Why are some people so biased on Cold Steel?

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by Smiling, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I noticed that many people who never had CS product hate on CS. And I really wonder why?

    There are also people who either mention videos, or marketing...

    But, my personal experience with Cold Steel is that Cold Steel offers incredible quality for affordable price, arguably best price/performance ratios you can get. And there are people out there saying the same. I haven't tried more expensive CS products, but I can bet that they offer incredible performance.

    Love or hate CS - everyone in knife community knows about CS.
    Cold Steel is a big name in this game, and they have proven themself over the years.
    And even many haters admit that Cold Steel makes damn good knives.
    Also, Cold Steel is one of the brands even non-knife people know about.

    What's your opinion about it?
    insta9ves likes this.
  2. majergens


    Mar 8, 2017
    I am a fan. I like the products and the company itself, plus I own several of their knives.

    Perhaps it is the persona projected by CS President Lynn Thompson that haters focus on or maybe the somewhat over-the -top promotional videos they put out (e.g. Tri-ad lock failure tests). Some look down on any US company that does not manufacture its products domestically, so maybe that is an issue for the haters?

    Just my two cents.
  3. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    Key words: "never had CS product" .... You answered your own question. You can't say anything really meaningful if you have not used them.
    willc, Wharn, whp and 2 others like this.
  4. BMCGear

    BMCGear Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    100% opinion here but I truly believe that if Lynn Thompson looked differently he would be perceived differently.

    With that being said the marketing has always been over the top but once you actually own a product of theirs you kind of get it. I finally purchased a Recon 1 and immediately regretted not buying one sooner. Code 4 is in my pocket right now (more office friendly). Can't wait to see what 2020 offers us.

    Why have I chosen Cold Steel lately? I was tired of gimmicks and wanted something that worked. Cold Steel really seemed to be focused on performance. The Triad lock is impressive and I don't have to worry about small springs breaking or it failing. It just works. The blade steel is proven and a good one. The designs are great and lend themselves to EDC tasks that I have.
  5. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Answers do make sense.

    I only watched some of their videos about fixed blades, and more videos about swords (not planning to buy one, but videos are fun).

    IMO it's a bit silly of them to make conclusions based on Lynn Thompson appearance, but sadly there are people out there who do.

    And I agree with @Mike Sastre that majority of them would talk differently if they ever actually tried their products. The more I use them, the more I love them.
  6. Mistman68

    Mistman68 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2019
    Most knife folks who've been around even a little while have probably gotten over CS's tacticool marketing and some of the more 'fringe' products and realized there's some real gems in the CS line-up. They do market to a more 'extreme' segment of the bladed weapons community with a lot of their products which is cool with me. Lynn is an over the top 'real' guy who just loves to play w/sharp things. On the surface a lot of his antics appear goofy but he is the real deal and I give him mad respect for his unwavering fascination with sharp pointy things. Sure he could get in better shape, appearances do tend to have an influence on peoples perceptions but that could probably be said for a lot of us. I don't think he's worrying about how people feel about him, CS is rolling along just fine and he should be proud of what he's built. Demko's really given CS some wings the last few years.

    I may have been in the 'really??' camp before I got my 1st CS, now I have a bunch of them and enjoy the heck out of them. They aren't going to replace my Hinderer's, Reeve's or other higher end knives but they definitely have a place in any comprehensive collection.
  7. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    ... I bet you anything this is a re-roll account of that Smiling Larry guy who started a thread in 2017 arguing that Lynn Thompson is the greatest knifemaker of all time, even if he's never personally made a knife.

    Cold Steel has come a long way in the last ten years. They still don't make any of their own knives, but they seem to have gotten their OEM choices under control and also improved their materials and QC management, so while I still won't buy their knives anymore, they're at least kind of respectable at this point. Their CEO being a clown, well, he's hardly the only knife company owner who's a clown.
  8. Barman1

    Barman1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    There are more than a few "polarizing" knife & tool company owners that should allow others to control the marketing.
    mdrgn79 likes this.
  9. jceckrosh

    jceckrosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 2, 2016
    I am neither a fanboy nor a hater.

    I had previously owned a Large Espada (the bolstered version) and while I found most of it to be well made, the gritty, difficult feel of the lock tuned me off and I eventually sold it.

    Since then, I have picked up two Custom Series Talwars and a Custom Series Black Sable (new old stock from secondary market). These are exceptionally well made, solid, sharp, and aesthetically pleasing (to me). If Cold Steel made more stuff like this I would consider buying.
  10. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    This is probably the reasoning behind the question you asked. I don't find it ridiculous because as the owner of any business, you are always considered a figurehead and people will view the company based on how they see that company's leadership. There are some very valid reasons for that, and often times the culture of a company reflects the leaders since they normally set the culture within the workplace, by choice or by neglecting it.

    Because we have other options, there's no need to support a company we don't want to. Just the way it is and the way it will always be because people are emotional creatures.

    I like cold steel and actually enjoy the challenge videos, but I view them mostly as entertainment. I'm not really more likely to buy a cold steel over something else unless it suits my needs.

