Known best for their outrageous marketing videos, Cold Steel has established itself as a company that makes affordable and very functional knives and tools. Ranging from little EDC blades, to full size samurai swords, there is a little something in the Cold Steel catalog for everyone.
What follows are all of my reviews of Cold Steel knives, including some of their very best models.
Cold Steel Knife Reviews
Cold Steel Hide Out Review
You can’t not love Cold Steel. They make some odd, but often innovative knives, as well as super fun and cheesy videos. I never needed a Gladius machete but damn do I want one. Today we are going small, super small, and looking at Cold Steel’s Hide Out. The Hide Out is an ultra small ...
Cold Steel Bush Ranger Lite Review
Time to face it, fellow knife nerds – We’re living in an era of over-saturation. With so many companies releasing a deluge of new designs, it’s difficult to pluck the hits from the static. But after months of blade malaise, something interesting caught my eye – A cheap, rugged looking, aggressive green monster with a ...
Cold Steel AD-10 Review
Of all the words used to describe Cold Steel knives here on BladeReviews.com, “refined” isn’t at the top of the list. That’s not a metaphor – I literally made a list, and “refined” only appears three times. You’re much more likely to see Cold Steel knives described with adjectives like “strong” (41 times), “large” (39 ...
Cold Steel Pro Lite Sport Review
Today we are taking a trip to value town. It has been a long time since I reviewed a sub $25.00 pocket knife, and as of the day of publication, the Cold Steel Pro Lite Sport is closer to $20 than $25. Buy the Cold Steel Pro Lite Sport at BladeHQ Ben reviewed the original Pro ...
Cold Steel Golden Eye Review
One visitor to the site commented that we are “a little biased towards Spyderco”. It’s probably because we have reviewed a lot of Spyderco knives over the years. More than any other brand. I like Spydercos and so does Ben, Grayson, Josh, and pretty much everyone who has written for the site. We all like ...
Cold Steel 4-Max Review
This is a knife that requires little in the way of an introduction. The Cold Steel 4-Max is arguably the most overbuilt hard use folding knife of all time. Modeled after designer Andrew Demko’s custom 4-Max folder the 4-Max brings Andrew’s clean design and attention to detail to life. Buy the 4-Max at BladeHQ This isn’t your ...
Cold Steel Broken Skull Review
I try not to read too much into the name of a knife. After all, the name has no impact on the performance. But sometimes good knives can have bad names. Even after learning that this knife was designed by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and named after his Broken Skull Ranch, I still thought the ...
Cold Steel Kudu Review
Last Updated: August 3, 2019 There is a knife in South Africa known as the Okapi. Originally produced in Germany in the early 1900s for export to the German colonies in Africa, the trademark and tooling was purchased by All Round Tooling (aka Okapi South Africa) in 1988 and all production moved to South Africa. Made ...
Cold Steel Pro-Lite Review
I was excited when Cold Steel announced the Pro-Lite. I like good knives, and I like cheap knives, and the Pro-Lite looked like it might check both boxes. And while there’s definitely a lot to say about Cold Steel’s behavior in the last few years, it’s nice to see a genuinely interesting budget knife ...
Cold Steel Code 4 Review
I have slowly worked my way through most of Cold Steel’s standard folders. I have reviewed the Voyager series, the Recon 1s, the American Lawman (probably my favorite), and even some of their more colorful offerings like the Spartan and Rajah III. Buy the Cold Steel Code 4 at BladeHQ For some reason it has taken ...
Cold Steel Large Espada Review
Last Updated: July 28, 2019 Although knife collecting, like any hobby, is a mild form of mania, I like to think that within this gentle madness I am a reasonable man. My uses for my tools are reasonable. My knife preferences are reasonable: I prefer simple handles, simple blades, and I generally like those ...
Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter Review
You won’t find too many hunting knife reviews on this website. The reason is because I am not much of a hunter. But despite being advertised as a hunting knife, there was something intriguing about the Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter that made me buy the knife. Buy the Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter at BladeHQ [easyazon_cta ...
Cold Steel Rajah III Review
Last Updated: July 28, 2019 I almost entitled this review “confessions of a mall ninja”. Yup, your buddy Dan has something of a dirty secret: I’m a fan of ridiculous knives from Cold Steel. You may have guessed as much after reading reviews of the Spartan and XL Voyager. I just didn’t talk openly about it. ...
Cold Steel American Lawman Review
Last Updated: March 9, 2018 When I hear the words “hard use folder” it’s often accompanied by a mental image of dollar signs. For whatever reason, we have equated hard working blades with titanium, super steel, and triple digit price tags. Those knives are cool, and I am sure some are capable of getting work done, ...
