Benchmade vs Cold Steel

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Wolverine666, Sep 26, 2020.

Benchmade or Cold Steel?

Poll closed Sep 29, 2020.
  1. Benchmade

  2. Cold Steel

  1. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Which do you prefer overall? Taking everything into consideration (ie : quality , price , selection , fit and finish , lock mechanisms , steel etc).
    Dadpool likes this.
  2. EatingSarma


    Jun 22, 2020
    Cold Steel flagship Warcraft Tanto is great. But I know it's sheath will dull it.
    I had experience with sheath dulling 3V Mini Pendleton.
    My friend had sheath dull his Recon Tanto and had a gap on handle of his 3V Mini Pendleton. I also seen uneven grinds and so on, so fit and finish could improve.
    Cold Steel makes terrible sheaths, and latley poor steel choices too (4034 stainless for large bowies and kukris)...

    I have no experience with Benchmade but they seem to be more costly.
    But nobody complained on their sheath dulling their blade sooo....
  3. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    I have yet to own a Cold Steel knife. But I like the looks of the Bush Master G10 , AD10 , Ultimate Hunter and Storm Cloud.
  4. Onies


    Apr 29, 2006
    A very good question. I voted Benchmade simply because I have more of them in rotation right now. That is not to say I don’t like my Cold Steel blades! Love the American Lawman and Recon 1. The Mini Recon was one of my all time favourites, I have an AUS8 spear point and a CTS XHP clip point.
    Wolverine666 likes this.
  5. RoyalHolic

    RoyalHolic Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    Apparently I'm the only one who voted for Cold Steel ha, They're workers and I love my Code 4 it's a beast of a knife.

    Style wise well it would probably go to Benchmade they have more flare in their designs.

    @Wolverine666 you need to get yourself a Cold Steel so you can accurately choose yourself.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  6. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I honestly don't see much point in assessing the two companies as a whole, rather than going product by product. If you're looking for a gentleman's folder I think Benchmade has a distinct edge, if you want a boar spear Cold Steel beats the hell out of them. Both make quite a lot of knives that I like a lot, but unless you say something like SR1 vs Adamas I think it's hard to compare them.

    SOLEIL Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    i agree with I.M. above. overall it's comparing apples to oranges.
    Insipid Moniker likes this.
  8. kreole

    kreole Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    I have slightly more BMs, but more recently I have way more Cold Steel purchases. BM slapping itself with MAP pricing and then Cold Steel upgrading to XHP/S35Vn + Triad really tipped the balance IMO. I agree with @Insipid Moniker BM still has way more EDC-type (i.e., not made for slashing pigs) models, however, and that's a limitation on my purchases for sure.
    Insipid Moniker and Wurger190 like this.
  9. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Agreed. I like them both for different knives and different reasons; both offer excellent products.

    Edit: Upon reflection, that feels like it could come off as dismissive; not my intention. Sorry about that!

    I'll play, imagining a world that only included one of these two companies. In that scenario, I'd keep Cold Steel. Much of what BM does I can get from other companies (as much as I love BM and my BM knives!), but few companies make monster folders, the Tri-Ad lock remains unique AFAIK, and CS is willing to experiment with designs like the AD-15.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  10. Wurger190

    Wurger190 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    I voted Cold Steel. I prefer their overall robust qualities, their steel choices are good and affordable.
    hiwa, cistercian and DocJD like this.
  11. Omnius


    Apr 17, 2020
    Cold Steel, even though their recent knives were a letdown for me, older like Code 4, American Lawman, Broken Skull, Voyager and Recon 1 are very good. If only they stopped doing coated blades and replaced aluminium or plastic handles with G10, they would be perfect for me. And Frenzy in normal size. Very cool blade turned into a joke.

