Cold Steel Voyager Knives

Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: They're good, but three's my limit.

The Long Version: These are nice little knives, with blades made from a good-quality steel and light-but-strong handles. They're simple lockbacks with pocket clips and studs on the blade for opening the knives one-handed. I've had one of them for fourteen years, and it's almost as solid as my newest one.

All of the series have hollow-ground blades, except for the front edge on the Tanto-style blades (top and bottom) which is a flat grind and thereby stronger. This gives them a thin profile that's sharp and easy to sharpen, except for the serrations which are chisel-ground and somewhat annoying to deal with.

This photo, modified with Photoshop's "Flip 180" command, shows that I'm using two different generations of knives. The middle knife has a metal clip and a double-sided opening stud, which greatly improves the knife, as well as the logo and family name etched/stamped/engraved on the blade, which does not. Really, "Cold Steel" is one of those Aren't I A Manly Man? names that I can live without.

The metal pocket clip on the newer knife holds much more securely when the knife is tucked away, which I really appreciate. I really like the 3" tanto—the smaller square-tipped one—but it's so light and the clip is so easy-going that I'm always afraid that I'm going to lose it. The newest knife also has a thicker, more heavily textured handle, which makes it more solid to hold as well. But these three are also old enough that they're made with AUS-8A steel instead of the current VG-1, which seems to be getting mixed reviews.

So I like these knives, but don't plan on adding any more of these or other Cold Steel products. For one thing, I've been seduced by the higher quality and better feel (and unfortunately, higher cost) of Benchmade knives. In the same price bracket as Cold Steel you'll find Spyderco and a number of other excellent choices, and below it is CRKT and others who also make really good stuff but who just weren't around all those years ago when I started my collection.

It's also worth noting that the 3" knife, of which I own two, are the "Medium" size. There's no Voyager series knife with a shorter blade, but there's no way they're going to call it "Small".   

Aren't I A Manly Man?


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