Tag Archives: Cold Steel

Cold Steel Recon 1 XL — O’ Brother where art thou ?

Everything I could have said about that knife is already in my XL Voyager Review here !

Really, you should start by that post.

This Recon 1 XL version is just proposing some real great upgrades.
Compared to the Recon 1 normal version: this is a full flat ground bowie blade when the other version is hollow ground.

The DLC coating is really really nice and not easily scratched like the goo paint used before.

The CTS XHP made by Carpenter is a wonderful alloy I have had first discovered on the Spyderco Techno. But here you got 5,5 inches of steel !!

G10 is more luxurious than Grivory and it’s easily sanded to your preferences.
My Recon 1 XL could have been used as a wood file as the G10 was too grippy for my taste. G10 is so solid, you can make blades in G10, it doesn’t need any liners. The result is a very light package. (My Voyager XL got aluminium liners).


Sanded the G10 turns white but is cleaned back under tap water.
(Don’t breath that dust !!!)

The clip is not useable. anyway clipping such a knife is not the easiest way to carry it.
It disappear perfectly in a deep pocket or in my case in my travel bag.
I would be able to EDC my K2 but this voyager asked for a vest or a bag.

The detent is smooth. even a little too smooth to my taste. But nothing to worry about. The knife can be open with a gentle flick of the wrist as the heft and momentum is important with such a blade.

Again, like all CS blade I have chosen and which are manufactured in Taiwan: the thin edge is remarquable. That monster blade slits plastic, wood and flesh with an uncanny ease. There is a lot of power in the cuts. And all is served with their Triadlock which is the Mega lock by excellence. There is zero play in any direction.
The knife is fantastic, this is a dream for Crocodile Dundey !
It also perfectly balanced with it sweet point two centimeters behind the axis.
This blade is alive and fast in your hand.

I was able to import that big bad baby for less than 100 euros including shipping. Talking about power/price ratio, huh ?

SPYDERCO TATANKA C180G – FIRST GLIMPSE AT THE BUFFALO

Tantanka

So here it is that new In House design of a super folder. Sal Glesser’s signature is engraved near the spyderhole. God, this is an heavy contender (A stainless steel backspacer!!) and a huge folding knife but, once open, it’s surprisedly well balanced despite its general weight which is really well distributed. A grin has appeared on my face…
This new Power Lock provides a zero vertical play experience. This knife in its action feels like a Mercedes Truck !!
The look and sound are really really nice. So far so good. What a massive MF !
The unlocking action is smooth and easy. This is a major difference with Cold Steel’s big Triadlock which can be a PITA to unlock…

Tatanka
The blade is much more beautiful in “person” than on any pictures. The false edge is stunning ! Not Spyderco best steel (CPM 3V comes in mind for massive blade), not the best grind (Saber grind is really “weapon oriented” in my book) but the impression of reliability is there. The Tatanka could be used to remove a tire and break a door. The 4mm thick blade is designed for penetration and would easily find its way through kevlar layer. Of course it came razor sharp even if the edge is not as thin as the recent K2 and Slysz Bowie.

Tatanka vs K2

Could it be some kind Super Police folder ? Indeed, compared to the Spyderco Police, the Tatanka got a lot in common. The saber ground (OK, the classic Police got an hollow ground though) the mass…the false edge… Is it a LEO wet dream coming true ? Could be.

My first glance feeling is that the Tatanka is more Police and Military oriented than a K2 for example. Farid huge folder is lighter, thinner with almost the same edge length in a shorter handle, thinner edge and better steel… But again perhaps experience will change my POV.
So yes, the Tatanka looks IMHO like a tool for the SWATs: a massive, pointy reliable, well balanced folding tool. Now in the right hands it certainly could be a great SERE folder. The kind of knife used by Helicopter pilots for survival. (I’m thinking at the ESEE 5’s design, for example or the AlMar Sere folders…). This new Power Lock seems beefy enough for light chopping (despite the disclaimer in the box…) but this is something I’m going to test soon.
Anyway after the K2 and the Tuff, it’s always good to see Spyderco producing strong reliable locking Über folders. They are so useful in the woods, the camps and the action fields.

