Tag Archives: Triadlock

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 ?




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…

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 ! 🙂

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

Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter

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.

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

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… 🙂


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