    We could have the same conversation over benchmade and their reputation, but that's a different sub-forum and there is a lot of content on that already. Point being, the reputation of a business is important and the leadership has influences it.
    Smiling likes this.
  11. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    honestly its their lost :)
    to that, i imagine some might be quick
    to retort with some wise cracking snipe.
    nothing for the moment can please nay sayers.
    i suppose it would take a life changing experience for a miracle pro-CS conversion
    to happen :)
    for now, they know what they think they know.
    which frankly has placed them firmly
    in the unenviable position of being painfully ignorant of what it means
    to have total confidence in a blade.
    in outright rejection, they have automatically
    conceed to living without ever having experienced the numerous blade
    choices and options of some rather
    unique knives from the company in question.
    its hard to please everybody,
    and understandably, not everybody can be pleased no matter what.
    for these folks, we wish them utmost
    happiness and all the best.
    there are far better productive things
    to worry about than differences in opinions.
    AF and Mike Sastre like this.
  12. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    IMO, Cold Steel currently offers the most knife for the money. For my uses outdoors and indoors.
    JackTheKnifeGuy and Mike Sastre like this.
  13. cistercian

    cistercian Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    When you have to have something on the huge size side of things...and don't
    want to spend a mint...Cold Steel has you covered.
    I got a 6" Ti Lite in S35VN with aluminum scales today. It was a bargain on sale
    for sure! It is only my second knife from them, my first being an original Voyager.
    I prefer smaller stuff for EDC and have larger blades for weekend carry...and all
    are tiny compared to the monster I got today.
    I enjoy the gonzo videos a lot too.
    LT rocks!
    Smiling likes this.
  14. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Now, these answers do make sense.

    There is actually multiple answers, from people don't liking Lynn Thompson, to people disliking CS videos, and to people never owning CS products.

    I just find CS products a really good buy, so that is enough for me to like CS. And videos are entertaining IMO.
  15. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Any exposure is good exposure right? I imagine if Lynn Thompson was a 6'1" tall 200 lb linebacker built bearded guy with a Punisher t-shirt people would think he was awesome. The videos are over the top and, for a while anyway, sort of took themselves too seriously. It seems more like they're having fun now and are fun to watch instead of sort of cringey.

    I'm not into all of their knives, and I certainly miss the original Recon 1 I had; but having grown up near Ventura Cold Steel was always there and I'll always own an SRK (still need to get a Trail Master).
  16. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Well, Cold Steel videos really gave lots of views and exposure to Cold Steel.

    Some people see it as a cringe, some hate on it, some feel their inner mall-ninja awaken, and some just find it fun or entertaining. But videos are still watched.

    I mean, I see the product online and I see video in description and I'll be glad to watch, it shows more than photos do, for sure.
  17. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    Very well said!! LCT is very passionate about knives, their uses and designs, the right and ability to defend your self, Martial Arts, hunting, and is a patriot, having given much to our military and law enforcement, that you don't hear about. Anybody that doubts his athleticism should get on the matts with him sometime. I don't get to see him in person that often, but I do consider him a friend that I'm very glad to have met. He is actually a very giving person once you get to know him.
    mdrgn79, Smiling, jux t and 2 others like this.
  18. Bradford Carey

    Bradford Carey Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    I have owned a couple of knife shops and Cold Steel has always been a staple. The company has a loyal following in large part I believe due to their marketing. People love their videos! That said, the quality is there. No matter what price point you choose you will get solid value and performance. I have owned many pieces myself, I personally favor the older Seki knives. I think their designs are innovative and extremely functional. If you haven't tried one, buy one!
    Mike Sastre and jux t like this.
  19. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    Well, Lynn is a polarizing figure, and their videos used to be a bit over the top.
    I can vaguely remember some controversies as well, that gave part of the community a bad taste in their mouth.

    That said, I like Lynn(at least the person he seems to be in both CS vids and others), and the videos themselves.
    I've only got one Cold Steel, a TuffLite, but that's more because other knives have been just that little bit more interesting.
    Bradford Carey likes this.
  20. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    couldn't agree more.
    i figure mr thompson,
    being an avid martial arts practitioner,
    had founded cold steel knives with
    martialist aims.
    hence the birth of the tantos and
    all other manner of edge "weaponary"
    which are being labled as "ninja" gear.
    so this either puts some people off
    or makes instant fans of the brand.
    plainly put, a good number of these items are not intended for recreational use :)
    but that should not stop one dead cold
    from giving some cs products for
    at least a try?!!
    now i image there could be more than
    a couple of folks mistakenly trying very hard
    to turn the proverbial "swords into
    ploughshares" as we speak...
    yup! cs range is staggering prepardness equipment;
    with various blade styles, lengths
    and every sorta carry method imaginable.
    with cs there can be no possible excuse
    for one not having about an approprite edge solution for every sorta ocassion...
    it would be a grave mistake to snub pass
    cold steel's motley bunch of ultimate solution specialties ;-)

Share This Page