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G&G CM16 sits at around $200, which doesn't even come close to expensive folding knives that are hand tuned/finished.
[/QUOTE]

Of course the G&G is going to be less than, say, a Shiro, or even something like a Reate, but there do exist hand finished products for under $200. Veros are much more expensive than they used to be, but makers like Kunwu still do it. There are so many new makers nowadays, thanks to Chinese OEM services that it’s easier than ever to produce an actual run of extremely high quality products. Contrary to the way it is with many other industries, China manufactures for many of the highest quality makers in existence. (think 2 dozen guys working in a machine shop)

If you’ve ever heard of CKF, they manufacture everything in China (a guy known as Kevin John, who does OEM work and a small line of his own stuff), and then ship the components to Russia where they are hand fitted, tuned, and sold to the public as Russian “mid tech” knives for in between $250 and $1500.

And you can, of course, find more expensive makers for under $200 used.

This is $200 used:

Gesture Hunting knife Everyday carry Knife Utility knife


And this is $200 new (but you used to be able to get them for $140):

Gesture Wood Tool Rectangle Blade
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
What do you think about the Cold Steel knives like the Hatamoto?

Rectangle Font Electronic device Musical instrument accessory Auto part
 

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For me personally, Cold Steel has never appealed to me, mostly just because of the style their knives have, so I have not owned many, but I know a but about the company itself.

Many are overpriced for the materials used. Overpriced is an arbitrary term, because design comes into play, but the general consensus is that you could probably be getting ”high class” materials for your money.

A bigger concern is QC. Until recently, Cold Steel has been known for excellent QC and American based customer service, headed by their founder and CEO, Lynn Thompson. However, Lynn recently sold the company to a supergroup known as GSM, and so everything they’ve put out in the last year or so is automatically suspect.

With knives, heat treatment on the steel is a significant % of the quality, and if you can’t trust a company, it means you can’t trust their HT. Hence, you can’t trust your knife. GSM has been suspect in the past.

On the Hatamoto in particular, it’s been discontinued, so the QC and heat treat are probably nice, However, for a price tag (new) of $300, the materials are lacking.

They quote the blade as being “San Mai III” which is a bigger misnomer than calling a packing a bucking. Both “San Mai” and “Damascus” steels are actually just different ways of processing regular steels, and have little to zero effect on the quality of the blade itself. It’s all about the steels used.

In particular, San Mai is the process of laminating three pieces of metal together, so that you can use a different steel and a harder heat treat on the one forming the actual edge of the blade, in hopes of the softer and tougher steels on the outsides bolstering it’s resistance to chipping.

However, I see no mention of steels used on the retailing websites, which almost always means that the steels are “mystery meat” style steels that they don’t want to brag about.

I believe Cold Steel probably isn’t using mystery steel though, and given that the knife was produced around 2010, I have a strong suspicion that the steel used was a Japanese alloy called VG-10, commonly used today in moderate to high class kitchen knives.

VG-10 was a decent steel in it’s time, but is mediocre by today’s folding knife standards. It has middle of the road edge retention (how long it stays a razor), good corrosion resistance, but lacks in toughness, meaning that it’s susceptible to chipping.

The retailers’ claim of having superior “strength“ is plain old false. Twice over. Once, because I am in extreme doubt that they used the best steel available at the time (even assuming it’s not, in fact, VG-10 like I suspect), and second, because many new steels have been formulated and come into popularity since then as to bump VG-10 into a budget steel.

For the full nerd report on what VG-10 is actually like (assuming my hunch is correct), look up “knife steel nerds test 48 steels”.

Moving on, in modern day standard, having G10 (the black part of the handle) is something that should only really be an option. Full titanium easily falls within that price range. (I start expecting full titanium/carbon fiber after about $180). While it was probably a cost cutting choice back in the day, today you should view it as a style choice. If you like it, sure, but for $300 the materials could be nicer.

Their claim of having superior lock strength is completely irrelevant. If your lock is even halfway to okay, the blade will always break before the lock. Always. Manufacturers will claim lock strengths in the hundreds of pounds, but their blades will chip after as little as five pounds of impact force (should realistically be in Newtons, but I’m not that nerdy), and at BEST, 45-50, which only the toughest steels achieve. Don’t write me off as stupid on this one, there’s a standard test that makes my numbers sound a lot more realistic. Google knife steel toughness testing, and don’t stop until you find real data, not “dis is tuffer den dat”.

In conclusion, I would call this a collector’s item, and they very well may sell for $100s on the secondary because of collectible value (I’m not a Cold Steel expert, so I don’t have a good guess on secondary value). In terms of practical functionality and what you’re getting for the price, this is a no.

