Cold Steel Trailmaster

Apr 5, 2000
What do all you guys (and gals) think about Cold Steel's Trailmaster (specificaly the Carbon V version). I'm considering buying one.

Brenden McNeil
Excellent knife. If you are planning to keep it strictly for tactical (self-defense) purposes, your money would be better spent on the Ontario Helle's Belle. (see Gaucho's review).

EdRozen-On the cutting edge of finding out what the cutting edge is....
I like the Trailmaster. I did'nt like the thick edge mine came with though. It is one of the earlier ones that are known to have this problem. For me it was an easy fix. I went to the shop and put the Bader BIII to work. Thinned out the entire bevel(left the original thickness at the spine)!Now it more resembles an edge you'd get on a bowie from a custom bladesmith. I got the idea after seeing 1 that Wayne Goddard did.
If you plan on doing heavy chopping, wear gloves. That thin tacky kraton handle tends to eat hands up.
This is just my opinion, and not even really that.... this is mostly from stuff I've read here on the forums. Okay, the Bagwell Bowie seems to be the best larger figher in that price range. The Busse Basic 9 is the best chopper. The CS Trailmaster is great at both, but a master of neither. Take your pick........
I've the TrailMaster and would reccomend it to anyone. A tough knife, I've the Carbon V one and it does need care in clean up or she'll rust. Mine came razor sharp and to date I really haven't had the need to take it to a stone, just stropped it to bring back the razor edge. I've chopped a lot of tree limbs around my property both live and those old dead and pretty hard ones as well.
I hadn't noticed needing gloves with the handle but have others complain. For me it grips great and doesn't leave the hand when in use. If the handle ever did get nasty I'd either replace it with a wood scales or cord wrap it with Stingray underlayment. But it looks good so far and I've had it for about 5 years.


"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...

G2 LeatherWorks
Brenden, for utility uses there are better blades - Busse Combat being one. There are also custom knife makers in that price range - Allen Blade for example. Marbles also makes a simlar blade and they actually warrenty it.

I have a new Recon Scout, which (according to Cold Steel adds) is a shorter blade version of Trailmaster.
So far I am VERY plwased with it. I can't count how much wood i chopped with it already and it is still slmost shaving sharp. The coating stands just fine too.

I depended on my Carbon V Trailmaster for a long time. I loved it, despite its many limitations. The thing rusts way too easily for extended use in the bush and under heavy chopping gloves are a good idea. But it is a great knife nonetheless. I like the comment about it being a good chopper and a good fighter but the master of neither. I think it's a better fighter than chopper, and it does have rather a thick edge for utility purposes. I also like the comment about superior custom knives being available at about the same price. Wise comments both.
I haven't used Allen Blades' blades, but I've heard they're great. Have you considered Tichbourne or Lightfoot, to name but two. Speaking of warranties, these guys stand behind their knives, although you're unlikely ever to have a complaint. Come on over to the custom side. You'll never go back, except maybe for the occasional Busse or CRK.
I too had the idea of thinning the edge on my Cold Steel knife. But, I dont have the Trailmaster yet. I have the Recon Scout and have not had to touch it to a stone yet. The one I did thin out was one of the original All Terrain Choppers. Man, what an awesome chopper! I do have a Bader BIII, but am not good enough yet with it. So, I sent it to my big friend John Fitch, and he did an excellent job of thinning this baby out. If you guys dont have one of John Fitch's bowies, you need to get one!

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo
Theres been some bad things said about this
knife. The crappy handle with no palm swell
is the only bad thing I have to say. Also
maybe a kydex sheath. For the money I dont
think there is a stronger knife out there.
For sure get the carbon v model. It will rust
but holds a damn good edge and is some very
tough steel. go to
I believe the carbon v trailmaster is 139
Thats hard to beat.