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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. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    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.
     
  2. CA Raider

    CA Raider Member

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    "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
     
  3. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I stand corrected!

    ;)
     
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    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.
     
  7. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Fällkniven are pretty decent knives.
    [​IMG]

    Don't much care for the grip.

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

    deputy tom Member

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    I like Coldsteel knives but won't pay retail for them. YMMV. tom.
     
  10. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I agree I won't pay his MSRP either.
     
  11. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    I won't pay MSRP for any knife, CS or other brand. There are too many reputable retailers with great pricing.
     
  12. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    I hit Amazon or Ebay I never pay retail.
     
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