SURVIVE! Knives GSO-5.1 Review

Today we are reviewing the GSO-5.1 designed by Guy Seiferd at SURVIVE! Knives. I'm a huge advocate for multi-purpose survival knives in the 4-6" range; this model lands right in the sweet spot. SURVIVE! Knives offer's a few different models in various sizes that are worth checking out. It seems that Guy is always improving on his offerings - searching to find the absolute best quality and design for his customers.

I was able to ask Guy what his inspiration for his designs and what got him started. This was his reply: "My background in this industry began about 2 years ago, while in search of a better field knife. Every knife I purchased was eventually given to a buddy or sold, after deciding it "wasn't for me". Either the knife in question was too expensive for what I got, fell short in quality expectations or ergonomics, or most cases, both. So I sat down one day with my tablet and began sketching my very first prototype design, that my friend later dubbed the GSO-5 (Guy Seiferd Original, 5" blade). I went around, asking how different people used their knives, what they expected from a knife, and measuring people's hands." 

I admire that they are designing knives with the end user in mind. I think this speaks volume's about SURVIVE! Knives company culture and their desire to fulfill the needs of the customer.

The GSO-5.1 can be had in ELMAX ($180) and CPM-3V ($170). Knives of this steel quality usually retail for much, much more. We used the ELMAX version in this review. For those of you that are unfamiliar with ELMAX it's a great all weather stainless steel with excellent edge retention.

During my field test the blade performed incredibly well (not only is it an aesthetically appealing knife, it's also a beast). I took the GSO-5.1 out and really beat it up. It was able to tackle chopping, batoning, feathersticks, and other fine work with ease. As a chopper it's just heavy enough, but not too heavy. A problem I've experienced with other knives in this size range. SURVIVE! Knives choice of blade steel is the answer to that problem that many of us have faced. After my testing the edge was still shaving sharp.

The drop point blade design has great functionality enabling it to meet a broad range of task. The tip has a lot of blade behind it, giving it incredible tip strength.
This model features the Camo Canvas Micarta

The GSO-5.1 features a 5 3/4" blade with a 5" handle. Another design feature I found very useful was the finger choil and thumb grooves. I like options! It allowed me to choke up for better control (when needed). Canvas Micarta has always been a favorite handle material of mine. When you get this knife in your hands, you know that there has been an emphasis placed on ergonomics - I didn't have any discomfort while using the knife. I get mad when I see survival knives without lanyard holes. Not a problem on the GSO-5.1.
The GSO-5.1 comes with a Kydex sheath (your color choice). The versatile mounting system can be used on MOLLE webbing, a belt, or in a waistband. I attached it to MOLLE webbing on my pack, and it carried well in that fashion. So to any of my military brethren - it will attach to your Body Armor webbing within reach for rapid deployment. It can also be flipped around and slid into an in-the-waistband carry, if you need to conceal it. Whatever your preferred method of carry, you don't have to worry about losing your blade. The sheath retains the knife well.

One thing I appreciate from SURVIVE! Knives that many production knives don't offer is the ability to customize your knife. SURVIVE! Knives allows you to choose your steel, Micarta handle color, and sheath color. There is even the option to choose your handle fastener finish, as well as the option of a bow drill divot in the handle. Where else can you get a knife of this value that you customize and make it your own before it delivers to your doorstep?

Check out SURVIVE! Knives for one of the best value's of high quality knives on the net. I challenge you to find another company offering such high quality steel options at this price point. I will be posting a video review in the next week or so - stay tuned.


  1. Nice Knife. What kind of survival kit is that you have on the 2nd and 3rd picture?

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