Pros: Blade Sharpness, Overall Quality, Weight, Blade Material, None
Cons: Handle Material, Sheath/Scabbard
TrailMasters, Past and Present
I would give each of these knives a "5" BUT FOR the fact that the kraton grip works loose and needs attention after a time. Not just on one knife, but several I and/or friends have owned and used. This wasnt as annoying as it could have been cuz I have been installing elk/stag grips for years, but for some it could be an issue having the kraton work loose... The kraton is a bit too "rubby" on the palm for my liking. Also the sheaths are crappy nylon or some such material, adequate until you can make a new one. YMMV THAT SAID... When I got my first TM, I asked "Will it shave?" and proceeded to harvest a crop of arm-hair from my lower left arm... before anyone could warn or stop me.. nice broad swathe, better than most any other knife in my experience to that time. The guys present still rib me about that one... Those first knives were the lamented Carbon Five steel, later in 0-1 and then San-Mai (another sort of horse entirely).. The later ones are just as good as the C-5 blades and Cold Steel seems to have maintained quality control over the years. I/we have used these knives for general carry, hunting, camping, knocking around, and (EEEK!) even a bit of digging here and there and trimming plants in the garden and on the property. Gutting and cutting deer, hacking bone even.. Getting used to a large-ish blade may take a little time in hand but it will do most anything a smaller blade will do, plus things a smaller blade cannot do, like chipping up firewood. It's no axe obviously but is very useful, handy in the original sense of the word, and will take and hold a scarey-sharp edge. I have other knives but carry the TM over many others.. These are blades I have "bet my life on" and keep one on my "outdoors" open-carry pistol belt. No bull, best quality for the money. IMO.. Ive been looking for the shorter 7" version just cuz...