What is your raw opinion on Cold Steel?


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Soap
April 9, 2003, 10:19 PM
The title pretty much sums it up; what is your raw opinion on Cold Steel as a company, their knives, etc.?

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Navy joe
April 9, 2003, 10:40 PM
Ok knives, worth their asking price, usable. Too much hype in sales. Fun curio products on the side. What Ruger pistols would be had they a marketing department.

Schuey2002
April 9, 2003, 10:48 PM
:barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

You asked. I answered. ;)

Bruz
April 10, 2003, 12:05 AM
Only got a couple products from them...

Scimitar - http://www.onestopknifeshop.com/store/cold-steel-scimitar.html Cool looking knife, but very cheap up close compared to all my other knves. You can see light through the seams where the two halves meet. Very hard to open, even with the Brownie POP. Tried to loosen the pivot screw with the proper tool and it rounded the corners. Knife was new but blade was "dull". The liner lock safety is not a solid piece of metal, it is bent over to give a thicker look...only knife I wish I would not of bought.

Bushman - http://store.knifecenter.com/pgi-Product%20Spec?CS95BUS, Bought as a survival "Rambo" knife with a hollow handle to keep sutures, fishing line, etc. in. The handle is hollow, but the steel is bent over like a shovel as it attaches to the handle. Not sealed so not practical as for what I intended. Ended up sticking a spear shaft on it making it a long handled knife...no I have not found a use for it yet, but if I ever beach a whale, stand back! Came very sharp and is priced well, 3 year guarantee against breaking...any bets?

Spear handle - "Unbreakable" Waxwood spear handle. Was shaping it and found was infested with "worms", live larvae. Sent them an e-mail and they never got back to me.

Cat Tanto - http://botachtactical.com/colcattan.html . OK, I was close to getting free shipping and free gift so I started adding items. This is just a cheap plastic knife. If I ever need to go through a metal detector to kill someone in the shower and leave the knife I am prepared.

Uhhh, what was your question again?

IRONFIST
April 10, 2003, 04:08 AM
I own and have carried the Cold Steel "Kobun" tanto-style knife. Matte black, very sharp, good sheath, good "gripper" haft and very flat and concealable. I would buy another if needed. I might also buy the "Oyabun", which is the same style knife, but has a longer blade. The price was good, picked it up on Ebay for 20 bucks. Makes a very good boot knife.

Michael in Sandy, OR

Dave Williams
April 10, 2003, 04:10 AM
Their knives are the sharpest out of the box factory knives I've experienced. Anyone know of a factory that makes them sharper?

Dave

Al Thompson
April 10, 2003, 06:57 AM
"What Ruger pistols would be had they a marketing department."

I think that is a very insightful remark and I agree. I've got four of their belt knives - SRK, Master Hunter, Kukri and a Trailmaster. All have worked well and are very good values for the money.

mtnbkr
April 10, 2003, 08:17 AM
Overhyped, overpriced junk (can't stand plastic handles). I especially dislike how CS blasted companies for using steels in the past that they now use.

As for being the sharpest, well, I won't buy one, so I don't know just how sharp they are, but I can't imagine them being any sharper than my Buck PCKS 110 (hair popping, scary sharp) or any of the Microtech, Spyderco, etc knives I've handled.

Chris

brownie0486
April 10, 2003, 08:41 AM
There's just is no pleasing everyone. Knives and how individuals view them are very subjective. Thats why there are so many companies giving us a miriad of choices in bladewares.

I like the carbon V steel they use. I sharpen knives on Sunday mornings at my local club [ as well as sell them ] and have had many a CS on the stones over the years.

I get to see the abuse people give their knives and how dull they let them get, as well as lack of due diligence in the maintenance of their knives.

The CS SRK and Trailmaster bowies are very good products, the SRK actually being one of the best buys in a knife of that type that can be found in mass production circles in my opinion based on experience working with it.

I have two SRK's. One sits permanently in the "go" bag brand new and the other is not used but available and not reserved for future use in the bag.

I have some very expensive [well made] customs I could throw into the bag but the SRK; a swiss army multi-tool and a spyderco endura sit in the bag ready to be taken into harms way if need be.

Scott Evans
April 10, 2003, 09:10 AM
High, medium and adequate quality items in their line. Over hyped ...? Yes. ( i.e. Carbon V is 1095). All in all though; a good line up with many items that function very well and that I could find a use for. In my opinion their price is reasonable for most of what they sell. Just my .02

brownie0486
April 10, 2003, 09:21 AM
Actually I understand that carbon v is 52000 or 52100 ball bear steel with vanadium as an added element and not 1095.

