REKAT Carnivour vs. Cold Steel XL Voyager

Jun 19, 1999
RAKAT Carnivour vs. Cold Steel XL Voyager? I like both-the Rekat handle is thicker, which I like, and the CS has a thin handle. Is one head-and-shoulders above the rest? How do they compare for camping,utility, and defesne? I read Dexter Ewing's KCI review of the CS XL Voyager-what are the pluses-minuses of of the Tanto?


"How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those that are wise and of good will." -Albert Einstein
Well, I think you are almost comparing apples and oranges. I've never seen a Carnivour in person, but from everything I've read it is a heavy knife with a weight of something like 8ozs while the Voyager, having a Zytel handle, will probably be in the 3.0-4.0oz range. For everyday pocket carry that may be noticeable enough to make a difference. Also the REKAT has the famous Rolling Lock, so for really hard use, it may be the better choice.
A friend of mine has several knives and his favorite is probably the CS Voyager with tanto. It is a nice-looking knife, affordable, has a good lock. Tanto points of that type are somewhat limiting in use, though due to the lack of belly in the blade. I don't mind that tanto shape myself, but it's not for everyone. IF you get the CS, I would get the plain edge. CS will not sharpen the serrations for you, so when they dull your SOL. My vote would be on the REKAT if you have the $$$, but it's also three times what a Voyager can be had for, so you have to weight that in, certainly.

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On Two Wheels
Heh, these really are 2 very different knives. I'll assume you're talking about the XL Voyager tanto, not the clip-point.

There's very little similar between the knives...

Blades: Carnivore has a shorter (3.75"), recurved clip-point, ATS-34 blade. Makes for incredible slicing and piercing for a blade this size, with very good edge-holding. XL Tanto has a 5" 8A Americanized-tanto blade. Edge holding will be mediocre. Cutting performance will be good based on the huge blade size alone. The typical advantage of CS's Americanized tantos are that the tip is very strong. Downsides are lack of a belly for utility work, and bad penetration ability due to thick point.

Locks: Carnivore has that fancy new rolling lock, very strong and secure. But don't dismiss the Voyager's overbuilt lockback -- it is incredibly strong for a lockback, and almost sure to meet your needs.

Handle: Carnivore has a titanium-lined G-10 5" handle, with among the most incredibly secure ergonomics I've ever seen. XL Voyager has a 6" zytel handle with ergonomics okay at best.

In my opinion:

Why go with the Carnivore? Because you want a massively strong and ergonomic folder which performs better than most knives this size, and that is still small enough to be carried and concealed easily.

Why go with the XL Voyager? Because you want the big 5" blade length for some reason (IMO good reasons include: extra length for defensive use, or very big utility jobs). And you don't mind the mediocre ergonomics and edge holding, and the generally-less-useful tanto shape, and the fact that you're carrying around a 6" handle.

Here's my advice. Pick up a Carnivore for everyday carry. Forget the XL Voyager, pick up a CS Vaquero Grande for those times when you can handle carrying around a huge folder.

I thought the liners on the Carnivore were stainless steel and not titanium?
Oh! Could be, hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Actually, judging by the weight of this thing, it's easy to believe they're stainless!

At Joe's request, I am posting my answer here to an issue raised in the REKAT forum.

Gator, I apologize if I offended. It was not intended. My comparison was based on price and on quality of design and execution. I have various CS products and I have a prototype Carnivore. The difference in construction is notable. As to the other details, I will refer you to Joe Talmadge's response.

Walk in the Light,
Stainless VS Titanium

The weight of the Carnivore is 6 ounces should we switch to Titanium it would drop the weight to 5.2 ounces.
The results would be a 30% increase in price at the consumer end and a strength reduction of 40% in terms of lock strength and overall strength thats a lot to pay for 22 grams in weight. The yeld strength of our liners is 175,000 A6v4 Titanium is 91,000.
The weight issues seems a bit off to me I carry a Talonite Carnviore, Swept Point Pioneer and a Ken Onion as well as a Pocket Hobbit on my belt. My pants havn't fallen off yet.
I think the trade off is weight and strength VS Light and weaker. Thats what makes this such a wide market, and all the choices give the end user what they want.

