Cold Steel: Hyperbole vs. Reality


PDA






Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 12:23 PM
Soooo...

Somewhere along the line, youtube decides that my viewing habits make "Lynn on the saber Part 1 of 2" a perfect choice for me.

After wasting 8:09 of my life on that tripe, I decided I'd check out his website, coldsteel.com, and take a look at his machete page:

http://www.coldsteel.com/Category/5_1/Machetes.aspx

Lots of neat looking stuff there, but after watching a few of his videos where this guy, and one or more of his buddies, are slinging more BS than blades, I just can't work myself up to buying a single thing on his website.

Almost everything on his website is 1055 steel, which seems to be a carbon steel which is pretty tough, being on the upper end of the medium grade carbon steel. (From a Fracture Mechanics standpoint, this would mean it's not a "hard" steel, capable of maintaining a keen edge.) Which means it's probably excellent for a machete, given what I've learned from reading your material.

Having done a wee bit of research on 1055, it is tough as all get-out...but edge-wise it fails for ability to retain an edge. Which is the other important factor for knives and swords.

I think that NFW might be due for a Cold Steel discussion since we havent had one in some time. :uhoh:

:D

If you enjoyed reading about "Cold Steel: Hyperbole vs. Reality" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
1KPerDay
October 1, 2013, 12:28 PM
Just watching the video is comedy enough for me.

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 12:43 PM
Lynn Thompson is a character.

http://www.lynncthompson.com/Images/window-bg.jpg

..and he totally rocks his shorts.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_0vjqkN4moI/ToNNcYJFTEI/AAAAAAAAALw/lzfacEIGySI/s1600/IMG_5234.jpg

His hyperbolic persona can be a bit off-putting for some folks, and it is sometimes difficult to draw a clean line between man and product.

All personal opinions aside, I have to admire his success at building his brand and his marketing acumen.

OTOH, much of that successful marketing is based on bloviating half truths and showmanship.

There are good useful knives and tools in the Cold Steel catalog.

There are also some that are....well....questionable.

mdauben
October 1, 2013, 12:44 PM
I agree that Lynn Thompson's self-promotion videos are at best... laughable. I certainly wouldn't buy anything from him on the strength of his chopping a rack of spare ribs in half with the current CS knife/sword/machete/pole axe.

On the other hand, I've been generally satisfied with the quality and design of the few CS products I have purchased. If you can wade through the BS they make some decent stuff. YMMV of course. ;)

Sam1911
October 1, 2013, 01:05 PM
But...but...two words: Meat Bicycle

L5C8I9BJjSg

Cosmoline
October 1, 2013, 01:33 PM
The biggest complaint I've heard about their swords is that they're extra heavy and aren't designed or balanced very well. But they do cut reasonably well. Considering the pricetag of an Albion I could see getting something from CS instead to use as an amusement piece or a wallhanger.

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 01:44 PM
The biggest complaint I've heard about their swords is that they're extra heavy and aren't designed or balanced very well. But they do cut reasonably well

It is worth noting that Windlass is the actual manufacturer for many of the Cold Steel swords, TTBOMK.

desidog
October 1, 2013, 03:00 PM
Does anyone know their MSRP/web sales strategy?

It seems to me that all their products are available online from other online retailers for 50-75% the prices on the CS website. Normally, I'd expect prices to be cheaper with the primary vendor, rather than secondary vendors who have their own profit margins to consider.

rooter
October 1, 2013, 03:45 PM
Cold Steel seems to touch three spectrums: extremely expensive, extremely poor quality, or extremely absurd. I wouldn't consider any knife they make.

1KPerDay
October 1, 2013, 04:21 PM
It seems to me that all their products are available online from other online retailers for 50-75% the prices on the CS website. Normally, I'd expect prices to be cheaper with the primary vendor, rather than secondary vendors who have their own profit margins to consider.
I've not found that to be the case, personally. For example, Zero Tolerance sells their 0300 for $340+ on their direct site, but it's available for $225ish on Amazon and elsewhere.

http://zt.kaiusaltd.com/knives/knife/zt0300

http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Tolerance-Combat-Folding-Knife/dp/B0017SC9H6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1380658855&sr=8-5&keywords=0300+zero+tolerance

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 04:23 PM
I wouldn't consider any knife they make.
This is easily done since Cold Steel has no native manufacturing capability and is just a brand applied to products manufactured by contractors.

:D

It would be an interesting exercise to compile a list of Cold Steel suppliers.


Machetes and such are currently made by Lasher Tools in South Africa.
http://www.lasher.co.za/
They were formerly made by a factory in China that was destroyed in a fire.

Swords by Windlass Steelcrafts in India
http://windlass.com/

Many fixed blade knives were made by Camillus Cutlery Company prior to 2007. I don't know who they contract to now other than being Taiwanese.

Anyone know who they contract to for their folders?

1KPerDay
October 1, 2013, 04:29 PM
Dunno, but they can't spell. I have a "COLO STEEL" folder ("Kudu") I got from CDNN for free with a largeish order. I imagine they cleared them out double-cheap due to the typo.

FuzzyBunny
October 1, 2013, 04:30 PM
Hey, come on, he had a MEAT BICYCLE!

Should have gone all the way and done it right with a BACON BICYCLE

Valkman
October 1, 2013, 04:31 PM
Never owned one, won't own one. Too many good knives out there to consider CS.

lobo9er
October 1, 2013, 04:41 PM
Cold Steel is wanna be BUSSE. They act like they make the toughest and they don't. I really don't like Cold Steel. Lots options at same price point, some even made in the U.S. of A.

Speedo66
October 1, 2013, 05:10 PM
Dunno, but they can't spell. I have a "COLO STEEL" folder ("Kudu") I got from CDNN for free with a largeish order. I imagine they cleared them out double-cheap due to the typo.
No, you got "colo" steel, that's Italian for drip, drain, strain.

<...ahem...>

1KPerDay
October 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
lol

craftsman
October 1, 2013, 05:46 PM
I love this thread. "Lynn Thompson ...." See my posts on his Sjambok techniques - or view his video on the Cold Steel site.

As far as purchases from there - unless you have a source for elephant or rhino hide, his Sjamboks are the best avaialble (if you can even find others).

The Cane Swords I've seen, his two are some of the best (agreeing on other comments qualifying that in this thread). There are also some very nice spears (again, not readily avaialble elsewhere, or in the selection).

The "Big Bore" blowgun, heavy wall - LOVE IT! Although I was the one responsible for them changing thier tailcone design, based on reports I gave their dart designer a few years ago - sadly, they went back to the old "dinner plate" tailcones. After 15 meters, they wobble so much, you may as well call them "Weebles darts" !

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 06:00 PM
There are also some very nice spears (again, not readily avaialble elsewhere, or in the selection).


There are MANY other choices for a spearhead besides Cold Steel.

To wit:

http://www.kultofathena.com/spears.asp

hso
October 1, 2013, 06:40 PM
just a brand applied to products manufactured by contractors.

I hate to be mistaken for defending Cold Steel or Lynn Thompson, but this statement misrepresents the facts a tad. Colt and S&W knives are brands applied to products manufactured by contractors for Taylor Cutlery. OTOH, CS designs their knives and shops out their manufacturing for their products under their name to whoever will produce the quality for the price point they require. Yes, CS is a brand itself, yes, they shop out their manufacturing to contractors that produce their product for them, no they're not like the Colt and S&W brands that are licensed by Taylor who then has contractors produce them for them to market under the Colt and S&W brand names.


Cold Steel is wanna be BUSSE.

No. CS has been around MUCH longer than Jerry Busse has been making knives. You can't be a wannabe if you preceeded someone.

But they do cut reasonably well.

I can't agree. They don't cut reasonably well because there actually are similarly priced products out there that handle better and do cut reasonably well. CAS, Chiness, and Kris have products that cut as well or better than CS at the same or even lower price. What CS does is market reasonably well to the public.

