Cold Steel Recon 1 – Second Batch – Back In Black.

Cold Steel Recon 1 2011 Version
I always loved the way Lynn Thomson goes boldly when no other CEO as gone before. The Cold Steel production gave us carbon steel modern folders (Pocket Bushmane and ven the Archangel balisong series) and great choppers. Even the chance to own, try and understand weapons from many continent and many era.
I always enjoy the Proof videos and this company walks the walk and cuts the meat.

Triadlocks folders are IMHO a great improvement in lockback mechanism. The positive force of impact are no more entierly taken by the lock bar but mainly by a pin, like on frame lock or liner lock. And also, there is no more vertical play when cutting like on previous incarnation of that lock. Spyderco has also refined their new backlock mechanism, making it stronger and preventing that vertical play.

Last year, I wanted to try one of those new Cold Steel Recon 1. As I’m not a huge fan of Tantos blade, it was also the occasion to own again a Cold Steel Tanto as they were the first company back in the 80’s to advert this kind of shape.
First thing first. The knife price is not going to ruin you. So you buy a solid tool destined to be used.
The word Taiwan on it made me smile as all the productions knives I know (from the Spyderco Sage, Gayle Bradley, Bushcrafters to Le Pointu) manufacturated in that country are top notch in quality control. (Also the man who introduced me to Chris Reeve Sebenza is a Taiwanese collector, my friend Huan Shang “Hunter” Hsu !)

Second thing I made is sand the G10 handle. Oh you got plenty of thick G10 with a very ergonomic result. This G10 could ruin a trouser in 10 minutes. Once sanded it was perfect but the very short clip was also very tight. So again this was an adjustement easily done. ( Short high clip means: once it’s clipped it disappears completly !)
The heavy AUS8 blade can be open with flick of the wrist and you need some strenght in your hand to disengage the lock. You need to push the trigger release almost one centimeter to unlock the blade and the spring is very strong too.

Looking at the black blade, you can notice the knife got a little smooth belly on its primary edge. Without any ceramic from my Sharpmaker I was able to keep it razor sharp only using it on wood. AUS8 is easy on leather and bothe edge have been kept razor sharp.
Also when you cut in a plate only the corner between the primary and secondary edge (tanto point) is in contact with the ceramic: you cannot dull the knife just by eating with it.
My Tanto Recon has been used in the wood as a light chopping tool. It works great as you can hold its long handle by the back to have more momentum. It was a plesure to use and a very precise tool for any kind of wood cuts. The handle is very confortable and instinctively you choke it up to add more strenght. I also was able to baton with it (with its lock disengaged). But it was light batonning. I did not want to ruin it cause the more I used it, the more I enjoyed it !

This knife is really made to be a hard used folder. Perfect for a LEO, a soldier or someone who need a strong big knife. This is not a sheeple friendly knife. But its performance goes beyond my expectation, so it always find a place with me as a travelling knife of back up tool in my bag or in my car. Whe you hold the Tanto recon 1, it screams to be used hard. I’m so impressed with it that I will try to review soon one of Cold Steel Über Folding knifes (new Voyagers or Espada).
Huge folders got bad reputation but they are great travelling companions and the big tanto blade of the Recon 1 can be used for a lot of application and easily kept sharp.
Oh and the black Teflon coating is holding well. I got some scratches on the back of the blade after one year of use. Perharps I was not enough hard with that knife.

One last thing, it’s totally ambidextrious and a second clip is provided in its box. Nice touch !

Really the Cold Steel recon 1 in its second incarnation with the Triadlock is really a great big tool, very well thought and enginereed.I love mine. Since the blade is coated I would love to see 1095 blade used instead of AUS8. But so far that classic stainless steel is well heat treated


11 thoughts on “Cold Steel Recon 1 – Second Batch – Back In Black.”

  1. Bonsoir Nemo,
    Cin cin! 🙂
    Interesting review! Cold Steel is coming out with many interesting design based on the try-ad lock. I have read a lot of positive comment on it before and here you confirm it with your experiences. Have you also thrown this one?


  2. Hi JD 😀
    No I did not throw this one, I don’ think the tanto will stick well in a wooden board.
    Eventually I have use it hard in a very conventionnal way. I wanted to test it on chopping small branches.
    The tanto Blade bring weight and momentum till the point, so the knife can be used for light chopping.
    The almost straight edge makes a lote of flying wooden chips.
    It’s a very easy to use and versatile tool. I would not believe a tanto blade would serve me ‘that’ good.
    I was so disappointel by the Emerson made by Benchmade (BM975SBT) I won back in the 90’s. It looks like a Batknife but was not ergonomic nor beautiful once open. The Recon 1 got a gorgeous blade. It’s very easy to keep it razop sharp too.
    So in the woods, this is really a great travelling companion. Giving a lot of control to you cut with a high hollow ground relatively long thin blade (3mm?).
    I can not pronounce how it could be usefull as a hunting knife (no belly!) but as wood cutter, it works great thanks to its very secure and confortable thick G10 handle. Again sanding it was mandatory but then, after, you got a great folding tool with some substantial heft. Compact when closed and very impressive while open.


  3. Ciao Nemo!
    Perhaps if you throw hard enough 😉
    Your remark about cutting wood with this tanto shape has made me think of the carver in the following YouTube film: He uses a tanto like knife to make his art.
    More and more I think that as long as a knife has a good (thin) geometry, is sharp, and has a handle that doesn’t bite you, it can be a useful tool. All the rest is mostly personal taste. Which probably explains why there are so many different knife designs…


  4. HI i DO NOT know what knive to get of the recon 1 series. It really doesn’t matter what i i would use it for, like cutting things like rope and random stuff maybe hunt with it and the ak 47 looks good to but i don’t know one to pick for the best out of the recon 1 series and the ak47? thanks. Logan


    1. Hi Logan. It would be wise to choose a plain edge clip bowie Recon 1. Great belly for an hunting knife ! 🙂
      The Tanto version is a great wood companion but it would be clumsy skinning with it.
      Cheers Nemo


      1. ok but i want to see witch ones best out of the reacon serises and the ak 47??? cuz im 14 and iand i dont have a enough money to buy 2


  5. Hi Nemo, just question on little bit different topic – sharpening – would you do please some article about sharpening your knives? 😀 what do you use for knife sharpening, how do you sharpen your knives… I can keep my knives sharp but not scary sharp – they can shave but have problem with cutting cigarette papers without tearing – no burr I think but still they don´t stay so long sharp and can´t get them scary edge – opinel steels, vg10… best results just with AUS-8 and douk douk. Sorry for bothering, it´s just little request. Thank you very much for reply in advance… Pavel


    1. Not agree. After some breaking in, the knife is much easy to open and to close.
      Less easier than a Spyderco Millie but much easier than my CS Lone Star Hunter.
      This one is not a one-handed folding knife. 🙂


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