Customer Reviews: Camillus Survivorman Les Stroud SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife, Grey
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on November 2, 2012
First of all the price, not expensive and the knife is well worth it.
I take numerous camping/fly fishing trips 3 seasons a year. A knife is a must, no question. But I was going through $20-25 knives, atleast 3 a year.

This knife feels good and solid in the hand, the rubber on the back gives a very secure feel and grip, no slipping at all, even when wet.
I carved about 5 good sized limbs down to kindling, and the blade still shaves a line down the back of a fingernail. Sharp!
Non Stick Blade, very nice.
Im not a huge fan of serrations, however they are useful. And the serrations take up minimum blade, about an inch of serrations
with 4" of plain blade.

The nook on the spine for the flint stick is a handy addition, stops you from sliding the knife around when starting a fire.

As for the sheath part, its a survival knife, it has stuff that can help you if you ever need it.
A built in sharpener, very nice.

The whistle flashlight combo, well, its ok. Personally I stuffed some braided fishing line and a few hooks in that spot, and i use the
whistle/flashlight as a plug. so while i may not use the whistle/light, its compartment holds something I may need sometime, and it wont fall out.

The flint stick works, it throws a nice shower of sparks. Also under the flint stick, i dropped a T6 star bit. This bit fits all the screws holding this sheath together, useful.

Paracord wrapping, well its not the good stuff, but hey, look how much you paid for this knife, go to the store and buy some 550.

A mirror with a compartment behind it. Another place to store some stuff that you may need. cotton ball, matches, etc. The mirror itself is great. I have had to hike several miles back to my vehicle before because i got something in my eye. Useful when you need it.

Overall, this is a great knife.
For the price, its a great deal, and also I am a huge fan of Les Stroud and all his survival films, Its well worth the price, and who knows, this money may just help fund another season of survivorman. I am willing to buy a great knife for a reasonable price and support the cause.
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on June 15, 2012
Now before I get into specifics, let's talk about purpose. This is marketed as a "Survival Knife". It's purpose is to help get your tail out of trouble. It's to make your unfortunate vacation in the middle of nowhere a little more bearable. The overall goal of any survival situation is to get home. With that in mind, let's see how useful this knife really is.

$49.99. That's it. Very affordable. Sure, there are more expensive knives out there but they won't do you any good if you can't afford them. Even if you don't have an extra 50 bucks laying around, it sure makes for a probable Christmas present (if you play your cards right).

Bright green, grey, and black with a shiny signal mirror on the sheath. Simply put, it's easy to find. It happens, you set your knife down on a log or on the ground and it seems to dissapear. You'll waste valuable time and energy looking for it and if you DON'T find it, good luck surviving!

All other gadgets aside, the most important part is the knife blade itself. If the blade breaks in half, your day in the bush just got a harder. The blade is made of 440 stainless steel which is a very strong steel and easily sharpened. There is a non stick coating on the blade that makes cleaning off tree sap etc. much easier. This is handy as you'll (hopefully) be using it to prepare food. The blade is drop point with about 1/4 of it serrated. Serrations are great but you don't want it taking up most of the knife blade so good job by Mr. Stroud on this one. Also, the blade is full tang so it won't just snap off the handle.

Bright and grippy. Most of it has a nice rubberized finish making it extremely comfortable for extended use. It also has a steel pommel for tapping/hammering tasks. Altough, personally, I'd use a rock or something before using the knife handle to hammer anything. I'm sure it would hold up well, but in a survival situation, I want my knife to take as little damage as possible.

The sheath is made of a ballistic nylon and plastic compartments. The knife locks in securely and straps in nice so the danger of it falling out is minimul. On the outside, there is a signal mirror. Brilliant. Not only does it make the sheath easy to find, it can also aid in getting that piece of dirt out of your eye or pull that tooth. Not to mention the obvious task of signaling your rescuers. I will also add that with the signal mirror being on the outside of the sheath, your are signalling just walking around! Also, there is a good bit of paracord wrapped around the sheath. Paracord is strong, good for fishing, shelters, repairs, you name it. Also inside the sheath, a firesteel. Obvious plus. Then on the other side, you have a whistle and a small LED flashlight. This brings me to my first and probably only complaint. The whistle sucks and the flashlight isn't far behind it. It's about as loud as a child's whistle. The flashlight, while handy, uses three of those little watch batteries. Seriouslly? Those batteries are hard to find in most stores. A single AAA would have been better. Better than nothing I guess. Moving on, there is a small storage compartment behind the mirror that would probably hold something like matches, tinder, or medication. On the back of the sheath is a small, mesh compartment that has a little survival guide written by Stroud himself. It's also big enough to hold a small trail map.

