Camillus “Les Stroud Signature Series” S.K Mountain Knife ReviewJuly 24, 2013
- The sheath!
- Weight and size vs. amount of features
- Carbonitride Titanium coated, non-stick blade
- Integrated Flint Notch/Ferro Rod
- High visibility sections on handle and sheath
- Lower quality whistle/LED flashlight
- Ballistic nylon wings on top of sheath can be irritating rubbing on your side
- Signal mirror should have the option to be stored or covered
I’m not going to lie; I was really brutal on this tool. I threw it at rocks; I dug in the sand and dirt and I even stoked up the fire with it—and still this thing looks brand new. Even when I popped the face off of the sheath coming down a small cliff, it didn’t affect the operation of anything except for the sharpener.
Camillus has always done right by their customers with keeping their pricing competitive, but this is out of control. For the materials used, and the features included on this tool, the S.K Mountain could easily retail for $100-150.
Construction & Materials
A fully tanged, partially-serrated, drop-point blade is probably the most durable and universal design a survival tool could have. Adding a non-stick coating to the blade makes it even more useful—allowing you to simply wipe off sap, blood, grit, etc. The knurled pommel, or “hammer butt” (as I have been referring to it) and flint notch expand the uses of this tool beyond the ordinary knife.
The steel itself isn’t what shines here—it’s the treatment that’s applied to it. There’s nothing wrong with 440 stainless, it just requires a little more sharpening than other types of steel. But with the included sharpener—that’s a non-issue. Some would say 440 isn’t the best choice for a blade that could be submerged in liquids, but the Ti coating takes care of that.
This is probably one of the best designs I have seen on a “survival” style, action-packed sheath like this. For all of the features included, it should really be bulky, but isn’t. I would have liked to have seen the mirror flip around or be covered when not in use. The whistle and flashlight will definitely work in a jam, but you should bring a backup of both.
I continuously got the knife hung up on the nylon/Velcro hasp that keeps the handle from swinging away from your side—so much so that I ended up, accidentally, cutting it off.
Both the knife and sheath are designed to be pretty much maintenance-free. Because there are removable parts on the sheath, you do face the risk of losing them. But the fact that you have them is a major benefit. The removable parts and knife do all click back into place.
Because Les Stroud designed this knife, I wanted to make sure it stood up to his “Survivorman” moniker, and I think it does. I dug holes in the ground with this knife, I cut meat with this knife—I even dug in the fire with it—and it looks brand new. The Ferro rod will bite into the coating on the flint notch, but there’s not much you can do about that. The grip on the handle cannot be beat.
In testing, I inadvertently popped the bottom of the front plate of the sheath off. It houses the mirror and knife sharpener and also helps keep the Para-cord in place. None of the plastic cracked, so I was able to put it back together when I got back home, using glue to hold the screw and plate in place. Since then there haven’t been any issues. Note to self: Don’t get hung up on roots when sliding down the side of a cliff.
Design/Ease of Use
The design of the sheath allows for everything to be accessible, except for the map pocket, when wearing it. All of the accessories click in and out of place, including the knife. The only drawback, as stated, was the nylon/Velcro hasp that keeps the handle in place. Over time, that issue probably would have resolved itself, but you may want to open the two pieces up and lay something heavy on them to break in the nylon.
440 will hold a decent edge for an extended period of time—but if you’re trying to be precise, you’ll find yourself using the included knife sharpener quite a bit. In 3-5 passes through the sharpener, this sucker will be factory sharp.
– The Knife
– Carbonitride Titanium coated, non-stick 440 Stainless Steel Blade
– Drop-point style blade
– Full Tang construction
– Partial serrations
– Rubber-gripped handle
– Knurled steel pommel
– Flint notch for fire starting
– Hybrid Ballistic Nylon Sheath
– 10ft. Para-cord
– Signal Mirror
– Knife Sharpener
– LED Flashlight
– Ferro Rod for fire starting
– Storage Compartment
– Trail Map Pocket
– Survival Tips Insert from Les Stroud