Camillus CK-9 Review

February 10, 2015
Construction & Materials
Ease of Use
Steel Quality & Edge Retention

The Good

  • 3/16” thick 1095 full tang construction
  • Modified drop point blade
  • Multi-purpose, adaptable ballistic nylon sheath with survival whistle.
  • Angled handle improves effectiveness in certain situations.
  • Made in USA

The Bad

  • Although it’s got a lot of great features, the sheath is a bit overdone.
  • The retail price seems a bit high.
  • Handle scales needed a good sanding out of the box.

I’m glad to see that Camillus is offering an American-made knife with such a demanding presence that it leaves no doubt that it’s up to whatever task asked of it. I took a tire off of an old steel rim with this pig-sticker with ease. I also prepared quite a meal at camp—complete with steak, peppers, and potatoes. I was impressed in and out. But in this day and age, with all of the offerings out there of knives of this type, I think the $216 price tag is a little steep. However, for the type of person who demands a command performance from a knife blade—and who doesn’t mind spending a little bit more to get to that level—this knife’s sole purpose is to make you happy.


The Camillus CK-9 is a battle-ready centurion-type of fixed blade knife. Complete with a multi-faceted sheath and survival whistle, the CK-9 is made from black traction coated 1095 high-carbon steel and features high-grip Micarta handles. This knife was built to last but it might be a little too rich for your wallet.

I understand that keeping production in the U.S. probably contributed to the some of the cost associated with the Camillus CK-9, which I support. However, based on the materials used, this knife would hit it out of the park if the price cut by $75 or so.

Construction & materials
The Camillus CK-9 features thickly coated 1095 high carbon steel and Micarta handles. Based on this and the thickness of the steel, this knife could survive a bomb-blast. Having to sand the handle scales out of the box was a bit of a bummer.

Ease of use
A knife like this is going to be easy to use due to its size and shape, but the Camillus CK-9 scores some extra points for having an angled handle which makes more demanding situations a breeze. I think you’d find this feature beneficial in a survival situation or when trying to prepare dinner under the dying light of the sun.

Steel quality / edge retention
Camillus’ decision to use 1095 steel on the CK-9, and coating it with an extra-thick textured material was the right choice for a knife of this caliber. However, 1095 steel requires a little more time with the honing stone. I wouldn’t worry though—it’s going to take some time before it loses its edge completely.

I smacked the snot out of the Camillus CK-9 and it laughed at me the whole time. I could put this sucker back in the box and ship it back and they would think I never used it. The sheath took more of a beating from being on my side than the knife did being thrown into the sand tip first.


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