Nov 13, 1998
(Yes, I miss the search-function too.)

The Desperado might have some interesting features that I'd like to try out (see, e.g., Knife Center's "Product Specifications").

Any experiences, considered opinions, etc.? In particular, is the Kydex sheath any good for concealed IWB carry?

TIA (also for the pointers to previous related threads),


I have a CS Desperado, and I really like it! It's a great concealment piece - mainly because the funky handle, which effectively gives you a 5" blade in a package less than 9". Not your traditional knife handle, but an egg-shaped handle that nestles comfortably in your hand. I guess it can be seen as a hybrid push knife. It's quite secure (unless you have really sweaty hands - I could see it getting slippery), and comfortable in both forward and reverse grips. It has that wicked serrated blade, ala the Vaquero series. Too bad it's nearly impossible to sharpen (If it came in a plain edge, I'd buy it in a minute). Very light and lightning fast. Primarily a slasher.

The sheath is mediocre - I don't care for the molded plastic clip. I wanted to make a shoulder strap for it and hang it upside down - but you can forget that - mere gravity will make it fall out of the sheath. I'm contemplating a custom sheath to accomplish this. I think its intended wear is IWB crossdraw. I wear mine SOB.

I seem to recall that Bob Kasper did a favorable review of it in Tactical Knives about a year or so ago.

I recommend it!
Really like mine a lot. It's one of the most concealable "big" knives I've ever found. Although I'm not a fan of CS' serration implementation owing to the finer serrations being hard to sharpen, I do like having them there. This thing slashes like a beast!
I heard things from other members about the Kraton loosening up after a while. Has anyone experienced play in the handle? Do you know how the "egg" is attached to the tang? I fear that unless holes were drilled through the tang to allow the kraton to permanatly affix, the rubber might slip off oneday.

[This message has been edited by generallobster (edited 15 July 1999).]
Thanks, guys. I, too, would prefer a plain edged version (easier to sharpen, cuts straight), but none seems to be forthcoming(?). As it is, the blade to handle ratio fascinates me, as does the "positive included angle" (downward rake) of the blade, and I remember somebody saying that the egg-shaped handle does offer a surprisingly good grip. The blade shape ("Nogales") is familiar to me from my Vaguero Grande, and I would sharpen the clip ("hook") immediately.

The sheath might be a problem, like Squid hinted. I have bad experiences from the VG Kydex sheath and the molded plastic clip. Then there is the positioning issue. For right-hand reverse grip draw, the sheath should be located very near the right hipbone (like the Gryphon M10 in Keating's Reverse Grip video). But then it couldn't be IWB, because the clip seems to be located on the right side (as seen from above the spine). Of course, I'm assuming here an edge out RG, and please, correct me if I misinterpret the few pictures I've seen. On the other hand, the handle seems to be very easy for grip transitions, and I might prefer the front grip anyhow, so maybe the position Bob Kasper recommends for his fine fighters, like the KFK (canted appendix, or, as he puts it, "handle rear cant position with the sheath laying in the crease of the body where the upper leg meets the lower abdomen"), could be optimal (would work for left-hand RG, too). But then the clip should be "angled to provide full positive contact with the bottom of the belt", which it surely isn't on the Desperado. "Cross-draw", you say, Squid. Well, maybe, maybe not. Could think of the sheath/knife poking my left thigh when I'm sitting down, at least. And then there is the position-independent issue of whether the sheath really stays firmly in its place in an aggressive quick-draw (cf., e.g., the VG sheath above)? No room for guessing here, obviously (the opponent might not even laugh at my sheathed knife pointing at him, not to mention the difficulty of cutting with a sheath). So maybe a custom Kydex sheath, then? Oh yeah, and considerable additional cost, plus the arduousness of sending the knife to some skilled sheather out there from Finland (Northern Europe). Perhaps this would be the right place of trying to mold a sheath of my own? Gosh!

So, an interesting knife, but still some reservations with respect to carry/sheath (I have already too many decent knives which I won't carry due to some "minor" lapses).

Any more experiences about the carry positions? Brian? And Squid, could you elaborate on your SOB carry? If the clip is on the right side of the sheath, it cannot be IWB in the SOB position, can it? And you'll draw to front grip, surely?

