While the army-issued 7-inch version might be the best option for combat, the more recent 5.5-inch Yaraborough is ideal for a wide range of civilian outdoor activities.
The author found the false edge to be the knife’s “hidden gem,” which served as a striker for the ferrocerium rod. Drawing the ferrocerium rod back against the false edge produced an intense shower of sparks.
The author found the extra grooves in the handle to be useful when wearing gloves, while the swell toward the pommel kept the knife from slipping out of the hand during chopping or batoning.
After a month using the Chris Reeve 5.5-inch-long Green Beret, it looks no worse for the wear. The author used it hard during two survival classes and various hikes through the Southwest with no issues whatsoever.
Wood was easy to split using the Green Beret due to the 5.5-inch blade. It made short work of splitting the wood down to pencil-thick pieces for kindling and easily shaved curly pieces for the fire.
Chopping thick wire for making wire-snare sets during a survival class didn’t affect the CPM S35VN stainless steel. The author found this steel to be superior for this task where some softer steels may have chipped.
With the Green Beret knife, Chris Reeve deploys a Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master sheath that offers a generous front pouch and a plethora of tie-down options.
Although the Green Beret knife is on the large size for small-game preparation, it easily handled jobs like skinning a squirrel for the survival class. The sharp point penetrated the hide easily, while the CPN S35VN steel remained sharp.
The Yarborough knife was named after Lieutenant General William P. Yarborough, who is known as the Father of the Modern Green Berets. He wanted U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers to have a distinct edged weapon like their ancestors in World War II did. What began as a simple dinner conversation between Yarborough and Lieutenant General Doug Brown evolved into the knife known to the Special Forces as “the Yarborough” and to everyone else as “the Green Beret knife.”
Chris Reeve Knives (CRK) has a reputation for making top-of-the-line hard-use knives that comprise toughness, style and elegance. CRK has always moved with the times, evolving its products by offering updated materials while this ever-changing market grows—they stay on top of it. The Green Beret knife is made in Boise, Idaho, by CRK and designed by renowned knifemaker and designer Bill Harsey with manufacturing input from Chris Reeve. The original Green Beret knife as awarded to Special Forces Qualification Course graduates had a 7-inch-long blade, an overall length of 12.375 inches, a blade thickness of 0.22 inches, a KG Gun Kote finish, sandblasted black Micarta, CPM S30VN steel, and a foliage green Spec-Ops Brand sheath (Combat Master series). CRK’s new Green Beret knife is a smaller version of the original with a blade length of 5.5 inches, an overall length of 10.875 inches and CPM S35VN stainless steel. The supplied sheath is still the Spec-Ops Brand but in coyote brown.
In The Field
While field-testing the Green Beret, I was teaching two different survival classes and used the knife hard with survival applications in mind. I also got a chance to see others use the knife in ways that would definitely void a warranty. I think some of the best knife abuse comes from giving knives to people who don’t know how to use them. Needless to say, no job was too big or small for the Green Beret knife.
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The Yarborough knife was named after Lieutenant General William P. Yarborough, who is known…
by Terrill Hoffman / Sep 19, 2013