Also beware of the big spyderhole, mine was so sharp than I cut my thumb on its edge. I have used sandpaper to remove it. Ouch ! 🙂

Spyderco Caly3 C113GGY in Super Blue Steel Sprint Run- Grand pa knife is going high tech.

“Yasuki Hagane steel has been produced in their plant in Shimane prefecture in Japan where the high quality iron sand has been produced for making traditional Japanese swords since ancient times. These are three main premium grade high carbon steels (Shirogami, Aogami and Aogami Super) that have been used for making Japanese made field & kitchen knives. Hitachi metal is also known as the manufacture of high grade premium stainless steel, ATS-34 and ZDP-189.Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.
Now Super Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.”

From http://japan-blades.com/how-to.

I’ve never been interested in the Calypso. Call me names but the lock was “old”. Not the smoothest operating tool… as all lockbaks.
But the Calypso and all its offsprings got a common feature: ergonomy. A thin blade (not wide for a Spyderco after all) in a light and pointy package.
The years (decade) go by. The Caly 1.5 turns into a test platform for the Aogami Super with a first Sprint Run. I was very excited when Jur has shown me that absolutely beautiful folder. But alas to much vertical play for me and that, made me step back.

This is the problem with all back locks but with my Caracara chinese made G10 first generation. I remember falling in love with the first XL Cold Steel Clip Point Voyager… vertical Play. Massad Ayoob first Spyderco folder… vertical play. The Mighty Chinook , first and second generation ? Vertical play.
Oh you can live with that.
But I do not like a tool which got moving parts in the palm of my hand when I’m cutting something hard.

The Caly3 in Super Blue Steel got vertical play but much less than the Caly 3.5 I had tested.

Now the Cold Steel Triadlock is curing that “disease”. That’s why they are so pleasant to use and so reliable to chocks like Fred Perrin has shown us by throwing his mini Lawman repetitively (more than a 1000 throws!) without any failure or even any vertical play.

Vertical Play is a curse. I remember Michael Janich’s “Street Steel” book explaining why to go away from any lateral or vertical play in a folder knife. And I believe every single words Mr Janich is writing. Common sense is more precious than adamantium nowadays.

Ok my Caly3 vertical play is minor. And on a short knife with ergos like a boot knife this is not a major problem. I mean if the lock should ever fail (and that vertical play on locks has been noticed on very very strong backlocks) my precious fingers would be protected by the quillons on the blade: when you are holding a Spyderco folding knife, you are holding it mostly by the blade. Giving all strength and all structure stress directly to the blade not “through” a fragile channel: the pivoting handle. The C36 Military was the first to offer that “boot knife” feature. Holding the knife by the blade is something as ancient as the Roman folding knives you can find in archaeological fields. In the ancient times, the handle was considered merely as a sheath not something to hold your tool… So folding knives were used as hand razor: by holding the blade.

So about the Caly3, this means that I don’t “feel” any important play when I cut on a board for example. This is mandatory for me to trust a folding knife and sticking to short fixed blade for EDC (as you perharps know I love short fixed blade, Ian Grenier’ FIne Urban Cancelled Knife, Fred Perrin’s Lagriffe, my Izulas, My Newt Livesay NRG, my wonderful Fred Perrin / Spyderco Streetbeat and my great BRKT Bravo1… (chich is not that small after all).

Ok, the Caly is sheeple friendly. It got a thin, short, not threatening blade and this Sprint Run got also a grey G10 handle and a stainless steel back spacer. It doesn’t scream “TACTICAL KNIFE!!!” like the mighty Cold Steel Recon 1 XL CLip Point… So I can use it in the plate in a restaurant. nobody notice it and it makes the difference as a matter separator.
The Caly3 clip is the wire clip and this is the masterpiece in the clipping design industry. I got the same of my Sages, my Techno, my Slipits, my Pingo, my Dodo, my Chaparral and they are simply the best. Nothing can get close to it. It may look cheap. But they are the best in low profile, and ease of pocketing. (Let me hammer that the clip of the Southard being the worth of all Spyderco’s clip ever made IMHO.)

