Recommendation: Defensive blade: Cold Steel Ti - Lite vs... ????

This is a discussion on Recommendation: Defensive blade: Cold Steel Ti - Lite vs... ???? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings those who know more on this subject than I do. Which is probably a lot of you. First off. I'm not a knife person. ...

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Thread: Recommendation: Defensive blade: Cold Steel Ti - Lite vs... ????

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    Member Array Zepoll's Avatar
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    Recommendation: Defensive blade: Cold Steel Ti - Lite vs... ????

    Greetings those who know more on this subject than I do. Which is probably a lot of you.

    First off. I'm not a knife person. Not that I have anything against knives, I don't. I am just not overly knowledgeable on the many different brands and offerings out there.

    I put the Ti Lite in the title because I saw an interesting video and the person explained that they preferred fixed blades over folders. Of which I agree. But did have one folder in the rotation due to the quick release of the blade. In the video they illustrated a quick pull from the pants pocket where the knife caught on the edge of the pocket and deployed the blade as it was coming out. No thumb knob, no flick of the wrist, just a simple snag on the pocket as it came out.

    I like that.

    There isn't much that I don't like about the Ti Lite other than it's a dagger design which can limit some function as a EDC knife.

    So I'm hoping some on here will have some input and can suggest some competition to this knife.

    I want to reiterate that my primary interest in this particular knife is for defensive purposes. Thus, the quick and easy deployment. I intend to carry it on my left side, being that I keep my pistol on the right side. And considering that I'm far less coordinated with my left hand, I'm looking for quick/ease of deployment. I do have other knifes that I can keep in my right pocket for cutting zip ties, and opening up packages and other mundane chores of EDC. But if there is a knife out there that has this same feature, but is also better suited for regular EDC chores, then I'm all ears.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge.
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    JD
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    The Ti-Lite is a pretty nice little knife, and it is fast on deployment, but if you end up using it for other stuff, the odds of which are pretty good it kinds of sucks. The "tooth" that engages will engage a lot, even when you don't want it to and it can chew up some pants.

    There are some other knives out there that have similar features, the Spyderco Waved Endura or some offerings from Emerson, the Emersons are pricey but are considered some of the best knives out there.

    The "wave" feature can be applied to a lot of other knives that feature the "thumb hole", like this TDI Folder by cutting out some of the material from atop the hole.


    There's also the Spyderco Pkal, this is a really good option somewhere between a Ti-Lite / Emerson in price, don't let the MSRP scare you as they can be found cheaper if you look.


    FWIW while the Ti-Lite is pretty fast opening, a fixed blade is still faster. Skip to the 5 minute mark for some demos.


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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zepoll View Post
    In the video they illustrated a quick pull from the pants pocket where the knife caught on the edge of the pocket and deployed the blade as it was coming out. No thumb knob, no flick of the wrist, just a simple snag on the pocket as it came out.

    I like that.
    Emerson Knives

    The Emerson Wave feature deploys as described. I carry an Emerson CQC 11. Emerson knives are not cheep but your definitely getting what you pay for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    The Ti-Lite is a pretty nice little knife, and it is fast on deployment, but if you end up using it for other stuff, the odds of which are pretty good it kinds of sucks. The "tooth" that engages will engage a lot, even when you don't want it to and it can chew up some pants.

    There are some other knives out there that have similar features, the Spyderco Waved Endura or some offerings from Emerson, the Emersons are pricey but are considered some of the best knives out there.

    The "wave" feature can be applied to a lot of other knives that feature the "thumb hole", like this TDI Folder by cutting out some of the material from atop the hole.


    There's also the Spyderco Pkal, this is a really good option somewhere between a Ti-Lite / Emerson in price, don't let the MSRP scare you as they can be found cheaper if you look.


    FWIW while the Ti-Lite is pretty fast opening, a fixed blade is still faster. Skip to the 5 minute mark for some demos.

    Excellent video. Thanks for the response. Funnily enough... the video I referenced listed the Ka-Bar TDI as the first, and preferred option. :)
    ...because you never know when the king of England might come looking for back taxes.

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    I'd stay away from Cold Steel. The "wave" design they have on the Ti-light was "borrowed" from Emerson without permission. If you like the "wave", look at Emerson Knives(as has been suggested) or Spyderco(who uses the "wave" with permission). Spyderco makes the waved Endura and Delica.
    DELICA
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    ENDURA
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    My first quality knife was a Spyderco Endura. I purchased it over nineteen years ago and I still carry it everyday.
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    I researched my butt off and finally purchased a Benchmade Mini Griptillian. Couldn't be happier with the knife.
    sensei2 likes this.

