Cold steel


May 13, 2009, 11:38 PM
Hi Guys

Do any of you guys have any experiance with Cold Steel?

I own their "Black Bear" classic and their Boar spear. Ive also purchased their new "Rajah 2". The Rajah is holding up pretty good. Im a game ranger in South Africa and use it on a daily basis and its showing no sign of wear. One problem with most of cold steel is that they sharpen at too finer angle to be practical on some of their knives. It is nice to pull a knife out of a box and shave some hair off your arm but on larger "work" knives, its not necessary. The Rajah was sharpend at i guess 15degrees and after one or two light chops, it had minute chips on the cutting edge. I then changed the angle to 30 degrees and now its much better. Its still sharp enough to butcher warthogs without any effort. The Rajah is my day to day companion sitting next to my leatherman-waiting for some action.

I have'nt cut anything with the Black Bear since new, its my pride and joy and was bought as a combat knife. I intend to keep it that way and only uuse it if my life depends on it. It is sometimes carried when i do guided walks, when i have "THE FEELING":what: that there might be something out there waiting to jump on me.

Still looking forward to hunting with my boar spear, sometime when i get arround to it. It has dispatched a black mamba in my garden but thats about it.

Any of you own the Cold Steel scimitar? Whats it like?


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May 14, 2009, 04:56 AM
welcome dylan,
sorry i do not use cold steel products, but it sounds like you know what your doing.

May 14, 2009, 10:21 AM
I have a CS SRK, and it has served me well.

May 14, 2009, 12:30 PM
dispatched a black mamba in my garden

Where's your garden?

Cold Steel has a variable reputation. None of their products are inferior, but some people are discouraged by the level of hyperbole they use in their marketing.

Older products made in Japan have a reputation for being of higher quality than products currently produced in Chinese factories. Products that were made by Camillus had the best reputation, but sadly Camillius is no more.

May 14, 2009, 01:31 PM
Where's your garden?

Im game ranger on the border between SA and Botswana. My house is in the sticks. Lots of snakes and border jumpers. Got to go and treat one of my dogs when i get home-got bit by a puff-adder. Just got back from a cool game drive, saw about 25 elephant, 8 giraffe and a aardwolf.

I wouldnt say that i know what im talking about, but i do know what i like and what works for me.

Im more keen on unusual blade designs, not your regular kitchen knife, and i do like large knives.

Ive been very happy with CS so far. Any knife that i buy gets used and abused thats why i was sold on CS after seeing their DVD. Although they are harsh with their knives, their DVD is impressive.

May 14, 2009, 01:33 PM
some people are discouraged by the level of hyperbole they use in their marketing.

What do you meen by this?

May 14, 2009, 02:15 PM
Welcome Mokwepa! Hope you like it here and stick around, I'd sure like to read more about your job and experiences in SA.

Lynn Thompson, the owner of Cold Steel does not have that good of a reputation among knife collectors because of his marketing claims, tactics and his tendency to steal other knifemaker designs as his own. Some also turn their noses-up because he markets many of his products specifically towards the armchair commando community.

Not to say that many of his products are not good or won't perform in the field, just that his personal reputation has put-off many serious knife collectors. I can credit CS as starting me down the long (and expensive) hobby of knife collecting since the first 'real' knife I ever purchased was a San Mai Tanto in the 1980's for my father -it wasn't until years later that I found out he'd stolen the design from knifemaker Bob Lum, and the effectiveness of the Tanto in historical Japan was just the product of his marketing office.

I still own a $11 CS Canadian belt knife, and it is a cheap, but very good knife.

May 14, 2009, 03:32 PM
Don't worry about it, Mokwepa. All of the less-expensive knife makers turn out a certain amount of useless sharpened steel that is collected by tactical types. Just use what works for you.

I use the CS Kukri Bolo for chopping back the mesquite and hackberry trees that keep trying to take over my fence lines.

That's kinda mundane, compared to butchering warthogs and nailing black mambas, I guess.

May 14, 2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks guys

I like to think i have a fair knowledge of knives but im sue its nothing great. In terms of the tanto, i own a SOG tanto and realy dont like it. It doesnt hold a edge and doesnt look as nice as my steak knives at home. However i have bought a SOG tactical tomahawk and am very happy with it-much better than CS tomahawks but not as good as american tomahawks(the brand).

Im off to bed now but when i get a chance ill post some pics of the two wakizashis that i made. I think they are cool for not having any experiance in knife making. I WILL POST PICS but the short swords are not with me now.

Good Night, chat tomorrow.

May 14, 2009, 06:40 PM
welcome aboard.I'm a big fan of Cold Steel products.They fall into a niche of stuff that I can afford and level of quality I'll accept.I really like The CS Kukri. Like theotherwaldo,I haven't killed any mambas with mine yet,but if any come around here,I will.