As I said at the top, I don't want to be mistaken for defending CS or Lynn Thompson, but I've been in the knife world since 1976 when I ordered my first batch of knives to sell and Thompson has earned his due for building a company and producing products that his customers gobble up. CS has had good products like the Black Bear and Trailmaster and various San Mai knives over the years and they've produced some just to capture the wannabe and fantasy market. They've also developed a marketing plan that is unique in the industry that expects ridicule, but still draws people to their products and makes money for them. This thread is an example of something Lynn Thompson knows full well, "It doesn't matter what they say about you as long as they spell your name right." There will be someone that will look at their product line because of this discussion and who will find something to their liking and make Lynn some money.

RetiredUSNChief
October 1, 2013, 06:57 PM
Thanks for moving this, Sam! And, on a lighter note, "bloviate" has just made my "Word of the Week" posting at work. :neener:

To make it clear, I think they DO have some neat looking stuff. And the machetes are probably worth while, based on their intended use and the steel used to make them.

But their biggest turnoff (for me) are the thick layers of BS they slather on in their videos. I can poke literally ANY sword through the hood of a car with no appreciable damage noted. And demonstrating the ability of one such sword to cut through a cinderblock when you can obviously see the sword being twisted mid-swing to strike the block with the back edge of the blade was an eye-roller. And his incessant wearing of shorts in his videos, what a laugh!

Though I must admit...I missed the meat-cycle!

What we need now is a team-up with the Sham-Wow guy! Or maybe someone out there could cook up a doctored Billy Mays crossover...


Though nearly everything else seems to be made of 1055 carbon steel, the items I would have though would likewise be made of some form of carbon steel are, ironically, made exclusively from stainless (whatever Japanese AUS 8A Stainless is). And that would be a folding knife.

I've long since been turned off of stainless for pocket knives. Not a one that I've ever owned would sharpen worth a darn, nor would it keep any edge for an appreciable amount of time. Perhaps someone here on THR knows of a decent SS pocket knife...I would be interested in knowing.

It seems that the only decent SS used in knives tends to be used more for fixed blades.

I retired my Old Timer in favor of one (of several) older models I found on ebay with carbon steel blades. They're the quality steel I remember from my younger days.

Sam1911
October 1, 2013, 07:03 PM
It seems that the only decent SS used in knives tends to be used more for fixed blades.Not to go off track here, but there are indeed some folding knives from various makers with fantastic super stainless steels. Spyderco, Benchmade, and quite a few others certainly offer folders with the best steels you could want.

Now, an awful lot of makers have used some cheaper stainless alloys (420, for example) that don't tend to build a great reputation.

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 07:07 PM
Perhaps someone here on THR knows of a decent SS pocket knife...I would be interested in knowing.

Some of the more stylistically sedate Cold Steel folders are really and truly decent knives at reasonable price points.

AUS-8 is a perfectly reasonable, middle of the road,stainless steel with an excellent decades long track record of cutlery use.

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 07:14 PM
To make this perfectly clear:

The purpose of this thread is to examine Cold Steel products qualitatively without letting the advertising hyperbole color our opinions, not to poke fun at Lynn Thompson.

lobo9er
October 1, 2013, 07:16 PM
Let re-word. :) Busse IS what Cold Steel ACTS like they are. Or Cold Steel has represented themselves to be what BUSSE is or has become. Cold advertises to be the badest knife on the block, Busse is. ;) Hey to each his own. I just recently bought 4 Mora Companions for up coming christmas gifts. I dont think you need to spend busse prices to get a quality knife is what I'm saying. Theres a lot of other choices than cold steel is same price point that are equal and better quality.

Double_J
October 1, 2013, 07:37 PM
I have looked at a cold steel blade about 13 years ago, and would have bought it but for lack of funds. It was a middle of the road 4.5 inch stainless steel fixed blade "camp knife" with a kydex sheath. I went back when I had the money and found that it had been discontinued. I later found out what cold steels reputation was, and that the steel used on that model was not that good of quality. If I remember right it was 440a or 440b (or whatever the equivalent Japanese steel is). I still have not bought the blade I want for a camp knife, mainly because I am procrastinating and don't want to spend the amount of money a good one would cost. I will not buy garbage steel just because it looks cool, or might fit a purpose I need. I will hold out and buy exactly what I want, even if it takes a few more years to get it.

rooter
October 1, 2013, 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rooter View Post
I wouldn't consider any knife they make.

This is easily done since Cold Steel has no native manufacturing capability and is just a brand applied to products manufactured by contractors.

Ok, let me rephrase that: I wouldn't consider any knife they have made.

TimboKhan
October 1, 2013, 09:15 PM
When I was in the USMC back in the early 90's, there was no combat knife more desired by the troops as a whole than the Cold Steel Tanto. Gerber had a great reputation back then, Kabars were obviously popular and I am sure I saw a Randall or two. That Cold Steel Tanto, however, was the object of lust for many a young 03XX. Now, thats just my recollection, but I distinctly remembering being frustrated by how consistently fast they sold out of them in the PX, which is why I never had one. That, and the fact that as I recall they were right around $100.00 bucks and I never could hold on to my cash that long back then. By comparison, I think I paid around 30 bucks for my Kabar.

I used a few, and to be honest, they felt nice, were lighter (or at least felt lighter) than a Kabar, and seemed to hold up to some ridiculous abuse pretty well. Say what you want, but at that time and with that group of guys, Cold Steel earned their respect the old fashioned way.

Now? I have virtually no interest in Cold Steel other than that neat little mini-tuff that Ugaarguy reviewed a couple of weeks ago. It has nothing to do with the hype or marketing (which I find simultaneoulsy annoying and entertaining" but instead has everything to do with the fact that for what I want, I can buy a knife with better steel that I find more aesthetically if not ergonomically appealing.

MikeJackmin
October 1, 2013, 09:25 PM
I have one of their $20 'kukri machetes (http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-97KMS-Kukri-Machete/dp/B000FJRR2K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380677507&sr=8-1&keywords=cold+steel+kukri)' that I bought on Amazon. (I have several nice kukris too, both HI and antique, so I understand it's not really a kukri, it's just a kukri-shaped machete).

The thing is amazing. I abuse it and it does not care. It cuts well and feels right. Only modification I made was to sandpaper off some of the roughness from the grips to smooth them out a little.

I have a pair of their serrated utility knives (http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/59KUZ/UTILITY_KNIFE_%28KITCHEN_CLASSICS%29.aspx), a small one for my wife to use in the garden, and a big one to use as a dirty-job knife in the kitchen. They are perfect; sharp, tough, and comfortable.

I also have one of their swords (http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/88CS/1917_CUTLASS.aspx), bought second-hand. Yes, it is heavy and unbalanced. It's also lovely, tight, sharp, and it gives every indication of being very tough. You can find much better swords, but not at that price. Not even close.

I agree that they almost seem like a parody of themselves sometimes, but I don't care. I like their stuff just fine.

Sam Cade
October 1, 2013, 09:41 PM
Only modification I made was to sandpaper off some of the roughness from the grips to smooth them out a little.

Common complaint. I wish they would change the mold.

I'm sitting out in the shop with some 80-grit at this very moment so I don't damage myself tomorrow.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189553&stc=1&d=1380678055

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189554&stc=1&d=1380678055

limpingbear
October 1, 2013, 09:45 PM
I bought some cold steel knives years ago and loved them. I still have a couple of the discontinued LTC kukri knives in their carbon 5 steel. I think that cold steel quality has declined a great deal these last few years. I don't like some of the re-styling they have done to their pocket knives, and the fixed blades leave a lot to be desired.

hso
October 1, 2013, 10:18 PM
Busse is.

Let's not start that debate, ok. We don't need Busse fanboys flaming with others here.

their carbon 5 steel

There is no "their carbon 5 steel" steel. CS used several different steels as "carbon 5" over the years based on price and final product performance. At one time it was CV, at others something else. By using a proprietary name they avoid telling you what it actually is and alarming customers when they change it.

At least most of what CS produces is made with a known steel, AUS 8, instead of some Chinese production.

What does CS have in their lineup that looks good?

