Cold Steel Tai Pan San Mai III question...

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by CaptainPicardX, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. CaptainPicardX

    CaptainPicardX Banned BANNED

    Jan 10, 2010
    I have a thing for daggers, I have wanted to get me a CS Tai Pan for quite some time now, but I cannot stand bull of ANY company, be it knives, cars,etc.... and hipe and advertising.... My question is does any of you guys have/had a CS Tai Pan Aus8 or SMIII, THAT YOU HAVE ACTUALLY TESTED, in something other than meat, cardboard,paper,plastic bottles, so I can see at least remotely how the edge hold up to some "abuse" which IMO is not abuse, its toughness... Experience/ pictures would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Denis.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  2. Pizis


    Jun 9, 2004
    Unfortunately have not had my hands on Tai Pan. But about AUS8 from Cold Steel. It is chippy.
    On this video one guy tests Recon-1 and Recon-1 old version.
    Both knives have tanto blades and both lost big chunks of their tips.

    This video in russian, but have english subs.

    This guy vininul have done a lot of hard use tests on various knives.

    Acording them - TriAd is the strongest lock and AUS8 from Cold Steel is one of the most chippy steel.

    Also I have seen 2 video about big chips at Espada XL edges. In one video guy cuts some bushes. In another - paper tube and as a result - big chunk of blade broken off. Also I know one russian guy who did some penetration test in tire by Cold Steel Espada Large and had may small chips along the blade. the tire was without metal cords of course.

    I know nothing about how strong San Maiii from Cold Steel is. I have Recon Tanto SanMaiii. Like the knife. Have not done any hard use to it only a little cutting. Soft clad 420 steel prone to scratches as it seems to me. The blade have many small scrathes now. The core VG1 steel is good and holds edge well.
  3. CaptainPicardX

    CaptainPicardX Banned BANNED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Thanks Pizis..

    really I get a warning for saying Bull****
  4. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978

    Mar 25, 2012
    Yeah, they don't like some of the stronger language on the main forums. Whine and cheese is the place for that. The San Mai holds up pretty well, not that i've cut anything more than cardboard. The skin steel scratches easily, however.
  5. Brad "the butcher"

    Brad "the butcher"

    Dec 15, 2008
    The san mai in my cs outdoorsman has held up well edge wise whittlin, preppin for fires, light chopping/branch clearing and kitchen work.

    I also have a tai pan but its minty and will probably stay that way unless the SHTF.
  6. 416isToronto

    416isToronto Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    It is interesting that it is hard to come by user experience accounts and videos of the CS San Mai knives being used / tested.
    I have a couple of Magnum Tanto IIs (VG1 San Mai), also an older Master Tanto with Aus8a San Mai) and a Recon Tanto (Vg1 San Mai)...
    saw a Master Tanto back in the mid 90s, and had wanted on finally this year i picked these up...

    So far i have not put any of them thru much...just light cutting stuff...but since there are not many videos / pics / experiences to be found...i have been thinking of putting the Magnum Tanto II to some tests in front of the camera, since i have managed to get 2... However, i have no experience in making good videos etc. so will have to try

    Maybe you can help out with some your post you refer to "some abuse" and cutting stuff other than cardboard, meat, paper, plastic bottles...
    Please give some suggestions...and keep in mind that i dont want to destroy my Magnum Tanto ii :)
    Planning on making the video etc. in the next couple of weeks if i get the time..

  7. kerberosWXIV


    Dec 30, 2012
    Imho, the Tai Pan is a pure fighting/ killing tool, it is not design to do anything else other that to cut, pierce flesh and some bones. To use it as a camp knife is just like using a katana to chop firewood. Definitely possible to some extend but not without damaging the blade in the process. The design and edge grind on outdoor/utility and fighting knife are just different. CS has a video of them abusing the Tai Pan on YouTube... seems pretty legit and tough enough to do its intended job if the user has the skill to use it properly...
  8. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    AUS8 chippy? No, not really. It's not run hard enough to have chipping problems but when the user is abusing a blade and has poor cutting technique blade damage is possible.
  9. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978

    Mar 25, 2012
    It may seem legit, but remember, that's the showroom model. And they have as many knives and film takes as they need to make the product look indestructible. I like my Tai Pan, but I took CS's video with a grain of salt. Agreed that it's a purpose specific piece. It's meant to process people, not wood or even wild game. Would make a good boar dagger, though.
  10. CaptainPicardX

    CaptainPicardX Banned BANNED

    Jan 10, 2010
    I completely understand your point, but I have a problem with such attitudes from any manufacturer. If your knife is only made to cut meat which are Very soft targets, or any other target that has similar consistency, then IMO its a a very light duty knife and you should stop advertising it as "indestructible" or whatever, or even "combat ready" cause its not, this is crap IMO. Sure, based on the design and steel,etc.. may be intended for a certain task, but a "Good quality" knife like the Cold Steel promotes their knives as, basically, ... should be able to take more than just cutting meat, and cheese, and cardboard.

