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Thread: Original Cold Steel Recon Tanto

  1. #1
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    Original Cold Steel Recon Tanto


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    This is a look at an original Cold Steel Recon Tanto. I got this knife in the early 90's from Cutlery Shoppe. It was made before the Recon Tantos we are all familiar with. It has a 6" blade with a 5 1/4" handle. The handle is made from Kraton with a brass guard and butt cap. It has a rough bead blasted finish. The blade looks to be about 3/16" thick and maintains this thickness almost all the way to the tip. It is marked "COLD STEEL" "VENTURA,CA" on one side of the blade and "RECON TANTO" "MADE IN USA" on the other. I read somewhere that it is possible that Buck made these for Cold Steel but I personally kind of doubt it. I have no idea what kind of steel it is made from.

    The sheath is made from a good grade of leather and has a velcroed keeper strap. This design allows you to draw the knife without having to release the keeper strap. It was called a "KI" quick draw sheath. Here are a few pictures of it.








  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Kiahs!

  4. #4
    I have a CS Recon Tanto that looks exactly like yours but mine came with what I guess it is a kydex sheath. I think I bought mine in the 80's...Kinda blurry on the year..
    KC

  5. #5
    Interesting knife. I was wondering, I know you say you dont have any idea on the steel, but would you guess it to be a carbon steel or a stainless. have you had to do anything to prevent rust over the years?

  6. #6
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    Camillus made a lot of Cold Steel knives.

  7. #7
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    I bet it is a stainless steel. It has never had a speck of rust on it. Now it hasn't been used any and I don't store it in the sheath so it hasn't had much of a chance to rust. I would guess 440c or maybe one of the AUS steels.

  8. #8
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    As I recall from the early CS literature, it was a way to offer a quality tanto (lesser degree of finishing/polishing/etc) while keeping the MSRP down (in comparison to the better finished version).

    Keep in mind, these were the days when CS marketed all of 10 models of knives and quality (of all of their products) was excellent.

    Downside? Cultery Shoppe offered a form-fitting kydex (not very common for knife sheaths in those days) IWB/OWB sheath but it was not recommended for this model due to the excess friction caused by the unpolished blade.

  9. #9
    Your are right, the recon tanto is very hard to draw from the kydex, my belt loop came off from the sheath, never have tried to put it back on...
    KC

  10. #10
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    Way back when, I contaced Cold Steel ( by snail mail) about the kydex sheath they had for the regular tantos and they had replied that it wouldn't work on my knife.

  11. #11
    Trust me on this one, you wouldn't want the original kydex, it is unreal how hard it is to draw..
    KC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by watchcollector1968 View Post
    Interesting knife. I was wondering, I know you say you dont have any idea on the steel, but would you guess it to be a carbon steel or a stainless. have you had to do anything to prevent rust over the years?
    I was thinking about getting one when I was in high school and called either Cold Steel or Cutlery Shoppe and spoke with a representative. I asked why it was so much cheaper than the regular tanto and she told me that the blade is exactly the same and the only difference is that it was bead blasted which is much cheaper than a satin finish, so it would be whatever steel the regular tanto was made out of. It is stainless, but I don't know which steel.

  13. #13
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    The regular tanto was AUS-8, so I'm assuming this one would be too.

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