The VG-1 Black Bear Classic and Military Classic look pretty good.

The Pendleton and Pendleton Plus as well as the Mini Pendleton look good.

The Kobun has been a good knife.

The Laredo and Natchez Bowies have been good and in the current steel should be ok.

The Master Hunter should be ok.

The Recon Scout should be good.

The San Mai knives should be good.

The Trailmaster should be good.

I've handled their Japanese and Chinese swords and they handled like 2x4s compared to other manufactuer's pieces. Some of their European swords handled ok. As to whether they would actually cut... I didn't try them.

I have less experience with their folders so can't gauge.

CS can and has designed good knives and can and has quality produced in spite of their marketing hype.

ugaarguy
October 1, 2013, 11:36 PM
I'll insert a few thoughts:
Spyderco started off having knives made to their specs by a manufacturer in Seki City, Japan. Spyderco does now make some of their knives in their own facility located in "Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth" (Yes, they actually stamp that on many of the blades). However, Spyderco still has a large percentage of their knives made to their specs in Japan, Taiwan, and even China.

Cold Steel still makes some excellent products. Their $25 Mini Tuff Lite went toe to toe with an $80 Spyderco Meerkat in my EDC based testing for my Serious Small Knives Review (http://www.shootingreviews.com/small-serious-knives/).

Cold Steel is using Andrew Demko's Triad Lock, which is a heavily re-engineered back lock mechanism. The Triad Lock is one of the strongest folding knife lock mechanisms available. It isn't as elegant as a Benchmade Axis Lock, or a Spyderco Compression or Caged Ball Bearing Lock, but the Triad Lock is absolutely functional and rugged.

Cold Steel's marketing is absurd, and I try to ignore it. However, they still offer some truly good products at very reasonable prices.

lobo9er
October 2, 2013, 12:09 AM
Busse is

I'm not sure theres much debate that cold steel represents themselves as the badest most hardcore knife you can buy. In my opinion there are plenty of knives and knife companies that are far superior in the hardcore use department. Now that said to each their own dollar and choice. Does cold steel produce ANYTHING that is functional or dependable of course they do. I wouldn't argue that. Cold Steel just makes me think flea market ninja sword. Fair? Thats up to you. But its the awesome youtube videos that I saw that gave me that first impression. Its all opinion and I enjoy debating, and having conversations with other knife guys and gals. I don't consider myself a Busse Fanboy, but I'm comparing the car door wrecking, Pork bone hacking video's Cold Steel makes in comparison to what INFI is actually capable of. Heck just compare steel to steel, and material to material. Thats the most important thing. If Cold steel beats out the competitor in the price range in those things that you are looking for and you believe them to be a company you want to support then buy. The choice is yours.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PQiaurIiDM
I hope they get the grill going after there in house training sessions. I love a pig roast. The vid's are awesome. So many little gems through out each one.

TimboKhan
October 2, 2013, 12:49 AM
I'm not sure theres much debate that cold steel represents themselves as the badest most hardcore knife you can buy

Well, sure. Why wouldn't they? They aren't going to sell a lot of knives by proclaiming to be the best OK manufacturer of average cutlery ever produced. HSO said we aren't going to do the Busse thing, and we are not. I am just saying that from a marketing perspective, what do you expect? I think that brand is a genuine extension of that guys personality, which is to say blustery and over the top.

RetiredUSNChief
October 2, 2013, 12:53 AM
Common complaint. I wish they would change the mold.

I'm sitting out in the shop with some 80-grit at this very moment so I don't damage myself tomorrow.

Heh! If I recall correctly, the grip isn't the most dangerous part for you...

;)

Hope the knee is loosing someof it's stiffness by now. :)


What does CS have in their lineup that looks good?

[Cut out lots of good examples for space considerations.]

CS can and has designed good knives and can and has quality produced in spite of their marketing hype.


Personally, I'm intrigued by their sabers and the (only) cutlass they have. Probably because of my enlisted naval history and my understanding of the extremely utilitarian "hack-and-slash" practicality of the naval cutlass in the days of yore.

I really like their 1917 cutlass and may, in fact, buy one in the future. I wish, however, that the guard was more traditionally styled than their "half basket" design.

The site says it's a "modern recreation of this classic fighting sword is as authentic as possible, it is virtually an exact copy of an original in the personal collection of Cold Steel President, Lynn C. Thompson". It's basic dimensions and shape seem to play that out and the real deal was blued and the handle painted black.

Historically speaking, there is no real record that I've ever been able to find of what kind of steel, or how that steel was made, was used in the making of the various cutlasses the Navy has commissioned. Given that contracts for cutlasses were often awarded to various swordmakers and were just as often ship-spacific back in the early days, there likely is no real consistency in steels used. ("Ship-specific" meaning cutlass contracts were often made in small lots for single ships instead of for the entire navy.)

Given their intended customer and end-use, I seriously doubt the vast majority of cutlasses were of the highest quality steel available. So long as the blade was tough and could take and edge relatively easily, it would have served it's purpose in the hands of the enlisted.


Now the naval officer's sword would have been a different matter. Whereas the hack-and-slash cutlass was a heavy blade by comparison, the officer's sword was much "daintier" (my own, admitedly biased, description) and would not have been as tolerant of inferior grades of steel in its construction. So very likely, these would have been made of a consistently higher quality of steel than the average cutlass.


Yes, I am eyeballing the Coldsteel 1917 cutlass for a possible future purchase. But that will be in spite of the entertaining videos I've seen. Unless, of course, I can find a more historically accurate 1917 cutlass. :neener:

Piraticalbob
October 2, 2013, 12:54 AM
You folks really don't understand the mindset of Lynn Thompson. He really is the successor, as far as knives are concerned, of P.T. Barnum. Barnum, first and foremost, wanted people to give him money. To make that happen he became the greatest showman on earth, as far as the 19th century is concerned. Barnum's museum, and later his circus, were there to provide money for Barnum, first and foremost, and provide entertainment for the public, second. Barnum provided something for everyone; he was as happy taking a penny from a boy as he was a dollar from a full-grown man; it all went to make him rich. If, occasionally, he advertised something that wasn't quite what it seemed, such as the Fabulous Egress, it was all done in good fun with the hope that the customer would enjoy the experience as much as Barnum did.

Thompson is in the same mold. He first and foremost wants your money. He started out selling little "urban" knives for self-defense, noted and jumped in on the Tanto craze just as it began and milked it for everything he was worth, and since has sold a variety of knives and other tools to people all over the world with no apology. He sells some high-quality knives to this very day, he sells affordable knives that a working man can buy, and he sells cheap knives for people who only value a low price. Something for everyone. He also sells toys for boys: the baseball bats, swords, axes, sjamboks, etc. He's a boy at heart himself and enjoys playing with these toys, and he thinks you will, too. If you want to laugh at him, that's fine also, as long as you're in the store/website looking around, and hopefully spending money. I've bought a few things from Cold Steel here and there; I buy a lot of knives from a lot of folks. It's all either serious tools or not-so-serious toys, and you pay your money and make your choice. If you need a little video of Thompson and his buddies to help you make up your mind, he provides them for almost everything on the website. Salesmanship. Showmanship. It earns him his bread.

Piraticalbob
October 2, 2013, 12:58 AM
FYI, the replica 1860 Ames Navy cutlass, with the full brass basket, is sold in both budget and deluxe versions by Atlanta Cutlery. You might want to give them a look.

RetiredUSNChief
October 2, 2013, 01:45 AM
You folks really don't understand the mindset of Lynn Thompson. He really is the successor, as far as knives are concerned, of P.T. Barnum. Barnum, first and foremost, wanted people to give him money. To make that happen he became the greatest showman on earth, as far as the 19th century is concerned. Barnum's museum, and later his circus, were there to provide money for Barnum, first and foremost, and provide entertainment for the public, second. Barnum provided something for everyone; he was as happy taking a penny from a boy as he was a dollar from a full-grown man; it all went to make him rich. If, occasionally, he advertised something that wasn't quite what it seemed, such as the Fabulous Egress, it was all done in good fun with the hope that the customer would enjoy the experience as much as Barnum did.