The Sprint Run of C113 got a non stainless steel blade. This is something to experiment. I love my 1075 and 1095 and my M2 blades to get stain. A patina is a must IMHO. It gives character and low profile to a bad reputation tool. I first enjoy patina on my 1095 Schrade Sharpfinger almost 20 years ago… The blade feels “natural” to react to oxygen and acids… It gives “beautility” to a very personnal tool.

Now the Grey G10 gives also some kind of beautility to the Caly 3. Mine is dirty and I love it that way.I got Fifty shades of grey… (and with the Games of Thrones fans I should score…)

So what to not love in the Caly3 ?
Even closed that folder featuring Sal signature is radiating honesty and confidence. I remember reading an article about a man saving his baby boy from a mountain lion attack with a Spyderco Caly 1.5 knife. This means confidence in your tool.

My Caly3 is reliable. I can trust it when I need it to cut deep and fast. And I can trust it to get stains in warp speed too. No surprise there. Like an Opinel in carbon steel you know how to clean and oil it to keep it far from rust.
The Caly is pointy. Much more than a Techno. It got almost more edge length than a Native.
Ho, there is something I love: the bulging pivot screw on this sprint run. The pivot screws is falling perfectly under your thumb when cutting horizontally. About ergos the knife is held in full grip like a much bigger knife. On the handle, there is place for four fingers even without involving the choil.
The Caly3 is not a all screw construction and …. I don’t mind. I got no plan to dismount it. I have cleaned it by rinsing it under hot water tap.
It so far so good.

Now about Super Blue. I have re-profiled the blade as I was expecting much better sharpness. no the edge is thin and convexed but still… I got a much better sharpness feeling with my AUS8A blades (Cold Steel Voyagers, Recon1 and Code4) or the CPMS3V on my BRKT Bravo 1…. I need more mileage on Super Blue Steel to crown it. So far it could be 1075, I don’t feel the difference.
So guess what ?
More on patina and old timer steel in the 52100 serie

COLD STEEL RECON 1 SPEAR POINT – Removing the Paint in Black

I was already in love with Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto. The the Spear Point came. Same greatness in construction, perfectly balanced, mega solid triadlocklock, amazing ergos and razor sharp thin hollow ground blade. This is a beast of a knife !!!
But this time I wanted to have it less “Recon” and more “Workhorse”. So good bye black paint… Same treatment as on my old Izula:
http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/752692-Stripping-my-Naked-Black-Izula-in-30-minutes

got a lot of knives since the 80’s. I have tested a lot of knives since 1995.
You mileage may vary but like everyone I got my favorite regarding pure cutting power, ease of resharping, ergos…
For example the SPyderco Bushcrafter is one of my joy to use in the wood. My 1990’s ATS 34 Sebenza has proven many time to be reliable in the worst situations.
I’m amazed by my Paramilitary S90V edge holding capabilities.
For push cutting in wood, my Blue Dodo has always a phenemonal performer, the S shap thin edge is getting deep.
Then the thin Michael Walker and the Gayle Bradley have been demonstrating all their power on hard plastic and delicate works.

And after stropping the Cold Steel Recon 1 blade to a dangerous whittling hair level, this big folder is breaking my own records. I was able to cut through the thick butt of plastic bottle twice in parallel cuts with ease. The handle is so confortable, I can apply a lot of strenght and the hollow ground powerful blade separate material like in butter.
I’m really realy impressed and will continue my testing.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter – I’m a rough boy…

Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter

Okay.
We European got some kind of American dreams: Cowboys and Indians….
From Die Hard (Cow boy) to First Blood (Indian), the dream doesn’t want to die.
Spyderco is a very international company, building knives like Ferrari is building cars.
Cold Steel is also very international, looking and also giving tributes for designs from Africa, Spain…
But both those companies are pulling my sensitive string when they give tribute to the American Spirit.

Spyderco gave us the Chinook when Cold Steel bring us the Trailmasters.
Testa rossa vs Gran Torino ?
OK, Cold Steel also is bringing very cleverly engineered short blades and especially the greatest improvement on lock back: Andrew Demko‘s Triadlock.
Oh how this lock is sweet: fully ambidextrious and solid as a rock and … easy on manufacturing tolerances. Pure genius. A milestone in knifemaking.
In one inspired move Mr Demko transformed the solid Cold Steel Voyagers into Über Hulk Solid Cold Steel Voyagers.

