A Stable of Black Beauties

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by The Whip, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. The Whip

    The Whip

    700
    Jan 28, 2007
    I've read a number of people's complaints about the prevalence of black blades among Cold Steel's offerings lately. I know that's just a matter of personal taste. I don't share that opinion in the least, however. Perhaps I'm biased because I can remember a time when there were no black-bladed knives, but I've loved them ever since their advent.

    Frankly, Cold Steel's introduction of DLC-coated CTS XHP has caused me to buy a lot of knives that I probably would have passed over if their blades weren't coated or if they had been released with Tuff-Ex coating. Here is a bevy of black beauties to exemplify what I'm talking about.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A few notes:

    The G-10 handles and DLC blade really elevate the Ti-Lite to a superior everyday-carry knife. It's compact, extremely light in G-10, and fast to deploy. Cold Steel really should add this one to the line-up instead of making it limited edition.

    The Broken Skull is awesome! I can't get over how lightweight this knife is for its size. This knife destroys the notion that you need FRN or Grivory handles to make a thin, light EDC folder. Again, this is another model that should be a permanent offering instead of limited-edition.

    I doubt the average user will notice much performance difference between the Tuff-Ex Recons and the DLC versions, but the new coating is still a vast improvement in my book. The corrosion resistance, improved cutting performance, and permanence of the coating turn an already-great knife into one of the best EDC options available (particularly for soldiers and law-enforcement officers who want a light, strong folder).

    Also, for you collectors out there, you'll notice on this version of the Recon that it's an XHP version with the old Cold Steel logo. It came in the old-style blue box, too. There must have been a brief transition period between the XHP introduction and the switch-over to the new logo and boxes.

    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  2. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    The first XHP blades debuted at Blade (Recon 1 and AK-47) a couple years ago. Old boxes for sure, and some of the very first blades did not have XHP on them, but boxes were marked or stickered.
     
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  3. farmer ted

    farmer ted

    71
    Aug 4, 2013
    Man, I was expecting pics from KING magazine ;)
     
  4. FreeByrd

    FreeByrd

    13
    Aug 9, 2020
    I'd appreciate some insight from this old post. I bought a XL Recon 1 Clip Point. The dealer says he bought it directly from Cold Steel last year, but there isn't XHP on the blade or box. I can't figure out how to upload a picture. The box does have a QR code on the back. Maybe that can help me since QR codes are newer tech? [​IMG]
     
  5. DocJD

    DocJD

    Jan 29, 2016
    Most Cold Steel that are XHP or S35VN say so right on the on the blade .

    Otherwise , I'd assume AUS-8 .
     
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  6. jux t

    jux t Gold Member Gold Member

    836
    Jan 10, 2018
    Someone in another thread looked up the serial number from the box for the member above and found it to be aus-8. But some early XHP recon 1s were not labeled as such. I’ve seen them on eBay and when the pictures are clear you can tell the difference between the Teflon coated aus8 and the DLC XHP coating.
     
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  7. FreeByrd

    FreeByrd

    13
    Aug 9, 2020
    Thanks to both of you for replying. Here are pictures of the box and blade. James.
    https://ibb.co/DKyTH5s
    https://ibb.co/VgWjx5v
    https://ibb.co/26ZfRWR
    https://ibb.co/8rB0sfY
    https://ibb.co/t2M0N0y
    https://ibb.co/zrLFMrB
     
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  8. The Whip

    The Whip

    700
    Jan 28, 2007
    Since it came back up, I went ahead and fixed the original pictures in this thread. Hopefully they will be more useful now for anyone looking for detail.

    To my knowledge, the only unlabeled DLC XHP models were the very first test batch. They were Recon 1s with partially serrated tanto blades. They have a DLC coating that is not only easily distinguished from the Tuff-Ex blades, but also is slightly distinctive from later DLC editions. I don't know if the DLC process was modified or if a different manufacturer was used, but something changed before DLC was offered en masse.


    James, your knife is definitely the AUS-8A model. The item number, box style, blade coating, and blade labeling all match--and all identify it as the original AUS-8A XL Recon 1. I highly doubt your dealer purchased that knife from Cold Steel in 2019. But if he did, he bought new old stock, probably unearthed from a forgotten pile in the warehouse. Here is an identically labeled Recon 1 spear point in AUS-8A.

    [​IMG]


    Despite your blade not being CTS-XHP, don't worry about your knife's endurance. You might eventually wear down the Tuff-Ex coating, but otherwise that knife won't fail you. Plus, all of the XL Recon 1s have become extremely desirable since they were discontinued. Enjoy your knife; it's a great one!

    -Steve

    P.S. - To reinforce my original point for this thread, I'll add another old picture I dug up that I think makes the argument for beautiful black blades....

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DocJD

    DocJD

    Jan 29, 2016
    :) Thanks for the useful info and great pics ! :cool::thumbsup:
     
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  10. FreeByrd

    FreeByrd

    13
    Aug 9, 2020
    Great information! I appreciate it very much. I actually went back to him and swapped out the Recon for a clip point and a spear point Code 4 in CTS XHP. Written on the blade.

    Are you saying that the Recon 1 is discontinued? I love being able to defend myself and cut thing throughout the day with the great big XLs from Cold Steel. Espada XL is next on the list.

    Thanks, James.
     
  11. The Whip

    The Whip

    700
    Jan 28, 2007
    Yes, the XL Recon 1s are long gone. If you liked the knife at all, go back to your dealer and buy it again!

    If defensive carry actually is more important to you, you'll be very pleased with the Espada. You might look at the Large Espada, too. It's significantly easier to carry than the XL. If you look hard enough, you still might be able even to find a Large in XHP (they no longer make those, either).

    -Steve
     
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  12. FreeByrd

    FreeByrd

    13
    Aug 9, 2020
    I did like it! I'm into my steel though. I want my future generations to use the blades I buy now. I probably will go back and get it. Man I wish it was XHP though! He sold it to me for $120 with tax. I'm sure the XHP commands even more.
     

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