This knife, manufactured today (and let’s assume we automatically upgrade it to nice ball bearings and a nicely made liner lock, so to be modern), should run you about $75 to $90, depending on who’s making it. If it didn’t have the titanium bolsters, I’d call it a $50-70 knife.

People (at least used to) love Cold Steel for their quality, QC, customer service, and the fact that the owner was both a nice guy and a goof and cut stuff up on YouTube. If you’re considering purchasing this one, evaluate what you consider important. If it’s luxury and quality feeling, this will not be your knife. If it’s that you want to murder watermelons in your backyard, by all means, be my guest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 · (Edited)
I got this this knife back in 2007. It's nice to hear some industry "tech" about it.

I don't ever remember having a need to sharpen it, though I did on several occasions needed strong solvents to get the adhesive off the blade from opening boxes with it. I didn't like the handle though...too "uncomfortable". Last use was to a family member who was dressing a deer and liked the sharpness. However, the person I loaned it to lost it...or he "kept" it...oh well.
 

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Of course the G&G is going to be less than, say, a Shiro, or even something like a Reate, but there do exist hand finished products for under $200. Veros are much more expensive than they used to be, but makers like Kunwu still do it. There are so many new makers nowadays, thanks to Chinese OEM services that it’s easier than ever to produce an actual run of extremely high quality products. Contrary to the way it is with many other industries, China manufactures for many of the highest quality makers in existence. (think 2 dozen guys working in a machine shop)

If you’ve ever heard of CKF, they manufacture everything in China (a guy known as Kevin John, who does OEM work and a small line of his own stuff), and then ship the components to Russia where they are hand fitted, tuned, and sold to the public as Russian “mid tech” knives for in between $250 and $1500.

And you can, of course, find more expensive makers for under $200 used.

This is $200 used:

View attachment 280171

And this is $200 new (but you used to be able to get them for $140):

View attachment 280172
This was literally my job until quite recently, so you're attempting to preach to the choir lol. In general, you aren't going to find a high-end, hand tuned/finished knife for under $200. You can find some decent factory options, but they won't have that special touch that something like my Norseman or another custom would. There's exceptions, but they're exceptions, not the rule.


@Guges Mk3 Cold Steel Hatamoto? One of their old custom series. Worth $350 minimum, if it's like new in box with the original tin.
 

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For me personally, Cold Steel .... overpriced for the materials used. Overpriced is an arbitrary term, because design comes into play, but the general consensus is that you could probably be getting ”high class” materials for your money.

A bigger concern is QC. Until recently, Cold Steel has been known for excellent QC and American based customer service, headed by their founder and CEO, Lynn Thompson. However, Lynn recently sold the company to a supergroup known as GSM, and so everything they’ve put out in the last year or so is automatically suspect.

With knives, heat treatment on the steel is a significant % of the quality, and if you can’t trust a company, it means you can’t trust their HT. Hence, you can’t trust your knife. GSM has been suspect in the past.

On the Hatamoto in particular, it’s been discontinued, so the QC and heat treat are probably nice, However, for a price tag (new) of $300, the materials are lacking.

They quote the blade as being “San Mai III”
.... However, I see no mention of steels used on the retailing websites, which almost always means that the steels are “mystery meat” style steels that they don’t want to brag about.

I believe Cold Steel probably isn’t using mystery steel though, and given that the knife was produced around 2010, I have a strong suspicion that the steel used was a Japanese alloy called VG-10, commonly used today in moderate to high class kitchen knives.

VG-10 was a decent steel in it’s time, but is mediocre by today’s folding knife standards. It has middle of the road edge retention (how long it stays a razor), good corrosion resistance, but lacks in toughness, meaning that it’s susceptible to chipping.

The retailers’ claim of having superior “strength“ is plain old false. Twice over. Once, because I am in extreme doubt that they used the best steel available at the time (even assuming it’s not, in fact, VG-10 like I suspect), and second, because many new steels have been formulated and come into popularity since then as to bump VG-10 into a budget steel.

Moving on, in modern day standard, having G10 (the black part of the handle) is something that should only really be an option. Full titanium easily falls within that price range. (I start expecting full titanium/carbon fiber after about $180). While it was probably a cost cutting choice back in the day, today you should view it as a style choice. If you like it, sure, but for $300 the materials could be nicer.

