (webbing, seatbelts, leather) and produce a cleaner cut, while maintaining versatility for cutting softer media. Serrations are often misused as saw blades for removing small tree limbs, but a quality plain edge knife can chop or baton through the same limb more quickly and with less effort. Of course, a proper saw or sawtoothed blade will make short work of larger limbs or small tree trunks, but a mere serrated knife blade does not perform the same way.

      Reply
  2. Good review, Capt Bart! To me it looks a lot like the Fairburn Applegate design. I'm like you, that style does not "fit" my hand well. I always felt that the Navy issue Mark? was close to perfect size fit to my hand.

    Reply
  3. A decent review CaptBart, I haven't tried it yet as I own a 1980s Ka-Bar USMC combat knife, a Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate, and a Gerber Paraframe II lock-blade as my knives. I find I like the feel of the Ka-Bar over the Ultimate, but the Ultimate is a good work knife. I've used it to cut through some vine growing between my sister's fence and her neighbor's garage so I could find her Lab's tenis ball after it flew over the top of the fence. Not sure what the British price in Pounds would cost in U.S. Dollars, but one of the other commentators on your review said something about it being three times as much as a good Gerber or a SOG.

    Reply
  4. I know this was not a review of the Ka-Bar.
    I too fall in love early, when I found my Dads MK II. (still have it)
    Along with a few others.
    But I agree. The Ka-bar fits my hand better then any
    other knife I have ever bought or held in my hand.
    This "TANK" to me is a fighting knife. With a blade on both isdes.
    As the Ka-bar is a work knife. You can use eather knife for both jobs!
    I can but at lease two Ka-Bars for the $160.00 price.
    Now how about a review on the Ka-Bar? (Did I miss that one)

    Reply
  5. Capt, great review. I like the Ka-bars also, carry a handmade custom knife that I'll be giving to my nephew. The point identifies this as a "combat" knife, as it is designed to crack a skull during CQB. The flat pommel, like the Ka-bar, lends itself to a better survival/chore knife as you can use it for an improvised hammer if need be. IMHO.

    Reply
    • Reg,
      Yes, that punch is not as useful to me as the Ka-bar's flat base; at least not in most survival situations. I'm still a Ka-bar fan; it fits me better. I'm not a fan of 'knife fights' in general (mainly because I'd most likely LOSE) so the main reason for many of this knife's features are just not applicable to me. I LIKED the knife, it is rugged and sharp but I would probably not have even picked it up if I'd seen it at a show.
      I guess it is a 'boxers or briefs' discussion.

      Reply
      • The discussion analogy is quite right. I carried a different set of edged tools in Iraq than I do when going into the woods. I had a skinner with me over there, but my primaries were a Rukio tanto and a Gerber Guardian 2 dagger plus 2 folders.
        I try and keep the "combative" mindset out of my preps, except for defensive purposes and try to tailor my tools to meet an even more multifunctional purpose for prepping than what I did for military duty.

        Reply
  6. No two ways about it, the old Ka-Bar is one of the best values for the money out there. The only real problem with it is that the handle is circular in cross section and one can not easily tell by feel alone how the cutting edge of the blade is oriented when one holds it. Some of the more modern versions of the Ka-bar may have different handle shapes and thus that could be less of a problem with them.

    As far as the knife under review goes, I would be somewhat biased against it. If I want a knife with a relatively short blade I would prefer to go with a folder. If I want to get a fixed blade knife to use as a multi-functional implement and last ditch weapon I much prefer knives with blades in the 8" to 10" range. I realize that different people have different takes on this, and there seems to be quite a demand for relatively short fixed blade knives, but they just don't do it for me.

    Reply
  7. Captain Bart, as a fellow Houstonian, is your K-Bar the short one or the one that is illegal to possess in Texas (over 5 1/2 inches)? Of course, after TSHTF that restriction won't matter much! I guess just using it around the 'stead wouldn't cause the "law" to get too excited.

    Reply
    • SL,
      both knives (my Kay-bar and the Todd) have 7 inch blades. I confess I'm confuse about your 'illegal over 5 1/2 inch" statement. There is no such law in the state of Texas, going all the way back to Jim Bowie at the Alamo. There may be some law about concealed over 5 1/2 inches but there is nothing, to the best of my knowledge, that says I can't carry a Bowie on my hip in this state. I've even roamed around with a machete that is substantially longer than 5 1/2 inches. To the best of my knowledge, that also is legal. Can you give me a reference?

      Reply
    • In some states they do have blade laws ( its retarded ) . BUT in some of those states its legal to carry a pistol out in the open . Like I said ……..RETARDED . Never heard of a drive by swording , or long range stabbing . Then again gooberment has never made sense , even to the gooberment.

