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Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by hkyew, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. hkyew


    Apr 3, 2007
    One of the most common misconceptions about CS folders I come across in multiple forum threads and youtube videos is that they cannot cut, got crap steel, are folding prybar for mall ninjas and are only good at having strong lock. Sometimes im not really sure if these are just haters/chronic CS basher spreading misinformation, or if many people genuinely think these are the facts about CS folders.
    For example, i was looking at the "CS Broken Skull vs Spyderco Endura" thread, and I can find comment like "I choose Endura any day because Spyderco is made to cut", which kinda baffles me considering how both knives have thin FFG.

    Anyways, i came across this good video yesterday of this guy testing and sharpening the Recon 1 Tanto in XHP steel, which IMO is the quintessential tough "tactical" "mall ninja" that people associate CS to. This is one of the few videos where the reviewer focus on the steel, cutting perf and edge retention of the knife. You can see that the XHP blade sharpened up nicely and was able to retain good edge after a lot of cuttings:


    Just wanted to share this to show that some of the misconceptions aren't really true.
  2. cricketdave

    cricketdave Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    Before they changed to the better steels I wasn't really even interested in the folders. When they changed I picked one up to see how it was, I was very surprised at how well made and designed the knife was. The cts-xhp is a great steel, sucker holds a great edge and isn't difficult to sharpen. The G10 instead of Frn or Grivory was a huge improvement as well. As for cutting every one that i've picked up has been a very good cutter not a pry bar. Although I have used one to pry off base boards while I redo the floors in my house.
  3. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    Most of the hate you'll come across is due to their marketing, which while silly, i can't help but think it's just intended for a bit of fun as well. Aside from that, anyone who says CS knives don't cut simply embarrasses themselves and shows they really know very little about edge geometry and steel. With the majority of their best sellers being high hollow grinds and full flat ground blades (nice and thin behind the edge also) you can easily spot a CS hater, i just laugh at them, and picture them flipping their $700 custom or Medford with it's half inch thick steel behind the edge and sticky frame lock. I've done so many cut tests with so many of the top folders people rave about, funny enough the winner in performance and overall comfort during the tests us usually something like a FFG Voyager. Haters can hate, but CS knives for the price can not be beaten on strength, ergo's, quality (with the new steel) and cutting performance. It's not even opinion, it's just fact. Taste and style - well that's in the eye of the beholder.
  4. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    I heard someone say Lynn is the Donald Trump of the knife world.

    I met Lynn around 1983 at a gun show in CA. I bought a tanto and he gave me a stack of bumper stickers. "I "heart" Cold Steel"...

    Over the years I carried a few different models...mainly Voyagers. When I discovered other brands I lost interest in CS. About 10 years ago I was on a knife buying frenzy and picked up a few models...Had a Axis lock Recon, later I tried their Tri-Ad lock stuff. They just did not do it for me. Hated the aggressive texture on the grips and the blade coatings. And they did kinda have a mall ninja theme going on in my mind.

    Anyhow....fast forward to the American Lawman I bought with the XHP steel and DLC coating. IMHO, it is hands down the best folder CS has ever made. If you take the made in Taiwan out, it equals or beats any knife from Benchmade, Spyderco...or any +/- $100 dollar folder made. I also feel it is as good or better than a PM2.

    As it is now, I have zero reservations about recommending most CS products. If they would just tweak a few things, they would be nearly perfect.
  5. Fletcher.357


    Jul 6, 2013
    Im an avid high end knife guy, but when it comes down to value Cold Steel and Spyderco still make great knives for the money. Especially with the steel upgrades CS has been doing.
  6. AmosPaul

    AmosPaul Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 17, 2014
    Well-written post; I agree 100%.

