Are Cold Steel knives as good as they say?

This is a discussion on Are Cold Steel knives as good as they say? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The problem with Cold Steel isn't that they're not good, it's that they SAY far too much about them....

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Thread: Are Cold Steel knives as good as they say?

  1. #16
    Member Array Altac6's Avatar
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    The problem with Cold Steel isn't that they're not good, it's that they SAY far too much about them.
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  3. #17
    Member Array Lyndo's Avatar
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    They are decent knives, but the advertising is obnoxious. If you are considering an Emerson there is really no comparison between the two. The Emerson is far superior.
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  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy37 View Post
    I'm looking for an EDC knife and have been leaning toward Cold Steel. Are they as good quality as they are advertised? what qualities do I need to look for in a knife? I'm looking at a medium sized folder that I can slip in my pocket. Any info would be appreciated.
    I have a couple - nice knives but overpriced.

    If you want a good sturdy well made "made in USA" everyday use knife try here Ontario Knife's Catalog

    Many of Ontarios production knives were designed by well known custom makers
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  5. #19
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    I like Cold Steel for the money, but prefer knives from Blind Horse.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDRGlock View Post
    I have a San Mai Master Tanto and it's a great knife. It is as sharp as advertised and easy to sharpen. I never tried to bend it or do the stupid stuff on Lynn's demonstrations.
    Some of the demonstrations that CS performs are part of the American Blade Smith associations blade testing. For a student to be granted the Master Blade smith title, their blade must pass a manila rope cut test, a wood chopping test, a hair shaving test and a bend test. A blade made by a qualified Master Smith will be superior to almost any manufactured blade. As far as I know, there is no mfg. blade that can pass the blade bend test - which bends the blade to a full 90 degrees without breaking or cracking. The ABS tests verify the blade's edge geometry, the edge retention and toughness. Search youtube for american bladesmith society bend test.

    Here is the summary of the tests:

    1. ROPE CUTTING: THE PURPOSE OF THIS test IS TO test THE EDGE GEOMETRY AND SHARPNESS.
    The applicant is responsible for supplying the test rope and ensuring that it is a minimum of one (1) inch in diameter. If the applicant brings a larger rope, the applicant will be judged using the same criteria as though the rope was one (1) inch in diameter. The rope is to be hung in a safe manner, so that the end of the rope to be cut hangs loose without touching the floor or any other object. As a safety precaution, the rope is not to be hand held by another person during the rope-cutting test. The hanging end of the rope is to be marked with tape or a marker to clearly indicate the area that is to be cut. The cut must be approximately six (6) inches from the end of the free hanging rope. A minimum of one (1) cut must be made. The applicant is to aim at the mark with a two (2) inch margin of high or low being acceptable. The applicant must sever the rope in two with one stroke. If the applicant fails on the first attempt, the Master Smith will allow two more attempts. However, if the Master Smith believes that the failure to sever the rope is due to the lack of skill or strength of the applicant, the Master Smith may attempt the rope cutting with the test knife. This is a test of the applicantā€™s ability to make a knife, not his or her ability to cut with it. If neither the applicant nor the Master Smith successfully cuts the rope, the applicant fails.

    2. WOOD CHOPPING: THE PURPOSE OF THIS test IS TO DEMONSTRATE EDGE TOUGHNESS.
    The chopping test is to be conducted with a 2x4 construction grade wood stud. The 2x4 may be either hand held or clamped into a vise or other safety device. A chopping motion (no whittling) is to be used. The 2x4 must be chopped completely through a minimum of two (2) times. The applicant may choose the area of the 2x4 through which to chop. Following the chopping test, the Master Smith will inspect the edge to determine if there is any noticeable damage to the blade. Any nicks, chips, flat spots, rolled edges, or other deformations of the blade, including bending, will result in failure of the test.

    3. SHAVING HAIR: THE PURPOSE OF THIS test IS TO DEMONSTRATE EDGE RETENTION.
    After the Master Smith approves the quality of the edge, the blade will be returned to the applicant. The applicant must then shave hair from his or her arm, using the section of the blade that was most frequently used in the cutting and chopping portions of the test. Enough hair must be shaved to demonstrate that the edge remains keen and shaving sharp.

