There comes a time in every man's life when he must retire a knife. It's like losing an old friend that's been around forever. Earlier this year my Beretta AirLight Tanto gave up the ghost and lost the screws for the pocket clip. I've had this knife for 10+ years and loved everything about it. It's lightweight, ultra thin and holds a nice edge. The screws are the weak point. The ones that hold the clip in place stripped out from the frame. So, that brings me to my next adventure. Finding the right knife for me.
I'd been trolling several web
sights looking for something similar to the Beretta but never really
found the right one. I finally just gave up and decided to get something
different in the less than $100 market. The choices were endless. While
looking at many blades, I noticed that the Tanto style I was used to
wasn't going to be good for skinning or hunting use. My next blade
should be useable for such since my boys are getting to the age where I
will be taking them in the field soon enough. A nice curved folder would
suit me just fine. What size should I get? Well, bigger is better,
Sales video from the Cold Steel website.
Cold Steel Spartan Folder. Glock 17 and mags for size reference and cool factor.
first impression is that this thing is HUGE. The blade itself is is 4.5
inches long with a total length of 10.5 inches. The weight is 9.2
ounces so it's a hefty knife. Definitely one you will be hard pressed to
forget it's in your pocket. The grip has a good texture with internal
steel liners and a positive locking mechanism that is about as robust as
they come. There are videos on the web site showing the locking
mechanism holding a 300 pound load. A very well built knife for the
I started carrying the knife around six months
ago and noticed it's bulk right away. The length is so long that it
tends to rub the keys at the bottom of my pocket. This gets annoying at
times when seated for long periods. The blade itself came very sharp and
held it's edge well for quite a while. The locking mechanism needs to
be operated a few times and lubricated a little before it's perfect. The
clip is very sturdy as well but it's losing it's black coating on the
leading edges. The finish on the knife is a bead blasted stainless look
with the lettering near the handle. The Aus 8 steel isn't a very robust
stainless. Mine is getting bits of rust or corrosion on it in several
places. It seems to be only on the side that rests against my leg so it
must be a moisture/salt issue. Makes me wonder how well it will stand
up to opening bags of ice melt this winter.
Corrosion on the blade. The lines are from sharpening a pencil Friday afternoon.
it's a very nice knife. The blade itself is easily sharpened and fairly
tough, but not nearly as hard or resilient as many others I've had. I
nicked the blade when I was cutting zip ties off a fence. I was
disheartened when it happened but I wasn't being very careful. The blade
was easy enough to bring back into shape that it wasn't a big loss. My
only other annoyance is the fact that you really need to put your
fingers inside the hilt where the blade goes to operate the safety lock.
I cut myself once trying to snap it closed due to the design. I'm not a
fan of leaking, so that one was pretty big.
I like the
knife for what it is and it's really nice to take bushwhacking because
it doubles as a machete in the dense brush. A swift whack with the blade
is all it takes to cut back brambles and vines. The handle is shaped to
hold your hand in place and not lose the knife or allow the edges of
your fingers to be exposed while chopping. Great feature for a knife of
this heft and type. Another great feature is the pocket grabbing plate
at the top of the blade. It catches the edge of your pants pocket and
opens the blade for you if you draw it properly. My only issue with that
feature is that the thumb piece seems to be a little loose fitting. You
can move it slightly but the screw seems to be tight.
thoughts are that I'm going to keep the knife and use it for weekends
in the woods or certain special times when a small machete is needed.
I'm going to continue my search for another knife of the size and
caliber of the Beretta I previously owned.
Update: This winter I broke the flat tang that is used as a pocket catch for fast opening the knife. I was batoning wood during a camping trip and noticed it was missing after I finished. It had been loose for a bit. I kept meaning to return it for repair, but life gets in the way. Fast forward to last week and I brought it with me to the NRA convention to check with the Cold Steel reps there. I asked if they had a good warranty and told them of the issue. He grabbed it from me and took it in back, then handed me a box. He also informed me that the new updated model is a better steel. So far that seems to be the case. I'll let you know how it holds up. AWESOME WARRANTY!