The Verdict
The Les Stroud Survival Knife is a winner. Think about it. If you're lost in the woods with nothing but a survival knife, luck isn't really on your side. So you need to better your odds. Fire, shelter, signals. These things aren't going to be made for you. You have to make them yourself. This knife comes with its own little survival kit that can help accomplish these tasks.
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on March 1, 2013
After taking the knife out of the packaging and looking it over, a few things came to mind. First and foremost it is not heavily "branded" like another competitor's knife. I.E., no initials everywhere or names plastered all over the product, which I'm glad there isn't. Just my opinion but the product should speak for itself and not need a celebrity's name to make it seem that much more special. True, Les Stroud's signature does appear on the blade and sewn onto the handle strap. But tastefuly done to indicate that it is his signature line, and rightfuly so, it should. That is all. With that aside the knife appears to be well made. The blade and handle are more robust compared to the competitor's knife,which I also have, therefore making it feel more secure in my hand and comfortable. Even the serrations on the blade are intimidating. They seem like they could be used as a bonesaw. The other items that are listed do come with the knife and are functional. But instead of writing a magazine article length review I will give my reasons why I gave it four stars instead of five and will try to keep it short and sweet.
1. The whistle doesn't work to well, at least on mine anyway.
2. The paracord wrap seems more like just regular cordage than 550 paracord. It's alot smaller in diameter. Better some cordage than none at all though.
3. The sheath is well made and functions really well in holding everything it needs to. I only wish it had more lashing loops on the back to have the option to secure it both horizontily or verticaly.
4. I would like to have had a couple holes in the crossguard area to be able to secure the knife to something for a spear or other tool.
These are only my observations and opinions. I do like this knife over others and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again and definately recommend it as a good, worthwhile purchase.
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on December 30, 2014
I already own several other "survival" style knifes including the Bear Gyrlls "Ultimate Survival Knife" fine edge model. It looks to me like the Camillus Survivorman series is going straight up against Gerber's Ultimate Survival Knife, so this review is largely comparing the two models.

First off, I like the Camillus sheath over the Gerber sheath. The whistle/flashlight and fire starter are removed by pulling up as opposed to Gerber's knife where the fire starter is removed by pulling down (inevitably it will fall out). The flashlight is not too bright, and the whistle is not excessively loud, but these are meant for last-ditch emergency situations where a small flashlight and whistle are better than none. The flashlight does have an "O" ring seal between the tip and battery compartment so it's nominally waterproof, but you turn it on by tightening and off by loosening the tip. When off, it doesn't seem like you'd have a tight enough seal to keep water out if you fell into a stream.

This sheath also includes a signal mirror, which is the first sheath on any survival knife I've seen that includes this important piece of rescue equipment.

The sheath also includes a small front container for extra items and a place to wrap the included paracord. The Gerber doesn't have any place for extra items and the only place for paracord is the lanyard. The mesh pocket in the back of the sheath is a bit roomier on the Camillus and you could actually get the survival instruction sheet tucked into it, as opposed to the Gerber's sheath pocket that is pretty much a joke.

The built-in sharpener is a carbide "V" style similar to Smith sharpeners, and I prefer this over the flat diamond sharpener in the Gerber knife. I recognize some people have a knack for sharpening knives and are perfectly able to hone a a razor's edge on a piece of scrap steel using a chunk of fieldstone. But for us mortals a fixed angle sharpener is much easier and quicker that a stone, especially if you were already stressed being in a survival situation (which is what this knife is supposed to be designed for).

This knife blade itself is a bit shorter and wider that the Gerber, with a serrated edge on the lower one-third of the blade. I personally don't care for a serrated edge as the only way of sharpening it is with a special tool that is one more thing to carry. In fact I purchased the Gerber fine edge model for this reason, but Camillus doesn't offer their mountain knife in a fine edge option (They do in the Arctic Knife, but that knife doesn't have the same sheath). As with the folding knife, the fire starter notch on the back of this blade is coated, and to use it for actually making sparks the user will have to scrape off the coating first. I find this rather annoying.

The knife has a nice solid feel with good balance. The pommel has a diamond bottom designed for pounding, and includes a lanyard hole. Unlike the Gerber knife, there are no holes by the finger guards to use for lashing the knife to a pole.

The knife handle, and the sheath, have patches of florescent yellow which would make this kit easy to find if you dropped in in a patch of leaves or brush. Between the signal mirror and patches of yellow color, the sheath looks a bit gaudy and not a knife to use in commando raids where you're trying to go stealth.