Thompson is in the same mold. He first and foremost wants your money. He started out selling little "urban" knives for self-defense, noted and jumped in on the Tanto craze just as it began and milked it for everything he was worth, and since has sold a variety of knives and other tools to people all over the world with no apology. He sells some high-quality knives to this very day, he sells affordable knives that a working man can buy, and he sells cheap knives for people who only value a low price. Something for everyone. He also sells toys for boys: the baseball bats, swords, axes, sjamboks, etc. He's a boy at heart himself and enjoys playing with these toys, and he thinks you will, too. If you want to laugh at him, that's fine also, as long as you're in the store/website looking around, and hopefully spending money. I've bought a few things from Cold Steel here and there; I buy a lot of knives from a lot of folks. It's all either serious tools or not-so-serious toys, and you pay your money and make your choice. If you need a little video of Thompson and his buddies to help you make up your mind, he provides them for almost everything on the website. Salesmanship. Showmanship. It earns him his bread.

Heh! No, I think many of us get just that very thing. It's his over-the-top tactics which have both garnered him quite a successful business AND quite a measure of eye-rolling at the same time.

:)

RetiredUSNChief
October 2, 2013, 01:59 AM
FYI, the replica 1860 Ames Navy cutlass, with the full brass basket, is sold in both budget and deluxe versions by Atlanta Cutlery. You might want to give them a look.

I've looked at theirs. Very nice looking.

When I retired, this is what I bought for myself:

http://www.militarysabers.com/navy-cpo-cutlass.html

I chose this for a variety of reasons, one of which was the fact that it was going to be used primarily as a display/keepsake instead of any real offensive purpose. Therefore the stainless steel suited me. And the craftmanship is truely outstanding on all points.

I've handled a variety of 1860 naval cutlasses by different sources, and many had shortcomings in various areas that really irked me.

Most have no edges, which suits me for display purposes. Many didn't come with a scabbard, or if they did it was a very cheaply constructed one. Often, there is no description of the steel used so no real functional comparison could be made from one to the other. Some came with blemishes on the blade already. Some had really fine looking blades, awesome for display.

I suspect, though I don't recall having actually handled one from Atlanta Cutlery, that theirs doesn't come with a scabbard based on their description. I've found that if it's not mentioned, it generally ain't there. Why anybody would sell just the cutlass with no scabbard, I've no idea.

hso
October 2, 2013, 09:02 AM
Before the videos the hype wasn't as ridiculous and CS generally produced respected products across the board. Expanding the product line to capture a broader spectrum of the market requires an expansion of quality offered as well as designs. To my knowledge, and I've been around this biz a while, CS has never offered utter junk that was unsafe like the low end companies have. The personality of the owner and the hype of the videos is what colors my and most people's impression of the company.

Deltaboy
October 3, 2013, 10:46 PM
I got the cold steel blackthorn cane and it been great. I got one of their bolo machetes that I not tested yet. I did sand down the rubber handle.

Zoogster
October 4, 2013, 09:14 AM
Some of thier products are decent.

Unfortunately they have decreased in number over time. Many of thier unique and highly durable products were replaced by a more affordable version or less expensive to produce version and the original that was decent no longer produced.

They hade some folders that had very strong locking mechanisms compared to many near that price range on the market, or hard to find on the market at all.
However most that had a design strong enough to make use of it had handles made of metal, which have predominantly been discontinued and replaced with plastic versions that will bend or warp under actual abuse or allow enough movement for the lock to fail if force is applied in a realistic way from a less than perfect angle to the lock.
The Rajah 1 for example was pretty beefy and like a folding machete that could take some abuse with a durable lock. If you used it as a knife and resisted using it as a hatchet it was more durable than most knives on the market and would last forever.
It cost a little more than the Cold Steel folder market seems to target. It was discontinued and they now have rajah 2 or 3 that are crap by comparison, handle does not support the blade with rigid metal and would give out, but more affordable to thier target audience.
Quantity over quality is the path the company has seemed to be heading, and they phase out the quality.


One thing that drew me to cold steel is they were offering large durable folders, and I am in a state with no folder length restrictions.
I originally ran across them because they were one of a limited number of places that offered relatively inexpensive swords that were actually manufactured to be used to hit things and not merely be decorative and liable to come apart if you used them. Some are not as refined as more expensive products, but can easily be a third of the price and still actual cutting and chopping swords.
However thier modern inventory is lacking many of the original folders and is largely cheap knives you could get elsewhere, or plastic and or less durable but easier to mass produce versions of what they had that were decent.
One thing that is still somewhat unique is thier aluminum ti-lite knives. Not great work knives with a thin blade profile, clearly has the look of a weapon and so not something you would want to get into trouble with either. The cheaper zytel handle versions though are garbage and wouldn't support the blade and lock under high levels of force.


The discontinued City Stick with a steel head (now they are aluminum) was a very durable cane, more so than many you would find, but had a regular cane look. It didn't look like something out of place or created as an intimidating weapon but could be used to break rocks if you wanted.
Like many of thier products, it went down the road of being replaced by a model bearing the same or a similar name but of lower quality.


The other thing they had going for them beyond the marketing was they brought many different types of products together and some were decent.
You may find them due to a knife and then run into a spear head, or a quality slambjock, sword, or one of thier canes. While normally you go specifically to a manufacture that has only one of such type of product.



You used to be able to weed through thier junk and find some gems. However the theme is they replace those with a junk version bearing a similar or same name and retire the original. Sometimes the new version gets a new name, or sometimes they just are sold as the old one but of inferior quality.
This means it is not a company I can rely on to replace or puchase a design a like down the road because it may be junk at that point, nor recommend them as a brand name to others.
And while I can appreciate the videos, I liked before they were made. They probably increases quantity of sales and are good for business, but if I actually wanted something for a weapon such over the top marketing is a liability. A liability that does not exist for some similar products.

hso
October 4, 2013, 09:34 AM
If they would stick to these sorts of videos instead of the over the top ones they'd have a more respect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=72e_mHtMTpA#t=14

Of course, if they'd also stop dumbing down good products they'd also maintain a better reputation as well. Wanna offer a dumbed down version of a sound product, keep the sound product and offer both, but don't replace the sound product with a lesser one that looks similar.

Sam Cade
October 4, 2013, 01:36 PM
The Laredo and Natchez Bowies have been good and in the current steel should be ok.
.

Any thoughts on the wire tang?


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h210/seshomauru2021/IMG_2808.jpg

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h210/seshomauru2021/IMG_2803.jpg

RetiredUSNChief
October 4, 2013, 02:23 PM
^^^^

I have some thoughts. They ain't nice ones, though.

I take it this came from the site in question? I'd complain deeply.

hso
October 4, 2013, 02:44 PM
Sam,

Compound tangs are found on a lot of vintage Bowies where the tang extends only partly into the grip and then is completed with other components running to the butt. It was common to see this in the height of the Bowie's popularity, especially from Sheffield. Look at Zalinsky's work on the Bowie. Quite surprising what all was done to run a "stub" through the handle to connect the butt. It also isn't uncommon on a hidden tang to see a bolt welded on running to a threaded on pommel.

Is it as "good" as a tang running the full length of the grip? Depends upon what the knife is used for. With todays manufacturing I see no reason for CS to use that cable technique because it would seem to take more steps to manufacture than using a piece of All-Thread welded to the tang and run to the butt. Since it isn't a camp knife and there appears to be 3 to 4 inches of tang, meh.

Tirod
October 5, 2013, 08:44 AM
Yes, the City Stick is a darn good offering. And a good example of what has been happening to the product lineup.

I don't watch videos, I do understand why some feel they need to market that way - the demographic of young impressionable males with spending money unfortunately reflects a severe lack of reading skills. If Lynn wants to sell to them, he has to use video. They can't read their way out of a paper sack.

Which is why on forums you see a predominance of negative opinion on him. Forums require a minimum eighth grade ability, video can be watched by a five year old and get the point across. Lynn is responding to the marketplace.

