How many people hate Cold Steel?

Jun 20, 2000
For some reason, almost every time I read this forum or a knife article someone brings up how Cold Steel is being treated unfairly. On the cold Steel website, they say that Blade Magazine treats them unfairly. Cold Steel wanted a Battle Mistress to test, but never revealed the results. I find that interesting. Cold Steel appears to have a good company with a great product and the only company that has a video showing what their knives an do. What is going on, what is wrong with Cold Steel and their products?
I don't own any Cold Steel knives, but that's about to change. I'll be picking up a 6" filet knife soon.

A coworker is a huge CS fan. I used to pooh-pooh his enthusiasm until I took a look at his NIB peacemaker. It's a double edged dagger and the edge on that thing was perfect. The grind lines were symmetrical and even all the way round. And talk about sharp! Wow! It blew away our brand new Benchmades, Bokers, MODs, Bulldogs. My spyderco is close, so I can't say which was sharper. The only production knife I've ever seen that is sharper NIB is my SpeedTech.

So, imho, even though I don't own and Cold Steels, they kick butt.

Ouch! Dang, that's sharp!

I've got more CS knives than any other make. Lynn Thompson may come across as a bit abrasive, but he is certainly one of the most innovative knife designers around. He established a new standard at least 10 years ago, and while other manufacturers today are equalling or surpassing those standards in some areas, he's still tops in my opinion (even though I had to go to Fallkniven to get the North American puukko). For good, tough, reasonably priced cutting tools, CS is hard to beat.
I don't know what's going on with the CS politics, but the SRK I got was so sharp I couldn't believe it. Very tough and affordable knife.
My personal favorite Cold Steel knives are their filet knives. These things are the ultimate in a factory filet knife. Never saw Lynn pierce a car door with one though

It's only a mistake if you fail to learn from it!
I like cold steel knives. I owned an SRK and own a Bushman. The SRK was stolen, otherwise i would still have it. It was a great knife. I do find their marketing a bit extreme sometimes, but most of thier knives that i've seen are pretty nice.


The beast we are, lest the beast we become.
Cold Steel knives are supposed to be good working knives. Don't listen to all the hype that they put out and you won't be disappointed. When I saw my first CS Voyager, I was truly disappointed. I knew repeated sales marketing tactics when I saw it. The serrations were too fine in many areas to sharpen well, and the pocket clip was a cheap piece of crappy plastic. I don't own any CS knives, so I wouldn't know how they hold an edge or anything. All I know was that it felt cheap.

Then I saw their Triple Action Tanto. WTF is it?
Its an abomination for a knife. The blade was sharp and stuff, but this knife's new innovations were some of the most retarded things since Frost Cutlery's Frostwood.

All that said, I think their fixed blades seem nice. Long ago I saw their Recon Tanto in a knife store, I wasn't allowed to touch it because I was way underage (13?). I don't need to touch the edge to know that its sharp. I knew that thing was sharp, the edge was so well polished and clean, and it just had the wickedly sharp look to it. Course, I don't own any CS knives, so I wouldn't know how they held an edge, etc.

-Chang, Asian Janitorial Apparatus
Not getting too many Hater's from this thread, funny that?

I like the knives they make, have had several and have moved them on for one reason or another, the one I've kept is the Trailmaster in Carbon V, which is a great hacker and very sharp, my handle hasn't had the material come loose yet but I'm keeping an eye on it, if it does, I'll just put a handle of my own choosing, no problem.


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

G2 LeatherWorks
Cold Steel -- the propaganda is annoying, and they're not going to win any beauty contests, but all the stuff I've personally seen has been good so far. And the prices are very nice.

The only CS products I personally have are a SF shovel and a throwing knife. I haven't gotten a chance to test out the shovel yet, but I had to buy one after reading this <a target="_blank" href="">absolutely mad review</a> of one (Is he _licking_ the shovel in that picture?)

As for the thrower, it seems well constructed and well balanced, in any case I can't stop playing with the damned thing, much to the irritation of my roommate and the detriment of all the cardboard boxes and phone books in our apartment.

I've heard other people rave on and on about their SRKs, they seem like excellent user knives and the new one I handled was very sharp.

Has anyone ever seen the video PROOF that I keep hearing about? Just out of curiosity.

[This message has been edited by Novadak (edited 06-21-2000).]
I own the video and it is a great testimony as to the strength of the knives. Nicely filmed, only does not have a few cold steel knives due to the fact that they came out after the video was released. Maybe hate was to strong a word, how about dislike?
Do I hate Cold Steel? Not really, I just hate Lynn Thompson. Does that qualify as a personal attack? As for the products, some of them are just STUPID. I myself am not a big fan of the Triple Action Folder, but James Keating is, so obviously, to each their own. The prices are right? Sorry, have to complain about that, too, w/ respect to certain products that actually fall into that "stupid" category. For instance, why the hell is a shillelagh so damn expensive? It's a piece of wood w/ a knot in it. Oh, sorry, it's a "handpicked" piece of wood w/ a knot in it. OTOH, some of the other stuff is priced OK, but they're still a far cry from Newt Livesay's prices. Additionally, b/c I'm a martial artist, I feel that Thompson's approach to knives as weapons and his shameless promotion of that concept is inappropriate. It only encourages the sheeple to crack down harder. From what I've read on the website and read about him in articles and heard from folks who have met him, he seems to be proud to associate the bulk of his products w/ their possible applications in a combat situation. To contrast, take Sal Glesser, who got pissed b/c they used a Spyderco Civilian in the book "Hannibal." Can we say "potential lawsuit" in Thompson's case? It's just plain lack of judgement.