Their claim of having superior lock strength is completely irrelevant. If your lock is even halfway to okay, the blade will always break before the lock. Always. Manufacturers will claim lock strengths in the hundreds of pounds, but their blades will chip after as little as five pounds of impact force (should realistically be in Newtons, but I’m not that nerdy), and at BEST, 45-50, which only the toughest steels achieve. Don’t write me off as stupid on this one, there’s a standard test that makes my numbers sound a lot more realistic. Google knife steel toughness testing, and don’t stop until you find real data, not “dis is tuffer den dat”.

In conclusion, I would call this a collector’s item, and they very well may sell for $100s on the secondary because of collectible value (I’m not a Cold Steel expert, so I don’t have a good guess on secondary value). In terms of practical functionality and what you’re getting for the price, this is a no.

This knife, manufactured today (and let’s assume we automatically upgrade it to nice ball bearings and a nicely made liner lock, so to be modern), should run you about $75 to $90, depending on who’s making it. If it didn’t have the titanium bolsters, I’d call it a $50-70 knife.

People (at least used to) love Cold Steel for their quality, QC, customer service, and the fact that the owner was both a nice guy and a goof and cut stuff up on YouTube. If you’re considering purchasing this one, evaluate what you consider important. If it’s luxury and quality feeling, this will not be your knife. If it’s that you want to murder watermelons in your backyard, by all means, be my guest.
Cold Steel has always been known for a few things.... Some of the best bang for buck on the market, excellent heat treats, and some of the sharpest factory edges. That's something that both Spyderco and Benchmade suck at.

San Mai III is an old and tired debate, so I'll only touch on it briefly. It's never been mystery steel; in the case of the Hatamoto, it's VG1 with 420j2 cladding. Fallkniven and several other companies also use it. 400 series stainless is, factually, tougher and more corrosion resistant than VG1. That said, there are plenty of newer premium steel alloys out there that leave this old combination in the dust, such as CPM 3V.

Vg10 is still a decent steel, exhibiting a much better balance than more modern steels. It's only chippy when combined with a subpar heat treatment. It's not a budget steel by any stretch, as opposed to the D2 that's currently flooding the market.

G10 is a much better handle choice than titanium for cold steel's clientele. Grippier, lighter, more wear resistant, and in some respects stronger. To top it off, it's drastically less expensive to machine, which fits cold steel's design philosophy.

Their claim of having superior lock strength is completely relevant. If their lock is stronger(which it is), then it's going to be a definite selling point. There are plenty of frame and liner locks that have failed under use. You don't always need the strongest lock, but it's the same as having a fire extinguisher.... You don't need it, until it's too late. And yes, in cold steel's case, the blade will almost always fail first... Compared to, say my old crkt M16 that failed multiple times, and eventually completely fell apart.

And no. Especially today, this wouldn't be a $75-90 knife lol. Already has a liner lock, won't a stronger one than most others currently on the market, and bearing pivots don't make a knife worth more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Sadly, I tossed the packaging last year when I never got my knife back...
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Time to go digging in my relatives dress kit...
 

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This was literally my job until quite recently, so you're attempting to preach to the choir lol. In general, you aren't going to find a high-end, hand tuned/finished knife for under $200. You can find some decent factory options, but they won't have that special touch that something like my Norseman or another custom would. There's exceptions, but they're exceptions, not the rule.
I was more meaning the level of hand finishing and fitting that Reate does, certainly not the level of a Norseman! I’ve actually never gotten my hands on a Norseman, but their reputation precedes them.
 

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Cold Steel has always been known for a few things.... Some of the best bang for buck on the market… That's something that both Spyderco and Benchmade suck at.
I don’t know much about legacy Cold Steel products, but I’d debate them being an excellent bang for the buck. This is definitely an arbitrary topic, but products like the 4MAX just bother me.

I hate Benchmade factory edges, especially as someone who doesn’t own good sharpening equipment.


San Mai III is an old and tired debate, so I'll only touch on it briefly. It's never been mystery steel; in the case of the Hatamoto, it's VG1 with 420j2 cladding. Fallkniven and several other companies also use it. 400 series stainless is, factually, tougher and more corrosion resistant than VG1. That said, there are plenty of newer premium steel alloys out there that leave this old combination in the dust, such as CPM 3V.
(y)


Vg10 is still a decent steel, exhibiting a much better balance than more modern steels. It's only chippy when combined with a subpar heat treatment. It's not a budget steel by any stretch, as opposed to the D2 that's currently flooding the market.
I didn’t mean to misrepresent VG-10 here; it’s a step up from the D2 (almost no one heat treats it right or has ‘real’ D2), and, in my opinion, 154CM. I have no issues with the steel, and own/have owned several knives with that blade steel.