Brownie

Soap
April 10, 2003, 10:15 AM
My opinion is that their folders are overpriced and ugly. But I really like some of their belt knives and some of their "specialty items" for fun.

jthuang
April 10, 2003, 11:00 AM
I too have a Cold Steel SRK. A very good knife for the money -- it works for the intended purpose.

However, I gotta agree that the marketing is a bit hyped up. Just see their More Proof DVD. Did anyone else think that the testimonial by Dan I (can't spell his last name -- he was in Game of Death) was a bit weak?

Justin

Griff
April 10, 2003, 11:12 AM
I like 'em, but not everything they ever built. Same as with music, not every album's gonna go gold.
Right now I have several of their knives, and while they're not WOW like Benchmade, I'd say they're more like Spyderco, in that you'll get a good blade for a price that doesn't make you think twice about actually using the bugger, or hate life if you loose it.

dance varmint
April 10, 2003, 11:22 AM
The SRK is my only CS, and it has been just the thing for splitting kindling or opening a coconut. The black finish does wear off. The combination kydex-nylon sheath is a bit cheesy. I like the Kraton handle fine. I've looked at their other fixed blades but I don't have a use for a monster like the Khukuri.

Betty
April 10, 2003, 12:39 PM
They're decent, but I'm sick of their "we're better than so-and-so and I'll prove it" whiny tactics.

Some I have/had:

Black Bear Classic
Triple Action (spear point)
Safe Keeper II
Cullodeon
Voyager 4"
Scimitar
"Recon" Tanto
4 1/8" tanto (discontinued)

Joe Demko
April 10, 2003, 12:50 PM
The products I've owned and handled have all been of decent quality, if somewhat overpriced at times. Lynn "Tanto" Thompsons marketing tactics get on my nerves something awful and have steered me to buy from other companies more than once or twice.

Scott Evans
April 10, 2003, 01:44 PM
Over hyped ...? Yes. ( i.e. Carbon V is 1095).


Actually I understand that carbon v is 52000 or 52100 ball bear steel with vanadium as an added element and not 1095.

Brownie


Ment to say Carbon V = 0170-6C

hso
April 10, 2003, 05:10 PM
They produce a decent product at a reasonable price, but have done so obnoxiously enough that I usually shy away from them (this saying I currently have a san mai master tanto in my desk drawer and a kukri hanging at the house). To some extent this is a reflection of Lynn Thompson himself. He's got good folks working for him and they privately say (i.e. out of ear shot of the boss over beers) he's really a great guy after you get to know him. I just haven't gotten to that point and I'm sure that Lynn won't stay up late anguishing over whether I personally like him or not. Some of their designs are silly, some are good, some are great.

As to "sharpest out of the box", there are companies that make knives as sharp and sharper and some that don't. CS is middle of the road for a knife company.

Dave Williams
April 10, 2003, 05:18 PM
Who makes knives sharper out of the box?

In my experience, not Benchmade, Spyderco, Emerson, Gerber, or CRKT.

I have no experience with Microtech or MOD.

Thanks,

Dave

Bruz
April 10, 2003, 05:48 PM
Spear handle - "Unbreakable" Waxwood spear handle. Was shaping it and found was infested with "worms", live larvae. Sent them an e-mail and they never got back to me.

Te be fair they finally got back to me today and said that they would send out another...

Who makes knives sharper out of the box?

The Bushman was one of the sharpest knives I have received out of the box, the Shimitar one of the least sharp. My Emerson LCC was by far the sharpest. Perhaps blade design is a factor?

Don Gwinn
April 10, 2003, 07:23 PM
Sharpest production knife I ever owned was my late lamented Spyderco Native. I never found Cold Steel edges all that impressive out of the box. To be fair, the Bushman is a thick blade with a thick edge, and it was still able to shave (but not well) when I bought it.

I like Cold Steel. I dislike their screaming hype, but they're not alone. Anybody followed Mad Dog's career? Strider? It's all about hype for these people, even though all three make very good (but different) knives.