I do/did own some of his products, though, and their quality was pretty good in all aspects. And the one good thing about Thompson's lack of social tact w/ regards to edged weapons is that I can always count on him to come out w/ some new weapon that I might be able to hang on my wall a la katana displays. Don't think he makes many weapons/weapon designs: Here's a list:

Boar spear
Norse, Frontier, Vietnam, Rifleman's Hawk
Tru-Flight Throwers
Desperado/Nogales folders (utility? what?)
Kukri lineup (sure, you can use them for utility too, but what did the Ghurka's use them for?)
Black Bear Classic
Bad Axe

Need I say more?

Anyway, enough ranting. I'll throw in some more compliments, in a vain attempt to balance this obviously biased posting out.
CS stuff is sharp, some designs are pretty cool, and I wouldn't mind buying some of them just for a weapons display (but that's b/c CS is the only company that makes them!)
Cold Steel is a little over-the-top sometimes, and I don't have any experience with their folders. But everytime I fish out my CS SRK and use it, I'm impressed at what a good knife it is without even considering it was less than $50.

I have a stag-handled trailmaster that is so pretty I haven't used it yet. (Well, OK I have two, but I intend to sell one...eventually.)

I think we need a company with a "lack of social tact" to bring us some of the neat items that you can't get anywhere else. Like real spears that don't cost $800 (like Puma's boar spear), a "user" Cutlass, etc.
Yes Kevin, I do agree with you. If you are into throwing spears and the like, then CS is the brand to get. Their throwing knives are very nice, but come on, how did they think up the Desperado; can you even call that a handle?
Originally posted by Thrawn:
Additionally, b/c I'm a martial artist, I feel that Thompson's approach to knives as weapons and his shameless promotion of that concept is inappropriate.

Well where the heck I am supposed to learn how to use a tomahawk against bad guys wielding machetes and spears, huh? Dude, if Lynn didn't put all that great info in his special ops catalog I'd be toast the next time some machete swinging thug attacked me.

Ouch! Dang, that's sharp!

I have to admit, Cold Steel makes some kicka$$ fixed blades. I am especially fond of the Trailmaster, the Recon Scout, the SRK and the Bushmaster.
My only complaint with them is the Kraton handle. Throw some G-10 or Micarta on there and I may reconsider owning some.
Originally posted by xray:
Their throwing knives are very nice, but come on, how did they think up the Desperado; can you even call that a handle?

The Desperado is a great knife. Just because you don't know how to use a tool doesn't mean that the tool is ineffective. I DARE you to try getting it out of my hand once I'm latched onto that little rubber egg.

Cold Steel does what I expect it to do for the price. I respect them for having their own ideas about knives, and following through by producing those knives to the best of their ability.

Marketing is marketing. Exaggerations and dramatics in advertising are not only common, they are the standard.

I, too, would really like to learn what came of that Busse they were going to test...

AKTI Member #A000832

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, the bear eats you."
Where did all those CS "haters" go? I'm not one. But you have to make some generous allowances for the puffery. CS makes some very good knives. The Trailmaster is an excellent knife, especially in carbon V, and it was my mainstay for years, despite its few shortcomings. I still love it, although the sheath was crap from day 1. The Magnum Tanto is also very nice, although it does tend to chip. The feel and balance of these knives is superb, kraton notwithstanding.
I even like Lynn, his bluster notwithstanding. He seems to be intelligent, knowledgable, humourous and honest, although that latter impression is tested from time to time by the circus barker tone of some of his hype. CS seems to me to make a damn good product at a good price, although they ain't cheap. On the other hand, some of the claims and noise are simply ridiculous. "Best" knife or knives in the world? Ludicrous. You haven't heard anything about a Busse comparison and the reason is probably quite simple: the infi Busses are superior in virtually every attribute that CS touts for its own knives. Does that make the Trailmaster any less of a knife or Cold Steel less of a company? By my expectations, no. By their hyped criteria, yes. Do I hate them for it? No. But if I depended on the hype to buy the "strongest" or the "best" and then found out about Infi or well done D2 or a Talonite blade or a Hayes triple hardened and quenched hand forged 52100 knife and how they perform, ya, I'd feel I had been lied to.
I personally will never buy ANOTHER Cold Steel knife again. I purchased a Voyager XL Tanto and about 3 weeks after I purchased it I dropped it on a CARPETED floor with a 1 inch CARPET PAD and the tip broke off. I wrote a letter and sent it with the knife asking if it could be repaired or replaced. About 1 1/2 months later I recieved the SAME knife back, the edge and tip had been "RE-SHARPENED" to fix the broken tip, so now instead of a Tanto tip, it was more of a flat 90 degree angled blade. I recieved NO letter stating what they did, why it wasn't replaced, or anything...JUST THE KNIFE, which didn't even look the same. NOW do not get me wrong, I do understand that it WAS MY FAULT that the tip got broken, but I would have at least LIKED a response and not just an ALTERED knife. Since COLD STEEL states they have SOME of the "STRONGEST" knifes on the market I would have figured carpet wouldn't have damaged the tip. I did write a letter to Cold Steel asking what they did, and why they did it, but I have NEVER received a response, and this was over 2 years ago. They have lost me as a customer.

If you are not living on the edge, then you are taking up to much room!
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