May 14, 2009, 08:04 PM
All of the less-expensive knife makers turn out a certain amount of useless sharpened steel that is collected by tactical types

Care to provide some links or data for that ridiculous statement?

May 14, 2009, 09:12 PM
Hardly "ridiculous".

What's the old joke?

What are fishing lures for? Catching fishermen. ;)

Knife companies aren't any different.

They produce knives to sell and they ride whatever the current wave is to maximize sales. Most of what is sold isn't heavily used so it becomes "fashion".

As to examples from CS, United and even CRKT ;)-

May 14, 2009, 09:37 PM
Knife companies are no different any more.

They produce

sorry but his statement read " knife makers" not knife manufactures or knife making companies
((of which CS is neither ..knife design and marketing perhaps is a better term for them ))


May 14, 2009, 10:02 PM

Ahhhh, I catch your meaning, now.

I agree wholeheartedly, very few knife makers, individuals that craft knives, produce useless sharpened steel. I considered that actually talking about the craftsmen I know in that context to be too absurd to be the case and automatically interpreted it to mean mass market manufacturers.

Knife manufacturers make all sorts of pretty baubles that are knife shaped objects that are intended to catch chairborne rangers, although all of them will produce something of utility and value.

May 14, 2009, 11:46 PM
I think HSO has a very valid post. Lots of "manufacturers" :) are trying to catch "fisherman" :). CS might have some impractical blade designs but i havent seen anyone else come up with a large folding kukri, so i feel that they should keep coming up with these new/modified designs, someone out there will have a use for it, even if its just to show off.

Oh yes, the reason i bought a folding kukri is because im a guide.....not crockodile dundee. To many guides out there walk arround with these monstrous bowie's on there belt that they only use to clean under their fingernails, how porno is that?

May 15, 2009, 12:46 AM
LOL. Special Ed instead of Special Forces. I love it!!! :D

I personally like Cold Steel offerings. Hey, I give the "flamboyant" owner his success story for marketing concepts well, and actually exposing the common public to sharp edged products with all the DVDs, and solid products.

Despite all the controversy regarding the ownership ( not different from Leatherman and Gerber and Strider), Cold Steel continues to stay in business by introducing all kinds of different items in different materials from all different cultures. Some are historically relevant, and some are rather functional fantasy adapataions.

I have yet to see many knife companies do things as well as Cold Steel on the business scale in which they operate.

I like all of the Cold Steel items I have purchased over the years. I think anyone who gives the moderately-priced products a try, would say that they perform well for the prices charged. (One trick: Do NOT buy directly from Cold Steel, because for some reason, their prices exceed their distributors. Note, some of their direct sale flyers do offer some reasonalbe deals once or twice a year).

I cannot say that the China offerings of recent years are necessarily worse than prior years. I know the original Seki City Japan, and USA have high levels of workmanship. Once the Taiwan offerings came in, they still perform well. The various ventures into China and South Africa have not been anything ugly. I would think it is fair to COld Steel that their QC standards for whatever product is being made, seem to be consistent.

My main thing about Cold Steel is this: Enjoy the products for their novelty, and good price to performance ratio. They are not custom knives, and the high end stuff they charge, may not be the best value. However, their mid range and low end items, are very well matched for price and performance.

May 15, 2009, 01:40 AM
Gunz has it about right.Cold Steel puts out an decent product at a decent price.

May 15, 2009, 03:25 AM
I have yet to see many knife companies do things as well as Cold Steel on the business scale in which they operate.


(One trick: Do NOT buy directly from Cold Steel, because for some reason, their prices exceed their distributors. Note, some of their direct sale flyers do offer some reasonalbe deals once or twice a year).

Dead on here, got my Rajah from ""

May 15, 2009, 05:24 AM
Welcome, Mokwepa.

I'm a little surprised, considering where you are, that you haven't gone for a locally made spear instead of an offering you had to import all the way from the U.S.

What's shipping import duty like for something like the boar spear? Maybe you could post a picture of your garden. Did you get a picture of the puff adder?


May 15, 2009, 01:53 PM
Hi Jshirley

The locals in my area do hunt warthogs with spears but they are normally crude, sharpend peices of fence posts. There are shops that stock cs in Johannesburg, where my parents stay, even CR. It is possible for me to get most things with a bit of effort. I had to get the Rajah from the USA cause the JHB dealer was out of stock. Luckily my sister lives in Vail, so she posts me what i need(to my parents in JHB).

I can send some cool pics of my lifestyle but no pics of the snake. The dogs neck is going rotten now, so i have to tranquilize him tonight to clean it out.

Ill try put a pic on.

May 15, 2009, 02:03 PM
Here's a few pics, not of the dog or snake, but some pics that ive tacken out on drive. That is me with the tortoise.