  7. Shooter.762

    Shooter.762 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2016
    I have a lot of high end blades but I love my Cold Steel knives, they are simply hard to beat for the money.
    As far as their marketing goes.. While it is a little cheesy, it has proven effective, we're talking about it now ain't we?
    I think they make great knives for the masses, I own several and I may just buy one today because I want a Recon Scout..
  8. Wanimator


    Mar 7, 2014
    The AK-47 can get extremely sharp with that high hollow grind. Same with most of their folders.
  9. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Having the Aus8 steel in two of my Recon 1 models. I have not been able to justify to myself buying one of the upgraded steels.

    I eventually will, probably after loosing one. But really, they are just dandy performance wise.
  10. The Whip

    The Whip

    Jan 28, 2007
    I'm going to chime in just to provide a counterpoint to the notion that Cold Steel's domain is lower-tier offerings. I don't need to say much, because here's my proof:






    I would put this knife up against ANY commercially available folder, ANY mid-tech, and 99% of the handmades out there in terms of performance (always first and foremost), durability, construction, ergonomics, balance, fit and finish (yes, even with the lockbar SNAFU), and aesthetics ("eye of the beholder" notwithstanding). There's nothing inexpensive about this knife, and there's nothing cheap either. She exceeds all of my expectations, and I had the bar set pretty high!


    P.S. - It's hard to capture scale photographically with the 4-MAX, so I threw in a yardstick. That's a first-generation (full thickness) Hold Out II alongside her in the last picture. She's a behemoth, but, man, is she comfortable in the hand!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  11. M31943


    Aug 19, 2013
    That is one hunk of metal! Love it, but out of my budget. Made in the USA also, didn't know they did that anymore.
  12. JPD1998

    JPD1998 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    I've bought quite a few Cold Steel knives over the years and have been happy with all of them.

    The Kudu is one of my favorites.
  13. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Great knife and I plan to get one. But this is just my opinion. In all the photos I have seen, that G10 looks like the cheap G10 used in Chinese Ganzo knives.
  14. hkyew


    Apr 3, 2007
    Oh rest assured that the G-10 is nothing like the Ganzo's G-10. From my experience most Chinese G-10(from Ganzo, Spyderco Tenacious, Byrd knives etc) feel like plastic and does not have the grippiness feel of the US made G10, CS's G10 is totally different. If you have handled the Ultimate Hunter, you will know how the 4Max G10 feels like.
  15. hkyew


    Apr 3, 2007
    Another video showing XHP test using Broken Skull. If you look at this guy's video history, he tested other steels such as S110V, M4, D2, S30V etc etc. For this particular test(take it with grain of salt), it performs better than an M4. Im sure there are other factors affecting the result, but this is pretty impressive:
  16. hkyew


    Apr 3, 2007
    Look at this thread on the General Discussion forums: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...itive-firsthand-experience-with-Lynn-Thompson

    Quoting from this guy "dwdickey", this is the typical misconceptions that people with little experience with CS spread:

    Cheap G10 that's poorly finished
    Shitty customer service
    Cheap steel grades
    Made overseas by low bid contractors
    They sell purely on hype marketing. There are many manufacturers that offer a better overall value for the money spent.

    This is speaking from my experience, as im not just a Cold Steel fanboy. Anyone who follows my Instagram knows that i have a sizeable collection from other expensive brands such as ZT, Benchmade, Spyderco, Reate, Kershaw, Emerson & etc, so i do have some perspective in terms of judging a knife's quality, and i can positively say that the bolded statement above are false.
  17. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    Don't worry, pretty sure i rinsed this guy in my follow up post. Uninformed, inexperienced typical knife forum kid who watches too many Jim Skelton videos on youtube.
  18. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    4-max IS indeed an impressive knife! Well done CS
    And the xhp folders I purchased last year confirm what you are saying - CS makes top-notch folders. This from a primarily spyderco fan and user.
  19. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    The G10 is very nice. Earlier models were smoother, later models were a little bit more textured. Very well done on both.

    It is also one of the most comfortable folding knives to hold in any grip-even edge in pikal

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    How is it for EDC? BTW, I am 6'5"

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