Cold Steel SRK Review
Last Updated: April 3, 2020 The Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife) has been a staple in Cold Steel’s catalog for well over a decade. In its role as the company’s go to mid-size survival / utility knife, the SRK has been selected as standard issue for U.S. Navy Seal team members going through BUD/S (Basic ...
Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite Review
Last Updated: August 5, 2019 When you get into collecting knives it is easy to get caught up in the moment. There is so much cool stuff out there if you aren’t careful you can easily get sucked away in a torrent of carbon fiber and titanium. And really there is nothing wrong with that (although ...
Cold Steel Ti-Lite Review
Last Updated: July 28, 2019 The Cold Steel Ti-Lite is a knife that I received in a trade. As a collector I find myself often buying and selling knives, and I routinely get it hit up with trade propositions. I must confess, the decision to acquire a Ti-Lite was really a product of impulsiveness rather than ...
Cold Steel Voyager Review
Last Updated: February 25, 2018 New in 2011, the updated Cold Steel Voyagers took the knife world by storm. There was a lot to like about the original CS Voyagers, but as technologies advance old classics need updating. And I gotta say, the new version really packs some nice improvements. Lighter, faster, with better locks and ...
Cold Steel Hold Out II Review
Last Updated: August 23, 2019 Cold Steel has really been making a statement in 2011 with their new and improved lines of lightweight and ultra strong folders. Their updated series of Cold Steel Voyagers has really built up some buzz, and rightfully so. But keep in mind that the Cold Steel 2011 roster runs much deeper ...
Cold Steel Bushman Review
When I ordered a Cold Steel Bushman I wasn’t sure what to expect. My previous experiences with Cold Steel knives have all been good, but for under $20 I had no idea what I was in for. Buy the Cold Steel Bushman at BladeHQ All I knew for sure was that the knife was popular and ...
Cold Steel Spartan Review
Last Updated: August 4, 2019 Tired of reading reviews on wussy EDC knives? Need something capable of holding off an army of blood thirsty Persians? Consider the Cold Steel Spartan. Yeah, I enjoy reviewing EDC blades just as much as the next guy, but sometimes I need a little more. Thankfully, Cold Steel is around to ...
Cold Steel Recon 1 Review
Last Updated: July 15, 2019 I love it when knife companies refine their existing designs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new and exciting models, but I’m almost more excited when a “good” knife turns into a “great” one. Cold Steel did just that with their latest version of the Cold Steel Recon 1. The ...
Cold Steel AK-47 Review
Last Updated: February 22, 2018 The AK-47 rifle was designed by Russian Gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1946. These guns were designed to be simple and rugged, and for these reasons the AK-47 design has enjoyed much popularity for over 60 years. The Cold Steel AK-47 was designed with similar intentions. The original Cold Steel AKs ...
More on Cold Steel
Founded in 1980 by Lynn C. Thompson, Cold Steel produces a variety of knives and tools from various manufacturing plants across the globe. Lynn is a very hands on president, and is often featured in a lot of the company’s marketing media displaying his talent for martial arts. Speaking of media, their DVDs and youtube videos are sensational and often highly entertaining where Lynn and the “Cold Steel Crew” are shown demonstrating the features of their products. Since Cold Steel makes everything from pen knives to battle axes, the demonstrations can get pretty wild as they drive knives through the hood of a car, slice through large hanging pieces of meat and engage in other over the top demonstrations test the limits of their products.
One thing I really like about Cold Steel is the sheer variety of product they offer. As I said before, they make everything from small knives to large battle axes. They also make swords, clubs, hatchets, canes, machetes, pepper spray, baseball bats and all manner of edged weapons. The depth of their product line is dizzying and I could just review Cold Steel products and be very busy for a long time. Since my interests lie mainly in folding knives and smaller fixed blades, I haven’t had the chance to review a ton of their stuff yet, but it’s all “on the list.”
Cold Steel is definitely a company that has my attention so expect to see many more of their knives reviewed in the near future.
dave hilton says
Cold Steel “Viking” sword.
The netpic looks ok, but once you hold it in your hand, it screams (historically inaccurate) REPLICA. It is chrome steel (totally not Viking). The fuller is obviusly machined into the blade in a way no smithy could ever do. The crossguard is totally fake-as-hell and more approriate for a New Orleans pimp than a Viking. It costs $250 and arrive with razor sharp double edges.
It totolly looks like a Hollywood prop in a B grade movie.
I have many of the folders mentioned in this review. I live in Wyoming and we are outdoors a great deal of the time. I don’t have one Cold Steel knife that has failed me in Hunting, Fishing, Hiking and working around the property. While all the folders are great EDC’s in my opinion, I especially like the SR1 for EDC. I keep them all sharp with the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, works well and is pretty versatile.
Mark, Thanks for taking the time out to leave a comment. A solid Cold Steel knife and a Spyderco Sharpmaker strikes me as a good combination! Carry them in good health!