Bob Taylor

Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints and escaping.
Joe and Fuller, simply put, my apologies. I'm still learning the ropes here. If someone cares to tell me some basic "dos" and "donts" on the website, it would be greatly appreciated, since basically it's obvious that I have pretty much no idea of what the hell I'm doing. Oh well. Learning comes with time. I just hope you won't hold my mistakes against me in the fututre, in the highly unlikely event that I do figure out what's going on around here.



"How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those that are wise and of good will." -Albert Einstein
Gator, no problem at all. It's just best to have all discussion in on place -- it lets you get the most comprehensive answers, and lets the responders pick nits and debate each other.

When I want maximum coverage among a number of forums, I use what is I believe to be the standard etiquette: I post my question on one forum, and in the other relevent forums I post a pointer "I have posted a question on X forum that I believe would interest you here; please read and respond there."

That isn't a forum rule or anything, it just happens to work out well.

BTW, which knife are you leaning towards purchasing, and why? Once you ask for advice you have to give us the outcome, that's a big-time rule

[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 29 June 1999).]
Mr. Taylor,
I completely understand why with the Rekats you went with hardened stainless over titanium. Titanium has its place, but you'd be likely to have galling problems with the steel locking pin if the liners on your knives were ti. A similar question was posed some time ago at the BM knife forum in regards to their axis folders (which I'm sure you tire of hearing of) and the galling issue was raised. For the time being, I see ti as being either a great liner lock material or a material for liners where there is a rocker bar or similar mechnism that creates no friction on the ti itself.
Cold Steel lightweight folders are all right in my opinion for the low price you can find on them in some mail order arenas. I think their fixed blades are some of the best in the business. Having (abusingly)tested a full-sized Gunsite folder however, I found it the locking mechanism to be subject to wear and distortion with only light abuse. I saved enough money on my Cold Steel Kukhri that I decided to pick up a Gunsite folder as well just to see what the Voyager series were all about. From three feet away, I threw it into a 6x6 post on my fence twenty-five times and repeated the test with my axis folder (stupid test really, but clearly defining locking strength). The axis was unblemished, whereas the Cold Steel had developed about three millimeters of play in the up and down movement of the blade. I'm not sure what gave way, the pivot pin or the locking bar, locking pivot pin, or everything, but it wasn't worth a damn when I was finished. My theory is that the handle material around the pins actually "stretched," thus loosening tolerances ridiculously. Cold Steel's testing where they locked the Gunsite folder in a vice and supported 130+pounds on the handle may be a testament to its strength, but I know the knife was probably ruined completely afterward. Comparing price points of the two knives, when you can get a Gunsite for around 59-69 dollars, and on this forum I've seen a Carnivore going for around 100-110 dollars, I don't feel this is that much of an apple-to-oranges comparison. The fact remains that for around 30 to 40 dollars more you can get a (IMHO) 60 to 70% stronger, less resistent to wear (in my case abuse) folder. I know that if the axis stood up to the abuse I gave it, the Carnivore would likely be even more capable due to its "beefierness."

[This message has been edited by Professor (edited 29 June 1999).]
Joe, as I said in my other post involving the Carnivour, in the General Discussion forum, I am now watering at the mouth to buy one. A Cold Steel XL Voyager? What is that? Oh, I forgot-it's a Volks
Wagen! So, is there any place to buy them outside of the internet? And are they worth the price?

Also, blade style-I like 50/50 serrated. Anyone see big problems with this?

Gator, I think that we misunderstood each other.

The various CS Voyagers sell for a fraction of the price of a REKAT, and you do get what you pay for. I cannot find what steel CS uses in them, but I know that the Carnivore is ATS-34, which is an excellent steel if treated correctly. If it is hardened to too hard a rating, it gets brittle, but I assume that Bob Taylor et al know what they are doing there. I carried a Terzuola Clipit (C15) with an ATS-34 blade for years and did things with it that would curl Sal Glesser's remaining hair, and never, ever, had a niggle with it. It has held up like the trooper that I would expect from Terzuola and Spyderco. I now have a Military and a Carnivore and cannot decide which is best, despite being a Spydie fanatic. These two knives are so good and so different that I simply cannot choose, which is why I have never gotten around to a comparison/review of them that I had promised.

CS use AUS8 stainless in their folders.

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?