Camillus "Demo Knife" Review

Editor's note: This article was originally published on 17 January 2014 and has been updated in January 2021 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
The name lives on, but the knife does not. Camillus closed its doors a few years ago, and another company purchased the intellectual properties from Camillus. For years Camillus furnished knives to the Armed Forces. If you want to read a little history of the knife then go here. The author of the site did a great job! 

Below is what is known as the Camillus Model 1760 (which is the Army version) "Demo Knife." The two I have are stamped 1981 and 1991 years. Nothing changed over the years other than the stamp date of the blade when it was made. 

Camillus "Demo Knife" review
The knife measures 3.5 inches long and weighs 3.5oz. 

On the model 1760, U.S. is stamped on one side of the knife in the center of the scales. You will also find Demo Knifes stamped U.S.M.C for the 1763 model, U.S.N, and U.S.A.F

If you click on the picture to enlarge you will see that "can opener" is stamped on the can opener. Not sure why this is the only tool that is stamped what it is. 

Camillus Demo Knife tools
Four of the most common tools are needed while in the field.

The demo knife is about as Soldier and Marine proof as they get. Almost indestructible they really do make a great camping knife.

Camillus Demo Knife tools
Soldier and Marine proof and almost indestructible.

The "Demo Knife" is an all-stainless steel knife, that I would say is a bit overbuilt. It's not loaded to bear with a lot of tools, but I think you will find what you need and not anymore. The knife has a blade, can opener, flat head screwdriver, awl, and a bottle opener.

The "Demo Knife" was not refined in its craftsmanship. If you are looking for something more refined, that would have been the Victorinox Soldier or Pioneer. I had a Pioneer, and that would have been my go-to knife over the "Demo Knife." 

If you are looking for a knife for camping, backpacking, or general outdoor use I believe the "Demo Knife" might be the bombproof knife that you are looking for. You can still find them at gun shows and online auction sites. Look at paying around $35 for a used Camillus Demo Knife. If you find it for less jump on it. Colonial Knife Company produced a version named the 2205 Military Scout. That model looks to be no longer carried. They are currently carrying  MIL-K-818D .
If you want a pocket knife for camping and general outdoor field use, then the Camillus "Demo Knife" is going to be your answer. Military tested, dependable, and has the right amount of tools for about everything that you will come across in the field. 

Now It's Your Turn-

Were you issued the Demo Knife when you were in the Service? Did you happen to be gifted a Demo Knife from a family member that served? What was their service story? Please leave a comment.


Ken Cook said…
You've got a really great blog, lots of interesting reading. Thanks for the link to my article. That was a long time ago but I had a lot of fun putting it together.
Anonymous said…
When my brother came home from Basic Training, for Christmas in 1976, all of the gifts were from clothing sales or the PX. He gifted 5 year-old me a Camillus Demo Knife with a square braided fob made from gutted 550 cord. I carried it all the time until I lost it in my pre-teen years.

When I heard Camillus was going under, I bought two, one for me and one for my long-retired brother.