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The CS Vaquero Grande Revisited


Gold Member
Oct 14, 1998
Just got this in trade (thank you Gene), this being an older model with kydex sheath. The VG is a fave among the megafolder/self defense crowd. James Mattis called it a tactical bread knife and rightfully so.

The Aus 8 blade is quite sharp and bears the famous CS micro serrations. The Nogales clip pattern also lends itself to the Bowie backcut techniques. There's an ambi thumb stud and newer models have jimping near the studs, which I can understand.

The zytel handle has an oval shaped lanyard hole and some prominent filing near the lock. Bluntly, they won't stop your hand on a stab but slow it down pretty much. Opening is smooth but the pin could be a bit tighter on this model. For some though, the pins are a bit too tight.

The riveted pancake type kydex IWB sheath is wide and flexes if you squeeze it. It's thin and I wouldn't expect it to take too much impact. The kydex clip is okay, not the tightest but usable and you can get creative carry with some paracord.

The VG is better in sabre grip than reverse as you can't cap it and it feels more secure in sabre. Most likely, 2" or so of the butt will protrude and some folks can use that in a self defense situation. Overall, this is on of the better CS knives I've seen. I've owned a one of their early liner locks and held the El Lobo which was waay too stiff to be practical.

As a self defense piece, you've got obvious reach and have a greater margin of error with this knife. Jim March calls this a more affordable Sifu and I agree. However, I would not use the VG as a fist load, I would with the Sifu which also has better thumbstuds, smoother action, and a heavier feel. Though the VG should be sharper out of the box. Switching grips was hard for me, for the knifefighting folks, I had an easier time using a cigar flip instead of the rotational spin.

The VG is a good piece for the average user, I would take the serrations out and the get bigger thumbstuds as wells as thicker or stronger kydex. It wouldn't hurt if the steel was VG 10 or so. As always, if you're thinking about using a knife for self defense it would be good to get some competent instruction.

[This message has been edited by Smoke (edited 11-20-2000).]
I have the clip model. The knife is very sharp. I do not like the very small serrations however. I have bought a Spyderco jewlers set of files to get the job done. I do not use this knife really. It is to big, and in the UK such a blade would get me a life sentance! Well you know what I mean! The steel is ok, but VG-10 or BG-42 would have made it a much better knife, as well as more normal serrations. But make it more expensive? It is a good large knife for a great price. No real problems with mine. Would I sell it? No. Can`t say fairer than that.


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto
General, el commandante, I mention VG-10 out of both a joke and a real notion. I do think VG-10 would make this a fishing knife and beyond. The joke comes from a story about Vampire Gerbil's journeys and his quest for the legendary Vaquero Grande of VG-10. BTW, did you get a Starmate?
After Xmas!

Then... Mmmmm sharp!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto
Hi Smoke,
Really glad you like it. It's one of those knives that should be in everybody's collection for the "wow" factor alone. I carried one off and on for a good while rotating it with my Spyder Militarys and my Al Mar Jumbo Quick Silver. I love "Mega Folders". I'm not much into fighting techniques but I can get my folders into play just about as fast as anyone. I live in a cabin in the forest with no close neighbors and as a chuckle, believe it or not, my old well-used VG is my favorite "limb eliminater". That sucker has trimmed more branches than my pruning saw.
Speaking of "Mega Folders" my new favorite now is the Sifu. I don't know why it took me this long to finally get one. I like it so much I'm looking for a second one. I was telling Jim March in a post over on the REKAT forum, that I would really love to see them make one with a flat ground, heavy- spined blade. A nice "pointy" but strong tip would complete the package. IMHO, a perfect utility/defense package.