I love their khukris (yes, now you can get cooler ones from HI, but not when CS started making them) the SRK, the Vaquero Grande, the Tai Pan, and a bunch of others. And who else out there is making 1917 cutlasses, or the Bushman, or double-headed battle axes for under $50, or an honest-to-goodness mace? That stuff is just too cool to pass up.

hso
April 10, 2003, 07:38 PM
Who's sharper? Microtech, Blackjack(former and current) and Marbles have all been sharper from the factory.

Don's right. No one takes the chances that CS does, and that counts for something.

Watchman
April 10, 2003, 07:46 PM
I have a few.

Bushmaster
Recon Tanto
Lightweight Kukri
Bando ***. Kukri
6" Gunsite Tanto Folder
4" Gunsite Tanto Folder
4" Tanto Folder wirh 50/50 edge
4" Tanto Folder
PeaceKeeper III
Little neck knife


There are better looking knives. I personally have never seen a sharper factory knife, so far they have everyone beat.

For pure utility they are hard to beat. I USE my knives, I do alot of primitive camping and the Kraton handles are great.

The Trailmaster has cut many poles in its life.
I have skinned many dear and turkey with them.
Blood is not a problem and they are easy to bring back to a shaving edge.

I have had and still have Bucks, Spyederco's,Gerbers and even a few custom Lile knives. They are all good knives but when Im really gonna USE one, the Cold Steels make the trip with me.

brownie0486
April 10, 2003, 08:39 PM
I haven't seen a Microtech that wasn't as sharp as I like myself.

Most knives are set to ceramics immediately but not the MT's. I touched em just to feel good about it but they really were that way already.

Have sold many SRK's and sharpened many others. They come sharp as well.

My Piorek Kwaiken with pocket, IWB, shoulder rig combo came sharp.

The Bagwell Bowies came sharp as well.

I'm fussy about sharp when it's for defensive purposes. Most would be real happy with the Trailmaster but I did it up to my liking. Still not as sharp as the Bagwells.

Natives come sharp but I did put a finer edge on it which it didn't need. That knife is a real work horse.

Brownie

JohnKSa
April 10, 2003, 11:36 PM
A slightly modified 5" CS Tanto Voyager rides in my back pocket everywhere I go.

The only complaint I have is that if you get the plastic pocket/belt clips caught on something they WILL break off.

I have a drawer full of knives and gadgets--I used to give them away after they didn't meet my expectations for one reason or another--I've never given a CS product away.

JShirley
April 11, 2003, 12:51 AM
Especially in my first few years getting into the "tactical" world, I gave away lots of CS stuff:

Twistmasters,
razor-blade keys,
Mini Pals,
Recon Tantos, etc.

It is true they take chances others won't, and I plan on buying one of their swords sometime soon.

John

Byron Quick
April 11, 2003, 10:00 PM
It is true they take chances others won't, and I plan on buying one of their swords sometime soon. John Shirley


Why? Buy a Himalaya Imports katana, if you must. You've got the WWII NCO Japanese sword I gave you. Just like spending money?

Sir Galahad
April 13, 2003, 01:13 AM
My first Cold Steel weapon is a Boar Spear and it came scary sharp. It's great. Next came a Cold Steel Trailmaster. Shaving sharp right out of the box and it's great. Carry it often. I got a Battle Mace and a War Hammer and both would more than perform their intended tasks if one ever needed to call upon them to do so. When I ordered the percussive weapons, I got a Mini-Bushman free. And it came shaving sharp out of the box. I am very pleased with the Cold Steel products. That's not saying I find myself attracted to everything they sell. But the new folder they just introduced ("Black Talon") is a MUST HAVE for me because I love that style of blade. In the case of the Trailmaster, you get a whole lotta knife for the price.

ahadams
April 13, 2003, 10:57 PM
have a few and have given several (SRKs mostly) away as gifts. Yeah I'd like something other than the plasti-rubber grips but the Carbon V steel is good stuff. The other thing I like about CS is that they're willing to take chances and try different designs. A little experimentation with their Bushman shows that it not only makes a doggone good spearhead in a pinch but has enough shear strength that throwing an extra one in the back of the emergency kit isn't a waste of time and effort - it'll be orders of magnitude better than nothing and at 15 bucks, it's still the cheapest piece of steel in it's class that will hold an decent edge.

makdaddy03
April 14, 2003, 12:24 AM
I love them. Every Knife that I carry is a ColdSteel knife.
Try the Carbon V knives.:)

cliffdropover1
April 14, 2003, 12:25 AM
Called their customer service to ask where I can find their knives locally and some specifics about their steel. Customer service could not tell me. Took 3 days to get someone that knew something about their product. Obviously their customer service needs help. As a first time looker/buyer I am now inclined to go elsewhere.

banditele
April 14, 2003, 12:54 AM
I was a big fan of Cold Steel knives for about 5 years, but the knives I have bought the last two years are not what I was expecting. "Dull out of the box!"

