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Video review of the Cold Steel SK5 Natchez Bowie

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Idiot1jerk2face3, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Idiot1jerk2face3


    Nov 2, 2011

  2. Buffalohump

    Buffalohump Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    I have a San Mai version of this knife, its a magnificent piece of steel, I love it. All I need is to get a decent sheath made for it so I can actually carry the thing once in a while. I bought it used and the guy had a sash style kydex rig made for it by Mike Sastre but it doesnt feel secure enough to me.
  3. longbow

    longbow Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 1999
    I owned the SK5 version, Taiwan, when they first came out. Not to impressed with it. Mostly finish related stuff. So I sold it shortly after for what I paid on another forum. It is a hunk of steel though. Nice review and keepem sharp
  4. Idiot1jerk2face3


    Nov 2, 2011

  5. chiawei


    Dec 27, 2011
  6. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    I was waiting and waiting to get the SK-5 version then i found out they had the above pictured half-tang with wire-cable.
    I love the Natchez but that tang was a deal breaker for me.
  7. Nntrance

    Nntrance Banned BANNED

    Aug 12, 2012
    That configuration is plenty strong, that person was batoning the knife by hitting it on the handle with a log.
  8. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    Once before I had a knife with the same kind of tang set up. When you swung the knife the wire cable would actually tap/click against the inside of the grip, drove me nuts.
    To me the small weight savings and slight balance change aren't worth the cost of lesser durability. Also the more-complicated-to-manufacture tang set up must add to the manufacturing costs.
    I do still love the aesthetics of the Natchez, if they ever offer a full tang version i will buy one for sure!
  9. OhShoot


    Jan 23, 2011
    Is the much more expensive San Mai model made same way?

    - OS
  10. Nntrance

    Nntrance Banned BANNED

    Aug 12, 2012
    I have the san mai version and have yet to hear a tap or clang.
  11. chiawei


    Dec 27, 2011
    (Sorry for the poor drawing)

    The part of handle inside the guard is too thin(1~2 mm) to do chop or any heavy work.
    I don't think this is a strong configuration.
  12. Choke

    Choke Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    The San Mai version is also not "full tang". Gorgeous blade though.
  13. LCO213


    Jan 17, 2013
    It's shameful really that CS cuts so many corners in their designs. The worst thing about this tang design is that now the knife is useless, because engineering a new handle over this tang would be very difficult. My CS SK-5 Kukri has a rather pathetic tang as well, not as bad as this though. The handle would have just fell off of it, if it wasn't for the brass lanyard rivet. As much hype as CS promotes, their knives could never be heirloom quality. CS won't get anymore of my money!
  14. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    I'll still buy CS Hawks, Machetes, triad lock folders and anything else they make that i find interesting, but as i said a few posts above i was waiting a long time for the SK5 version of this knife and then i found out about the cable tang which subsequently made me lose interest. CS do us a favor and make a full tang version of this otherwise cool knife!
  15. Poleaxe


    Dec 27, 2012
    Imo, I don't think a full tang is absolutely needed for a bowie that was designed since the beginning to be a weapon. I have a sk5 laredo and sm3 Natchez both have been used to cut through tatami mat and beef and pork flesh and bone. They both are superbly designed and balanced and are more then strong enough for there intended role.I'm sorry to see that some people have had some handles break off the sk5 version even if they were using it incorrectly or batoning it when they should have used an axe.

    I'm not sure that I understand the mindset that people have of trying to use a knife for everything else but what it should be used for.I don't think too many people ( I am sure it has happened) have tried to baton with there katana's or other bladed weapons so why try to baton with a fighting bowie? The grind,handle configuration and overall shape and design are not ideal for such abusive wilderness tasks. I know some people may say" If a knife can't handle Insert X then how am I going to trust it with my life in a self defense situation?" My answer is that certain designs are better at different tasks, simple.

    What it really comes down to is using the right tool for the job, I honestly believe the SM3 Natchez is one of the best production bowies ever made.
  16. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    This. I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why the decision was made to construct the knife this way.
  17. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket Moderator

    Apr 15, 2010
    Me neither. It seems both weaker and much more complicated to make than a normal full-length hidden tang that's threaded on the end. :confused: That's too bad because it's a very nice blade design.
  18. Poleaxe


    Dec 27, 2012
    To be honest I have to agree but it is quite strong and balances the knife very well
  19. Wabbit69


    Feb 14, 2013
    Thread bump. My understanding is that the balance of he knife is specifically why they chose the tang construction. The Natchez is a fighting tool, not a bushcraft tool. It was not designed to hack through several tree limbs a day. It was designed to give the user the ability to hack through another type of limb, before the user's opponent could reciprocate.
  20. jonbutcheraxis


    Oct 27, 2005
    I have to agree with this assessment. My hand axe is a terrific tool but I'd never want to use it to shave my face, preferring instead to use a razor. Since I have a razor this seems reasonable. It dosen't diminish the quality or effectiveness of my hand axe when I don't use it to shave.
    I have a Natchez bowie and it is indeed an impressive and lively piece of steel, certainly capable, strong and well built enough for any number of defense scenarios, animal or human. But not designed to chop trees, dig in the dirt and other like chores.
    I do have one question though- my Natchez blade steel is 01.. is that the same or different than SK5 ?


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