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Cold Steel Trail Master or Magnum Tanto IX?

Jun 20, 1999

Which is the better knife- the CS San Mai Trail Master or the CS Magnum Tanto IX. Please, help me out here!
I've never played with either knife, but they're so different that I don't think that they can really be compared w/ each other. It really depends upon what you're looking for in a knife. In so far as the metal goes, I've heared mixed reviews of San Mai III, most not in favor of it. As I've never toyed with it, this is only hearsay, but I hear it's overblown and not worth the extra $$$. It sounds like Carbon-V is the way to go.
PS. If I had my choice, I'd get the Tanto, sell it, buy the Trailmaster and either pocket the extra cash or buy another knife w/ it.
That is actually a good idea. Might even make a little extra $$$.

I also agree that the Carbon V is the way to go, high rust potential but great all around knife....
Either way good luck and let us know what you get.

God bless!

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

The Trailmaster is awsome but I don't think that san mai has any real advantages. If you want stainless steel, get the regular stainless version-it's cheaper. It has a rolled edge that I think is a better cutter than the one on the carbon v. It looks better too! However, if you want strength go with the carbon v.

The tanto looks cool but compared to the bowie, it is almost useless. If you're going to use this knife get the bowie. I have the trailmaster and it is my favorite knife and I use it all the time. I also have the tanto and it just sits in the knife cabinet- once in a while I take it out just to look at it.

Mine has been sitting inside its box ever since I got it... only taken out once or twice to look at it. hehehehe...

But I guess each one was built with a different purpose in mind, so it's like comparing apples to oranges.

Better? As above posts have stated, apples and oranges question, but I've had the Magnum Tanto and sold/traded it and have kept the Trail Master and have no intentions of ever letting go, it is a great work knife, and I have chopped off an impressive size tree limbs with a single slash, only tree limbs that have asked for it of course, not just your run out and cut anything deal, but I'm always looking for an excuse to hack something!

G2 .00000002

When a fellow says, "it ain't the money but the principle of the thing,"
it's the money.
F. McKinney Hubbard


These are two completely different knives. Without saying what exactly you want to use the knife for, I don't see how you can possibly get an answer that's right for you, you might as well just flip a coin. Give us something to work with, man
Hehehe.. Joe, you crack me up.

Let's see...
Tanto = Impressive, good-looking, makes you feel like a japanese warrior of sorts (as long as you don't look at your leather sheath). Good for stabbing at car doors.

Trailmaster = awesome knife.. Feels like Davy Crockett out on a hunt.
As G2 says, hacking away happily at those tree limbs that's pointing the finger at us.

I want a Trailmaster! waaahhhh!!! Sheesh, saw one at Ebay, with Stag Handle and Carbon-V steel... sold for only $157!!!! bummer!

DannyC- The stag trailmaster doesn't have a full tang but the stag is probably a lot stronger than the rubber handle. You can feel the difference in weight. The stainless version looks and feels heavier than the carbon v and the stag feels a lot lighter. You should compare all versions and make your choice!

Really? I didn't know that... Not full-tang... hmmmm...

I wonder if I should just get a regular Trailmaster in Carbon-V, then once the Kraton handle wears off, remove it, and change it with something else, like micarta or maybe cord-wrap it.

Dannyc- I have the trailmaster and I would love to someday change the rubber handle to some sort of hardwood and add some mosaic pins too. It really is a great knife. And well worth modifying.
I know that the CS Tantos are unpopular in these forums, but I own and use both knives. For a camp knife, I only own one other knife that will beat the Trail Master (an old BJ Anaconda II). In working with sparring trees, the Tanto IX is much, much faster. I like both knives, and I plan on holding on to both of them. If you've got the funds, I always say, get all you can.

"A fear of weaponry is a sure sign of neuroses."