Have some of his offerings been decent, even high quality, yes, and that doesn't mean they have been expensive. He has put out some affordable, even downright cheap knives that simply work well. The Bushman came out long before the current trend in carbon steel camp knives like ESEE or Ontario.

But, being around longer than others doesn't mean he gets a pass on being a wannabe. Young wannabes become old wannabes - check the muscle car market. A lot of the owners couldn't or didn't have a 396 Chevelle in the day, but now they can and do. Doesn't make them street toughs who race on Friday night on Blacktop Lane. More like, fat old duffers sitting in lawn chairs at the local cruise in. I don't see Lynn stepping out of that, the videos actually go toward proving the point. He's ridiculed precisely for a lack of common sense restraint that professionals require of themselves.

Nonetheless, meat bicycle or not, he doesn't even approach the ridiculous level of hype others have. There may be some ridicule of Lynn, but need we mention Dark Ops?

As for the knife every soldier wants to own, consider the source. Young impressionable soldiers new to the trade spend money on things to embellish a non existent reputation, to gain stature in an organization that is highly energized by testosterone. The reality is burden that same young man with 85 pounds of web gear, equipment, and kevlar armor, and that big Tanto is the first item dropped back into the duffel bag. I did it, too. Don't take recommendations from newb beginners at face value. Look to the experienced pro's, and you quickly discover the reality - a simple folder like a SAK is the real battlefield knife. Lynn has nothing much to offer them. Hype trumps utility.

Lynn's not going away, we are approaching the time he needs to hand off to a working organization that can actually keep the place running. Entrepreneurs have problems setting up good administrations that can keep the vision going. It will be an interesting time to discover if he can leap that hurdle and have as his legacy an organization that stays in operation. Hopefully it won't go the way of Gerber. Then again, is it really that different? Older products with a storied past, new stuff with a poor reputation that caters to wannabes.

ID-shooting
October 5, 2013, 10:08 AM
"When I was in the USMC back in the early 90's, there was no combat knife more desired by the troops as a whole than the Cold Steel Tanto."

Such was the case on the Army side of things at the time, especially on Ft Riley with the Big Red One. The PX could not keep them him stock. I just had the standard Leatherman tool as my everyday knife.

I have been browsing for a longer field/machete/ammoless defense/rapid blind/concealment blade in the 24-30 inch range that lives on the side of my field pack. CS had been a consideration based on the post Desert Storm hype the CS got from the other troops on post. Reading this thread does not give me warm fuzzies over their product line.

Not being a knife guy I feel a bit lost. My current pile consists mainly of Kershaw, Buck and Schrade knives and kits of hunting intent with my old issue M7 and a Glock field knife (given to me by a Glock Rep) being exceptions.

Are they complete garbage or what?

hso
October 5, 2013, 10:19 AM
Are they complete garbage or what?

No, but you have to know which ones aren't to avoid the ones that are.

If you're looking for a big chopper, look at the threads Sam Cade has been putting up on them.

ugaarguy
October 5, 2013, 01:22 PM
They hade some folders that had very strong locking mechanisms compared to many near that price range on the market, or hard to find on the market at all.
However most that had a design strong enough to make use of it had handles made of metal, which have predominantly been discontinued and replaced with plastic versions that will bend or warp under actual abuse or allow enough movement for the lock to fail if force is applied in a realistic way from a less than perfect angle to the lock.
The Rajah 1 for example was pretty beefy and like a folding machete that could take some abuse with a durable lock. If you used it as a knife and resisted using it as a hatchet it was more durable than most knives on the market and would last forever.
It cost a little more than the Cold Steel folder market seems to target. It was discontinued and they now have rajah 2 or 3 that are crap by comparison, handle does not support the blade with rigid metal and would give out, but more affordable to thier target audience.
Quantity over quality is the path the company has seemed to be heading, and they phase out the quality.

Let's look at this objectively. I'll stick the folders since that's the area where I have more knowledge.

The Rajah II and III folders have thick Grivory handles. Grivory was developed as (and is used for) a metal replacement in high stress automotive applications. It's stonger than Zytel, and does not need metal liners. Benchmade makes the HK Soldat in Grivory without metal liners. Spyderco makes the Manix 2 lightweight from a similar automotive grade plastic without metal liners. The Rajah series does not need metal liners for strength. If you don't like it you have the right to that opinion, but I think an unproven assertion that the knife will "give out" is more than a bit over the top.

Al Mar Knives Eagle / Falcon / Hawk series knives are lockbacks made with AUS-8 blades and Micarta handles, and they don't have metal liners. Cold Steel's most similar products are the American Lawman, AK-47, and Recon 1 lines. Those knives also use AUS-8 steel for the blades. Their G10 handles are at least as strong as Micarta, and the Triad Lock is stronger than any standard back lock. They aren't as pretty as the Al Mar Micarta handle knives, but the Cold Steel G10 folders are half the price for comparable blade sizes.

Cold Steel's Voyagers have always been positioned as direct competition to Spyderco's Delica and Endura folders. The Delica and Endura currently have steel liners nested in their FRN handles, and have been upgraded to VG-10 blades. Cold Steel has stayed with AUS-8 blades, but they have Grivory handles with steel liners. Three inch blade Voyagers sell in the low $40 price range, and their 4" blade brothers bump up to the high $40s. In contrast, the Delica and Endura (with 2.9" and 3.75" blades, respectively) are priced from the mid $60s to high $60s / low $70s price ranges. Build quality is equivalent, and once again you get the stronger lock from Cold Steel.

I'm not even a Cold Steel fan. I currently own exactly two of their knives, while I own many Spydercos, many Benchmades, and several Bucks (amongst others). So, I think I'm very brand neutral.

mdauben
October 5, 2013, 02:40 PM
Not being a knife guy I feel a bit lost. My current pile consists mainly of Kershaw, Buck and Schrade
Kershaw, Buck snd the old Schrade USA brands are generslly considered quality production knives well worth their cost. Unfortunstly current Schrade knives are manufactured in China and are of more questionable quality



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 4

CA Raider
October 5, 2013, 10:41 PM
i've heard some people overseas say bad things about Cold Steel.

personally, I've dealt with them for many years. I have never been disappointed in a CS product, and no knife from them has ever let me down. as far as alloys go - if you buy lower prices you will get cheaper alloys. that is true anywhere. but their basic Carbon V is a pretty good steel that holds a good edge.

i always trust Lynn Thompson to make a sturdy robust product. CS knives won't let you down - mine haven't failed in any way. The only drawback is that the designs tend to be a bit heavy ... so evaluate that if it is a concern. but it's generally only a factor on the large blades & swords.

overall i am very positive about Cold Steel and their customer service has been first class.

cheers,
CA R

Sam1911
October 6, 2013, 04:28 PM
but their basic Carbon V is a pretty good steel that holds a good edge.

As hso said: there is no such thing!

There is no "their carbon 5 steel" steel. CS used several different steels as "carbon 5" over the years based on price and final product performance. At one time it was CV, at others something else. By using a proprietary name they avoid telling you what it actually is and alarming customers when they change it.

So whatever steel they used for your knife/knives worked well for you but it may just be 1095 for all you really know.

zignal_zero
October 6, 2013, 05:52 PM
As previously stated - cold steel does not MAKE knives, they MAKE videos and catalogs. So the "quality" of a CS knife depends entirely of WHO made it for them. I have limited experience with their Chinese stuff. However the older Japanese made Tantos were quite nice and the Carbon V knives (made by Camillus who is no longer around) were absolute TANKS. If you get a chance to buy a Recon Tanto that says "USA" and "Carbon V" or an SRK marked the same way, do not pass it up :)

hillbilly
October 6, 2013, 06:31 PM
hso wrote "CAS, Chiness, and Kris have products that cut as well or better than CS at the same or even lower price. What CS does is market reasonably well to the public."

Googling around, I found Kris Cutlery.

Who are "Chiness" and "CAS?"

I'm looking for some knives and would like to check out their product lines.

Thanks!

