1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Kizer 1034A1 Gingrich Bush Knife & Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!

    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday Sept 7!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, Sept 8 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Thoughts about cold steel fixed blade breaking?

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by Beast Steel, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Beast Steel

    Beast Steel

    Jul 10, 2015


    Dec 2, 2010
    Well, you can break anything if you try hard enough. I tried breaking the tang on a Recon Scout just for the hell of it a few years ago and literally couldn't. Really. 250lbs on in did nothing to it. Having said that, I would venture to say that Cold Steel has sold a significantly larger number of tactical/survival knives than any other company in the world. I think I've seen a total of 3 or 4 older videos (including the ones you listed) over the years of a Trail Master or Recon Scout breaking at the hilt. All of the broken ones I have seen were before Cold Steel started radiusing the junction between the tang and the blade several years ago. Since Cold Steel has made that change, I have not seen a single broken tang on a Trail Master or Recon Scout at all. I bet if you do a percentage of knives manufactured by cold steel compared to knives broken, you would be shocked at how few they actually have break. One of these days I want to do a video of me trying to break one. 5/16" O1 steel is much harder to break then you might think. :thumbup:
    The Whip and Nocturnal13 like this.
  3. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    In the first clip the chunk of wood with the knife wedged in it falls over sideways and he still hits it, looks like he hits the side of the knife full force. Bad technique. Second clip no shot of the knife breaking but the same thing; batoning.

    If I'm splitting wood with a maul I go right for the big bite in the middle. If I have a smaller blade I take small chunks off the edges. Burns better that way too for starting the fire.
  4. GrReaper


    Sep 22, 2014
    On the first video, I thought the same thing as Danke42. It looked like the user hit the side of the knife and the log, causing the catastrophic failure. So sloppy technique + a pretty huge heavy baton, trying to split a pretty huge log. And like UCPOPO said above, I think that knife had a "corner" tang, not a round "radiused" tang. The corner tang is not as good because it concentrates force on a single point rather than distributing the force along a quarter circle. Cold Steel switched to a radiused tang for the Trail Master sometime after that video, I believe.

    The second video, I don't know if the Recon Scout involved had the new radiused tang or not. Video date seems to be 2012, but he probably had purchased the knife a few years before. I would guess that it had the corner cut tang also.

    Corner cut or radiused tang, I think the knives should be able to handle correct batonning. One thing not mentioned by anyone so far here, we don't know how much abuse those knives had gone through before the failures occurred. There is the phenomenon of "metal fatigue". All metal, including steel, will eventually fail if put under enough stress for a long enough period of time. Those knives might have simply reached their metal fatigue breaking point. They might look normal after repeated hard use, but small stresses eventually add up and cause a catastrophic failure. This is why I think it is smart to carry a backup knife on any extended trip where you'll be in an isolated location. You don't want to break your only knife when you don't have access to a replacement.

    I don't think anyone can argue against the full sandwich tang being a stronger design. But it has its drawbacks too: significantly more weight, altered balance point and feel, wide thick handle, etc. The Trail Master and Recon Scout both have a significant tang going all the way to the end of the handle. Most blades throughout the history of knife and sword making have had tangs like the TM or RS or maybe even thinner "rat tail" tangs. Yet, with reasonably intelligent use, not even the rat tails broke very often, as far as I know.
  5. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    ^yep. well said.

    off topic but kinda on topic.....the 01 recon scouts have the radiused blade to hidden tang design or was it after or before this steel change? thanks all....


    Dec 2, 2010
    It was before the change to O1 steel, back in the SK5 days :thumbup:
  7. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    ^thank you Sir.
  8. hermit dave

    hermit dave Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2011
    Yes! They break very easily. Even light-duty tasks will cause the blade to snap at the tang/blade juncture. These failures often result in severe bodily harm.

    In the interest of public safety, please send me all of your Cold Steel products. I will ensure they are disposed of properly. Send me your Cold Steel folders too, as

    the Tri-Ad lock is flimsy and prone to failure.
    upnorth, Mike Sastre and Nocturnal13 like this.
  9. M31943


    Aug 19, 2013
    So true, especially that nasty San Mai which I will make the sacrifice of taking and so ensuring no one has to suffer. Confused by the video's, try reading the product reviews on Amazon for most anything!
  10. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    I think this video shows the complete opposite,


    It shows what appears to be a rounded tang transition too.
  11. demoncase


    Jun 9, 2013
    Regardless of the hyperbole that is CS normal marketing practice, nowhere do they say their knives are completely unbreakable....And definitely not when stuck in a log and someone keeps pounding on them 'till the inevitable happens.

    (Related aside: I remain puzzled by the ongoing trend for taking a $100-1000 knife and using it in place of a $5 splitting wedge to make $1worth of firewood while filming it with a $500 smartphone....then taking umbrage when the knife breaks because you were beating it like a Kodo Drummer on meth. ;))
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  12. UCPOPO


    Dec 2, 2010
    Lol. Now that's spot on! :thumbup:
  13. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    They need to radius the corner on the blade-tang intersection more. It would require some extra work to make a metal guard snug but on purely molded handles it's a non issue.

    Edit: Ok the SRK definitely has a good transition. It's really a shame to see the compromise on the metal guard designs.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  14. dingy


    Feb 19, 2008
  15. Knifenutty


    Apr 24, 2012
    Missing the obvious thing on both these blades breaking.... Both clearly are marked china and those 2 videos are the same ones that get used as an example...Why do you think the production was moved to taiwan where the standards of production rules are more westernized so this doesn't happen as much?
    Everything I have wanted to do or had to do with my Carbon V Recon Scout of my Stag Carbon V Trailmaster, they have succeeded without fail since I got them when they were first released ...
  16. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    Good points. Seem obvious, don t they?
  17. demoncase


    Jun 9, 2013
    You'd think so, wouldn't you....But it's a funny old world, eh ;)
  18. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    Yeah, the older ones, if they were squared at the Rivas so/tang transitions were susceptible to failure at that point, if repeatedly impacted on the cross guard. I suspect that it was not an issue with the older brass guard ones, because unlike the steel guard ones, the brass was to soft, while the steel acted like a chisel being hammered into that right angle.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. dingy


    Feb 19, 2008
    really strong tang it is , CS did great job on 01 TM.
    but i really wanta get a l6 or 5160 steel TM, i love tough knife .

    do you think that it is easily break by human power ?
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    G. Scott H. and Nocturnal13 like this.

Share This Page