G10 is a much better handle choice than titanium for cold steel's clientele. Grippier, lighter, more wear resistant, and in some respects stronger. To top it off, it's drastically less expensive to machine, which fits cold steel's design philosophy.
For the aesthetic CS is going for, G10 is probably a better choice. The issue I have is when they price G10 (and even aluminum, which I flatly dislike), the same as similar products which feature titanium, which is factually more expensive. Absolutely nothing wrong with G10.

Their claim of having superior lock strength is completely relevant. If their lock is stronger(which it is), then it's going to be a definite selling point. There are plenty of frame and liner locks that have failed under use. You don't always need the strongest lock, but it's the same as having a fire extinguisher.... You don't need it, until it's too late. And yes, in cold steel's case, the blade will almost always fail first... Compared to, say my old crkt M16 that failed multiple times, and eventually completely fell apart.
Is it a selling point? Of course! Will having a lock strength of 600lbs ever come into play during knife use? I don‘t think so. My point was on practical relevance and not relevance to marketing. It’s a novelty. There’s nothing wrong with charging more for a novelty (like the novelty of supersteels), but I like to at least bring up that it’s a novelty and not a practical feature. Having a lock strength of, say, 100lbs is more than enough for a folding knife.

I think the minimum requirement to apply is that it has to be a well made lock, regardless of rated strength. I have not yet met a CRKT that I would have called well made. Your experience may be different than mine,

And no. Especially today, this wouldn't be a $75-90 knife lol. Already has a liner lock, won't a stronger one than most others currently on the market, and bearing pivots don't make a knife worth more.
To come up with my vague estimate, I came up with a few well made knives featuring G10 handles, steels similar to (what I thought was) VG-10, and then added some for titanium bolsters, and subtracted some for the age of the model.

My starting point was the Kizer Sovereign, with sculpted G10 handles, a steel liner lock, and N690 steel (identical-ish to VG-10 for the non-knife guys in the thread). Similar reversible pocket clip, on washers and not bearings, and very well made. This knife costed around $100 new when they made it, but nowadays they don’t sell for more than $50.

Civivi makes some better analogies for around $70-90.

Nothing wrong with liner locks either, manufacturers are just better at making excellent liner locks now than they used to be.

Bearings are just a personal preference.


Given the true San Mai steel, what’s your guess on what this knife would/should cost if it was made today? Assuming no collectible value.
 

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32gr at 1000fps is very close to 22lr

If you mean 0.32g at 1000fps that's still about 15J output, probably doable with a pressurized gas system but I doubt any AEG could handle it.
Random note, but I actually chronoed 22lr recently.

Since the slug weighs in at 3 grams, and at chronoed at over 900 FPS, that’s a joule rating of just about 135. :D

I chronoed with a silenced Ruger 22/45 pistol, you may have different results with your weapon of choice. ;)
 

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I don’t know much about legacy Cold Steel products, but I’d debate them being an excellent bang for the buck. This is definitely an arbitrary topic, but products like the 4MAX just bother me.
Doesn't have to be legacy Cold Steel products, but let's go with specifically the 4max since you mentioned it. I've owned 2 of the (discontinued) Italian variant, which was known for having better QC than the USA model. Most websites were selling them for ~$250. I got mine for $200-210 each. With that, I got American-made G10 scales, titanium liners and hardware, and American-made CPM 20CV steel. I don't know of any other knife with a 4" blade that's nearly as thick... You're getting a lot of steel for that price. If you look at their current production scout model, it's frequently found between $70-90 (G10, Aus10 steel.

I hate Benchmade factory edges...
The number of BM's I've had to fix the edge on out of the box is ludicrous... I think I've had maybe two that came with a decent edge. And then there's their s30v issue..

I didn’t mean to misrepresent VG-10 here; it’s a step up from the D2 (almost no one heat treats it right or has ‘real’ D2), and, in my opinion, 154CM. I have no issues with the steel, and own/have owned several knives with that blade steel.
Correct on D2. I've had a few with good heat treats, but in general the carbide structure is left unrefined, and microchipping is a huge problem. Vg10 is in a different league (especially with a polished edge). Vg10 and 154cm are both great balanced steels... Good edge retention/corrosion resistance, while remaining extremely easy to sharpen.

