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Camillus Arclite...worth 20 dollars??


BOUNCED EMAIL: I need to update my email address in my profile!
Oct 3, 1998
Well, I took a prybar to my wallet for the 24 dollars (with shipping) to buy a Camillus Arclite. The pictures I have seen really looked like it would be a good investment of 20 bucks. Mine arrived today, and although its not been used yet, I do have a few first thoughts on it.

First off, its not a large knife, but it is bigger than I thought, a little heavier too. Its by no means to heavy for neck carry, but will take a bit of getting used to. I actually think the size will be an advantage, as just from holding it, the grip feels like it will be quite secure considering the skeletonized design. Also, the relatively wide and beefy blade should be up to fairly heavy work (as heavy as you would do with a necker anyways).

The 'corners' of the knife are crisp, but not sharp. They dont 'look' rounded but gripping the knife you can tell they feel 'softened' a bit. This should help when a tight grip is used for heavy cutting. Also, the slots in the handle feel softened a bit, so they should enhance grip security without causing any discomfort.

The edge out of the box was pretty decent. It would scrape hair, about 30 seconds of leather stropping and it was shaving easily.

The kydex sheath is well done, and the edges appear to have been 'rounded or melted'. Nothing sharp to scrape or make neck carry uncomfortable, very well done. Knife retention in the sheath is a bit on the tight side, its takes a bit more effort than usual to draw it. This knife aint gonna fall out. Being such a tight fit however has already put a few good scuffs on the blade, not big deal for a user, but the fit could be just a tad 'looser' I think while still retaining knife security.

I think this knife has managed to stuff alot of strength and usefulness into a compact blade, and really is a steal at a street price of 20 dollars. Go get one, I think you'll like it!!

Now, off to go USE it.


Richard Todd - Digital knife photography
icq 61363141
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Nice review! I've been carrying mine for a few weeks now and I agree with you all down the line. The ArcLite is a lot of knife for $20!

This was my first neck knife. I doubt I'll need to buy another one.

--Bob Q
i agree excellent knife for the $$ - ordered a CRKT KISS recently and it will be interesting to compare the 2 - the KISS runs about $22 so price is about the same - why get the KISS? my wife took the cuda lol
Please come back with that Arc/Kiss comparison. I'm leaning towards the MDP Kiss because I think the sheath sytem is more versatile if you don't want to wear it around your neck - belt, boot, backpack, etc.
The sheath for the Kiss is more versatile, but it is also zytel instead of kydex. As far as the knives go I prefer the Arclite, so much in fact that I gave my Kiss away.

Dennis Bible

OK Dennis, here's another:

In truth, does the Zytel vs. Kydex argument go to the issue of "sheath material snobbery", or is there a real performance difference ?
I have a real Arclite ;-) $175.00 and it is a very nice neck knife. You get what you pay for! ;-)


Custom Knife Purveyor
"We support the new maker!"
Circle P Knives
RH, as for the sheath comparisons, I think the kydex will hold up better over the long term. I have an MDP kiss (although its been on loan to a forumite for some time) and although I never used the MDP all that much I dont feel the sheath is very durable. Also, the kiss sheath seems to be squared off and two pieces molded together. I have heard of the occasional sheath seperation, but have never seen it actually happen. For compactness and durability I would opt for kydex.

Paul, I have no doubt that the Ralph custom arclite is worth every penny, however it is always refreshing to see a factory knife that gives alot of knife for so little money. I doubt it is anywhere near the same performance level as the custom, but for 20 bucks Camillus has a real winner.

I have used this quite a bit in the short time I have had it. Edge holding is quite good considering the price. A DMT medium diamond stone and a leather strop will easily put a very sharp edge back on it. Although it will lose its shaving edge fairly quicky, its ability to still maintain a 'working' edge for an extended period shows that Camillus can do good things with low priced steel.

Richard Todd - Digital knife photography
icq 61363141
My WebSite
Do your site a favor, get quality digital images!!!
New photos added!!!
About the ArcLite sheath...

Did you know that those two rivet holes on the side are spaced to accept a Mini-TekLok? For around $9 you can buy one from Blade-Tech and instantly convert your ArcLite sheath from neck carry to multi-position belt carry. It's a very nice option!

--Bob Q