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    I have a Kershaw Leek that has a spring assisted blade. Very nice and legal in most all states. YMMV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    I'd stay away from Cold Steel. The "wave" design they have on the Ti-light was "borrowed" from Emerson without permission. If you like the "wave", look at Emerson Knives(as has been suggested) or Spyderco(who uses the "wave" with permission).
    - 100% agree. Emerson and Spyderco are much higher quality knives than Cold Steel and use better steel. They'll hold their edge better and are better knives ergonomically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
    I have a Kershaw Leek that has a spring assisted blade. Very nice and legal in most all states. YMMV.
    - I have a Kershaw Leek and it would be one of the last knives on my mind for a defensive blade. They're very slippery and I can't imagine stabbing or slicing something without my hand slipping in one direction or another.
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    Knife fighting is very difficult and dangerous. Please get a lot of training first. That will also change your requirements for a fighting knife. Since this is a gun forum, maybe I can explain it by analogy to shooting. When you're a complete newbie, you go to the gun store and pick the lightest, smallest gun because it feels easy to hold. Then you go to the range and discover that you'd much prefer a big, heavy full size 1911, because it's got better recoil management, it's got more destructive power, it's prettier, you shoot better, etc. Unless you've had some training, say a year or longer, not only wouldn't I encourage you to use a knife for defense, I wouldn't encourage you to buy a knife. You don't know what you need yet.

    I am not a fan of Ti-Lite at all. The geometry is all wrong for what one might do in a fighting context. But then maybe there are approaches I am not considering, approaches that require Ti-Lite's form.

    The "wave" action doesn't offer a real advantage to the knife fighter in my humble opinion. I can draw and open a thumb stud basically as fast. Now, if you need to rely on the speed of your draw to defend yourself, you're already in trouble. Often you'll actually have time only for defending yourself unarmed if the timing/distance is that disadvantageous to you.

    It's really hard for me to see the fighting advantages of an assisted open or automatic open knife. That seems more like something more suitable for non-fighting tasks where you have to open and close your knife a lot. This is just my opinion, and I may be wrong about this.

    People focus so much on opening the knife, and I wonder whether they know what to do with the knife afterwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb1900 View Post
    The "wave" action doesn't offer a real advantage to the knife fighter in my humble opinion. I can draw and open a thumb stud basically as fast. Now, if you need to rely on the speed of your draw to defend yourself, you're already in trouble. Often you'll actually have time only for defending yourself unarmed if the timing/distance is that disadvantageous to you.
    - I agree that the Wave doesn't necessarily offer a significant advantage, but IMO, I'd prefer to have every one possible.

    The only knife that I can draw and slash at the same time is with my Emerson Karambit. It can be done in a single motion and I carry one in my back pocket, mostly for firearms retention, etc.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dono View Post
    I researched my butt off and finally purchased a Benchmade Mini Griptillian. Couldn't be happier with the knife.
    this is also my EDC knife (with the tanto style blade - there are other blade shapes). one of my mini-grips has Wilkins scales on it. pricey, but great looking.

    to OP: the Emersons are great for deployed opening. i have two of these as well. the SOG Twitch XL can be opened easily with either hand, but is not as well built (IMO), as the Benchmades, and much less so than the Emersons, but try one and see what you think.

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    Member Array mb1900's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    The only knife that I can draw and slash at the same time is with my Emerson Karambit. It can be done in a single motion and I carry one in my back pocket, mostly for firearms retention, etc.
    Interesting. I take it you do an Indonesian art. Drawing and cutting with the regular folder (and doing it fast) requires too much finger dexterity for me that even though I can do it in peace, I wouldn't do it when adrenaline is pumping. The risk of something going wrong seems too big.

    Case in point. Would I pick up a kerambit? No, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without prior training. I don't really know how to use it. Sure, me and my buddies can "try to figure it out" in the backyard, but ultimately real martial arts have fighting experiences, injuries, deaths behind them. Maybe I will devise something that works well in sparring, but doesn't work so well in a real fight. I have no way of knowing.

