on December 7, 2012
This is an extremely solid knife. Some people are hesitant about the loop at the end of the handle. The steel is very thick. Unless you are using it to chisle out rock, I seriously doubt you will break the lanyard hole.
The micarta is a little rough but can easily be sanded and polished.
The blade was pretty sharp, but not as sharp as I like. It needed a little bit of polishing to remove the grinding burrs. Since this is a scandi grind an arkansas stone or a water stone is recommended. Start with a soft stone then move to a hard stone.
The sheath is very high quality. No retention is needed due to the tight fit and deep pocket. The piece of lacing is a little weak, dont depend on it for anything serious or other than looks. The stitching is very tight and straight. It reminds me of saddle work.
All in all, you will not be disapointed. This is a heavy solid knife that is built for use. The thick blade will be great for using fire steels and battoning.
on July 22, 2014
75% awesome out of the box . the first thing i noticed was rust along the spine and on the edge of the handle . this is more than likely from being stored in the sheath in the box while waiting to be sold . the rust was easily removed with a bit of steel wool and some oil . the "scandi" grind does have a secondary bevel , but its still arrived pretty sharp . i have no plans to remove the secondary bevel , the knife will work just fine the way it is . the sheath is all most top notch , i would have prefered a folded over belt loop that was rivited on the bottom as opposed to a double stitched loop . but the stitching is very nice and heavily done .on a side note , tops knives has a bushcraft sheath on their website that fits this knife perfectly , it even has a firesteel loop (firesteel included) , and its a dangler style sheath .. back on topic , the top of the blade throws sparks as well as they say it will . this is a very nice knife that only requires a little tlc to make it 100% , and i do not find this knife ugly in the slightest way :) .....
on August 29, 2014
I've been using and abusing this knife around the ranch, plus fishing and camping, for 6 months now. It has performed great. It's edge retention is not quite up to that of an ESEE or other higher priced knife, but it is very good. It resharpens easier than the other knives also. I carry it everyday and like that the profile and colors make it look like a tool it is rather than a tactical knife like many others. I've beat on the back of this knife with my axe batoning wood, pried with it, and otherwise abused it. It is still in great shape and working fine. Only thing I've had to do is stitch the sheath opening shut a little tighter as it stretched over time with use and oil. My favorite knife.
UPDATE: I still have the same knife over a year later and haven't hurt it yet. The sheath is still working fine after adding the few stitches at the opening to tighten it up. It's been to Canada and North Dakota fishing and camping, processed a few deer, and done a ton of cutting and prying around the ranch. I've abused it pretty bad around the ranch. I lost my Leatherman one day and needed to cut some barbed wire to splice a fence. I used a rock to hit the back of the knife and put the wire against a tree, beat it right through. Not the way to treat a knife I know, but it took the beating and got the job done. Its edge retention is still very good if not great, and it's one of the easiest knives to re-sharpen I've used. Even when I let it go to long and get pretty dull, a minute on the Smith's Diamond Precision sharpening system and 10 pulls through the Edgemaker Pro green sharpener I have and it will shave hair again. In comparison my S30V knives may take a little longer to dull, but take much longer to sharpen. Plus they cost enough I'd not want to abuse them quite like this one. I guess the best reference I can give is that I bought 2 more and put them in the gun safe in case I lose this one or they quit making them. I may never need them if this one keeps taking a beating like it has so far. It will be going to Wyoming next fall on an elk hunt, and an Alaskan moose hunt the year after. Paired with a Havalon Hydra I think it will be an ideal set-up. This one can do the camp chores, heavy cutting/bone separating, and I can cape and bone with the Havalon. I don't trust just a Havalon when deep in the back country, I'll pack the little extra weight to have a stout tool I can depend on.
on May 21, 2014
the first thing i noticed about this knife is how ugly it is. it's got a great weight to it, the carbon steel is thick! there is no worry about the lanyard hole breaking, even though the pictures make it seem sort of flimsy. the belly of the knife is impressive. i have yet to do any bushcraft with it, as i've yet to get out of town! but i cannot wait to try it out. i will possibly update this review once i put it through some paces. but as of now, i love it and it was well worth the $70. mid-priced bushcraft knife. not a mora. not a ray mears. somewhere in the lower middle. =) happy camping.
on September 8, 2015
Initial impressions/table top, out-of-the-box review:
Nice little all-purpose/bushcraft. I got it for $50 shipped so, for my subjective point of view on value, that's where I'm at. At that price point, it's a great deal. The build quality is good. The steel is good old 1095 so nothing special but basic and, if given a good heat treat, dependable. The blade is coated evenly with a nice smooth material that won't inhibit smooth slicing but should help prevent rust. I would still keep it oiled. This is a coating I may not mind; I hate coatings but time will tell.