Now Cold Steel is releasing a lot of new designs with the Triadlock and many black tactical beauty. (This Recon Drop Point !!!)
But my eyes caught two releases those last monthes: the Mackinac Hunter and the Lone Star Hunter.
They both look like Old Timers with those kind of Delrin faux stag horn scales. And as I love Schrade Old Timers and Uncle Henry’s…
Also they could go well with Samcro’s riders, those modern cowboys…

OK to how this Lone Star Hunter looks ?:
BIG !!! I was very surprised on how long and sleek and sexy this blade would be.
SMOOTH !!! Open with a flick of the wrist and close in a breeze…..
OUCH !!! Yes it closes so smoothly and without any choil to protect my finger… I get a nasty cut. I need to learn how to rest my index nearer to the axis when I close that baby.

The blade is 3,5mm thick, it looks like 4mm. The bowie clip and flat ground blade is gorgeous like a modern interpretation of the Navaja.
Solid feel. No play.
A little on the heavy side. But I love heavy metal on traditional hommages.
Well balanced, perfectly executed: Taiwan plants are the best in the outsourcing knives manufacturing.
My Lone Star Hunter is an eyecandy and über solid workhorse.

AUS 8A Stainless may be not as sexy as M390, CPM M4 or ELMAX but as far as I am concern my XL Voyager keep a decent edge and is easy to keep razor. The grind is thin and for a full flat ground, you got a great sliding machine. The blade is also very pointy. Not like my Pointu or my Lionspy. You never jow when you will ned to pop a balloon.
Again, heat treatment is as important (and even more) than the steel composition. This AUS 8A is perfect for a workhorse at a budget price.
Yes, that knife is really easy on your wallet. This is something to consider. I love “blue collar” tools. My grandfather was a farmer and was using is Canif (“K-nife” come from that word BTW!) from cattle surgery to whittling. It was his everyday workhorse, solid, reliable and easy to maintain in good condition.

The shortcomings of my Lone Star Hunter so far:
the clip was short and to tight to be really useable. Once clipped to a pocket the knife was nearly impossible to retrieve. So I bend that clip and now it’s OK. Easy peazzy lemon squizzy…
The spine (back) of the blade was square enough to spark a fire on a rusty nail but I like my spines rounded for thumb pushing cuts. So I have grinned it with a diamond rod in 15 minutes.
The fact it is all steel framed and not skeletonized can be a shortcoming for those who loves their folder light in the pocket. This is heavy metal, no aluminium or titanium scales. The handle can get hot and chilling as almost a full metal. No bolster the delrin slabs are screwed on the metal. Easy to clean.
Oh, the lock can be hard to unlock. Perharps it needs a little wear but for safety reason now it requires two hands to close it. My Spyderco Native 5 backlock or the XL Voyager are closed by gravity and your index finger is protected by a choil or a ricasso of some sort. Here you need to move your finger forward the axis (less strenght in the unlock procedure) for unlocked the ultra sharp blade to start to fall. And the slippery handle do not help.
The Lone Star Hunter is a knife wich needs to be manipulated with extra respect. I open and close my Spyderco Military, or Persistence without thinking about it. The LSH is asking you to be careful during the closing procedure.

So the Lone Star Hunter is going to be a great pocket knife for EDC for those who ask a ultra solid folder, even if it is a little on the non political correctness side: the lenght of the blade is impressive as the Blade handle ratio is close to 1… But as is Cold Steel CEO Lynn Thomson: unique and impressive. Also Texas does not have the same knives regulation as many other places on Earth so this folder is a real hommage.
Compared to those “Tactical, Black G10, Black Blades/ Pry Bars” , this is a knife which got a lot of personnality and especially gives you a lot for the money spent. This one is my second “Texas” inspiration folder with the extraordinary Gayle Bradley. There is something genuinely “19th Century” Texan about this design but served with an ultra song lock. A knife which asks for respect and hard work.

