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Is it Normal?/CS Trailmaster

Nov 13, 1998
... that the EDGE BEVEL is over 2 mm on one side and 1½ mm on the other (that's a difference of about 30%, which reiterates itself on the false edge, too, where the bevels definitely seem to have a different angle)?

... that the SHEATH is leather though my internet-retailer advertised explicitly "quality cordura sheath"? Jerry Younkins in his Field Knife Evaluations tended to prefer the cordura one. Some RKI's on these forums have done likewise.

I have some hard earned (and heavily taxed) money in this. What I'd like to know is, if I'm getting what I'm paying for.


This may qualify as "normal", but it doesn't excuse poor quality.
I purchased a Buck Nighthawk by mail a few years back, and it arrived with a similar edge.
I could accept that, given the budget price I paid, but it saddened me to think how far Buck Knives had slipped in quality.
Markku, you paid a premium price for a factory knife which Cold Steel hypes as world-class.
You should have gotten an edge with superior edge geometry.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
You have removed any temptation I might have had to buy a Cold Steel product.
This is probably normal for Cold Steel but it should not have any bearing on performance. The first time you sharpen it you will change the bevel, it was probably done with a belt.

I have had some excellent and poorly finished knives from Cold Steel. My Trail Master came dull, a recon tanto Carbon V bevel angle varied from one end to the other, and a LTC which suffers from the problem you describe. Finish was excellent on my CS Gurkha kukri and stainless recon tanto.

It takes a lot of attention to details to make a knife REALLY cut and penetrate.
I consider a symmetrical edge, centered on the blade one of the most important details.
I have spent many, many hours moving an edge to the center of the blade, making multiple bevels and them lapping them rounded and smooth.
I may have too much time on my hands, but I think my knives cut and hold their edges much better after this kind of detailing.
Of course, I don't USE them for anything (other than my Leatherman) so how would I know?
I whittled through a hickory axe handle once with my Greco, but it came from Greco with a beautiful edge and I just wanted to test the reputed toughness of A-2 steel.

Anyway, doesn't Cold Steel make a big thing about a rolled-edge on their Trailmaster?
I might have confused Cold steel with somebody else.
I'll check their site.
Thanks for the replies. I might be able to live with the bevel-angle problem 'till I get the edge reprofiled (it isn't a rolled one in the Carbon V Trailmaster), but how about the SHEATH thing? I've got the impression that the (newer?) Cordura sheath, which my internet retailer advertised as standard, would be preferable to the leather one (which is not of the same quality as in, e.g., the CS Master Tanto San Mai)? Any thoughts on the sheath? Trailmaster owners?


PS. Just for the record: I'm not complaining, just being a bit disappointed. I have many good experiences with both Cold Steel knives and my internet retailer.

Explain your situation to the internet dealer and chances are very good that he will replace it.


Thanks, Ed. That may be just what I'm trying to figure out with this thread - that is, should I contact the dealer (or are those just "normal minor flaws"). I don't want to bother good, hard-working people for nothing. It is also cumbersome to return things from here (Finland) to U.S.A.

In my limited and recent experience with some Cold Steel fixed blades, I found that the USA-made Carbon V knives I got came with leather and Cordura sheaths, which invite the attention of a third parth sheath supplier.
The Japan-made knives look, at first glance anyway, a little better finished than the Carbon V knives, and they came with good Cordura sheaths (except for a stainless Bush Ranger which came with one of the US-made leather sheaths).

Whatever Japanese factory makes the CS stainless knives I've handled also makes the Fallkniven (Sweden) survival knives, in VG10 (premium stainless) steel. Customers in Finland who like the Master Hunter may want to take a look right across the Gulf of Bothnia, or at www.fallkniven.com , and decide they love the Fallkniven F1 (good leather sheath - two styles). Stainless Trailmaster fans may appreciate the Fallkniven A1, a heavy duty knife in better steel and a slightly more sensible size.


I took the Cordura sheathes that came with my SRK and Master Hunter and threw them away: much too clunky. I made better fitting and slimmer sheaths from tough latigo leather, using a good thick welt, and impregnanted the leather inside and out with SnowSeal, a very good water-repellent wax. Unfortunately, the Kraton CS grips don't adapt to a pouch style sheath very well (too thick), 'tho they're great when covered with animal fat and gore, so I secure the blades with a tough loop thong at the butt and an extra tied thong mid-way along the handle, for those rare instances when I wear a knife on the belt while bushwhacking. I did make a Finn-style dangler sheath for my Roselli puukko, though -- the one that came with it was adequate but not up to the quality of the knife. I can wear that while x-country skiing all day and it never gets in the way or comes loose. (I tell anyone who asks that I use it for scraping the skis.) Cheers from snowy northern Alberta -- just on the other side of the Arctic Circle from Finland.
Hey Ed!

It's nice to hear from somebody I can relate to even climatically! Brrrr!

And thanks for the information. I guess, the cordura sheath on a Trailmaster (though advertised as "high quality") might not be the answer either? Unfortunately, I'm not able to make one of my own, at least at the moment (I'll store your directions, though). So maybe I'll just have to keep on looking for a well-designed Kydex sheath. Any thoughts on that, or places where to get one (without sending the knife)?



PS. I agree with the Roselli sheath thing. I'm sure, they're working on that. Traditionally, Finnish puukkos have great sheaths. This may even be reflected in the fact that 'puukko' is here sometimes referred to as 'tuppiroska' ("sheath-litter").


Edge-Works is quite well reputed for making good Kydex sheaths. You can find their link at this site. In fact, it may the banner at the top of this thread right now!

Haven't ordered from them yet, but I am seriously thinking about it. The leather sheath for my Bush Ranger really stinks and I don't care for the cordura one on my Master Hunter either.

Anyways, check them out and let us know what you go with.

take care,


Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"
Markku, I downloaded some excellent instructions on how to make a pouch-style sheath, except I can't recall exactly where I found the site. It may have been through the links on www.ragweedforge.com (a great website) or maybe chaicutlery.com (also great!). I have it at home and will post next week. Mother Nature giving us a break today, +6 C! But she's setting us up for February. A breath of spring, then Hello, Siberia. Keep warm! Ed