Looking for a great do-it-all camp knife that combines comfort, great design, and versatility? Survive Knives’ GSO 4.5 camp knife might be the perfect fit.
Going from zero to 60 as a small business is a daunting proposition. Meeting the demands of ultra-finicky knife nuts while doing so is incredibly difficult. Survive Knives debuted with promise, but hit some speed bumps along the way. It looks like they’ve righted the ship with the GSO 4.5.
It was never an issue with the knives — they have always been fantastic. But wait times and release frequency were real issues. In 2021, they started releasing knives in greater numbers and with increased frequency, so it’s time to take a look at what they’re offering.
Their standard-bearer in terms of both size and design is the GSO 4.5. This is a classic-sized camp knife flexing from heavy chopper tasks like batoning and firewood prep down to more delicate jobs like food prep. If you want one knife to do everything, a camp knife is your best bet.
In short: Despite some bumps in the road for Survive Knives, the GSO 4.5 ticks all the boxes when it comes to building an exemplary camp knife.
Survive Knives GSO 4.5: Specs
- Steel: 3V (also available in 20CV)
- Grind: ¾ flat grind (0.150″ thick stock in standard version and 0.115″ thick stock in bushcraft version)
- Blade Length: 4.5 inches
- Handle Length: 5 inches
- OAL: 9.5 inches
- Price: $229.95
- Country of Origin: USA
The market for high-end, high-performance fixed blades is dominated by a few brands — Bark River Knives, ESEE, LT Wright Knives, and Bradford Knives are all major players. The bar for these knives is very high, as the designs are pretty simple.
Fixed blades live or die depending on the details. During testing, this knife rode on my hip while splitting and stacking firewood for about 12 hours over 2 days. I used it to baton, peel off bark, and even made some cheese, soppressata, and crackers for a snack.
Handle, Sheath, and Blade Quality
Handles make or break fixed blades, and the GSO 4.5 has the best handle I have used. With a prominent palm swell and no sharp edges or steep angles, the GSO 4.5 is a winner. It is, in fact, more refined than the previous Survive Knives I have owned.
The sheath is equally excellent, allowing for one-handed retrieval and stowing with ease, holding the knife rattle-free, and keeping things tight. The blade itself is immaculately clean — the grind is steady and even across the entire blade. Nothing appears out of place or astray.
The lanyard hole is also noteworthy, hidden in the rear portion of the handle. It is a small detail that keeps everything exceptionally clean.
Survive Knives GSO 4.5: Conclusion
Other than limited availability, which is getting better, there are no drawbacks to the GSO 4.5, especially at the current price of $230. This is a knife that stands as one of the best production fixed blades available in 2021.
It is supremely comfortable and remains so over hours of hard use. Its size lets it perform big and small tasks well.
Now that Survive Knives has begun fixing its production problems, it is one of the companies to watch in the knife industry — and even 5 minutes with the GSO 4.5 tells you why. You won’t find better. Highly recommended.