PROs:
Triadlock.
Thin flat ground clip blade
Confortable handle (no hot spot)
Great GC.
Beautiful lines.

CONs:
Can be to heavy for some users
to slippy for some
The clip is to tight.
To long blade for some juridictions…
The lock can be hard to unlock.
No choil to protect your finger when the blade is closing. (better two hands closing)

Official pages is here: http://www.coldsteel.com/lonestarhunter.html

Notice the fresh scar on the finger. You need to be more careful than I when closing it.

The triadlock pin.

Oh yes you can abuse tha knife.


Oh and it was able to cut through the bottle’s butt like a breeze. So the grind is thind enough… 🙂

 

Voyager XL Clippoint. This is for real.

image

OK let’s do it very short as long as this Über Folder is long.
Incredible value.
Smooth. Really smooth.
Lock like a vault.
Perfectly balanced. Alive in the hands.
Light and fast.
Easy to choke up.
Beautiful big flatground bowie clip blade.
Really sharp out of the box.

Now what would be the use of such a big folder?
Let study it from the “tool” point of view as the “weapon” point of view is so obvious it could make Gustave Doré’s famous Navaja come to live in the 21st century.
OK Cold Steel is already making a bigger folder: the Espada XL. I have been lurking the G10 version XL version for some time but, really this one is to big for me.
The 5,5 inches pointy and belly blade of the XL Voyager is IMHO perfect for a big folder.
Very powerful and precise.
This is the kind of silent companion which oozes respect from its pores. A big folder like the XL Voyager is really a great sojourn companioon: easy to carry and rock solid.
Handy and reliable.
I would had prefered a G10 handle but the patterned checkered plastic is confortableto hold even with wet hands.
This is a tool which needs to be anchored in your wet palm. And the ergos are fantastic.
I haven’t tried it yet for chopping but I know some of my friends are not tender with their knoves and praise the XL Voyager.
The previous version I had offered to my dad has been stolen by my mother who still used her XL Voyager in the kitchen. This is the sharpest knife in her drawer.
She uses it to process meat and bread and I was not able to snitch it from her since 2000…
This new version got the famous Triad Lock which is so simple and so clever… it works perfectly.
Compared to my Tanto Recon 1, the XL Voyager is much smoother, much feline and quick in the hands.
Once closed it is quite light for its size and wide but you can tuck in your pants or in the front pocket and forget it.
Now there is a choil and this is something I really love. Compared to my Recon the Voyager is much more tool oriented.
You can eat an apple with it and quickly forget about its size.
This knife is really easy to master and to get confident with it.
It would be a perfect soldier companion, light enough to be forgotten and strong enough to take a beating.
The previous incarnation of XL Voyager was one of the stronger lock back I have ever tried but was developping some vertical play.
This new one doesn’t have any play vertical or horizontal and is much smoother to open and close.
The belly makes it a great hunting knife: again its so light and strong it will be not forgotten in the truck.
The Voyager is a knife for the modern Hobos. The Supertramps need a superknife.
You can cook with it, use it as a light camp knife, cut into pineapple or watermelon in one control cut.
This big knife is really user friendly.
Taiwan is the Place where great knives are made those days. From Spyderco to Le Pointu I was never disappointed once by their craftmanship.
My XL Voyager Clipoint is going to be carried a lot and I feel inside my bag will be the perfect place to clip it.
When you need a long, solid folding cutting tool, the XL Voyager Clipoint is unique in the market. Especially for that price. There is some kind of Texan Spirit in it. Like John Wayne could have used it in a John Ford movie. Bigger than life and big leggy !
Notice also the Vaquero blade which exists in the same size. Again a very usefull workhorse is proposed. But the Clipoint got more heft IMHO.

I will update this quick post later. But right now I can affirm this knife is a keeper. It’s not political correct. I hope morons will not flash it on youtube to show about badasses they think they are and give some stupid ideas to politicians to ban huge folders.On the contrary they can be a great wilderness tools. Bushcrafters should look at it much closer. It’s unique in its category. A big knife made for the voyagers. A tool for the highway men. And if you want to show off with it do not forget, an old lady somewhere in France got the same in her kitchen drawer. It’s her folding Chef Knife.

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