    IMO even the knives I find at the Flea Market (made in China, Pakistan) have a decent edge and with a little work could have a razor edge, I'm speaking from experience. BUT, the first time you try to pry open paint can, the tip will break, try to baton with them and they will dull to crap, throw it at a tree and it will snap in half or crappy handles will fall off. This IMO, is why I pay the higher price for good quality knives.

    I understand that not all manufactures want to warranty their knives if someone puts them thru this kind of "abuse", which is fine, BUT IMO, please dont try to promote your product as "tactical' combat ready" or even "tough" cause IMO thats false advertising. You need to say something like, " Here is the perfect cheese cutting knife, that will not stick to even the best French cheese, or something,. but if you promote your knife combat ready, survival, or apocalypse ready, than at the very least it needs to be able to stab thru a car hood, multiple times and come out with NO chips, and really no rolls, and if the knife has a good heat treatment and steel, it should either still be sharp, or just have some dulling, NO tip breakage, NO chips, etc.... IMO.

    And also why it the hell do you price it 10 times the price of any other knife?? If its only meant to be used to cut meat and cheese, than I can get some gorgeous absolutely stunning knives at the Flea Market for no more than $35. So why is your knife $400? And if you tell meits cause of the time needed to make it, cost of materials, etc... is not good enough, at least not if your gonna advertise it as "indestructible", "combat", or even tactical IMO. Instead say "here is a cheese cutting knife that will cut cheese,meat, etc... and the reason its more expensive than the "made in Pakistan" crap is cause its made in the US, or something along those lines.

    Thats my .02 when it comes to pretty much any product...
  11. CaptainPicardX

    CaptainPicardX Banned BANNED

    Jan 10, 2010
    At the very least I would like to see how it performs stabbing/cutting some cans, everything from beer cans to canned fruit can type, a knife with a good heat treat ought to be able to chop/cut some wood for a WHILE without ANY damage, first of all, and it would be nice if its still decently sharp after. IMO this is not much to ask. The torture test would be something like KnifetestNOSS on YT does, but other than that IMO cutting cans should not be considered "abuse". Also some prying to test the flex of the blade and see if its gona spring to true, tip strength chewing thru wood boards, etc....

    IMO any other knife that cannot go thru these simple tests, is a "light duty only" knife.
  12. DrtyHarry


    Jul 14, 2010
    I have been looking to get one of these knives for a long time. There is one for sale...but the seller is not sure what kind of steel it is, if it has the old ASV-1 or the AUS-8A. How can I tell? This will be treated as a self defense blade. I have seen demos of the blade from Cold Steel....amazing how it bends and cuts. What steel is better...and what are the tell signs so I know what steel it is. Knife is NIB from old stock, but seller sees no markings and can't be sure. Any help? Thanks!!

  13. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    San Mai is a very tough laminate. Edge holding will not be great, but the blade will be very tough. I would not worry about toughness. It is a dagger, so not sure why you would expect the knife to be a hard use knife anyway. As for AUS8 steel, if you have one, it is fairly tough for a stainless when the Rc is kept low.
  14. Motega

    Motega Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Having long owned Cold Steel knives of every kind, as a responder above said, they are mainly designed to inflict bodily injury. I have only 2 Back Bear Classics now, both honed to hair splitting edges and kept bedside until my kids are old enough that I can return the gun to a locked dresser drawer.
    Do you want it to stab through a car hood or something? What are your expectations, because "we got a knife for that"- it's probably not a CS Tai Pan though, which IMO are now overpriced tacticool pieces.
  15. JAM


    May 1, 2004
    Why are firearms dangerous for your kids to get a hold of but not huge blades "honed to hair splitting edges?"
    oldmanwilly likes this.
  16. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Thats a fighting knife and good one,is made in japan,quality is very good.

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