If you are interested,ill post more. If you want specific animals let me know.

May 15, 2009, 03:42 PM
Kitty looks pissed, and the cow ain't happy!

I'd love to see more, whatever you think is interesting is great!


May 15, 2009, 04:07 PM

Thanks, I'm very interested in seeing more. I'm just trying to think of the best forum to put them in. Hunting, perhaps? Lots of our members (including me) dream of going to Africa to hunt one day. Perhaps you might start a thread about current hunting possibilities where you are?

I see I've neglected to answer your question. I used to buy quite a few CS products, but don't own any now. Well...I may have one of their shovels someplace. I think their Master Hunter is a solid knife, and if you can find it at a good price, a decent investment.



May 15, 2009, 11:40 PM
Thanks JShirley

Ill see what i can put up on the hunting forum. I dont usually pay to hunt, my brothers have a few crop farms that get destroyd by warthogs, so i get to hunt there for free. Ill have a look arround though and see what i can suggest.

May 22, 2009, 12:26 PM
This is why some people don't like Cold Steel.


Furious Kang
May 22, 2009, 01:00 PM
I own two medium Voyagers, an Hombre and Rescue knife. They were inexpensive and hold up very well.

May 22, 2009, 01:16 PM
I have the little, serrated, Hai Hondo. A great little neck-knife. Good rubber handle and very well executed blade.

May 22, 2009, 01:51 PM
I carry a Cold Steel Ti-Lite every day. Very nice knife and with assisted opening it's very fast to deploy.

My EDC gear..
Glock 23 in an Alabama Holster Co. "Hooker" holster, spare mag in Alabama Holster Co. IWB mag carrier, LCP with C/T Laser grip in an Alabama Holster Co. pocket holster.
And last but not least a Cold steel Ti-Lite.

May 30, 2009, 12:06 PM
Saw a CS urban dart today, oh my goodness.......must have it. If you bowhunt and have seen the urban dart, you can imagine the hole that it will leave in an attacker. One big "Y" hole.

Definately getting one soon.

PA Freedom
May 30, 2009, 01:54 PM
I also think, for the most part, CS offers good products for the money. I have a USA made Carbon V Trailmaster Bowie, a Safekeeper II made in Taiwan, and a Bushman, probally made in China. Im happy with them all. The company does get rather creative when describing their stuff, but they do back up the durability on the DVD's. Ive yet to see other knife company,importer, etc. put out a DVD of them beating up their stuff, and it holding up just fine. BTW- Anyone remember the "Edge Company Store"? That outfit also did some outrageous marketing.

May 30, 2009, 07:05 PM
Ive yet to see other knife company,importer, etc. put out a DVD of them beating up their stuff

One "company" making a laughing stock of themselves is enuff for the knife world. Other companies sell on their products merit , without the ninja like hype...if you cut yourself with a CS knife , its a ninjury.... ;)

Joe Demko
May 30, 2009, 07:24 PM
Cold Steel markets some nice knives. They just aren't worth what they usually retail for.
I have a few I picked up at around 50% off, and I am perfectly happy with them at that price.
You can get them cheap on ebay from time to time from poorly described auctions that don't attract many bids. Got a NIB Tanto shockingly cheaply that way.

May 30, 2009, 08:34 PM
Yeah, I've usually been fairly happy when I could get them at a substantial discount over retail. I just haven't bought any in years.


May 30, 2009, 09:59 PM
I have a Cold Steel Recon Scout that is about 13 years old. It has been put through Hades and back. I'll try to post a pic sometime. It really holds an edge. Too, at 5/16ths thick, it's heavy enough to use as a light axe. Link:

Aka Zero
May 31, 2009, 06:28 AM
Own a few CS knives. For what I paid they are great.

Ti-lite is good, but a bit bulky, carry a griptillian now, with a zip-tie pocket catch. Got a bushman, great fixed blade, gets sharp, stays sharp. A few Kudu knives, great for keeping places, less than $10.

But THE stand out thing that cold steel makes is the machetes. For $15-$20 you can get a kukri machete. and that is one of the most versatile things I have ever used. It's a light axe, heavy knife. And you can't break it. The sheath is Ok, but does it's job.
The other machetes they make are top notch as well. With a little work on the factory edge you can get them near shaving sharp ( not bad for 12-24" of metal )

I own 2 kukri and a 24" latin style machete, and that was like $40

Travis Bickle
May 31, 2009, 07:19 AM
This is why some people don't like Cold Steel.


lol. You forgot the music for your post:

Anyway, ol' Lynn looks more sumo than samurai to me.

Travis Bickle
May 31, 2009, 07:24 AM
One trick: Do NOT buy directly from Cold Steel, because for some reason, their prices exceed their distributors.

