I generally like CS quality in fixed knives HOWEVER you should be aware of where the different models are made.
For example, most stainless knives (like your Kobun) are made in Japan and the grind lines and meets are great. The Carbon V knives are made in the US, and the grinds are not nearly as good -- not symmetrical, poor meets, etc.
I get the impression that the rubber handles are forced on over the tangs -- that's okay, but sometimes the leading edge of the handle hole is buckled under, making an uneven and moisture-trapping join with the ricasso.
Overall, I think the Japanese-made fixed blades are a pretty good value.
[This message has been edited by Bear (edited 18 December 1998).]
I have a kobun, serrated, which I think is very nifty . . . although that sort of design doesn't lend itself to general tasks, so it pretty much sits in a drawer as insurance against the collapse of civilisation . . . which is the only time I'd even THINK of carrying the sucker, given the stringent carry laws in my neck of the woods. A word of caution: when I first bought it, the rubber around the hilt began to peel off from the friction that occurred when sheathing the blade - the sheath catches the hilt to secure the knife in place. I sent it back to CS. they returned it to me, blade freshly polished (bluing experiment that slightly uglified the blade) but handle untouched, despite a letter saying "please fix handle." Irate phone call to CS, more shipping charges, and new knife arrived on my doorstep. I've had no similar problem with the new knife.
Something I didn't know when I bought it - the CS serrations are nearly impossible to re-sharpen, in fact I hear even CS won't do it if you send it to them, so I gues avoid serrated CS knives. But again, a kobun isn't a utility knife so shouldn't be used enough to require much resharpening. Actually, now that I think of it, I did bring mine camping once, and it was a great camp knife! Cut kindling, opened cans (lost can opener - duh!), spread peanut butter; it was in fact an invaluable tool! And I felt quite safe against most any threat while toting it around. Which is easy to do - it's so light you forget it is there. A very good knife, actually!