Why does everyone rag on CS


knife law moderator
Dec 25, 1998
What is everyones beef with Cold Steel? I have a Tanto Voyager and I find it to be a reliable knife. It is a very economical knife that is easily replaced. The blades are scary sharp, and it is one of the fastest opening knives I have ever seen. My only real beef with the Voyager is the plastic pocket clip, and the fact that the serrations are impossible to sharpen. But, overall I believe the Voyagers to be a viable alternative.
I think much of the bad rap CS gets is due to thier methods of advertising. They claim everything they make is superior to anything else on the planet and it just isn`t so. The Voyager series are good using knives but they aren`t the knife to end all knives. A good friend of mine bought one some time ago (his first "real" knife) and uses the heck out of it,he loves it. However everytime I see him I have to whip out my pocket EZ-Lap and put an edge back on it because it`s as dull as a bag of marbles. It`s also chipped at a few places. The pocket clip broke off 2 weeks ago. On the plus side the lockup is still rock solid and the action is still smooth. Not too bad for the money. My Lg.Vaquero is in much the same class,good lockup,decent action,but with a blade that doesn`t hold an edge very well and has those pain in the a$$ to sharpen serrations. At SMKW discounted price it was a good deal. For full price I wouldn`t have bought one. I think they need to step up their designs with metal pocket clips,like the ElHombre and better steels. If they could keep their prices about the same then they`d have something. Lynn are you listening? Marcus
ditto marcus,but i will state a few facts; cs raised the bar in the 80's as far as sharpness, materials,strength. anyone remember the choices we had in the late 70's and early 80's? i do and unless you could afford randells the choices were very limited. buck, gerber, case etc were fairly complacent then. al mars were great if you could find them but were hard to come by then. i also think cs 's ads are as much hype as fact but i still think they were instrumental in changing what we expected from factory blades. rant off.
If you had the same experience as I and many others have had with CS' warantee dept. then it will answer part of your question. I agree with Marcus' reply and no, probably not, L. Thompson and his well trained minions(Don' t know who to quote)will not listen to those who disagree with them. Just my experience.

the only dealings i've had with the warranty dept. was in the late 80's. no problems then but i'm sure things may have changed since . i had to send back a tm bowie that had offset bevels. made sharpening a bitch. they replaced it with no questions. i'm no cs flunky or otherwise. just wanted to point out the impact i think they made back then.
I haven't had the experience of dealing with Cold Steel's warrantee dept., so I cannot comment much there. But I do agree about their advertising being a bit much. Their claims about lock strength seem impressive at first, but go read the claims at REKAT, or what Benchmade wrote about their Axis lock. I am not a fan of hype, and O guess that turns me off.

My other gripe is the age old problem of "good Idea, bad execution". The VG is a helluva knife, but there are many striking "flaws" with it that make it less than ideal (serrations are funky, the pins are too small, not adjustable, etc., alot of stuff to make you queston its 115.95 dollar MSRP). The voyagers are the same way. Those are some expensive Zytel handled knives, for almost the same price you can get a Ti/g-10 handle that looks and feels more like it was worth the money.

The handles on the Voyagers also exhibit a cartoonish quality in their shape and clip design, and I believe that a metal clip that is removable is preferable to the odd looking plastic one of the voyagers.

As far as blade quality and toughness goes, I subscribe to the "break instead of bvend" philosophy. It is explained on www.mdenterprises.com better than I can explain it here, but it basically says that a bent knife is useless, and it is better to have a blade snap at failure than bend. A broken blade is still useful, and sheathable, where as a bent one is not. Cold Steel's claims that their knives will bend upwards of 60 degrees goes against that philosophy. I also don't believe that a blade bent that far will come back even close to true, making it worthless.

That's just me, but then again, I am wierd.

Glitches and occasional nuttyness on Lynn's part aside, I'm glad CS exists. Some of what he makes is totally unavailable anywhere else. Ol' Mr. Thomson may not be totally sane, but he's got the business guts to make stuff nobody else will touch and the "politically incorrect guts" to make stuff that'd give the peaceniks the heaving queasies.

Now if he'll just chill out and not challenge Mad Dog to DUELS the company might live long enough to sh*t-can the AUS8.

Jim March
I suppose a guy who wasn't a wee bit combative wouldn't name his company "Cold Steel." This combativeness manifists itself in a couple of ways in the advertising:

1) "Everybody but us sucks."
- see the posts above.

2) "The joy of arterial bleeding"
- in-your-face political incorrectness about edged weaponry.

Now some "political correctness" is excessive deference to authoritarian socialists, and some "political correctness" is merely old-fashioned civility and good taste.

Most of us in this forum would agree that self defense with deadly force in the gravest extreme is a life-sustaining purpose. And most folks of all parties and faiths will agree that sex between husband and wife is not a sin, but most respectable married couples still draw the blinds. Similarly, we all know that our practical utility knives would also work as edged weapons in a dire emergency, but most respectable knife companies don't shout about it.


I wasn't aware that a lot of people have a "beef" with Cold Steel.

Me, I'm not crazy about most of their stuff, but the Safe Keepers are great T-handles (I'm still hoping they'll someday come with G10 or Zytel handles instead of Kraton). Good price, good steel, good sheath - what more can a person ask for? Who else out there gives you as much bang for your buck?


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
I've got more CS knives than any others; Lynn Thompson definitely raised the bar on overall quality. I've used and abused a Master Hunter for seven or eight years now, hunting, fishing, camping, prying -- Carbon V steel certainly has my confidence and endorsement. The stainless grade (AUS-8?) in my Voyager every-day carry doesn't hold as good an edge as the old Twistmaster with Carbon V, but it ain't bad! Some of CS's advertising is a bit aggressive, but then, I don't totally believe any ads I read. I just with CS would design some smaller (4" or so) practical utility blades which could be carried without unduly alarming the populace. In Carbon V, naturally.
i am with you Win! i would love to see some of their designs with zytel handles. the kraton may be more comfortable, but the zytel is much more durable! i would love to see a trailmaster with zytel handle, integral single guard, black blade, kydex sheath. would possibly be the toughest factory camp knife around.