I think that's because the economy is in the toilet right now and a lot of distributors are having to sell inventory at a loss just to pay the bills and keep their heads above water. I just bought a stock for one of my rifles from a distributor for almost $30 less than what it cost direct from Ruger.

May 31, 2009, 07:37 AM
Cold Steel's prices are higher than their dealers for the same reason any knife manufacturer's prices are higher than their dealers'. It would be cutting their throat to sell "onesies/twosies" to the public for anything other than MSRP while trying to sell hundreds/thousands to their dealers. Competing directly with your major clients is a quick way to destroy business relationships. As it is CS creates some enmity with their dealers by selling anything direct to the public at any price and adds to that by running specials and selling their seconds (and claiming they're every bit as good as the unmarred knives).

Think about it for a second. You buy widgets to sell from Widget, Inc. You buy them for X and sell them for Y. The difference is what you operate your business on and how you put bread on the table. Widget, Inc. decides to go into direct competition with you by selling their widgets directly to the public. That's food out of the mouths of your children. The only way Widget, Inc. can keep your business is if they sell for the suggested retail instead of what they could slash prices to AND they tell you they're not competing with you because they're not in YOUR market. They're just selling to folks who can't get them anywhere else. You resent it, but it does make a little sense and you can still sell Widget, Inc. widgets and make money.

No one eats their own young in the business world without consequences and CS comes very close to being viewed that way by knife retailers.

June 1, 2009, 08:01 AM
a Bushman, probally made in China

I highly(let me refrase, i kinda) doubt it, although the bushman is crude it seems to be made tough.

I have heard that there machete type panga things are made by our local company called lasher that make regular garden tools for the sa market. I dont know for sure but a local knife dealer told me to buy a lasher for ZAR30 about $4 rather than pay for CS. I think that they might be pushing their luck in certain departments but their "propper knives" are still good for their price. I WILL BUY THAT URBAN DART.

June 1, 2009, 01:44 PM
That Bushman is a knife worth every penny of the $20 it will cost you. It's designed to be sharpened on a rock and it holds and edge like many other carbon steel knives, not a damn thing wrong with it. I've recommended it many times as an effective skinner and hunting knife on a budget.

I've been using a Cold Steel Tanto as my hunting knife since 1985, and while there might be 'better' knives for the job (like the specifically designed Wyoming knife which I also carry) I've found that knife to be worth every bit of the $135 bucks I paid for it in 1985 dollars.

June 1, 2009, 05:15 PM
........about 15 years now. I've used it for camping, kindling cutting, clearing brush off logs, hammering,...etc. It's one of my "go-to" tools. Only just now ordered a new handle. It's proven its worth to me many times over. And they still only run around 20-25 bucks around here.

June 1, 2009, 08:12 PM
rumor I heard was CS had a booth at blade but didnt show ?

interesting... ;)

June 1, 2009, 08:28 PM
GLOCK 78 Field knife for around $35.00 is a great buy.

June 2, 2009, 09:42 AM

I'm curious, How do you kill a large poisonous snake with only a knife?

CS knives are good quality, I have a 5" Voyager that works well, and holds a edge fairly well.

Great pics, very nice.

Joe Demko
June 4, 2009, 01:03 PM
Cut a stick with the knife. Beat the snake to death with the stick. WRT killing snakes, the One True Sword seems to be nothing more glamorous than a hoe. I tend to just leave snakes to their own devices, but folks I know here in PA have sent goodly numbers of our two venomous species on to glory with garden hoes.

June 5, 2009, 06:03 AM
I used a 7ft boar "spear" to cut a mambas head off. You wont find me atempting that with my leatherman.

June 5, 2009, 04:10 PM
Must have been 20 years ago, maybe 15, but my first Cold Steel was a Voyager. I used the heck out of that knife till I lost it. Then I bought another. I was impressed with the abuse that plastic handled knife could take.

I have purchased a number of Cold Steel knives since then. You get what you pay for. The cheaper knives, they function fine.The expensive Japanese made knives are some of the finest production knives on the market. Those that criticize Cold Steel for being a “marketer” and not a maker are willfully ignoring that SOG, Fallkniven don’t run their own factories but use the same Japanese manufacturers.

I really like the Canadian Belt knife. It does not come with an expensive leather sheath, it is not full tanged, and does not have a walnut handle like the Grohmann, but it does have the same blade steel, and costs $10-15.00 instead of $70.00 -$100 for the Grohmann.

I use the Colt Steel knife in the kitchen, my Grohmann, I take better care of it. It is more like an art knife.

I really like my special forces shovel. I have several. A very useful gardening tool. It will chop roots that will break lesser shovels.

When the Chinese made Trailmasters were clearanced for $50.00, I bought a couple. The factory edge had "feathers", but once those were stoned out, I find the knives take an excellent edge and hold it. I cannot say that the Chinese made Trailmaster are better/worse than the Camillus.

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