Anything about the potential problem Generallobster raised? How about some glue, perhaps, if needed? And what shape might the tang inside the handle have?


PS. I'm able to get knife magazines only occasionally here. Haven't seen Bob Kasper's review of the Desperado. But if it indeed was favorable, that may tell a lot. Thanks.
Hi -

WRT carry position, I carry it IWB front left side for a forward grip cross draw. This draws well into a backhand slash. Once the blade is cleared to the right, I'm on autopilot with a switch to reverse grip. It takes some getting used to the switch because of the small handle, and the blade/handle weight ratio being so strange. But it's like anything else - do it enough times and it becomes second nature.

The clip is as you have noted. It is not angled well for a direct reverse grip draw, and the positive included angle (!!)forces the handle to an even less optimal position. Custom kydex would be the way to go for a right hand reverse grip IWB carry. I really like the clearing slash straight out of the sheath before I go to reverse grip, but different strokes...

The clip is definitely sturdy, and has enough of a snap and a hook at the bottom to grab a belt on a draw. I've never pulled the sheath along. The clip is large (loose) enough so that on most of my belts, it will pivot enough to allow comfortable seating and movement without the sheath digging into the top of my thigh. In fact, it sometimes becomes a little too horizontal and I need to adjust it. I actually consider this a positive trait.

I haven't noticed any loosening of the handle. BTW, the handle does work well wet. The rubber becomes almost tacky.
I've heard of several people that have ground the serrations off of their Vaqueros to get the desired plain edge. I'm sure that can be done on the Desperado, if one is so inclined...

Re: SOB carry. Yes, it is IWB. And yes, the resulting draw is a forward grip. The clip is on the right side of the sheath, so I just tuck the sheath into the small of my back (IWB) with clip over my belt. I try to cant it towards my draw hand (a sort of FBI cant like they have on gun holsters). For most part it works, but you are right about orientation of the clip. If there was a way to be able to rotate it at various cants to allow for better clip/belt/waistband retention, that would help a lot!

I've read about the Kraton concern even before I bought the Desperado. I've had it for over a year, and the grip is still secure, and there are no signs of it working itself loose. I, too, wonder how they attach the blade to the grip. At one time, I had even contemplated removing the grip and having a custom maker replace it with a similar shaped grip made of some checkered exotic wood. Problem was, I didn't know if I would be able to attach it. I have a feeling generallobster is right about holes in the tang for attaching the grip. But now that my interest is piqued once again, I might make a call to Cold Steel to find out! If/when I do, I'll let you know.
Just FYI, even holes in the tang won't necessarily keep the Kraton on, though I suppose they'd help. I owned a little Mini-Pal for a while, not a lot to attach the Kraton to but not a knife that saw a lot of force, either. After about a year and a half the Kraton slipped right off the tang. The tang had three (?) holes in it, and in each one was a bit of Kraton that had sheared off cleanly on both sides. It's tough to make a new handle, too, because the tang is smaller than the whole handle, so you can't just put scales on it. Bummer. that was the only CS knife I ever cared for...

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives

If you are interested in a custom kydex sheath for a Desperado, one of our own forum members makes them. I read a very favorable review of one of his sheaths by a forum member who acquired one. If you're interested, he has an ad on the knives for sale forum.

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?
The CS Desperado has been my main carry piece for about 2 years now. I have not had a single problem with it yet. I have used it to cut through everything from rope to wood. After the first year or so the handle started to show slight signs of it coming loose but has not worsened at all, even after continued abuse this knife is KICKING ASS!! The handle is the most comfortable handle ever, not only does it offer superior grip(even when wet) due to size and shape but with the foward blade positioning there is almost no strain on the wrist at all. When you top it all off with it's reasonable pric tag I would recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a great conceal carry utility/fighting knife. I cary the knife on my left side and draw with my right hand, I have not found a faster knife yet and I doubt I ever will. As far as comfort is concearned, after the first couple of days you forget that you are even carying it.........I love you Desperado.


Louis Buccellato http://www.themartialway.com

[This message has been edited by TheMartialWay (edited 16 July 1999).]