Sam Cade
October 6, 2013, 07:12 PM
Who are "Chiness" and "CAS?"

CAS Iberia

http://casiberia.com/

Cheness

http://www.chenessinc.com/

Rob0321
October 6, 2013, 07:58 PM
I got their Hatamoto folder as a gift a few years back. It is massive for a pocket knife but seems very well made. I have actually never used it as I carry an Emerson CQC-8 for work or a Spyderco Harpy for dress up occasions. The Hatamoto is just too darn big.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y13/Rupert999/P5240004.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/Rupert999/media/P5240004.jpg.html)

CA Raider
October 7, 2013, 10:48 PM
"There is no "their carbon 5 steel" steel. CS used several different steels as "carbon 5" over the years based on price and final product performance. At one time it was CV, at others something else. By using a proprietary name they avoid telling you what it actually is and alarming customers when they change it. "

That may be true - but I don't have a problem with that.
Lynn Thompson, in my experience, is a straight-up guy.
He doesn't play games with his products, and he doesn't screw over his customers. I'm not saying anyone else does, either.

It's pretty logical that if a knife company stays in business a long time, they may need to change suppliers. When that happens, subtle differences in an alloy composition could take place. So they could have changed "Carbon V" a bit. But the point is that Lynn doesn't throw products on the market - he tests them to death. All I can tell you is that the Carbon V blades I've had have been excellent.

I haven't compared Carbon V to 1095. To be honest, I actually like 1095 and I've got nothing against it at all. I don't think Carbon V is identical - I suspect Lynn and the folks at CS have probably alloyed something else into the mix. And once they have established a formula they think works pretty well, I would think they would stick it with it where practical.

People tend to give CS a hard time because their suppliers and subcontractors are overseas, or some of their baldes are cheaper alloys (e.g. ATS). But really that is purely a function of economics. Americans just are not willing to spend the $$ to buy good blades. So from a marketing perspective, folks like CS have got no choice but to get things made in China. The essential thing is that they are designing and thoroughly testing all their products. That is their important contribution. People who want to spend a lot of money on good blades can buy high-quality alloys from CS. I've got one "San Mai" blade from them, and really wish I could afford to own more.

I'm not against other knife manufacturers. I own knives from other people - and they are good blades too.
But everyone is subject to the same painful laws of economics, that's all.

CA R

RetiredUSNChief
October 8, 2013, 12:35 AM
"There is no "their carbon 5 steel" steel. CS used several different steels as "carbon 5" over the years based on price and final product performance. At one time it was CV, at others something else. By using a proprietary name they avoid telling you what it actually is and alarming customers when they change it. "

That may be true - but I don't have a problem with that.
Lynn Thompson, in my experience, is a straight-up guy.
He doesn't play games with his products, and he doesn't screw over his customers. I'm not saying anyone else does, either.

It's pretty logical that if a knife company stays in business a long time, they may need to change suppliers. When that happens, subtle differences in an alloy composition could take place. So they could have changed "Carbon V" a bit. But the point is that Lynn doesn't throw products on the market - he tests them to death. All I can tell you is that the Carbon V blades I've had have been excellent.

I haven't compared Carbon V to 1095. To be honest, I actually like 1095 and I've got nothing against it at all. I don't think Carbon V is identical - I suspect Lynn and the folks at CS have probably alloyed something else into the mix. And once they have established a formula they think works pretty well, I would think they would stick it with it where practical.

People tend to give CS a hard time because their suppliers and subcontractors are overseas, or some of their baldes are cheaper alloys (e.g. ATS). But really that is purely a function of economics. Americans just are not willing to spend the $$ to buy good blades. So from a marketing perspective, folks like CS have got no choice but to get things made in China. The essential thing is that they are designing and thoroughly testing all their products. That is their important contribution. People who want to spend a lot of money on good blades can buy high-quality alloys from CS. I've got one "San Mai" blade from them, and really wish I could afford to own more.

I'm not against other knife manufacturers. I own knives from other people - and they are good blades too.
But everyone is subject to the same painful laws of economics, that's all.

CA R

Actually, he does play games with his products. One has only to watch some of his own videos to see this. But that's not bad, in and of itself: it's marketing strategy, at its bottom line.

I DO find SOME of his videos to be misleading. Whether anybody wants to call them "dishonest", I'll leave that up to them. Myself, I would prefer some of his videos to be more straight-up than they appear to be.

By the testimony of many here, it would appear that there ARE decent CS products to be had, so at the very least Lynn cannot be said to be "all bad". On the flip side of the coin, however, some have apparently ended up with a bad apple or two from CS.


"People tend to give CS a hard time because their suppliers and subcontractors are overseas, or some of their baldes are cheaper alloys (e.g. ATS). But really that is purely a function of economics."

Respectfully, I disagree with this. Quality is a function of standards, not economics. If standards are set forth for a contractor, it doesn't matter who the contractor is or where they are: they're responsible for producing the material or product to the standards agreed upon. If those standards are low, or not clearly defined, then the contractor has more leeway in what materials to use and how to produce the product.

If one changes the standards in order to affect the economics, then the same rule applies: the contractor is obligated to produce the material and product to the standards agreed upon.

The onus for the quality therefore lies with the originator...in this case, CS. Not the contractors they do business with. If the various contractors use different steels and CS accepts this, then that's because CS has said that it's OK.

Madcap_Magician
October 8, 2013, 09:22 AM
Lynn Thompson aside, Cold Steel is solely a promotion an advertising company. The quality of the products they sell was always determined by who made them. A Camillus-made Cold Steel knife is perfectly respectable (as long as you didn't pay too much for it), but I have always thought there are both better-quality knives and better value knives at any of the price points Cold Steel has.

The only thing they do have that's worthwhile is that they have a truly amazing variety of random things. Want a bush knife that's a spear point as well? A sjambok? A waxwood cane? A lot of those things were hard to find before Cold Steel started bringing them out, so I give them a little credit for that.

Of course, I have to take that credit back for their blatant willingness to steal other people's designs and pass them off as originals, but they're not the only cutlery company or custom maker who does that, I guess.

hso
October 8, 2013, 10:05 AM
Lynn Thompson, in my experience, is a straight-up guy.

Not that I disagree with you, but what personal experience do you have with Mr. Thompson?


He doesn't play games with his products, and he doesn't screw over his customers.

I agree with that, except where the dealer and distributor are considered "customers". They had a very annoying practice in years passed of selling product themselves at shows below what their commercial customers could sell it for and that earned them some hard feelings. I haven't seen them do this at the Blade Show for many years so the sore feelings over that practice seems to have passed as well.

It's pretty logical that if a knife company stays in business a long time, they may need to change suppliers. When that happens, subtle differences in an alloy composition could take place.

1095 is 1095, ATS-34 is ATS-34, 154-CM is 154-CM, 440C is 440C. There's no subtle difference in alloys with specs to industry standards established by organizations like AMS, ASTM, AISI, ASME, Federal, Mil and SAE. A new alloy is simply different from a different alloy, but there's nothing different about the specs of known alloys designated for them by those organizations. Where it gets interesting is when a non-standard steel is developed (more and more today) and the specs for the steel are not released (and a clever name is used for it). See AG Russell's chart for info (http://www.agrussell.com/Steel_Guide/a/73/). The chief engineer for KaBar, Paul Tsujimoto, worked with the steels back them and summarizes Carbon V's history as - mid 1980s, Carbon V was originally 1095CV/0170-06/50100B, early 1990s, Carbon V started out as 1095CV/0170-06/50100B but while at the CS location in Ontario CA, Dan Maragni removed the small amount of nickel from the formula, ~1995, Carbon V stayed 0170-06 minus the nickel.
After that I've not seen anything authoritative enough to cite.


All I can tell you is that the Carbon V blades I've had have been excellent.

That's generally been my experience, but that doesn't always extend to overall product changes. "Carbon V" is supposed to have been also known as CV (which was 0170-6 and THAT was a 1095 modified with some Ni, Cr, and Mo by Shannon as a cutlery steel) up to the late 80's and then the steel changes because Shannon is gone and then reappears when CV is brought back briefly and then changes again as Camillus dies. Also remember that a blade is more than the steel. Heat treat and edge geometry along with the steel are critical in making a blade more the sum of the parts.