I have a few blades and 2 machetes from Cold Steel. What can I say. Cheap and cheerfulness. For what you pay you get alot. They are not the top of the range, but compared to the price they are. You wouldn’t be able to get a £30 knife anywhere else that would stand up for the abuse I given mine. The machetes are crude primitive and basic. The way they should be, and they stand up to use well and sharpens up grate. Cold Steel is one of the few “you-get-what-you-pay-for” exceptions, you get a lot more. Good stuff;)
I used to own a Master Tanto by Cold Steel years ago as I know about how durable the knife was until it got stolen from me from my home
But years later as about 3 weeks ago I just purchased the Magnum Tanto IX off of Amazon and forgot how beautiful the Tanto series knife was
No knife company in the world could ever match the strength and durability that Cold Steel provides to their weapons
That’s what makes them so good at what they do
But be careful when trying to buy Cold Steel knife’s
There’s counterfeit companies who make replicas of Cold Steel products but mostly you find those sellers off of EBAY
Always make sure before purchasing a product that you think it’s from Cold Steel that your getting the legit product from the Cold Steel company and not from a counterfeit manufacturer company
I have a Cold Steel Kukri Plus that was purchased directly from Cold Steels catalog. I got the knife and was incredibly please and impressed with it’s construction. Directly from the box there was more than enough edge for anything I’d want to do. After a successful hunt I was processing my deer and once it was gutted and skinned I decided to use my Cold Steel Kukri Pus to remove the head. It took 3 good wacks and the head was detached. That’s when I noticed the deer wasn’t the only thing that took some damage. My Kukri took so many rolls on the blade it looked like it was a serrated knife. I’m not stupid I don’t expect knives to hold up to abuse the way that they do on Forged in Fire but when you spend over $300 on a blade that’s suppose to be battle worthy you should be able to expect a level of quality much better than I received.
Dan Jackson says
Mark, Wow! Surprised to hear about the edge deforming like that. That said, I haven’t tried decapitating too many things with my knives. Bone is pretty tough, but I figure heat treated steel would win the day. Maybe it’s a matter of geometry, and you are able to put on a new edge that will take a little more of a beating.
Cold steel makes good knives. However when push comes to shove. Good is not great. I have purchased 4+ cold steel blades and overall I can say they are sharp out of the box. However use them for a few weeks or months and blade deformation starts. Now this should not happen with proper heat treated steel. But it did. One camping trip and a so called survival knife could not shave wood. Embarrassing. Now. That is their product review. Their customer service is atrocious. I had a shipment (my last) get misdelivered and I queried their customer service department. Essentially, it was my fault. I should have picked them up personally from 4 states away. Haven’t bought a knife from them since. Lost a customer because I guess I was wrong to ask where the products I paid for went. Who knew???
Patrick O'Toole says
Dave, thank you. I think that Cold Steel (at this point) is simple a recognized brand name that has its products produced in Taiwan and China, shipped to the warehouse in Nevada, and distributed wholesale as “Cold Steel” knives. The assemble of their folders are not done in the U.S., and seem to be rush-jobs by underpaid workers. The sheaths and the mold-injected handles are also done in Asia, and it is not clear what level of quality-control they would even be able to do when they purchase steel from China, do a questionable heat-treatment, and then sell wholesale around the world. I am a HUGE Cold Steel fan and own many products, but I am also being real. When someone pays $200-$600 for a knife that is listed as “military-grade”, and the blades are chipping and the handles are coming off, it is simply not acceptable. Thanks for your review.
Garrett Rathbone says
I have their Counter Point 1 and I think it’s a great spear-point knife. I really like that anti-skid tape texturing they machine on the Grivory scales. I haven’t had good experience with their customer service department though…
When I first got the knife I took the pocket clip and screws out so I could pocket carry it at work. Mainly because the handle butt sticking up drew a little too much attention. Well the knife took up too much pocket room so I decided to carry this in my own personal time and got the smaller Counter Point 2. Long story made short…I lost the pocket clip and screws. I’ve emailed Cold Steel customer service 4 times through almost a 6 month period requesting a new clip and screws for my Counter Point 1. No one replied to any of the e-mails and still never got a new clip and screws. Cold Steel makes good knives but their customer service is awful to me, even Gerber will send you replacement parts.
jack brannon says
Cold Steel introduced the fixed tanto knife and was a great piece. After years of some great wonderful pieces and few not so great we see mostly not so great. Customer service has always been iffy to none. Sales went from great deals to small discounts customers could always find better on Amazon and ebay. Catalogs went from prizes to not available. DVD and video reviews went from astonishing to unbelievable and possibly rigged. Promised additions went from long awaited to completely cancelled. Steel went from O1 to stainless 4034 garbage. Models went from readily available to nonexistent. Quality control went from guaranteed to none.
Sad to see a great company decline as it had over the years