First Impression: CS Triple Action Folder

Kodiak PA

Gold Member
Dec 3, 1998
I got my CS TAF tanto today from Bullman Cutlery (Another great deal-THANKS Bruce)and it certainly is an interesting appearing knife. I haven't cut anything with the ATS10 yet, though I am anxious to do so since CS is touting this steel as exceeding AUS8 "by an honest 20% in edge holding ability". Time will tell and I will report on the cutting ability at a later date.

At first it took me a few minutes to figure out how to open the aircraft grade aluminum handle. The handle opens at the tang area and the left side handle just sort of plops open when you push it off the releasing catch. It's pretty difficult to do this one handed right now but I equate that to the newness of the knife. The 4" ATS10 serrated tanto blade is then just pushed open like any other blade with a thumb stud. The action is very smooth. To lock the blade you just close the left side portion of the handle and it snaps into place. To close the blade, you just repeat the process in reverse.

Even though the blade pivot is very smooth, this is a slow opening knife and as of right now, I'm using two hands. When locked up the blade is very tight. Absolutely no blade play in any direction. When I bought this, Bruce Bullman told me that this knife when locked is more along the lines of a fixed blade and I agree with him. There will be no blade lock failure as long as you hold onto this knife.

The clip is stainless steel and connected by the pivot screw and I have some concerns that this will come loose as one tries to open the handle, pushing off of the pocket clip like a Spyderco knife. The pivot screw is adjustable and I will add some lock-tite just to be sure. The clip is solidly made and it secures the knife into the waistband or pocket well.

The knife weighs 3.7 oz and has a closed length of 5". The handle has a roll engrave pattern that is neither gaudy nor impressive to look at. When closed this knife just doesn't even look like a knife. At first my son though I had a new Leatherman. The sides of the handle have a smooth serration pattern that gives the knife a more secure grip.

The blade is very sharp out of the box and I notice that I catch the blade tip to the closing side of the handle at times when I'm closing the knife which is mildly annoying since it mars the inner surface of the aluminum handle. The tanto tip is reenforced which is typical of a CS knife.

Do I feel that this would be a good primary carry knife? No. I would probably use this knife more along the lines of a sturdy back up. Does it have a work horse capability? Probably yes. I will probably always have either my Genesis, Sebenza or Military with me in addition to this knife.

This knife may work out though if the steel is all that it is hyped up to be. Anyone have any experience with ATS10?

Is this knife like a Balisong? Not at all. Its handle just opens on the left side, not both sides like a balisong. The speed of opening this knife is nowhere near as fast.

All in all, I would rate this knife around a 5 on a 10 scale. Time will tell. Its interesting pattern and potential cutting ability may make this a useful knife. I will report on the blades cutting ability next.



[This message has been edited by Kodiak PA (edited 07 April 1999).]
Preliminary cutting test on cardboard and Kodiak driftwood is pretty good. Slices through the cardboard quite well and slices through the hard wood fairly easy. The blade locks up nice and tight and the one-handed opening seems to get easier as I play with this knife.

Wasn't able to easily remove the pivot screw to apply the lock-tite, I'll hold off for now.

I'll report more later.


Thanks for the review. Seeing this knife left me a little confused about its opening and operation. You've made it clear to me!

Not my cup of tea, but I'm sure there are some who will like it.
I had thoughts about checking this knife out until I got and read thier catalog. They still claim that their AUS10A has a wide preformance advantage over ATS55, ATS34, and even CPM440V!!! Now this may be true IF this were a diving knife, but it obviously isn't. They also claim that they were the 1st to use AUS10A which is BS!!! They say it was discovered by them 5 years ago. To my liking it just doesn't hold an edge as well as I'd like, but it will resist rust very well. I'm sure that you all know this already, but AUS10A is roughly compairable to 440C. -AR

P.S. CS also states that the TAF has the strongest lock available, PERIOD. Well guess what...I've heard the same about the Rolling Lock as well, and possably even the Axis lock. Funny...all 3 must be the strongest lock huh??? -AR

*Geeeshhh...I really hope I don't get flamed over this.*

[This message has been edited by Jackyl (edited 07 April 1999).]
You won't get flamed from me. I've often noted a copious amount of hot air surrounding Cold Steel's products and catalogues.

