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. Alsharif

    Alsharif Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    They're very similar, with CS being in the lead with pricing. Given the price, BM should have excellent QC, when in reality their QC is mediocre to trash. They may have recently improved.
    DocJD likes this.
  2. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Benchmade versus Cold Steel is an easy choice for me: Cold Steel. It all boils down to the fact that I just don't like Benchmades, don't like their designs, don't like the fiddly Axis lock, just not a fan. And really, in this price range, I'd mainly be buying a knife for bumming around in the woods, breaking down boxes, and so on. For that, I'd just rather have a Cold Steel. Thinking about it, I have four specific CS knives (among the others I own) in mind as examples, an AD10, an AD15, a Recon 1, and an Ultimate Hunter. The Recon and UH in XHP, and the ADs in S35v and frankly, I wouldn't accept ANY Benchmade in trade for any of those four knives. It helps that not only are the CS knives more durable, and indestructible feeling, their ergos are better to me, and the fit and finish on the examples I bought were all great.

    I am a pretty big "Buy American" guy, but despite the fact that these are made in Taiwan, yep, CS for me. Plus, LT is a character and a half. He's a doofus for sure, but I've met him a few times at various BLADE shows and he's always just so happy to be there and meeting people who want to buy his knives. I can appreciate that. Plus, Andrew Demko is on par with Emerson for designing knives that lock so completely into your hand.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    Quapukulu, bigsurbob, DocJD and 5 others like this.
  3. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Until you need to get out of your way to get a sheath...
  4. Knifelvr97


    Aug 18, 2020
    I prefer Cold Steel because of their variety of products and their cool designs. These knives are really beasts and pretty much indestructible. Personally I had up to this day no problem with the sheaths that apparently dull the blades. I use my CS fixed blades a lot and never noticed it. My SRK in VG1 for example still shaves hair and has never seen any personal sharpening. Its edge retention is just unbelievable
    DocJD likes this.
  5. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    That's easy. Benchmade.
    I don't think I've ever seen a CS knife that appealed to me. I have purchased 2 CS machetes - one was decent, the other was a total piece of crap.
  6. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    The oldest knife I have is a Cold Steel Clipmate from the late 80's. I've also got an earlier model small Voyager tanto in one of my travel FAK's. Both of them are many years old and in excellent condition. The Clipmate particularly hasn't lost a step in lockup tightness, blade centering, or corrosion resistance. And it was carried and used in a cabinet workshop for a lot of years.

    That being said... I lean toward Benchmades these days. Haven't seen anything from CS or Spyderco (the other brand I follow) that I've liked in several years. I have, however, developed a real fondness for the Bugout, Bailout, and the mini-Presidio 2. They're a great size for an old, retired guy, they're dependable, and they're fully ambidextrous. Something that has become more important to me as arthur(itis) has moved in and taken over my hands.
    Smaug likes this.
  7. wesmir


    Jul 9, 2019
    I like both, cannot really say which one is better, but I'm really happy with my Cold Steel, also because it is the first knife my wife gave me.
  8. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Think you meant AD15 instead of AD20? But hopefully a CS AD20 will happen soon!
    bigsurbob and Quiet like this.
  9. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I like them both, but more a Benchmade buyer over the years. The CS Master Hunter and SRK are good knives which I own and bought at a fair price point, however for folders I lean towards Benchmade and ZT.
  10. NebulaMask


    Nov 6, 2017
    As others have said it really comes down to what you're going to use it for. As far as just a general EDC knife, I would go with BM, even though CS has a few that'll work as an edc like the american lawman and the code 4. The axis lock is pretty darn strong and easier to use which is more valuable to me overall. However if you're doing something where you need to stand on your knife handle while the blade is in a tree or whatever though, then go with the triad lock.
  11. MatZio


    Oct 23, 2016
    Price is not matter. I don't have any BM knives, but I like BM knife as Proper. It's simple and functional EDC knife.

    I start in knife's world with CS, but after few years I recognize that is was not smartest thing in my life.

    Why? CS's marketing is farce & burlesque. What's these people? Soldiers with overweight? OMG? Never unarmed? Knives are not arms. These are tools.
    For that, I vote for BM.

    But my co. are CR, ZT, Spyderco, Case, GEC,...
    They produce knives, not circus props.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  12. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Yes, yes I did. I am going to have to keep an eye out for a 20, though. That Shark Lock is the business!
    bigsurbob and jlauffer like this.
  13. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    This was a satire question. Right? :cool:
  14. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    Spyderco beats them both imo.

    I don't find cold steel appealing and Bechmade has a good warranty but I don't want to use a warranty.

    A great knife that works, Spyderco is hard to beat.
  15. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    I agree that Spyderco makes a great knife. And I own many. I just want a break from the hole.
    Alsharif likes this.
  16. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    I have to say, I have never quite gotten much out of the Cold Steel line up at least with respects to their folders. The biggest and only differentiating selling point is the tri-ad lock. By all accounts, it is virtually as close as you can get a folding knife to perform like a fixed blade. That being said, I don't carry a folding knife to do anything close to a fixed blade and I wouldn't expect it to. Additionally, anything under 4 inches in blade length isn't going to be very effective in battoning wood of any legitimate size anyways and once you get bigger than that its just as much of a hassle to carry a folder bigger than 4 inches as it is to scout carry a fixed blade of 4 inches. I'm sure someone will have a story here of when they needed their 3.5 inch folding knife to be able to punch through a car door for some reason but for me, the Axis lock (and frankly even liner locks) are more than enough to accomplish the legitimate cutting tasks anyone should expect out of a sub 4 inch folding knife.
  17. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    Cold steel for me. For the money, they offer better cutting performance and reasonable build quality. I also prefer their handle designs.

    I still like Benchmade too.
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  18. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    Something I think you're missing is heat treatment and blade geometry. Cold steel does a lot of aggressive hollow grinds that outcut most competitive options, and they do a great job heat treating their steels, especially for their price points. A lot of people focus on the triad lock as a differentiator and miss how incredibly well some of their knives perform as actual cutting tools.
    Alsharif, bigsurbob and Wurger190 like this.
  19. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018

    I suppose that is a good point, though to be completely fair people focus on the triad lock because of the marketing Cold Steel does. They don't exactly market to the edc knife community when they are using an American Lawman to stab through a side of beef like a mix between Rocky Balboa and freddy kruger.
  20. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    That is not to say that I don't enjoy my Cold Steel blades. As you mentioned Marley, they certainly cut well. However for a pocket knife they are simply not nearly as convenient as an axis lock, very few models have deep carry options, several of their handle scales are far too aggressive to clip to anything other than the most sturdy denim, and as I mentioned if I am looking to do wood work or aggressive cutting I will turn to a fixed blade. I understand the "one knife to do it all" mentality but for my life I don't expect needing a 3.5 inch folding knife to punch through a kevlar vest so the inconveniences of carrying a large, overbuilt and aggressively textured EDC knife looses its luster. The benchmade lineup offers more of what I look for in a folding knife. Ease of carry, ease of use, ease of operation one handed.
    bigsurbob and marrenmiller like this.

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