We’ve all seen Lynn Thompson chop through mountain of pigs. It entertains us because we’re weird. Cold Steel subjects their knives to a crap-load of random tests that include rope cutting, bamboo cutting, flex tests and pig cutting.
Here’s an example:
It’s obvious that Cold Steel is marketing their knives as some of the hardest use blades out there, especially those with the Tri-Ad lock. I am not doubting their capabilities. In fact I bought a Leatherneck SF (first run with the FFG blade) and a Recon Scout because they are great blades. My trouble is with their warranty. They do not think that batoning is an acceptable use of a knife, and that it should only be used in emergencies. At all other times, batoning constitutes ‘abuse.’
I think we all agree that a large fixed blade is not the best tool for wood splitting. But I also think that batoning is a fairly standard use for a fixed blade. In the video below, LateBoyScout was batoning with his Leatherneck SF when it chipped. Bad.
Cold Steel replaced his because it was improperly heat treated. Good. But then they sent him a letter waning him about batoning. Again, bad.
His explanation of emergency uses is fantastic. He compares it to his Glock 19 and how he has to train with it to make sure that it will be ready when the emergency arrives (skip to 9 minutes if you want).
Batoning should not damage a good fixed blade, even if it is full-flat ground. It has become a standard test for fixed blades. I can’t think of other manufacturers that would say batoning is abuse. ESEE? Nope. Becker? Busse? They would congratulate you if you managed to break their blades. Cold Steel seems to be a bit behind the times with this policy.
All in all, Cold Steel makes fantastic products, and I trust them, but their warranty kills me. I doubt I’ll ever need to use it, but if I do it may not be there for me. I think this policy needs to change.