The Cold Steel Espada speculation, testing, review, modding, rinse, and repeat thread, or, Espadify Your Mind

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
13,208
As some know, I have bought a G10 XL Espada. I think I may like to keep it as a convenient to carry large knife for use in the yard, brush, and trails. I expect the thumb disk for pocket opening will function almost correctly, as the one on the Large Espada I owned did, but that the corners will get caught on the pocket seem causing partial openings that don't leave the pocket fully. I also expect the angle of spine before the clip point will dictate an awkward deployment path. If these issues do present themselves, my intended mods should rectify both.

First I'll change the spine profile so that there is no longer a wedge of steel obstructing perhaps more comfortable pocket deployment angles. Second, I'll round the corners of the thumb plate so that it is more of a thumb disk. This thumb plate mod has improved deployment on two large Talwars for me, and one Large Espada.

Other mods I intend to make include personalizing the handle, which will involve turning the front of the scales into a choil, as I have done on some Recon 1s of various sizes, as well as a bit of going by feel.

There is a possibility that I mod the blade to bring the point lower, as I never find myself wishing for a higher point. I don't do any skinning or game processing so far, and a lower point better serves the type of brush clearing I can see a knife like this being useful for. Along with, probably, thinner geometry.

If I bring the point lower, I'll want to reshape the handle accordingly for the closest possible blade to handle length ratio, which is already grossly skewed in the wrong direction, both aesthetically, and functionally, in my opinion. Since less handle sticking out of pocket is less to grab, the trick will be doing it without compromising speed, security, and confidence of deployment. A fob could work. Anyway, I am not yet sure I'll lower the point, but if I do, I will want to preserve some of the vaunted Espada blade length. So maybe a large Spyderco Militaryish style of pseudo clip point, like the Large Espada I did a while back.

More to come, once the package arrives.

Do you have an Espada XL, or handled/used one? Did you like it? Dislike it? What did you do with it? If you could mod one or have it modded, how would you?
 
I have owned an escada XL and it was never actually carried. There is DEFINITELY a use for it, I just couldnt justify it living in the city and having young children around.

I cant think of anything I'd change really. your ideas will be fun to see fleshed out. I'm watching.
 
Last edited:
Those following my shop thread have seen the beginnings of the work on this knife. And now here's a look at the first iteration of the mods. Maybe the last? We'll see. But I will make more time at some point to put this to work and report back.

IMG_8656.JPG
IMG_8657.JPG
IMG_8658.JPG
IMG_8660.JPG
IMG_8661.JPG
IMG_8662.JPG


I can say that I was right about the expected difficulties doing a rapid deployment. My very first attempt was a fail due to partial deployment that wanted to remain stuck to the pocket. After my mods, I can deploy with consistency, and had to actually distract myself during deployment before it failed again. And the knife closes one handed now, as a good modern folder should.

IMG_8664.JPG

 
Yessir, it is, and thank you! I like it much better than the original in every way.

I've discovered that if I decide to do a straight spine after all, it'll only lose about 1/4" of blade length, if that. That means I wouldn't really need to shorten the handle.

Also, it bears mentioning that I didn't consider how huge the tang on this knife would be, which is why I didn't open up the index finger groove like in my concept images. I would have just ended up exposing the tang, and thus not really adding any grip real estate.
 
Also, it bears mentioning that I didn't consider how huge the tang on this knife would be, which is why I didn't open up the index finger groove like in my concept images. I would have just ended up exposing the tang, and thus not really adding any grip real estate.
Looks great!

I was wondering about the above actually - the tang of the Talwar (medium and XL) is the same as the Espada. To increase the protection/curve of the finger guard you’d need to cut away part of the tang…
 
To increase the protection/curve of the finger guard you’d need to cut away part of the tang…

Yes, and that's not something I'm prepared to do.
 
To increase the protection/curve of the finger guard you’d need to cut away part of the tang…

It would adversely affect the closing action as well.

Anyway I have not played a lot with the Espada yet. Actually, I am pretty sure I'll move it along before really putting it through any serious paces.

EDIT: I've decided to move it along now after all. In the end, I think I sort of knew I wouldn't carry it myself, and that I was ultimately just trying it out, and hopefully creating something unique that someone else can enjoy. It was fun to open and close a few times though!
 
Last edited:
Man, that was a cool one! I'd have got it, if I wasn't 2 reg and 1 fancy XL deep, and also, glad there is an Espada thread. I rolled the dice on a CTX-XHP Large and (so I thought) an XL, but in my fervor, I did not realize it was a large.

On the upside, I got a fixer-upper fancy Large (old AUS8, I think, cause that's what they used before they labeled them), missing a bolster on one side and some liner damage w/o rubbing I think (waiting on it) so, I could clean this up.... put a black XHP blade on it and have a black and shiny alum "Gentleman's Espada", I'll dub it. The other XHP, I will dye to a dark burgundy (it is the bright tan). That'll leave me with a, well, they call it Green Earth or smth, "regular" G-10 with a zombie AUS-8 (no complaints there) blade on it. Wild. Hope I can fix that frame. Maybe the blade, will later become a project, too, like this!
 
I changed my mind and withdrew my Espada sales post, and modded it further today. Full regrind to actual knife geometry, and a proper Navaja handle. I didn't realize it until I removed the subhilt, but the tacticool Espada handle was just getting in the way.

IMG_8730.JPG
IMG_8731.JPG
IMG_8733.JPG
IMG_8734.JPG
IMG_8735.JPG
IMG_8736.JPG
IMG_8737.JPG
 
Hashishiin Hashishiin CTS-XHP is an excellent steel. If you get to using that one to any degree, I think you're going to love it.
 
I changed my mind and withdrew my Espada sales post, and modded it further today. Full regrind to actual knife geometry, and a proper Navaja handle. I didn't realize it until I removed the subhilt, but the tacticool Espada handle was just getting in the way.

View attachment 1949278
View attachment 1949279
View attachment 1949281
View attachment 1949282
View attachment 1949283
View attachment 1949286
View attachment 1949290
First thing I did on my fancy large was open up the wave notch and de-hump the handle👍
 
WValtakis WValtakis I'd love you to drop a pic of that bad boy in here if you wouldn't mind.
 
Back
Top