    4. BENDING: THE PURPOSE OF THIS test IS TO SHOW THAT THE APPLICANT IS ABLE TO HEAT TREAT A KNIFE WITH A SOFT BACK AND A HARD EDGE.
    The bending of the blade is the final test. Safety gear should be worn. The edge and point will be dulled prior to bending. The Master Smith will mark a line across the width of the blade approximately three (3) inches from the tip of the blade. The blade will then be inserted into a vise, tip first, such that the blade is placed into the vise up to the mark on the blade. If the vise jaws are very rough, smooth metal or hardwood inserts may be placed on each side of the clamped portion of the blade to protect it when bending the test knife. The blade shall be bent by force applied to the handle. A leverage device, such as a pipe may be used as long as it does not pose a safety risk. The use of such a device is at the sole risk of the applicant and at the discretion of the supervising Master Smith. The applicant will then bend the blade ninety (90) degrees.

    Also in terms of other knife mfg. So far the best quality for the money is ESEE - I own the ESEE 5 - which is 1/4 inch thick, grinds were perfect - hair splitting sharp. I also own the RAT 5 in D2 steel by Ontario - this knife actually came with an uneven grind and its thinner than the ESEE 5 - only by 1/16 thick. Its half the price of the ESEE 5 though. I also own the Seal team elite, its not a bad knife either for the money and lastly I own the CS Laredo bowie - a nice quality knife but expensive

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks. ESEE makes a great knife. I have a little Izula and a buddy has the 3 and 6. I think the 4 is a good all around blade size and the 5 is nice and stout.
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  8. #22
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    Just FYI I got to see the Cold Steel AK47 folder the other day. A neighbor bought one. It was a pretty nice knife and quite tough looking with a great no slip grip. Plus it sported the Emerson Wave feature. I have no idea what they sell for though.

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  9. #23
    New Member Array pbrowe01's Avatar
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    Here is the Cold Steel I have. Less than $16 with the sheath. Awesome knife.

    Amazon.com: Cold Steel Pendleton Lite Hunter Black Poly Handle: Sports & Outdoors
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  10. #24
    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    I have a fixed blade Recon Tanto, Voyager XL2, and a Spartan.

    The Spartan is my current EDC and I have zero problems with it or any of their products.

    Great knife for the money, but not so much tied up in it that I'd hate to lose it or break it compared to many of the higher priced options.

    Like a Glock vs an Ed Brown 1911.

  11. #25
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    I have two Cold Steels. They're very tough knives as far as construction goes. They come insanely sharp. But I will say, I was disappointed with the edge retention of them. I have a Recon 1 and a mini AK47. Neither has seen hard use, only very light use. They're still semi-sharp, but they don't hold an edge like any of my Benchmades.

  12. #26
    Member Array CDRGlock's Avatar
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    I acquired my second Cold Steel San Mai knife, the Trailmaster.

    The Balisongs, called Arc Angels, have Carbon V steel which is prone to rust. The handles are excellent, though.


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  13. #27
    Member Array baldboy's Avatar
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    I have owned a Recon 1 and let me say this after using it the spring failed and the knife wouldn't stay closed. I tried numerous times to contact them about getting my knife fixed but I recieved no one reply there are companies that provide better service.

  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    For mid-priced knives I prefer SOG, but I have been tempted to try Cold Steel.

    They have some mean looking blades!!!
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Many Cold Steel knives are made with average steel with an average heat treat. Some are quality, but many are lower quality. I don't have any respect for them, but leaving that out, any model in 154cm, s30v or similar steel would be ok, depending on their locking/pivot mechanism and other features.
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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    Good info, thanks. ESEE makes a great knife. I have a little Izula and a buddy has the 3 and 6. I think the 4 is a good all around blade size and the 5 is nice and stout.
    I like the new ESEE Laser Strike. Actually it's the version TOPS made for them years back. Now they have Rowen making it and just relaunched it this year.

    I'm thinking of getting the Izula II later this week.

    Regarding Cold Steel, I bought a couple many years ago. Nothing to write home about, but they served me well for the money. I still have them somewhere. I've been into other brands like Benchmade, SOG, & Spyderco in most recent years.
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