Blade is straight. Thickness is not super-thick or thin, but just about right for this size of tool IMHO. Grinds are extremely even, but rather than a true scandi it is actually a saber grind with a secondary bevel that mimics a scandi. It should be easy to bring to a true scandi grind with a little time on a stone... The edge is shaving-sharp and even, one of the best I've seen on a sub $150 (retail) blade. The belly is significant, more than enough for skinning duty but not overly wide or cumbersome so as to diminish the tool's woodworking capabilities, for which I think this knife will excel.
The handle design is very comfortable in my medium hands, but there is not a lot of extra purchase and very large hands might have an issue. If the handle of the small Beckers work for you, then I think this knife might work fairly well. YMMV. The micarta scales have good texture and are well formed and rounded. The fit to the full tang is not perfect (about in line with Ontario or the Tech Ops of Blackjack, definitely not Bark River) but they give me no issues.
The sheath is a nice pouch design with thick quality leather and a good welt stitching is a little delicate but of decent quality. Again, I haven't seen better (or even the same) for under $150 retail.
Overall, a pretty decent knife even at this price point, especially for having been made in the USA. It's nice to see Camillus reopened making a good product domestically. We will see how it does in the field, unless I gift it first.
Update: After my son checked it out and really liked the feel (and, surprisingly, the looks), I decided to keep it for now, so I put it to work. It performed flawlessly making nice, fine featherstick curls and did fairly well in the kitchen. To maintain the edge I just stropped it on the edge of the sheath to keep it shaving sharp. We both agreed we actually liked it as much or better than his Esee 4. For under $100 this knife is great. Why anyone would buy a Chinese blade over this for the same price point or higher is beyond me (Boker Plus, etc.). I'm really liking this knife. And the sheath. Btw, don't throw away the box, as, if you need to return it to Camillus for its lifetime warranty, the paper says the box serves as poof of purchase. Also, this is a hair shorter than the Esee 4.
Update#2: After doing some simple wood processing (feather sticks), comparing it side-by-side with my BRKT North Star, I'm not liking the secondary bevel. The North Star was a quarter or less the effort in notching and far superior in feathering. Both were shaving=sharp start to finish. Granted the Northy has a convex grind, but my Moras do better at around $5-15. If I decide to take the edge down to a true scandi rather than gift it as is, I will update again. Btw, still love the handle.
Update #3: put it up against my Mora 511 and Hultafors HD. Both out-performed the Camillus on woodcraft by a long shot (>5 to 1), but I think it was just the grind. The Camillus could still shave hair after an hour of whittling, notching and feather-sticking. Gifted it to my nephew and suggested some time on a stone for a true scandi edge. For me, the handle and overall blade shape, as well as steel and temper, were excellent in design and function. Lose the secondary bevel and this is a 5 star winner.
on February 18, 2016
The rust is on me and is no fault of the knife. It may not be as as pretty as some of the more hyped "survival"/bush-craft knives, but is equally if not more functional. Mine has been very effective at skinning, whittling, gutting, and hard use tasks. I like the utilitarian look. Unlike most knifes that serve this same purpose, this one doesn't scream "I have never left the city."
on July 15, 2015
This is an awesome knife, it's a little smaller than I had pictured so for me I don't think I would do a lot of batoning with it (I prefer a longer knife for that) however it could be done if needed. I like the big belly, it should work very well for skinning, the picture really doesn't do it justice. If it were about ten bucks less I would give it another star, however the build quality feels very solid, it is a full tang blade and includes the lanyard loop in the handle so it shouldn't ever fail. I mention this because the picture makes it seem like it would be a week point and that isn't the case as far as I am concerned. It is carbon steel so it will need a little oil form time to time but should serve me well for many years.