I suspect Lynn and the folks at CS have probably alloyed something else into the mix. And once they have established a formula they think works pretty well, I would think they would stick it with it where practical.

I agree with the second part of that. CS never switched the steel for "Carbon V" unless there was a very good reason (e.g. Camillus going out of business, Shannon Steel going out of business in 1988).

I disagree with the first part because CS doesn't make steel (no major knife company does) and they don't have steel made for them (only a very few may) and they don't manufacture the blades themselves. They contract all of that to have their designs made for them. There's no tinkering with alloys done at CS. That's neither good nor bad because they're trying to bring a product to the consumer at a price that sells.

Madcap_Magician
October 8, 2013, 05:24 PM
Come to think of it, I had one of those Cold Steel kukris, the $20 one, not the $200 one.

The steel appeared to be rough-finished, parkerized carbon steel. By 'rough' I mean the blade bevel appeared rough cut, like tree bark or 100-grit sandpaper. There were visible rough machining marks all over it. The bevels were unevenly ground, assuming they were not simply cut, and the edge started out rolled with small bits of steel sticking out at different angles.

I had the same complaint about the handle, sharp, but not terribly grippy. Had a good shape, though.

I am not sure if mine was ever heat treated. I bought it for $20, but a Tramontina or Ontario machete would have been a better deal. I actually have an Ontario milsurp machete, and the handle is cracked, but the blade itself is fantastic.

Sam Cade
October 8, 2013, 09:03 PM
The steel appeared to be rough-finished, parkerized carbon steel. By 'rough' I mean the blade bevel appeared rough cut, like tree bark or 100-grit sandpaper. There were visible rough machining marks all over it. The bevels were unevenly ground, assuming they were not simply cut, and the edge started out rolled with small bits of steel sticking out at different angles.
.

Yup. That is all perfectly normal and acceptable for a machete.

Cold Steel/Lasher is even a bit ahead of the curve for the grind in that the bevels will usually meet.

http://www.shootingreviews.com/machetes-and-you-a-short-introduction-for-the-novice-user/

SlamFire1
October 9, 2013, 06:42 PM
To make this perfectly clear:

The purpose of this thread is to examine Cold Steel products qualitatively without letting the advertising hyperbole color our opinions, not to poke fun at Lynn Thompson.

Oh really?

I wouldn't consider any knife they make.

This is easily done since Cold Steel has no native manufacturing capability and is just a brand applied to products manufactured by contractors

Hey, I read similiar garbage and more on Bladeforums. Cold Steel hate threads that went a 1000 posts and more. Haters on Badforums have developed quite a number of bogus tenants they use to bash Cold Steel. The one you posted is just one of many, and I am certain you did not come up with it by yourself. Why don’t you take your Badforums bashing of Cold Steel back over to Badforums?

Isn’t anyone overseeing the moderators here?

Sam1911
October 9, 2013, 06:52 PM
Slamfire, I'm very intrigued! What experience do you have with Cold Steel's manufacturing capacity? Have you been on plant tours or met their factory workers? That would be really cool to hear about!

Sam Cade
October 9, 2013, 07:56 PM
Oh really?


Yup.



There are good useful knives and tools in the Cold Steel catalog.




Isn’t anyone overseeing the moderators here?

You a Jim Croce fan?


In any case, it isn't wise to make brand loyalty a part of ones self identity.

Or, to paraphrase Tyler Durden, " You are not your knife." ;)

lobo9er
October 9, 2013, 09:40 PM
Quote:
I'm not sure theres much debate that cold steel represents themselves as the badest most hardcore knife you can buy
Well, sure. Why wouldn't they?

Right I agree, why wouldn't they? And why wouldn't I argue they are not if that was my opinion? And it is. And I'd say its just about a factual statement they are not the baddest toughest knife manufacturer in the biz. No matter the knife in their catalog I believe there is a better option by another manufacture many made in America.

SlamFire1, I'm not sure those statements you pointed out are "garbage". Companies earn their reputations sometimes.

I dunno can go around and around. Either you like them or you don't I guess. Their youtube videos sells it for you or you think it makes them look ridiculous.

Either way as usual I enjoy the conversation.

AKElroy
October 9, 2013, 10:57 PM
You folks are far more knowledgeable than me on this stuff, but I do think I can judge quality. Some of the stuff they make looks gimaky and cheesy ( the AK 47 comes to mind) but the Lawman is built like a tank. I find it a very durable, hard use knife. The belt clip could pull a car without bending,and I always seem to have these things break and/or work lose on other knives.

Can we start on SOG next? Aren't they kind of in the same category? I have a Vulcan Tanto with a San Mai laminated blade that is exceptional( but for the weak belt clip. )

Sam Cade
October 9, 2013, 11:05 PM
Can we start on SOG next?

Start a new thread if you want to discuss SOG products.

edit: I say that with a smile and absence of grump.

If you have a good idea for a thread, don't hesitate to start one. This forum is a community creation and depends on YOU guys to make it live.

Morgo
October 10, 2013, 12:40 AM
I don't mind Cold Steel gear, I think they make some good stuff, mainly their San Mai III gear, as well as some cheap junk. Its like all things if your only spending a few dollars on the item don't expect awesome quality.

I have the Trailmaster in San Mai III and one of their older Japanese made small tantos.

I also had this one arrive last week.

http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp4/brycemorgan452/Knives/_MG_6754_zps5dde6317.jpg (http://s392.photobucket.com/user/brycemorgan452/media/Knives/_MG_6754_zps5dde6317.jpg.html)

For no other reason than I've always like the Tai Pan.

My go to knives that actually get used are Esee's :)

RetiredUSNChief
October 10, 2013, 02:07 AM
^^^^

I like the Tai Pan, too! Vaguely reminds me of my Gerber Mark II, which I've had since the early 80's.

Darn sight more expensive than my Gerber was, though. Holy cow! Five hundred bones!

MICHAEL T
October 13, 2013, 12:58 AM
Why don't other knife company's answer Lynn Thompsons Challenge . He has on videos dared them to prove their knife lock can stand up to his test or Cut like his knives. I don't see any one answering for a 1 on 1 show down . I have several CS knives dating back to early 90's to present times. That all have served me well . I have met Lynn several times at NRA conventions since I work a booth doing the conventions and always try to drop buy for a look and a chat. . He can be sometimes a little over bearing but. He believes in what he sells. I would like to see him and another company go head to head . Use knives of comparable model . I go no where with out my XL voyager clipped to pocket.

Lets see who tactical folder has strongest lock , Will cut the best Make fun of his videos but she me you brand equal or better at same task. In same price range.

hso
October 13, 2013, 03:49 PM
No company actually cares to do this and there's no real benefit to actually screwing up a great marketing strategy. There are plenty of enthusiasts these days to post youtubers anyway and that just constitutes free advertising.

Sam Cade
October 14, 2013, 11:20 AM
I had to do A bit of excision this thread.
Focus on the knives people.

RetiredUSNChief
October 14, 2013, 09:53 PM
Why don't other knife company's answer Lynn Thompsons Challenge . He has on videos dared them to prove their knife lock can stand up to his test or Cut like his knives. I don't see any one answering for a 1 on 1 show down . I have several CS knives dating back to early 90's to present times. That all have served me well . I have met Lynn several times at NRA conventions since I work a booth doing the conventions and always try to drop buy for a look and a chat. . He can be sometimes a little over bearing but. He believes in what he sells. I would like to see him and another company go head to head . Use knives of comparable model . I go no where with out my XL voyager clipped to pocket.

Lets see who tactical folder has strongest lock , Will cut the best Make fun of his videos but she me you brand equal or better at same task. In same price range.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "it's because there aren't really any other companies out there that market the way Cold Steel does and on a level that Cold Steel does."

