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Cold Steel: Hyperbole vs. Reality

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Sam Cade, Oct 1, 2013.

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  1. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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

    :D
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Just watching the video is comedy enough for me.
     
  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Lynn Thompson is a character.

    [​IMG]

    ..and he totally rocks his shorts.
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  4. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    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. ;)
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    But...but...two words: Meat Bicycle

     
  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
  7. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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

    desidog Member

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    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.
     
  9. rooter

    rooter member

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    Cold Steel seems to touch three spectrums: extremely expensive, extremely poor quality, or extremely absurd. I wouldn't consider any knife they make.
     
  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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-Toleranc...380658855&sr=8-5&keywords=0300+zero+tolerance
     
  11. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    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?
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.
     
  13. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny Member

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    Hey, come on, he had a MEAT BICYCLE!

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

    Valkman Member

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    Never owned one, won't own one. Too many good knives out there to consider CS.
     
  15. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    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.
     
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    No, you got "colo" steel, that's Italian for drip, drain, strain.

    <...ahem...>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2013
  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  18. craftsman

    craftsman Member

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    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" !
     
  19. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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

    To wit:

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

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.


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

    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  21. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    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.
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  23. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    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.
     
  24. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    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.
     
  25. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    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.
     
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