Question of the Day: Cold Steel. Over the Top?


Sorry to single out Cold Steel, but they are the most prominent practitioners of using visually rambunctious demos of their product. Type in “Cold Steel Proof” on YouTube and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Stabbing car hoods, cleaving pig carcasses in twain, throwing shovels like tomahawks, etc. Not to mention running a near-constant martial arts clinic during Blade Show last year. It is a marketing decision for sure, but what does this say about their product?

In our own testing we’ve seen a mixed, but mostly positive bag. While Clay praised their Mackinac Hunter for its quality and the strength of its lock, he was also unimpressed by their Canadian Special. In my own experience, the factory edges that I have seen are some of the best out there, and I have kept one of their Special Forces Shovels in my camping kit for years. I don’t use it as a throwing weapon, but it is a stout piece of gear that is great to have by the campfire. Despite the general quality, I know people who won’t go near them on the basis of their demo videos.

Which brings us back to our question. How do you react to their marketing? Does it help or hurt their products to show them off the way they do. Campy entertainment, or knife-culture damaging schtick?


  1. Roger says:

    I like their head to head test videos. Their proof stuff is sometimes fairly impressive and usually an entertaining watch.

  2. Josh says:

    Their videos are what turned me on to a few of their knives and finally bite the bullet and try them out. I’ve not gone as far as hanging 300 lbs off the handle like they did, or stab a car hood, but having put it through my own abuse, i have no doubts it would do either of those.

  3. Sam L. says:

    I ignore them, with rare exceptions.

  4. Doug T. says:

    I ignore any testing of blade locks, useless information. Test corrosion resistance or how well it takes or holds an edge, that’s important. I think 99% of their ads appeal to mall ninjas in particular. I think they make a quality knife, but tone down the ads.

    1. sagebrushracer says:

      yes, this is my opinion as well.

      Also, great respect for the cold steel blade locks, they have advanced knife design with that invention. Soon as their patent runs out, it will be copied relentlessly.

  5. SimonVictoria says:

    I had been fruitlessly looking for a sharp edged small buckler shield for defense from aerial watermelons.

    It was not until viewing Cold Steels Apicalypse demo video that I realised I had found my holy grail.

  6. borg says:

    As over the top as the demonstrations are lthey prove that the swords are battle quality rather than just for decoration. In some places arming yourself with a sword for home defense is easier than arming yourself with a gun for home defense.

  7. Early Cuyler says:

    As much as I find their proof videos entertaining, they are why I’ve never previously considered purchasing Cold Steel products. My introduction to the company was those videos and between those and the edgy name I assumed it was by mall ninjas, for mall ninjas. Even after I heard they were a legitimate knife maker I was still put off. Reviews have been changing my perception, but I’m still a little put off.

    1. cmeat says:

      cold steel products are perfect for the truck- boat- truck.

  8. Elcas says:

    My problem with their marketing and proof videos :
    They don’t put their money where their mouths are!
    They stab and stuff to show how tough they are but won’t cover you if you damage your blade doing the same

    1. Roger says:

      Cold Steel isn’t the only company with warranties that don’t cover misuse.

      There’s a difference between *can* and *should* as I hope every adult understands.

  9. double L says:

    Even though i own quite a few CS knives and consider most to be good knives i have never been a fan of the whole”billy bad ass”,”us against the world”,”warrior lifestyle,whatever the hell that means”,mentality that CS portrays.I understand their marketing is targeted at the 17-34 age demographic,but in my opinion CS gets carried away with their antics and probably causes many fans to avoid their knives.I’ve never let their marketing keep me from buying one their knives,just like i’ve never watched one of their videos and ran straight out and bought one of their knives.If i see a design i like i’ll buy it,but over the past 10 years i’ve been very selective on what CS knives i’ll buy because there’s just too many brands offering similar knives in a variety of steel’s,but with better fit/finish and attention to detail,not to mention handle material.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question of the Day: Cold Steel. Over the Top?

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email