I'm well aware that they make a competent product at a decent price (good for them!), but I find the used-car-huckster approach to advertising to be so distasteful that I doubt I'll ever own a CS knife.


And in the Captain's chambers
they're gathered for the feast.
They stab it with their steely knives
but they just can't kill the beast

Coronach, I'm afraid I must agree whole heartedly with you on the used-car-huckster approach of CS.

They have some knives that I think are REAL KNICE, but I just can't stand the thought of buying from them. I was getting close to wanting one of their fixed blades, until I read the part about AUS10 in the latest edition. I THINK that their claim about AUS10 being better than CPM440V is also, if not solely, directed at edge-holding and toughness. (I'll have to look at that again) I was ALMOST there, really drooling over a couple of their blades in this catalog. When I read that, the cat. got tossed in the back floorboard of my Jeep and has lived there ever since.

I forgot to mention that I just can't stand the little "customer feedback" section in the new CS catalog. They actually printed sections on peoples "deadly experiences" which I think is complete BS!!! This one guy even said "I love Cold Steel knives, the HELL with Blade Magazine." What's up with that? Another one said that this guy and his girlfriend were slashing away at three "would be" robbers. That's just plain STUPID. -AR
Cold Steel makes a good product but if it were as great as they say, they shouldn't have to go and attack other people's products to prove it. Their products should be able to stand on their own if they're as good as they make them out to be.

...and what's the deal with bending every blade they have in a vise to prove how "strong" it is? I mean...I can think of many things I can stick in a vise and bend all around that won't break, cant you? ATS34 might not be able to bend like that because it holds an edge a hell of a lot better than AUS10A and is more brittle. -AR
I've been testing a new Junglee Tri Point with AUS 10 blade. Preliminary testing has been very positive. Cutting so far has been limited to cardboard,carpet and several ***** willow limbs to feed the moose. The blade was still shaving sharp. I don't think my Endura with the AUS8-A would have held up as well. I really like the blade profile on the Tri Point. Check it out Kodiak.

I really do like most Cold Steel products. For the money you get a good deal and the knives are usually well made even though the hype stuff is a bit over whelming to a grown up. I love the voyager series knives I have.

If anyone gets this knife be aware that the pivot screw isn't adjustable. If it is, I screwed it up. I stripped the screw and the tensions are all messed up. My bad.
The knife is still usable but it doesn't lock up as tight as it did. Live and learn I guess.

Sppedrck: I'll try to take a look at that Junglee. I didn't know they had a blade in AUS10. So far so good with the TAF blade.


[This message has been edited by Kodiak PA (edited 09 April 1999).]
Some final observations and then I'll shut my trap up

-I was able to turn a lemon into lemonaide with that stripped screw. I took the TAF out today for a full workout and now that the tensions are looser the blade opens like a balisong. Interesting. I can snap open the handle and flip the blade right out now. I have lost some tightness when locked up laterally but all in all it is an acceptable loss. Due to the configurations of the handle lock the blade can not collapse. Wonder what I can screw up and improve next.......

-I cut an awful lot today from 1.5 manilla rope to sawing off small branches. I even stabbed a large piece of timber and the edge is still sharp. I whittled a large branch into nothing in no time. I do note a small chip at the "belly" of the blade where the serrations end and the upswing of the tanto starts. Not sure how it got there. Possibly from the blade falling against the handle lock? All in all, I would say the blade's edge holding capability is pretty good. I compare the cutting ability to AUS8 or perhaps I should just say to my other CS serrated blades which all cutt pretty good. The knife doesn't need to be sharpen this evening though I am interested in seeing if the serrations can be easily touched up using my Sharpmaker.
-You can hold this knife closed & it doesn't even look like a knife. It looks like some type of metal measuring device. My son still thinks it looks like a Leatherman. For the tactical buffs this may be of some interest.
-IWB carry is very comfortable. More so that in the pocket carry.

All in all I don't think I will get the screw fixed at this time. I plan on using this knife again.

I hope this review was helpful.

I now commence shutting up!