I am not interested in bashing the company, but i can find a better product to spend my hard earned money on

Retread
June 19, 2007, 02:42 PM
Bought a Voyager a few years back. Serrations broke the first time I cut twine with it. Called them to give them the opportunity to re-grind the blade since I figured it was a manufacturers defect. I spoke with the customer service manager. He gave me a ration of **** about abusing it, all the while speaking in a really insulting voice. (Mind you I cut some twine, you know, heavy string, and they broke off). I hung up on the jerk, and immediately took it back to the store I bought it from and got a real knife. I looked at a few other Voyagers serrations after that, and they had all been overground.

I looked at a friend's Kobun the other day. Honestly, I wouldn't use it for anything other than a letter opener. Has that cheap truckstop $10 knife look.

Rexster
June 19, 2007, 03:53 PM
Once upon a time, Cold Steel was a innovative company, but lately they tend to knock-off stuff designed by others. The tanto, Urban Pal, Urban Skinner, and Urban Shiv were really cool in their time, and not knock-offs. Even the R1 Military Classic paid homage to the Randall #1-7. Then came the knock-off era, and the advertising hype thinly disguised as "magazine" editorials. I was really angry when CS uses a photo of MY TEACHER, Steve Tarani, in its advertising. This photo was taken from Karambit.com's website, without permission and without attribution, and used in CS's "Riposte," which masquerades as an informative editorial, but is in reality advertising hype. The article was a harsh criticism of karambits. Then, shortly afterward, CS starts selling its own karambits. This is not my opinion, just the facts; it really happened. There is nothing new about karambits, a traditional Indonesian blade; go ahead and make and sell all you want. But, to run a photo of a blade designer and martial arts instructor, stolen from his website, is poor taste at best. No, Karambit.com did not sue, being a tiny company, but those in the cutlery industry know the truth about CS. All that being said, most of CS's stuff is pretty good stuff, and the price point is right for many. I won't call it junk just because I don't like the ethics of the owner of the company, and I did not toss out my R1 Military Classic, as it's a good training knife to save wear and tear on my real Randalls. I also still have my Urban Pal and Urban Skinner, as mementos of my younger days, which I do not carry. Y'all take my rambling rant any way you want; I think I stayed, as they say, fair and balanced .

Rexster
June 19, 2007, 03:55 PM
PS: IMHO, the serrations used by CS are very difficult to sharpen; I would only buy plain-edged blades from CS.

Joe Demko
June 21, 2007, 05:34 PM
Many companies use serrations that are a pain in the dupa to sharpen. Spyderco's are about the easiest, in my experience, if you have the proper sharpener: their Triangle. The serrations on the few Victorinox models that have teeth are also reasonably easy to sharpen if you have a ceramic rod of the proper diameter. Cold Steel's serrations have one thing in their favor: they're relatively easy to remove with a decent diamond sharpener and have a plain edge knife.

kellyj00
June 21, 2007, 05:51 PM
the cold steel voyager I had did have a serrated edge with very small serrations that broke off. They were so small that I doubt there's a triangle sharpener that can do the job.

I would never buy another cold steel serrated knife. For just a bit more, I'll stick with my benchmades.

Retread
June 21, 2007, 06:06 PM
I know he's even fuller of hot air than the Cold Steel guy, but Ernie E. sure has me wanting one of those CQC-7 HD's.

Valkman
June 21, 2007, 06:59 PM
I know he's even fuller of hot air than the Cold Steel guy, but Ernie E. sure has me wanting one of those CQC-7 HD's.

I've never heard anything like that before - Emerson is at the other end of the spectrum from CS. The good end. Ernie would never rip anyone off and is a great guy.

JTW Jr.
June 22, 2007, 12:35 AM
agreed Don , LT's name shouldnt be mentioned in the same context as Ernie.

Emerson - great guy , knows his stuff , can back it up. He's solid as they come.

Cold Steel - don't even make any of their own knives ... DVD makes a nice drink coaster though , and that is the best thing I can say about the product they have made.

