Camillus Quest/Talon

Feb 9, 1999
I was lucky enough to win a knife in a contest on the Camillus Forums. I received my prize, a prototype Camillus Quest, from Fedex yesterday and would like to give my first impressions. My very first impression was what a nice package overall, nice knife, nice sheath. My second impression was that it is a small knife. I don't know what I expected because the blade is 3.5" and the overall length is 8.25" so it is a small fixed blade. I like small fixed blade knives. This is my first Talonite knife and the metal looks like regular steel. Again I didn't know what to expect. The finish is semi-satin. You can see your reflection, but its like looking through a fogged up window. The blade-to-handle ratio is right. There is a nice balance to the design. I really like Rob Simonich's designs. They are simple, with nice proportion, practical, with utility in mind. I have three Simonich knives on order (Chinook, Kanji, Carnivour), so you know I like his knives. I would like to order another one (Gettier Chef's knife), but I don't know if I can wait two years. Yup, that's right, he has a two year waiting list. I would describe the Quest/Talon as a general-purpose working knife. The handle is just right for my size small hand so people with larger hands may find it a little small. The handle is grooved G-10 and is perfect for a working knife. G-10 is tough and the grooves improve the grip. I think it looks nice. The back portion of the handle is rounded and is very comfortable. There is a index finger cutout that I feel is mandatory on a knife. My personal taste would prefer a slightly deeper cutout, more vertical toward the front of the cutout, or a slightly extended single guard. Rob did include an extended guard on his Chinook model that I like very much. The index cutout does include serrations to help prevent the index finger from sliding forward. The blade shape is a drop-point hunter, flat ground then bevelled. The production Talon will have a slightly thinner edge than the prototype to improve slicing ability. It is a very practical general purpose blade shape. The sheath is awsome. Apparently, the holdup in shipping Talons is the sheathes. Don't complain, it will be worth the wait. The prototype sheath is a copy of Rob's multipurpose sheath with the addition of the Tek-Lok. Tek-Lok is adjustable for belt-width and can be oriented vertically or horizontally. The Tek-Lok seems large for the small sheath, but a smaller version will be on the production sheaths. The Tek-Lok holds the knife slightly away from the body, so it is great for open carry, not as good for concealed carry. For concealed carry, the Tek-Lok can be removed and a cord run through the bottom two rivets for static cord carry IWB. I like that the sheath is cut low, so you have plenty of handle to grab.

There was a slight delay in getting the knife and Will was good enough to explain. This knife is one of three prototypes made. It is stamped with the original name, "Quest", before it was changed to Talon. Will actually took photos to document the prototype for their archives. How can I tell it was a prototype? I forgot to mention there is a sticker on the sheath marked prototype.
Will also told me Rob did some finish work on the prototypes. Does this mean it is a semi-custom knife?

This is a special knife to me for several reasons. First, I won it in a crazy contest on Bladeforums. Second, It is my first Talonite knife. Third, It is a one of three prototypes. Fourth, I really like the design and execution.

Bald1, Walt, Rob, look what your little experiment has become. Kudos to you guys.

Phil, Will, Camillus, you should be commended for having the first production Talonite knife and picking a great design.

In summary, If you are looking for the ideal general-purpose small fixed blade, this is it. I know there is a lot of appeal for a handmade Cetan from Rob, especially for knifenuts on Bladeforums but, you won't be disappointed with the version from Camillus and you won't have to wait two years.

Thanks again to Phil, Dexter, Will and Camillus for a great prize.
Thanks for the review. I can't wait to get one. It will be my first talonite knife. I am looking forward to it.

Dennis Bible
It sounds as though Camillus is trying very hard to be true to Rob's Cetan design, cause your proto description sounds almost identical to my Talonite Cetan (except for handle material and sheath). That is a GOOD thing, as this knife is pretty much the perfect small utility hunter. Talonite just enhances the effect.
Damon, I know how you feel about the backlog for Rob's stuff, I've got a Talonite Carnivour on order, but the nice thing is that by the time it's ready, I'll have the $ together!!
By the way, you've got some nice ones on order, I'd sure like to have one of his larger blade models too. Ah well, can't have everything (can you?)

Congradulations on your prize.

Buck Collectors Club Member # 572
Knifeknut(just ask my wife)
I am glad I bought a Cetan before Rob got too popular! I payed less for my hand made Cetan than the production version is selling for.

I appreciate the sentiments. We sure have had a lot of fun with Talonite and it probably accounts for a heavy percentage of my posts here on the forums, not to mention my article in To The Point e-zine.

You're spot on about Rob and his designs. It's one of the reasons I sought him out in the first place (thanks DC!). To add icing to the cake, he's a true gent and absolutely great to deal with.

Then there's Will. Got to know him when he was first marketing his EDI folder (got one of the first available aat the time). Another example of integrity and personality. I think it's absolutely great that he has joined his dad at Camillus. As I hail from Syracuse, I've always been partial to Camillus and privy to the other labels they make knives for.

I'm also in both Rob's and will's camp when it comes to evaluating knives.... field or actual use is the proof of the pudding. My Talonite knives have performed outstandingly. I look forward to receiving the knives I have in the queue which include a Simonich presentation Talonite "super" Wambli and a Talonite neck knife. Tom Walz from Carbide Processors (makers of Talonite) has posted here that a "special" Camillus Talon will find its way to me as well; a gesture I am truly appreciate of.

Bottomline, as you have personally experienced, Talonite knives, crafted by the likes of Rob Simonich and Trace Rinaldi among others, and now this production collaboration between Rob and Camillus, offer the highest in performance to the blade enthusiast. I continue to highly recommend this alloy and these fine folks!

-=[Bob Allman]=-

I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

BFC member since the very beginning
Member: American Knife & Tool Institute; Varmint Hunters Association;
National Rifle Association; Praire Thunder Inc.; Rapid City Rifle Club;
Spearfish Rifle & Pistol Club; Buck Collectors Club (prime interest: 532s)
Certified Talonite(r) enthusiast!
Its funny now that I look back at the Genesis of Talonite. Now it seems like you see it everywhere! I can still remember the first few posts that got the ball rolling with this material. Rob REALLY stepped up to bat and took the initiative to get this stuff on the map along with Bald1, and even myself to a small extent. It couldnt have happened to a nicer guy than Rob..
Its amazing how much forums like this have already changed the knife world. It was kinda sketchy at first but boy is this Talonite stuff shining now:)

Trace Rinaldi