For the aesthetic CS is going for, G10 is probably a better choice. The issue I have is when they price G10 (and even aluminum, which I flatly dislike), the same as similar products which feature titanium, which is factually more expensive. Absolutely nothing wrong with G10.
Be interesting to see which titanium handled knives you're thinking of, but in lieu of making an assumption I'll just point out that typically Ti is way more expensive due to how much more difficult it is to machine. The cheapest Ti-handled knives are usually from Russia/China, which makes sense since that's where most titanium is sourced from. Cold steel's used titanium bolsters and liners before, but there's no real benefit for the increase in price. G10 is much more wear resistant, and is resistant to flex, temperature, chemicals, moisture, and is a great insulator. It's also easily textured, which is something you want in a practical knife. Aluminum is ok, but is notably weaker than G10.

Is it a selling point? Of course! Will having a lock strength of 600lbs ever come into play during knife use? I don‘t think so. My point was on practical relevance and not relevance to marketing. It’s a novelty. There’s nothing wrong with charging more for a novelty (like the novelty of supersteels), but I like to at least bring up that it’s a novelty and not a practical feature. Having a lock strength of, say, 100lbs is more than enough for a folding knife.
Lock strength... Let me put it another way. Crkt marketed the auto-lawk on my m16(which failed me multiple times) as being pretty much a fixed blade. Most people would say that that liner lock is enough, but clearly it wasn't for me(and I don't pry with my knives or beat on them, with the exception of some Triad lock folders I've cut down saplings and limbs with). Cold Steel took them to court over it, successfully. Clearly it's not a novelty, since I'm not the only one that's had similar experiences.

To come up with my vague estimate, I came up with a few well made knives featuring G10 handles, steels similar to (what I thought was) VG-10, and then added some for titanium bolsters, and subtracted some for the age of the model. My starting point was the Kizer Sovereign, with sculpted G10 handles, a steel liner lock, and N690 steel (identical-ish to VG-10 for the non-knife guys in the thread). Similar reversible pocket clip, on washers and not bearings, and very well made. This knife costed around $100 new when they made it, but nowadays they don’t sell for more than $50.
For your comparison knife, it's not really comparable... They're called 'custom series' knives for a reason. The Sovereign is CNC'd in China, which pretty much guarantees the lowest price possible for that level of quality. It's also much newer (so material prices have come down), and has a weaker lock. @Guges Mk3 can you take a magnet over the hardware and locking mechanism (I'm curious if anything other than the bolsters is titanium)?

Nothing wrong with liner locks either, manufacturers are just better at making excellent liner locks now than they used to be.
Cold steel's leaf spring lock is beefed up over a standard liner lock... I can probably dig up some test videos if needed. For other manufacturers though, yes, you'd be correct on modern liner locks being better... Cold steel's 'Iron Proof' testing skylined other companies into having to fix their poor lock geometry lol.


Bearings are just a personal preference.
Bearings aren't a bad choice either imo. They just shouldn't really increase the price.

Given the true San Mai steel, what’s your guess on what this knife would/should cost if it was made today? Assuming no collectible value.
I don't like San Mai steel, whether resold by fallkniven, cold steel, sog, etc.. It has no place next to modern premium steels. That's not too say that it wasn't good at the time, but that the increase in price is no longer worth it. Nowadays it's mainly an aesthetic choice. If they updated the core and laminate steels used (say 3V or M4 core with lc200n or h1 laminate), my opinion might be different. And there are makers out there doing that or similar, just not on a wide scale that I'm aware of. For a comparable knife, I'd suggest another high-end Hattori-made blade, like those currently sold by fallkniven(despite the absence of titanium and a weaker lock):
Even now, the MSRP's are very comparable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
If references help...it would be the same as an Ares.

But I don't, I never got into HPA.

However, I have some TM mechboxes that one could substitute.
 

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The reason I ask is that I was thinking about building an HPA rifle with the GR16mod5, but was told by someone that it might be a problem to convert the gearbox in that model. It has the ambi bolt levers, so I was interested in trying to use the stock gearbox to keep them.( If only Aesthetically).

Thanks anyway. Just thought, of anyone, you might know.

I ended up with the VFC HK 416a5, because P* had that rifle listed as a proven platform. But figured, as you are now repping the Arcticus line, you may know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
I am going to ressurrected this thread.

The picture of the stock above that I posted last July was being discovered by the Airsoft population as a OMG...sad that MOS manufacture marketing is not effective.

The folks from Gunfire showed up...the people that made E&L famous

Customer Table Luggage and bags Jacket Engineering
 

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To be honest, the only “marketing” for MOS I’ve seen has been you on this forum and the MOS account posting occasionally on Reddit. I think a large portion of the community doesn’t know they exist. E&L still isn’t even fully accepted yet, tell a new player to get an E&L Essential and watch how fast someone says they rust and are picky with mags and to get a subpar Cyma instead…
 
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