Dirty Bob
June 22, 2007, 10:18 AM
Some of their older products (Carbon V) were very good and were a bargain, especially when a sale flier arrived. I bought a bunch of Twistmasters for gifts. :)

Their recent catalog is even ripping off the designs of the late Harry McEvoy, without even mentioning the man's name. I'm not offended by classic designs being reproduced, but I'd like to see credit for a design acknowledged. The Tru-Balance Bowie Axe (called the "Perfect Balance Thrower" in the latest CS catalog) is a great design, but if you didn't know better, you'd never know who invented it.

I don't hate CS, but I wish they'd give more credit to designers. I hope they're at least getting permission before cloning other people's knives.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

kymarkh
June 22, 2007, 10:53 AM
I like their older stuff but can't comment on the latest products. I've had one of their khukris for about 10 years (an LTC I think) and it is great to have at the campsite. I also have one of the Gunsite folders that has held up very well for the 8-odd years I've been carrying it.

kellyj00
June 22, 2007, 11:26 AM
uh...benchmade, kershaw > cold steel.... in every way.
You kinda get what you pay for in knives. My personal opinion. If you're giving your 10 yr old his first swiss army knife that's one thing, but a reliable sharp blade for multipurpose use is another thing.

rino451
June 22, 2007, 12:22 PM
Their knives are the sharpest out of the box factory knives I've experienced. Anyone know of a factory that makes them sharper?

Kershaw

Sliced my thumb so bad but didn't know it until I noticed the blood on the office floor, and my desk, and a Compaq server, and my chair...and the huge chunk of meat hanging off. Took 4 days before I could get the cut to heal closed. Darn scar still itches unbearably on occassion over a year later.

thegriz
June 28, 2007, 12:21 PM
I think Cold Steel knives are a fantastic value. They also have a product offering unrivaled by the other makers. Most knife makers are politically correct wussies who make pocket knives and hunting knives for snobs.

I bought have bought other brands (I have not bought Bench Made because I don't like their designs) and never found anything superior in the same (or even close) price range.

Their "marketing hype" shows you the capabilities of their knives in the hands of an expert and is quite impressive. Beware of counterfeits as they are plentiful so be sure you use a reputable dealer.

I love my cold steel knives. They also sharpen your knives for a modest fee if you are not good at doing it yourself. It takes a while to get it back but they do a fantastic job.

Retread
June 28, 2007, 06:08 PM
Valkman, perhaps my comment was a bit overblown. I was referring to the "Some people have called me the best knifemaker of all time" comment in a recent Emerson catalog. (Paraphrased from memory, I misplaced the catalog so I can't quote directly.)

I wouldn't own a Cold Steel again, but I would love to be able to justify the extra cost of the CQC-7 HD over the standard model.

The last bulk purchase of knives I made to resell had a Cold Steel tanto in it. Other than the design difference, it reminds me of a kitchen knife. It may work fine, and the profile is interesting, but it just doesn't look like anything but the cheap knife it is.

Creature
June 28, 2007, 06:26 PM
Their knives are the sharpest out of the box factory knives I've experienced. Anyone know of a factory that makes them sharper?

Answer: Al Mar

____________________________________________

Back to the original post:

IMO Cold Steel are better than average knives. I consider anything sealed in a blister pack bought off the peg at Wally-World to be average. Good but not the best. I carry a large Voyager almost daily because I dont feel bad abusing it...and I wont cry if I loose it.

I also have an ODA (the satin finished stainless steel version versus the newer blackened carbon steel version) that I carried when OTJ in the Gulf. I left the Randall 1-7 back home in the safe!

Overall, very servicable knives that wont break the bank.

Retread
June 28, 2007, 08:12 PM
Creature: I'd have taken the Randall. That way I could have mounted it in a plaque with a few other items (like spent cartridge casings, unit patches/name tape) and a picture of myself "In the sandbox." Then, both you and your descendents would value it as more than just a monetary investment.

JTW Jr.
June 28, 2007, 08:24 PM
Their "marketing hype" shows you the capabilities of their knives in the hands of an expert and is quite impressive. Beware of counterfeits as they are plentiful so be sure you use a reputable dealer.


A counterfeit Cold Steel ? oh man that is funny.... yeah gotta be careful , might accidentally end up with one of the knives made by the ORIGINAL maker....

Retread
June 28, 2007, 09:33 PM
I don't know how my name got attached to that quote. I didn't make it.

Counterfeiting a cold steel is like counterfeiting second rate generic jeans. It just doesn't make sense.