    For an EDC knife, I second the recommendation for the Griptillian. I like many Benchmade knives, and the Griptillian is sensibly made. You're more likely to use your knife for opening boxes, not for fighting. Some people may carry a specialized fighting knife, and some designs are inconvenient for regular tasks. After a while, you may decide to make a compromise. The Griptilian is ergonomic, which is a big plus in my book. The blade geometry is strong, well-suited to a range of things. The tip isn't too pointy. There is enough of a curvature to increase the ease of cutting. The axis lock is quite secure. I wouldn't get the tanto grind. Maybe it "cuts better" in demos, but for stuff you might do around the office, I prefer an even curvature.

    For those of you who are really into the fast draw, the Griptillian isn't great for that because of the axis lock. I wouldn't call it a fighting knife, but I'd choose it over the Ti-Lite for that application.

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    RKM
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    I don't like Cold Steels. I have two Cold Steels and carried them a little bit. But I started to dislike them. They just don't do anything for me. Their blade material sucks, I just overall don't like them. The dull very, very quickly.

    I carry my knife primarily as a cutting tool. I don't carry a knife as a weapon. However, I want to be able to rely on it as a weapon if needed. I've limited my carry knives to Benchmades, Spydercos and Emersons. My overall, all-time favorite being the Benchmade Griptilian. I EDC a mini at work to fit in my back pocket along side my wallet at work. Otherwise, I carry one of my full sized Griptilians, I have a few Spydies I throw in the mix or Emersons. I put a zip-tie on my Spyderco's to act as a wave feature, except for one... and that's my waved Endura. My Griptililans are thumbhole versions....they sport a zip-tie also. I do a have a Doug Ritter version, but no zip-tie for that one. I've loved the wave feature ever since I discovered it on a...... Cold Steel AK47. I already said I grew to dislike Cold Steels. Well, even though Ernest Emerson is the unintentional creator of the wave method, I owe my discovery of the technique to Cold Steel. Emerson's are a far better knife, and the "true" wave feature works far better than the Cold Steel thumb disc. The "wave" is a great advantage. Only thing faster is a fixed blade. Spring assisted knives are ok. I do carry a Benchmade Barrage on occasion. Auto's are illegal to carry in PA, so I keep them at home. No real interest in carrying them anyway. I prefer a nice manual folder. You can get a knife out and open quickly without the wave, but the wave gives to that split second advantage that you may not "need", but is highly beneficial.

    With all that said, I'd fall back on my OD green handle, black thumbhole blade, full sized Benchmade Griptilian as my "go-to" folder. In my right hand front pocket as I type this.

    If I wanted to carry a blade strictly as a fighting knife, I'd choose either a waved Emerson Karambit, or better yet a fixed blade. Maybe even a fixed karambit. PA knife laws very from each municipality. fixed blades may be illegal from my house to the gas station and then legal again at a friends house. So a fixed blade for me is out of the question. Though if needed for firearms retention, I am able to reach into my right pocket with my left hand on a waved knife and pull the knife out directly into a reversed grip. But I just keep my knives mainly as a tool. I cut things with them, not people. Well occasionally myself... not intentionally of course :) Only downside to Liner locks. I cut my thumb very badly once with my CQC-15. Benchmades' axis lock is pure genuineness. Spyderco copied the concept of the axis lock on the Manix (which I love) and the P'kal. But the axis lock is still the winner in my book. By far my favorite lock mechanism.

    PS: The story behind the Emerson "Wave" feature is pretty entertaining. He admits it wasn't intentional. There is an interview with him on youtube, I think by nutnfancy.

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    Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    I have several cold steel knives,including two ti-lites. I have carried the 4 inch model off and on as a edc. But like others have said the cold steel knives do dull quickly. I keep a sharping steel in my tool box and have to use it almost every day. I have learned how to open the ti-lite with just my hand almost as fast as a assisted open knife. there is a little trick to it but it is easy to do. I also carry the cold steel Raja III from time to time but it uses the same Aus-8 steel and has the same problem as the Ti-lite.

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    I am a long time Cold Steel fan. If you want easy opening in a sturdy blade get the Rajah III (I think, or it's the II, anyway, the smaller one). The stud on the blade opens on the draw from the pocket, and the blade is more durable than the dagger blade of the Ti Lite. Like a Kukhri in your pocket.

    I own a lot of knives, from Benchmade to CS to spyderco, Böker, Microtech, etc, and the Rajah is what I grab most often. Even at work at the FD it holds up fine.
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