Review 1911 Folder Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by insta9ves, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    As soon as it's announced in January, I thought the 1911 is one of the many "misses" of the 2020 line up, along with the Double-safe Hunter and other non-triad, plastic-handled or plastic clip, cheap steel models. I still decided to buy it, being a big Cold Steel fanboy and a completionist for collecting all non-XL CS folder. Plus, it's $28 on Woots so why not...

    With the low expectations, I still got disappointed when I received the 1911. I did disassembled the knife, inspect every parts, clean, lube and everything, so the below are my first hand experience.

    Let's start with the Pros:
    - Out of the box the flipping action is surprisingly decent despite the teflon washers(show side is teflon+bronze combo), due to the strong detent and loose pivot(more about this later).
    - I also really like the look of the 1911 handle and the overall design/shape of the knife, minus the flipper(also more about this later).
    - It's affordable at <$30, so i'm sure it has the potential to sell.
    Unfortunately these are the only good things I have to say about this knife.

    Now to the Cons:
    - For this knife, you can only choose between: (1) a centered blade with decent flipping action but with a lot of side-to-side blade play, or (2) no-blade-play but unusable flipper due to stiff action and a terribly off-centered blade that's rubbing against the liner lock.
    - The pure plastic handle on the non-lock side and the overall plastic construction is just not rigid enough to support a centered blade with consistent action. This construction works with Triad lock(no lateral tensions), but not with liner lock where a strong spring constantly applies tension on one side. There's no way to get rid of the side-to-side blade play by tightening the pivot without having the blade rubbing against the liner. If you want to use the flipper at all, you'll have to live with a loose pivot and bad side-to-side play.
    - The flipper... This is one of the worst designed flipper tabs i've seen. Not the function of the flipper when the knife is closed, but when it's opened. See picture below, the flipper becomes a hook when opened and is a damn hot spot. If you hold the handle normally, the joint of your index finger lands directly at the tip of the flipper. The only way to avoid the flipper digging into your finger is to hold the knife near the handle cutout, but you'll run out of handle. I have a Medium sized hand, so unless you have Nick Shabazz's mini bitch hands it'll be an issue. IMO the flipper also doesn't fit the design flow, like someone designed this knife without flipper, then added it last minute.
    - The knife is too small. This is purely subjective. I'm not a big knife person, you'll see me arguing with Larry Turko on this forums about how I think XL folders are dumb. But the size just doesn't jive with the badass 1911 designs. Whenever you hear a knife that uses 1911 namesake and inspired by it, you don't think of a 7" knife like the Spyderco Delica.
    - The typical uneven edge grind, where one side is being sharpened at a steeper angle than the other side. TBH this issues had been persisting for years on ALL CS folders, including AD-10, and AD-15. So I'm not surprise at the shit uneven edge anymore, but still wanna call it out. My experience after owning more than 80+ CS folders over the past 10 years is that there's a 60% chance you'll get one with an uneven edge grind.

    Overall it's such a waste. I love the clip point blade shape and that 1911 grip. This could have been like the Emerson CQC-45 1911 style knife. Such an opportunity to turn this design into a classic! You can hear my frustrations above, because this is such a wasted opportunity.

    Cold Steel could have made it with Triad lock. I don't care if you use plastic handle, don't care if you have to put in shit 40XX or "surgical" steel, but get rid of that flipper and make it a triad lock design. Come on Cold Steel, you've made a $30 knife with triad before, you can do it. Stick to what you are good at, you have a proven formula, use it.

    Ideally I'd like to see this design made to be ~8" overall, S35VN steel or something similar, G-10 handle and TRIAD LOCK(!!!). Man this will be better than the classic AK-47. I'll keep dreaming for now......

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
    upnorth, jstrange, gotgoat and 3 others like this.
  2. BD_01

    BD_01 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    Sounds like a turd.
    It always surprises me when a manufacturer with a decent reputation drops one into the bowl. Regardless of trying to hit a price point, it doesn’t strike me as a way to maintain one’s reputation.

    Thanks for an honest review.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
    insta9ves likes this.
  3. dogstar


    Jan 23, 2011
    Thanks for your thorough review. Based on what you said in the past, I thought you'd steer clear of this one, but thanks for giving it a shot. The knife does look cool; hopefully this is one that comes and goes, and we'll have better things to look forward to.
    insta9ves likes this.
  4. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Looks like it was designed to be a novelty for 1911 owners and not really set up to be a normal hard working robust CS Knife. Not a fitting tribute to the 1911 platform, I would pick one up if it was done well. The Russian AK 47 knife is better then the US 1911 knife, Putin at work again I think. For the price I guess you can't expect much though, for a folder anyway.
    DangerZone98 and dogstar like this.
  5. Hungryone


    Apr 10, 2011
    The Russian AK 47 knife is better then the US 1911 knife, Putin at work again

    Hey brother, big fan of Cold Steel knives.

    I like AKs too
    What is this AK knife you speak of?
    Thanks in advance
    nephron likes this.
  6. upnorth


    Nov 25, 2006
    Yep. Passed on this one a while back. Thanks for review.
    nephron and insta9ves like this.
  7. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Yeah this one did not appeal to me at all
    nephron and insta9ves like this.
  8. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    I think he’s referring to the cold steel AK47 which was pretty well made, compared to this 1911
    nephron likes this.
  9. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    The only reason I bought it was because i try to collect all CS folders and this is cheap. I guess CS’ strategy of making cheap knives works...
    johnnywizzo and dogstar like this.
  10. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Screenshot (234).png
  11. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Seconded. The XHP/S35VN AK-47 is a fantastic knife.
    nephron likes this.

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