Cold Steel's marketing hype should be classified in the same category as professional wrestling. Some people watch it for entertainment and some people are deluded enough to actually believe it. I choose not to watch it.

One thing I do know is they don't back their products, and their attitude when I called to give them the opportunity to fix a defective product, proved to me they are practiced at deflecting responsibility. I hate nothing more than returning anything to a store. After their rude refusal to accept responsibility for poor quality control, I made a point of returning it to show the retailer just how inferior Cold Steel products are.

People keep bragging how sharp Cold steel knives are. That means nothing. You can sharpen a tin can if you want to. Personally, I prefer a working sharp blade, not a shaving sharp blade. Less chance of nicking the blade, and I know it doesn't matter in today's economy, but keeping a working blade too sharp shortens its useful life.

I have an oil stone in the shop, but I usually just use the bottom of a coffee cup to touch up the edge of my knives.

JTW Jr.
June 29, 2007, 12:32 AM
my bad bud , I FUBAR'd the crap out of that , fixed now.
Accept my apology.

thekid
June 29, 2007, 01:51 AM
I own a medium-sized Voyager with a fully serrated blade. I carry it everywhere I go and it can be used for just about anything. I dont know about their other products.

Creature
June 29, 2007, 11:19 AM
I'd have taken the Randall. That way I could have mounted it in a plaque with a few other items (like spent cartridge casings, unit patches/name tape) and a picture of myself "In the sandbox." Then, both you and your descendents would value it as more than just a monetary investment.

I never even considered it. My father bought it back in 1950's at the Randall shop in Orlando from Mr. Bo Randall himself. I even have the original receipt filled out by Mr. Randall. I wasn't willing to risk it being lost, damaged,...or captured and used by "someone else".

hso
June 29, 2007, 11:29 AM
A 1950's Randall 1-7 your dad bought, with the receipt, with Bo's signature?!!! WOW! :D Now that's a treasure that you wouldn't want to risk. Congratulations!

Look, I've handled literally thousands of knives from almost every manufacturer available (and some whose doors have closed) and there are plenty of knife companies that box up knives sharp enough to pop hair right out of the box. CS ain't the only one.

Retread
June 30, 2007, 06:28 AM
Creature,
You should have said that before. When my father died, he had a lot of stuff I went looking for, but it was all gone.

Don't know for sure, but rumor has it Randall knives will put you to the front of the line if your going to war.

Creature
June 30, 2007, 12:52 PM
Don't know for sure, but rumor has it Randall knives will put you to the front of the line if your going to war.

I hadn't heard that...might have look into that. They sure are expensive though.

Retread
June 30, 2007, 08:19 PM
$320 for a Model 1. Add $45 if you want a stainless blade. Not sure what shipping is. Give them a call to see if the military priority rumor's true @ (407) 855-8075. Normal delivery time is about 5 years.

Alphazulu6
June 30, 2007, 08:23 PM
Umm..... Naw once you get a Benchmade you dont ever think about another knife (unless maybe its a handmade folded steel one but even then I would look at Benchmade hehe). Yeah no thank you. If you are getting a Katana...and you dont have alot of money... yeah then maybe. But for a folding knife nope.

Alphazulu6
June 30, 2007, 08:25 PM
Creature; if your going to the Sandbox your unit will be able to order a knife unless they completely turned off the NSNs for them since I was there last year. Just food for thought. We got Automatic Benchmades both times I went and I still have em both! Good luck! :D

hso
June 30, 2007, 10:43 PM
rumor has it Randall knives will put you to the front of the line if your going to war.

Please explain that. Certainly there's nothing mystical or magical about Randall knives that would cause it's owner to be moved "to the front". Great knives, great customer service, great tradition, but nothing supernatural about them.

45R
June 30, 2007, 11:33 PM
The are like the HiPoint of the knife industry.

cracked butt
July 1, 2007, 12:03 AM
Originally Posted by Retread
rumor has it Randall knives will put you to the front of the line if your going to war.

Please explain that. Certainly there's nothing mystical or magical about Randall knives that would cause it's owner to be moved "to the front". Great knives, great customer service, great tradition, but nothing supernatural about them.

I was really confused by the context of the statement too until I read it a few times over. I think what is meant is that Randall will put your order on high priority if you are a soldier heading into harms way.

Creature
July 1, 2007, 12:16 AM
Please explain that. Certainly there's nothing mystical or magical about Randall knives that would cause it's owner to be moved "to the front". Great knives, great customer service, great tradition, but nothing supernatural about them.