There are a number of companies that produce and market their own knives. This is a different level of production and marketing that what Lynn does. For example, Gerber, SOG, Ontario, etc. They have a market niche all their own and they make their own knives...they don't farm them out to other companies to make from whatever steel is on hand. These types of companies don't have anything to prove by sticking their blades through the hoods of cars, slicing meat-cycles, or putting out faux combat videos.

And then there are the novelty knife shops. They sell a wide variety of essentially non-functional replicas, which aren't meant to be used as real swords and the like. These types of companies don't produce meat-cycle slaughtering weapons, so they don't have any need to advertise as such.

Cold Steel seems to have melded the two together...they provide a variety of edged weapons that are fully functional and Lynn markets the bejeebers out of them. Lynn (and company) may design some, but they don't actually make them on a production line.

CA Raider
October 15, 2013, 12:07 AM
"Cold Steel seems to have melded the two together...they provide a variety of edged weapons that are fully functional and Lynn markets the bejeebers out of them"

yeah probably true. I had not really thought about it before - but Lynn Thompson's greatest contribution may be his marketing genius. He has managed to keep getting publicity and getting his fair share of attention ... even though knives have been in the world a very long time. I personally think that Lynn Thompson is some kind of frustrated medieval knight. He was just unlucky to be born in the wrong century, that's all. Everything he designs is tough as nails, heavy as an anvil, and could be used to batter down the walls of a castle. Hahahahaha!!!

CA R

ugaarguy
October 15, 2013, 12:52 AM
Gerber, SOG, Ontario, etc. They have a market niche all their own and they make their own knives...they don't farm them out to other companies to make from whatever steel is on hand.
Umm, no. I almost threw up in my mouth when I read you mentioning SOG and Gerber in the same sentence as Ontario.

Ontario makes all of their US made stuff, and has a very small percentage of their knives (a few folder lines) made overseas. They still have contracts to supply the US Military with several types of knives. They actually make really good stuff that's moderately priced.

SOG doesn't have their own manufacturing capability at all. Their stuff is made in Japan, Taiwan, and China.

Gerber :barf: . They've been owned by Fiskars for years. Fiskars has kept a small amount products made in Oregon so they can try to get military contracts. They've farmed out almost everything else with the Gerber name on it to the lowest bidder in China for manufacture. Have you seen the unsafe, utter garbage that is the Gerber Bear Grylls line?

Cold Steel doesn't let their contracted manufacturers use "whatever steel is on hand". Cold Steel actually specifies the alloy on all of their stainless steel blades. Their so-called "Carbon V" has changed over the years but they're consistent within time periods. I wish they were as transparent on their carbon steel alloys as they are on their stainless steel alloys. Say what you want about their marketing or their style, but Cold Steel doesn't put out unsafe junk products. Some of their stuff is gimmicky and of limited utility, but it's at least safe and sturdy.

hso
October 15, 2013, 09:25 AM
Before anyone leaps to the conclusion that major knife brands allow their suppliers to use whatever materials they want, that doesn't happen without the supplier violating the terms of their contract (not that it doesn't happen, but that the brand doesn't permit it). The materials and construction and design specifications are provided by the knife company and the suppliers are obligated to follow those specs.

OTOH, there are plenty of low, and I mean loooww, end companies that don't care what the supplier uses as long as it doesn't rust, but the major manufacturers (and anyone with a reputation in the industry for any quality as all to protect) do.

There are instances where a supplier will make a change for easier manufacture and then not make the company fully aware, if at all, of that change or they'll skip some QA checks or similar failures and you'll see off locks, inadequate heat treats, substituted "equivalent" materials resulting in poorer longevity and this will get caught and resolved (usually between the supplier and company or the supplier is replaced).


That said, when you see the sort of bad design elements from Gerber that have come out lately, and been recalled, you start to wonder what has gone wrong in their design and QC departments.

Companies that stay on top of their manufacturing partners put the extra effort in to verify the quality of the product before a thousand ship with the same defect. Those that don't suffer the consequences.

RetiredUSNChief
October 15, 2013, 07:32 PM
Umm, no. I almost threw up in my mouth when I read you mentioning SOG and Gerber in the same sentence as Ontario.

Ontario makes all of their US made stuff, and has a very small percentage of their knives (a few folder lines) made overseas. They still have contracts to supply the US Military with several types of knives. They actually make really good stuff that's moderately priced.

SOG doesn't have their own manufacturing capability at all. Their stuff is made in Japan, Taiwan, and China.

Gerber :barf: . They've been owned by Fiskars for years. Fiskars has kept a small amount products made in Oregon so they can try to get military contracts. They've farmed out almost everything else with the Gerber name on it to the lowest bidder in China for manufacture. Have you seen the unsafe, utter garbage that is the Gerber Bear Grylls line?

Cold Steel doesn't let their contracted manufacturers use "whatever steel is on hand". Cold Steel actually specifies the alloy on all of their stainless steel blades. Their so-called "Carbon V" has changed over the years but they're consistent within time periods. I wish they were as transparent on their carbon steel alloys as they are on their stainless steel alloys. Say what you want about their marketing or their style, but Cold Steel doesn't put out unsafe junk products. Some of their stuff is gimmicky and of limited utility, but it's at least safe and sturdy.

I stand corrected!

;)

JohnKSa
October 16, 2013, 12:48 PM
I've always had pretty good luck with Cold Steel products. That said, I haven't gotten into their more esoteric/exotic products and have stuck with their basic folding knives. The prices aren't out of line for what I get and I've not had performance issues once they stopped using plastic pocket clips.

Their "testing" videos are over the top, but they do contain some useful information amongst the hype.

Lone Star
October 18, 2013, 05:56 PM
I think some Cold Steel products are good, but really prefer Fallkniven. They're more nicely made and I prefer the styling differences in the Swedish brand in similar models.

Fallkniven uses VG-10 as the core steel in their laminated blades.

Rather than rely on hyperbole or drama in videos, they have their knives tested by the Technical University of Lulea (Sweden) and passing severe trials by both Swedish and US military examiners.

Their F-1 model is the standard survival knife for Royal Swedish Air Force pilots and it and the S-1 passed grueling trials to receive approval for purchase with unit funds for USAF and Naval aviation crews. They have a national stock number to facilitate ordering. The A-1 model also passed tests, but is too large for the sheath on US survival vests. It is quite popular with Norwegian Marines, who have also used the A-2 in Afghanistan.

Also, the original SOG SEAL 2000 knife passed severe US Navy trials before being bought for Naval special warfare personnel. I read Steven Dick's report on that in National Knife Magazine. I was impressed. That design has since been changed. I don't like the looks of the present one,but it may be just as strong. That knife has a very heavy tang inside the synthetic handle. The original one would be among my top choices in a dive knife. My other dive knife choice is the Randall Model 16.

I'd prefer these other knives to anything that Cold Steel makes. Just PART of that decision rests with Cold Steel's marketing methods. I'd actually be embarrassed to carry a Cold Steel, in view of their image. But overall quality and balance factors also cause me to prefer those other brands.

BTW, I insist on high carbon stainless blades. The better ones do take and hold a good edge and are quite tough.

Sam Cade
October 18, 2013, 07:12 PM
I think some Cold Steel products are good, but really prefer Fallkniven. They're more nicely made and I prefer the styling differences in the Swedish brand in similar models.

Fällkniven are pretty decent knives.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183771&d=1368122667

Don't much care for the grip.

There is much Cold Steel DNA in the Fällknivens but they are superior materially these days.

deputy tom
October 21, 2013, 09:33 PM
I like Coldsteel knives but won't pay retail for them. YMMV. tom.

MICHAEL T
October 21, 2013, 10:44 PM
I agree I won't pay his MSRP either.

ugaarguy
October 23, 2013, 12:12 PM
I won't pay MSRP for any knife, CS or other brand. There are too many reputable retailers with great pricing.

Deltaboy
October 27, 2013, 10:23 PM
I hit Amazon or Ebay I never pay retail.

If you enjoyed reading about "Cold Steel: Hyperbole vs. Reality" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!