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. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    They are both good companies that make good products.

    I don’t think a “vs.” really does justice to either brand.

    They both have pros and cons for sure, but mostly subjective preferences will deem what those are per user.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    Alberta Ed, jbmonkey and Lee D like this.
  2. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    Lock strength (and overall strength) in a folder is a little bit like money in this respect.
    I d rather have more than I need than not enough.
    bigsurbob, jux t, DocJD and 1 other person like this.
  3. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    And so I assume you've had experience with BM sheathes and found them to be better ? :confused:

    If not you're just trolling here . :mad::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
  4. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Says the self appointed spokesperson ! :rolleyes:
  5. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    That's absolutely true and I think it's a bit of a misstep by their marketing department, but their marketing probably does sell knives to certain types of people...

    It's a shame, because something like the Code 4 makes for a great EDC knife. It's thin, ground well for cutting, extremely strong, and a solid value proposition. I carry one of several Recon 1s often for EDC because I like a larger folder, and somehow there are exceedingly few large heavy duty knives with the edge geometry that my hollow ground recons have. Even my first generation AD-10 has a deep hollow grind and can do food prep, despite being a tank of a knife. I can't say enough good things about Cold Steel for the money.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  6. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    Totally fair, but I don't think Benchmade makes a mid-size or large knife with as good of cutting geometry as a hollow ground recon 1 or code 4. For that reason alone, I gravitate towards Cold Steel over my Benchmades. As for the rest of your points, I don't think an axis lock or a deep carry clip are really necessary for EDC, but YMMV there.
  7. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    No not necessary but depending on lifestyle they can be far more convenient. For example, I find myself in an office setting most of the time. Rough G-10 and standard carry clips don't play nearly as well with standard office wear as smooth g-10, carbon fiber, and deep carry clips. That being said, I don't find myself cutting down saplings, opening bags of quick dry concrete or battoning wood with my folding knife. If that is what you do absolutely carry your American Lawman or Code 4 before reaching for a Benchmade bugout or 940.
  8. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    Entirely fair, but to keep with the metaphor there are downsides to carrying around $10,000 in small bills at all times. Sometimes less is more. For me and my needs, carrying the equivalent of 10 grand in knife lock strength is not worth the downsides of having a knife that is objectively harder to operate one handed, has scales that tear through most pant material, and carries higher than Willie Nelson in Amsterdam. Again, love my cold steel blades. If I had to choose between the two brands though I actually carry my Benchmade blades while Cold steel options are reserved for yard work (where most of the time I just through on a fixed blade anyways).
  9. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    I don't think anybody here said they do those things with an EDC tool. To me it's more important that a Code 4 will outcut a 940 and be slimmer in the pocket than the fact that a tiny bit of the aluminum handle will be showing. Maybe your office setting is different than mine, but I don't think a deep carry clip is necessary for most people needing an EDC knife.

    Also the American lawman has low texture scales, and the code 4 is totally smooth. Nobody is damaging pockets using those knives. The recon 1 will absolutely tear up pants but that's sort of par for the course with large tactical folders.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    jux t likes this.
  10. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    This is all personal preference and like I said I do enjoy my Cold Steel blades. For most of my needs, what I need to do is have a deep carry knife (yes that is a luxury and not the end all be all but it is one that I gravitate towards), a knife that is relatively thin, light, and wont mess up nicer pants, and one that is quick and easy to use.

    Something like the smooth G-10 mini grip in 20cv, a Bugout, a Valet, or other Benchmade options simply do this better in my experience than a Code 4, Recon 1, American Lawman, etc. Those are all good blades, but the triad lock is not as fast as an axis lock. Each of those knives are bigger than the benchmades and the texture while not overly aggressive on the Recon 1, it is certainly far more than any Ti, smooth G-10, or carbon fiber.

    Once more, I get the argument that having more strength is better but when the axis lock can hold something like 500lbs hanging off the blade while the Triad is something like 1,000lbs, the difference falls flat. I have no plans of lifting a mini cooper with my folding knife and any condition that I would be worried about an axis lock failing at 500lbs plus of pressure on the spine i would equally worry about a cold steel. At that point i am going for a fixed blade, an axe, or simply calling someone with a bulldozer.
    jstn likes this.
  11. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    If you need something fast, I can't argue with that. I've never needed or benefited from having a knife open fast in an office setting, though. And I've appreciated being able to slice an apple at work more effectively with a properly executed hollow grind far more often than I've been thankful I saved one extra second of time opening and closing my folders. For me, it's not the lock type but the grind and size that makes the difference. The triad lock is a non factor in my decision making process for an edc knife.
  12. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Benchmade knives are more fun to fidget with. I line Cold Steel knives for use though as the handles ergos are great IMO, and you can't beat the Triad. I own and use 6-7 Cold Steels and one Benchmade so I guess that my answer. Plus, the American Lawman is an exceptional and underrated EDC for a great price.
  13. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    Having something open fast and easy is good when you are doing several small jobs rather than one big one. In an office setting or around the house, its a lot of opening letters, mail, tape on boxes, food packages. So yes, that hollow grind for apples is probably going to cut better but a hollow grind for what I find myself cutting all day (paper, tape, plastic) getting the knife out and away without having to think twice is what has me reaching for my benchmades far more often than my cold steels. I have always been impressed with cold steel cutting geometry and obviously the strength of the knife. But the question of the post was which brand we prefer and why and for me its benchmade because for the aforementioned reasons.
    marrenmiller likes this.
  14. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    I completely understand.
    My reason for responding in the first place was really just to make it clear that some people carry Cold Steel knives for reasons other than the perceived strength of the triad lock. Every time one of these posts comes up, the responses always seem to touch on "who needs the triad lock strength" but not on cutting geometry and carry profile.
  15. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    Cold steel grinds are absolutely underrated and regardless of how I break on this question personally, first time pocket knife buyers I tend to steer in the direction of cold steel especially if this is going to be their "one knife" and they aren't like myself who is going to have 50+ blades to choose from. Cold Steel makes strong, ergonomic cutting tools that will last darn near anyone their lifetime nearly no matter what they do to it. They just don't check all the boxes that I have for my needs which is why I settle on the butterfly's side for this question but I certainly see the niche for cold steel. I am just not their target market.
  16. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I must say I really like the Cold Steel AD 10 and 15, although I've never handled one. However, I am trending to smaller, lighter EDC's and they're on the larger size.
  17. Tyson A Wright

    Tyson A Wright Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2020
    I voted Benchmade. The 20cv/G10 Mini-Grip is the only Benchmade I own (although I'll probably buy a Proper sometime). I've owned several Cold Steel knives (and a couple of their sharp swords and their polypropylene wasters), and I always feel a little underwhelmed. I like the African Walking Stick - when I had to use a cane to walk for a while a few years ago, that served me quite well. But in general, Cold Steel knives just don't do it for me. I get why other people really like the brand, but it's like the sum of all the parts don't quite add up into a a product I really enjoy most of the time.

    I bet your knife does well at that, but if cutting apples is important, nothing beats an Opinel. :)

    c7m2p3 likes this.
  18. Houlahound


    Aug 2, 2017
    Most of my recent purchases are CS because I could not find a comparable knife in other brands I looked at.

    I don't have any reason not to buy CS at the moment. They supply what I want at a price I can afford.

    Also the tri-ad lock meets one of my main criteria in a folder.
    DocJD likes this.
  19. FullMetalJackass

    FullMetalJackass Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2016
    Benchmade any day
    c7m2p3 likes this.
  20. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    True. If only that were enough to get me over my general dislike of them overall.

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