      Reply
  8. Nice post!

    I'm very partial to my Ka-Bar BK2 Companion. Jarhead Survivor over at SHTFBlog turned me on to it and I'd have to agree with his review.

    One limitation of the Tood would be in the area of splitting firewood by batoning. With a double edge blade, you cannot really do that well.

    Joe

    Reply
  9. Great review ,
    I just dont like stainless steel and prefer carbon . Interesting comment you made about throwing knives ……………………….The Romans were the only culture on earth that actually designed a throwing implement with the idea of it not coming back at them . The pilum was designed much like an ice pick but with soft iron , designed to bend over after either hitting a body , shield , or the ground if they missed , making it worthless for somebody to throw back .

    Reply
    • T.R.
      Your point on the Romans is quite correct – I always thought it was a bit of genius to design your throwing weapons so that they could not be used against you. I guess when you've "conquered the known world" you learn a few things about fighting using the weapons of the day.

      Reply
  10. These days a growing number of movies are in the public domain. These works are considered part of the public cultural heritage and may be freely used by all. Public domain refers to the body of creative works and knowledge in which no person, government or organization has any proprietary interest such as a copyright.

    Reply
  11. hey, I'd like to see a review on Buck knives for survival. in my neck of the woods they're what most folks have in their pocket anyway and will likely ride along during any bug-out situation. the full-size Buck 110 folder and the fixed blade Woodsmans, Pathfinders and, of coarse, the classic legendary Buck Special.

    Reply
  12. personally i dont suggest a knife at all, limited uses and depending on knife a bit small for heavy duty work. i like to use a tomahawk, i can chop, dig, throw, and anything a knife can do if i choke up on it. have even skinned small game and filleted a fish when mine is sharp, so overall i prefer it over any knife. again this is just my preference, and putting an idea in peoples minds =)

    Reply
  13. Too many negatives for this blade, too expensive, 420 steel (easy to sharpen and it'll need it often), as Joe above pointed out no batoning, and for me anyway, a serrated edge is good for cutting rope but not wood, too little sawing length for use as a saw. I don't feel any one blade can do everything and what if you lose it! For me, three blades are minimal for stepping off the beaten path, One, my Ontario Marine 50 folding knife (always on me), 1095 steel, half-serrated (cause I cut a lot of card board and twine), 25 years of service and still quite functional. Two, a neck knife, primarily for food processing; and Three, Kabar kurka machete, 1085 steel, 11 inch blade, 21 ounces (not too heavy, not too light), full tang, very good grip (wet or dry), good pointed tip for digging, good for light weight chopping or hammering, overall good weapon, good tool, just a bit big for skinning mice! As far as a throwing weapon, not recommended, (might be thrown back at me). I think if you need or think you might need a projectile/throwing weapon, I suggest making spear(s) out of branches (kurka, anyone) or if no suitable branches are available, a hefty throwing stick or two, or if you want to bring it from home, a pistol crossbow works well for me. And don't forget a sharpener for those knives!

    Reply
  14. The serations
    This feature also prevents using the spine to hammer the blade through wood / material as it would roll the edge your hammering.

    The sheath leaves a ton to be desired

    I do like the grip and guard they are OK only one feature is missing a second hole to mount this as a spear point.

    Again an attempt to make one tool into a multitool has problems the older Aitor Cuchillo de Monte with the
    hard Sheath that could transform into a sling shot. a feature they no longer have.
    Always thought a wider sheath with other options like a diamond shapening pad and a small pocket for a magnesium fire starter or fire steel and a decent oil filled polycarbonate cased compass BUT NO !

    A knife needs to be a knife a good pommel and hand guard a saw back needs to have round pockets not sharp as these are where a knife spine can fracture the tips can be sharpened to do the cutting and only for a portion of the length..
    A sheath is the vehicle for any number of improvements or additions as long as it does not go beyond certain limits.
    We have the knowledge and the technology just no one smart enough to put it all together.

    This is nothing but an attempt at making a wider version of the EK commando it is a double edge knife and that is illegal in most states as they do not deliniate as to how long the edges are.

    years ago I had a Solingen knife a hunter with a handle that had a bird hook a saw a gutting blade none of this subtracted from the primary blades roll of being a knife and it had stag scales it did have a few weak points but it was for hunting in the 1960's not built with the new millium TEOTWAWKI scenario in mind

    On the other hand the multitool has too many features that makes none easy to use on real world machines
    I have been forced to thin or bend a wrench to gain access and have the swing to reach bolts or nuts.
    My point K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid concentrate on the sheath not the combat knife itself
    and the mindset that you can place " Tactical "before any word and make it useful or workable in the field.
    Is another one of my pet peeves.
    I am still waiting for the tactical banana ?

    Reply

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