    But the biggest reason, after 2 broken springs I hate and won't ever buy anything with axis lock or similar. One nice Proper is not enough to like the whole company. And they will never do what I really wish for, solid backlock Crooked River.
    Wurger190 likes this.
  12. Weasipoint

    Weasipoint Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 8, 2019
    They're just made with completely different mind sets, if i want a nice blade that can be used for anything and isn't over the top then benchmade. If I want to send a message that my knives get used and I put them through their paces then cold steel. Really a hard choice because I like both but personally I consider them in different classes as far as use, others might disagree but thats just how I think when I'm choosing them. The blade HQ episode where they went to cold steel and tested the blades with them was really cool to see though, they definitely make their products to be used
    Wurger190 likes this.
  13. GB940Rookie


    Apr 19, 2016
    While liking both companies, it’s Cold Steel all the way. Many more things that interest me from CS.
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  14. The Whip

    The Whip

    Jan 28, 2007
    As some of my favorite knives come from both companies, your question is like asking me to choose which parent I love most! Some examples hopefully will provide context.

    Benchmade offered this.


    Cold Steel offered this.


    Benchmade came out with this.


    Cold Steel supplied this.




    Cold Steel.




    Cold Steel.


    Benchmade manufactures its knives in the U.S. and makes autos. Cold Steel tests the performance of all of its knives and offers some of the best value available.

    Benchmade has the Axis Lock. Cold Steel has its Tri-Ad.

    Benchmade offers the Griptilian, one of the most ubiquitous general-purpose knives on the market. Cold Steel offers the Recon 1, one of the best all-around folding knives ever made.

    I could go on for a long time on this, but I won't. I also won't choose between Benchmade and Cold Steel. Claiming one is superior to the other is wrong-headed. I depend on knives from both companies routinely.

    marrenmiller, Smaug, kreole and 2 others like this.
  15. Legendary_Jarl


    Feb 8, 2010
    I like both but I prefer Benchmade because it is American made.
    DMG, scottyj, Smaug and 1 other person like this.
  16. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    Now that got my attention.
  17. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I voted CS. I like both. But as a frugal knife purchaser, I think CS gives the better bang for the buck compared to BM. I'm also a fan of Demko's triad lock.
    Quapukulu, Smaug, DocJD and 2 others like this.
  18. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    I vote benchmade, only because I have more. When it comes to choosing a knife where I might be doing something stupid I'd probably grab one of my Cold Steels. Ad10, 4max Scout, SR1 lite are all seemingly indestructible, and my ad10 is even hollow ground so it slices well.

    Love em both.
    Wolverine666 likes this.
  19. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    I voted Cold Steel despite the fact that BM makes knives in the USA and has provided good customer service to me in the past. BM also has the Axis lock which I am not a fan of at all; relying on two little dinky, delicate, prone to breakage springs which is not confidence inspiring.

    I have an BM Adamas, which I do like. It's been back for springs and a tune up, which BM took care of for me in fine form but hold it your hand and then put it side by side with the AD-10 and it's not even a contest. The AD-10 doesn't feel like a square brick in you hand like the Adamas and the Triad lock versus the Axis lock is a no-brainer to me as those little tiny, weak assed springs are what you are relying upon - unlike the Triad lock which uses a leaf spring like Buck has been using on their 110 Folding Hunters forever.

    Aside from the Adamas/AD-10 comparison, Cold Steel just provides better utility and value over its line-up. I'm not saying that BM has not and does not make very nice knives, but for my money, Cold Steel has rugged, reliable (no piano wire springs) and hard working knives at attractive pricing. I will not comment on some of their goofy informercial videos as I'm trying to be nice.

    Don't get me wrong, I've got a bunch of BM knives and I like them. BM has been good about replacing those dreaded piano wire springs of their otherwise decent Axis lock but when push comes to shove, I'll take a CS with the Triad lock and I'll take the AD-10 all day every day (twice on Sundays) over any other folder in its price range and beyond.
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  20. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Don't have any Benchmades so can't comment on them, but in terms of folders I really like the Tri-Ad lock. To the point that I just don't see any reason to get a non Tri-Ad lock knife. Except I also like the Scorpion lock on the AD15, and hoping they will also do a version of the new AD20 with the Shark lock.
    Smaug, DocJD and jbmonkey like this.

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