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Mini History of Cold Steel Kobun & Oyabun

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by jlauffer, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. jlauffer

    jlauffer

    393
    Apr 11, 2016
    Quickly threw this together based on catalog info...not planning to add any pics. Have included model numbers, blade steel, blade finish, and type of sheath.

    KOBUN:

    Introduced in the 1996/97 catalog. Not many people realize there was a serrated version.

    1996 - 1998.....#17.1......................AUS 8A.........................Satin................Kydex
    1996 - 1998.....#17.1S (serrated).....AUS 8A.........................Satin................Kydex

    1999 - 2000.....#17.1......................AUS 8A.........................Satin................Concealex
    1999 - 2000.....#17.1S (serrated).....AUS 8A.........................Satin................Concealex

    2000 - 2003.....#17.1C....................Carbon V.......................Epoxy..............Concealex

    2001 - 2005.....#17.1T....................420 Sub Zero Quench.....Bead-blasted.....Concealex

    2006............#17.1T.......................AUS 8A.........................Bead-blasted.....Concealex

    2007............#39LKC......................4116 Krupp...................Satin................Secure-Ex

    2010 - 2015.....#17T......................AUS 8A.........................Satin................Secure-Ex

    2016 - 2017.....#17TZ....................AUS 8A.........................Satin................Secure-Ex


    OYABUN:

    Introduced in the 1998 catalog. Basically just a longer Kobun. Most people are familiar with the 9" version, but many do not realize there was also a 7 1/2" version in the beingging.

    1998 - 2000.....#19A (7 1/2").....AUS 8A.........................Satin................Leather
    1998 - 2000.....#19B.................AUS 8A.........................Satin................Leather

    2001 - 2003.....#19BT...............420 Sub Zero Quench.....Bead-blasted.....Secure-Ex

    2004 - 2005.....#19BC...............Carbon V.......................Epoxy..............Concealex
     
  2. The Whip

    The Whip

    491
    Jan 28, 2007
    I thought you might like seeing this Cold Steel ad from the September 1998 issue of Tactical Knives magazine. It introduces the Oyabun and describes both the 9-inch and 7.5-inch bladed models.

    [​IMG]


    -Steve
     
    oxman198, Mike Sastre and jlauffer like this.
  3. The Whip

    The Whip

    491
    Jan 28, 2007
    Just bumping this thread in the hope that it can be made a sticky.

    -Steve
     
    nephron and jux t like this.
  4. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    314
    Aug 3, 2017
    Wow, this is so informative, wonder if it could be a sticky for all to enjoy.
     
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  5. jencarlos

    jencarlos

    34
    Sep 23, 2016
    definitely sticky material
     
  6. jencarlos

    jencarlos

    34
    Sep 23, 2016
    i was wondering if you could clear something up for me. i'll start with what i know. for the kobun, obviously the carbon v version was USA-made. and i figure that the 4116 Krupp and the 420 quench versions are Chinese and/or Taiwanese, and the newest AUS-8A versions are made in Taiwan. Just out of curiosity, were the earliest (AUS-8A) kobuns made in Japan? I only ask because I have been searching for a Japanese Kobun for a long time. I gave up on that search to focus on rounding out my classic tanto collection, but IIRC, all the stainless Kobuns I came across were Taiwanese (maybe a few were Chinese too, it was a while ago, and sparingly, a US-made black-coated carbon v knife here and there). So I assumed that Japanese ones were extremely rare, or never even existed. I was leaning towards rare since they were being made at the same time as the Japanese-made Oyabuns, but i am even less certain now than before. did Japanese-made Kobuns exist?
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  7. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    314
    Aug 3, 2017
    IMG_2673.JPG IMG_2674.JPG They are out there.
     
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  8. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    [QUOTE="jencarlos, post: ...Just out of curiosity, were the earliest (AUS-8A) kobuns made in Japan?.. I assumed that Japanese ones were extremely rare, or never even existed. ..did Japanese-made Kobuns exist?[/QUOTE]
    They surely exist. I feel particularly silly for not having picked up the plain edge japanese Kubon. Back in the day when things were all about being tactical, i fell for the serrated version. Thankfully i had also procured a plain edge US made carbon V and somewhere down the road - a RoC kubon which functions as advertised, but mine never quite matched the near perfect grinds of the japanese version...
     
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  9. jlauffer

    jlauffer

    393
    Apr 11, 2016
    Now that's a rare Kobun!
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  10. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    Well, Now that you put it that way then maybe perhaps as a collection piece it wasn't too bad an outcome for a rash decision after all ;-) granted that its ghastly near monsterous grin is the stuff of nightmares; with its instant ability to create quite an intimidating "shock factor" with its mere drawn presence. And yet somehow what's even worst is having to contemplate just what a daunting task it would be for anyone having to "fix" any damage teeth...without the proper expertise in knife serration after care, like in yours truly.
     
  11. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    314
    Aug 3, 2017
    CS will sharpen any knife regardless of blade type I was told, as long as it is a CS Product.
     
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  12. jencarlos

    jencarlos

    34
    Sep 23, 2016
    pretty sure you are right
     

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