There is a five year wait from the time an order is place to the time it is actually made and shipped. Apparently, if you are deploying, you can have a knife made and shipped quicker.

Retread
July 1, 2007, 08:20 AM
Cracked Butt & Creature,
Thank you for clarifying my comment to those who needed assistance. You were much more understanding in your explanations than I would have been.

45R,
Please clarify; are you implying Randall Made is at the pinnacle of production knife manufacturers, or are you putting them on par with the gun manufacturer of that same name?

Alphazulu6,
While Benchmade makes excellent folding knives, of which I own a few, it isn't the same, and probably won't hold the same sentimental value to you, or hopefully your descendents in the future. Randall Made Knives are in the opinion of many, on a different perceived value level than Benchmade Knives.

But then again, value is "in the eye of the beholder." This is afterall, a thread discussing the merits of Cold Steel knives.

Joe Demko
July 1, 2007, 12:09 PM
I own a Randall #14 and sold off several high-end Benchmade folders. Actually, in terms of workmanship Randalls and Benchmade are about equal. Because they have been around much longer and were praised by some big names in years gone by, Randall enjoys a near-mythic status that Benchmade doesn't. Randall doesn't do folders and Benchmade doesn't make too many fixed blades, so there isn't a lot of competitive overlap between them. Yet, if you look at things like how well the blades are ground, handle are fitted, and so on, you'll see that they are on a par with each other.

Creature
July 1, 2007, 01:46 PM
Not to put down Benchmade, but (older) Randall's were completely hand-forged, hand-ground, hand-polished, and hand assembled....truly "hand-made".

Bo was pretty darn revolutionary in knife design and construction. That mythic status was earned...not happened upon. So, in my mind, the two don't really compare.

Sorry that this is way off the original topic!

Joe Demko
July 1, 2007, 07:43 PM
Bo was pretty darn revolutionary in knife design and construction. That mythic status was earned...not happened upon. So, in my mind, the two don't really compare.

Revolutionary? Hardly. Randall did and does make a very high quality product. They benefited, historically, from getting their start in a time when there wasn't an awful lot of competition for the market niche. There were Scagel, Ek, and a few others servicing that particular market. Randall was a success because he worked hard and produced a quality line at a price where they would sell. Show me one revolutionary product or idea from Randall. Frankly, Benchmade has a better claim to being described as revolutionary.

Retread
July 1, 2007, 07:53 PM
Sure beats talking about Cold Steel doesn't it? :)

Seems like I read a story about Randall buying a knife somebody was abusing and somehow that led him to start making knives.

Rexster
July 2, 2007, 02:08 AM
I cannot remember who I was discussing this with, at the Blade Show, IIRC, but this is what I was told: Randall did used to put military guys at the front of the line, if they were about to be deployed, but so many of these same expedited knives were listed on Ebay right after being delivered, Randall stopped believing the sincere-sounding sob stories, and discontinued the practice. Military guys wait now, just like everyone else. Take this for what it's worth, as, like I said, I can't remember who told me this.

hso
July 2, 2007, 10:12 AM
Yet, if you look at things like how well the blades are ground, handle are fitted, and so on, you'll see that they are on a par with each other.

Well, I can't agree with that, but then it doesn't make sense to make a comparison between any companies mass produced product (CS or BM) and a hand made one (unless you want to use the Randall as a benchmark for fixed blade manufactured knives).

If you want to compare folders to folders, mass produced knives are best compared to other mass produced knives. Benchmarking against a product from William Henry (http://williamhenryknives.com/) or Chris Reeve (http://www.chrisreeve.com/) or actual custom (http://http://www.steeladdictionknives.com/Customs/smith-johnw/index.php) folders is reasonable when trying to determine the quality of a manufacturer's products since the expectation is that the custom or semicustom knives would be expected to have materials, heat treat, fit and finish that would be difficult for a mass-market manufacturer to achieve.

Joe Demko
July 2, 2007, 10:58 AM
Randalls are produced in a factory and have been for much of their history. They use a lot of hand labor, but so do other factories. Look, I like Randalls a lot, but I don't consider them the greatest knives I've ever seen or owned. They're just really nice bench made knives from a company with some history.

