Video: ColdSteel tests their old AUS8A steel vs. new CTS-XHP

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Cold Steel back to being Cold Steel

There is probably no more polarizing knife company out there than Cold Steel. Some people don’t like their knives, others don’t like Lynn Thompson, their founder and President. Their recently settled lawsuit against CRKT left a bad taste in many peoples’ mouths.

Some folks love their knives.  Many are robust to the point of being “over engineered”. I really like the Mackinac Hunter, which falls in the robust camp.  The Canadian Belt Knife is kind of junk, with a cheap feeling plastic handle which feels little different than that of a $2 Walmart knife.

They are upping their game in the steel department. They are transitioning away from AUS8A to CTS-XHP- a Carpenter steel with properties similar to D2. What does that mean for the Cold Steel consumer? Watch the video below. If there is one thing that Cold Steel excels at, it is video-documenting their blades at work and play.


  1. sean says:

    thats a really cool video demonstrating performance.

  2. Spencer says:

    This is my bias against Cold Steel, but I won’t support an American company that offshores its production to China (and other sweatshop economy countries) and then charges top dollar for its products.

    1. I want to thank you Spencer for being TTAK’s resident contrarian. I mean that with the utmost sincerity.

      You have strong opinions whether they be on Chinese knives or batoning, and you share them in a courteous manner which facilitates conversation on the site.

      Please keep your comments coming. Reader participation is far greater payment for me than the stipend I receive for running the blog.

    2. Max Hamilton says:

      I understand your approach but keep it mind CS do not charge top dollar for their product in comparison to companies who using american work force. The fact is CS knives are definitely excellent knife on budget.
      I agree America is first, but I can’t afford a $200 US made knife. I buy CS for $50. Sorry.

  3. Spencer says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Clay.

    As a formally trained historian, paralegal, former reserve cop, and occasional woodworker, I certainly hold in high esteem objectivity and accuracy but know that in the real world we’re all saddled with preconceived notions and biases that affect our thinking. In the end, what any of us offers on a certain subject is often just an opinion. Still, I try to fess up to my biases and subjective criticisms in my comments and do my best to remain courteous when others disagree.

  4. Grindstone says:

    Don’t have any of their knives, just the Norse Hawk. I love the axe head, but using a set screw to hold it on the handle is just dumb. Great bargain for $20.

  5. Adam says:

    CS has been providing me (and the World) with highly functional, good quality, exceptional value knives for over 30 years. For the mouth-breathers who’s argument against CS is that they are not made in the USA, I would suggest you immediately throw away your cell phone, TV, Refrigerator, Microwave, and all other electronic devices in your home, in order to maintain your neo-marxist/union standards of national product origin. If it’s the fact that you don’t like CS owner, then I would suggest you create your own 5min cell phone video, then watch it… I think you will find your own media presence is far lacking compared to that Big Ham over at Cold Steel! Now, off to my PO box to pickup my new CS Vaquero XL, Thompson Limited Edition!

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Video: ColdSteel tests their old AUS8A steel vs. new CTS-XHP

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