This is a well made knife that would be perfectly suitable for carrying on hikes and camping trips, with the features needed if you were to get into an emergency situation.
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on July 17, 2015
I initially bought this knife (and sheath) for my "emergency stash" but was so impressed with the quality and design of both the knife and the "ultimate survival sheath" that I bought a second one for hiking. This knife is very well thought out:

1) The knife blade is a good length for general purpose use yet not so long or heavy it's awkward to carry.
2) It's full tang meaning it won't just snap at the handle and it comes sharp out of the box.
3) It doesn't end there though - it has serrations but only on 1/4 of the blade closest to the handle that you wouldn't normally use for regular cutting giving you the best of both worlds.
4) It also features a notch for a ferro rod on the top of the knife so you don't dull the blade lighting a fire and
5) a metal end on the handle that looks like a mini meat tenderizer for crushing things.
6) Finally, the handle itself is very comfortable yet very grippy

And that's just the knife!

The sheath adds in a ferro rod, LED flashlight, whistle, signal mirror (also great for checking how much you scraped up your face when you inevitably do), paracord spool with some paracord (see below), trail map mesh pocket, small storage compartment and... a knife sharpener!

And all this is in a very compact package for $30! Really a no-brainer and great not just for emergencies but as a general tool for hiking and camping.

The only think I would suggest is still carrying a magnesium fire starter and replacing included paracord with some 550lb one. I was able to neatly fit way more on the integrated spool than the originally included with the knife.
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on September 11, 2012
I should open by saying I am a novice camper and I mostly bought this knife to keep in my truck "just in case", but I love it!

It came VERY sharp and feels incredibly strong in my hand. All the little extras really make this knife stand out above the rest. The whistle needs a lot of air pressure to sound. Personally I can whistle louder on my own, bur otherwise everything is as described.

If you are looking for a good survival knife for a great price this is the one you should get.
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on April 10, 2015
Very good knife, but bulky sheath. Knife came very sharp, blade length is right. Grip felt very nice in the hand. The angle of the pommel is awkward to be used as a hammer - need to adjust that. I like Les and his shows, and his new series shows he is using one of his knives.

The sheath is interesting, it does have the ability to snap in the knife and hold it security by itself (unlike the Arctic knife). However the additional plastic to hold the paracord, mirror and "hidden compartment" is bulky and a waste. The built in sharpening capability is nice. the "fishnet" compartment in the back to hold things is useless. Whistle does not work, throw that away. Wish there was a way to remove the excess bulk without losing the built in sharping capability.
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on January 29, 2016
I am really conflicted about this knife
well not about the knife really

The knife itself is a good solidly built knife. I'm not worried about using or abusing it at all. It came sharp and ready to use. It seems to be holding its edge well. It's actually bigger than I expected. it very well balanced and sit well in my hand. I think the grip is a tiny bit big but that hasn't affected use at all. If i was reviewing just the knife itself this would be a 4 or 5 star review. 4.5 if I could give half stars.

Now for the thing that really made me pissy about this product.

The sheath is a freaking monstrosity with every wannabe survivalists wet dream dodad on it. Signal mirror, sharpener, place to wrap a small amount of paracord around, crappy signal whistle that barely works, a tiny flashlight that doesn't work, and ferro rod. If I had this to do over I wouldn't buy it just because of the damn sheath. In fact I spent the evening after I got it dissembling the damn thing so I could take all the crap off of it. the only thing it gets points for is being able to be disassembled and being a hard plastic with a positive lock to it. This knife will not fall out of the sheath accidentally.

Personally I think Les Stroud should be appalled that his name is associated with that sheath.

so to sum up for the price the knife itself is decent but the sheath Really detracts from it. Also if you put it on your belt people will point and laugh
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on May 19, 2013
This is a big, solid, full tanged, fix blade, 440 steel knife, and that's good.

It has a big, awkward , plastic sheath with some lame and some good accessories.

The spark making stick works The paracord is real.

The flashlight is the size of a quarter drinking straw, uses three tiny button batteries and turns on and off with the same screwing motion with which you assemble it. The tiny thing failed first time I used it.

The little exposed mirror on the sheath is better than none.

The whistle is a small functional toy.

This will be ok in my car trunk.
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on February 12, 2015
I'm no knife enthusiast or expert but this seems to be a solid and well made kit.
Changed out the cordage with some 850 Para.
Added a few Q-Tip heads wrapped in foil to the storage compartment. The ferro rod will light these easily.
The whistle seems loud enough if you blow very hard in it. If you are sick or injured this may not be possible.
The flashlight is small and dim but better than nothing, could be used to see while tying knots or checking a compass/map. To dim for signaling though.
The built in sharpener again is better than nothing and works.
The grip is fine for my Medium glove sized hands and has room to spare for a large hand.
The heal will drive a green wood bush-craft tent stake in ground that is frozen about 5 inches down. If its made with a chisel head.
The reflective mirror is the only thing that needs to be rethought. It scratches so easily and is so distorted its like a fun house mirror.
There is no harmonica with this kit, Les dropped the ball here.
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