Joe Demko
July 2, 2007, 03:26 PM
Furthermore;)

I've seen other knives we'd all agree were factory-made that were at least the equal of a Randall. Two examples: Puma, back in the 80's and 90's (can't speak for today) put out a wide line of fixed blade knives that equalled a Randall in fit and finish and the original Solingen-produced AG Russell Stings were every bit as nicely made as a Randall.
Just a couple weeks ago I was at a gun show and had the opportunity to see a bunch of Randalls displayed right next to an array of various high quality mass-produced fixed blades. The Randalls would, indisputably, hold their value better than most (all?) the others, but that would be more a factor of various intangibles than the Randalls being notably better made than the other knives.

Creature
July 2, 2007, 03:39 PM
Okay, Joe. You keep your Benchmade knives. I will keep my Randalls.

hso
July 2, 2007, 04:25 PM
The Randalls would, indisputably, hold their value better than most (all?) the others, but that would be more a factor of various intangibles than the Randalls being notably better made than the other knives.

Very true. Good quality Effingham Blackjacks were every bit as good a the Randalls they emulated, but have not held their value like the Randalls. Pumas were great. Of course these weren't made in factories like most folks think of when they think of a factory. Skilled craftsmen performed each step along the way to make the knives. Specially trained craftsmen performed their task over and over and passed the knife on to the next to have their task done until the knife was finished and packaged to go out the door. I'm sure that I'm neglecting other companies that still take this approach, but CD isn't on that list.

Randalls are made today like they were 40 years ago. Forged to shape and then ground to finish. As to they're being made in a factory, not sure I'd describe it that way. It's a shop, not even a very big one, in an orange grove in Orlando. The blades are forged by a craftsman and then passed on to another craftsman to be ground and on to have the fittings and furniture put on. I think a fourth craftsman then finished the knife and sharpens it. Sort of a factory, but not what the word evokes in the mind's eye to most people.

http://randallknives.com/construction.phphttp://randallknives.com/images/knifecons.jpg1. Obtain a piece of carbon tool steel knife stock.

2. Heat it cherry red and hammer out the rough blade in the general shape desired.

3. Grind the rough forged blade to the size and shape of the blade desired.

4. Harden the blade by heating it cherry red and then immersing it in tempering oil. Draw out the brittleness and internal stresses by tempering blade at low heat until it becomes a straw blue color and can be cut with a new file.

5. Grind in lines, bevels and contours and remove roughness.

6. Use a coarse hone and true up the cutting edge, removing any remaining waves and unevenness.

7. Refine the blade on a fine grit wheel to remove scratches made by the coarse hone.

8. Smooth the blade, first with coarse and then with fine grit emery cloth.

9. Polish the blade on a glued-up coarse emery wheel.

10. Cut and shape the hilt from one-quarter inch brass. Drill a hole and file it to rectangular shape to fit the handle tang. Fit hilt to the blade and solder in place.

11. Fit the handle to the tang, cutting rectangular holes in pieces of fiber, plastic or leather. Slip into place and glue each separately. Drill a piece of one-half inch Duralumin for the butt and recess it to fit the tang. Drive it on tightly and peen it into place, or thread end of tang and use nut. When the glue is thoroughly dry, roughly shape the handle with a coarse file. Finish shaping with a finer file. Then smooth it, first with coarse and then fine emery paper. The hilt and butt are filed and sanded as the handle is shaped.

12. Polish the blade with a medium grit glued-up emery wheel. Polish the hilt and butt on a muslin wheel charged with polishing compound.

13. Sharpen the blade on a medium grit hone. Always use special honing oil for all honing.

14. Polish the blade on a fine grit glued-up emery wheel and again polish the hilt and butt.

15. Give final sharpening to the blade, using a fine grit hone.

16. For final polishing of the blade, use a hard polishing wheel to remove the last fine hone scratches. Give final polish to the hilt and butt and the final polish to the handle with a soft muslin wheel.

Joe Demko
July 2, 2007, 04:34 PM
Okay, Joe. You keep your Benchmade knives. I will keep my Randalls.

Weren't you paying attention? Upthread I clearly stated that I sold the Benchmades and kept the Randall.

hso
July 2, 2007, 04:54 PM
Ok, let's get back on the Cold Steel theme (I'm as bad as anyone when Randalls are brought up:rolleyes:. Would someone please report me to me for a good scolding about thread drift?:evil: )

Creature
July 2, 2007, 05:01 PM
Sorry, Joe. Missed that sentence. My apologies :o

Sorry, HSO for getting us off of the topic of Cold Steel.

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