Pros: Blade Material, Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Weight, Finish, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
Sometimes less is more: * ultra light; * very tiny; * easy to "deploy"
Sometimes less is more:* ultra light (half ounce);* very tiny (1" blade, handle covered by hand);* easy to "deploy" - just pull out of handle clipped to clothing etc.;* no fumbling with risk of drop (as on pocket knife) to open blade;* impossible to have blade knocked closed on your fingers if rushed;* very difficult to knock out of your hand;* held between middle and ring finger, you can still open and use that hand;* much less penetration that longer blades;* less risk of unintentionally "deadly force" due to less penetration;* capable of "deadly force" via multiple strikes or strike & draw (slash);* no "pocket printout" if carried behind a handkerchief or credit card.This is, if used as self-defense, primarily, a "release and run" self-defense knife, for getting away from surprise bearhugs, headlocks, chokes including RNC's. If you clip it to clothing, like on a shirt button (underneath the button hole, between top and bottom layers) or on a bra strap, you have a readily accessible way to get an assailant to release you with minimal permanent damage, low-risk of fatality (or even of e.r. visit), and less explaining to do all-around. It is also pretty inconspicuous if you carry it in your hand, unsheathed, while getting into your car or walking from parking space to door. On the other hand, if you have watched Cold Steel's gruesome "attack a side of beef" videos, you understand that even a small knife, intentionally aggressively used, is capable of lethal force (multiple punch strikes with slash to withdraw), which could potentially save your life from a murderer. Do not underestimate the importance of easily keeping a solid grip on this small knife even if your hand or arm are struck by a stick.The sheath is much improved over the original version since it no longer requires a well-placed "pinch" to release the locking mechanism - this is simply friction retention, nothing to think about except pulling it out.I would like to see Cold Steel make this in two versions: a black version (low reflectivity, less obtrusive) and the existing uncoated version (less "militarized"). While it would be nice to have this in non-serrated, my sharpening service has successfully re-ground worn-down samples into a plain edge. I would also like to see Cold Steel re-title this as the "Utility Pal" or "Package Pal" or something as inoffensive as possible. At least "Mini" is less question-raising than "Urban" as used by the "Urban Pal."You should be careful carrying this in your jurisdiction, since some jurisdictions prohibit ANY fixed blade knife regardless of length, and some prohibit ANY t-handled knife, no matter how small, due to the common use of so-called "gambler's daggers" (or "push daggers") during the San Franciso Gold Rush era.If you are military and commonly wear gloves, the Urban Pal will be easier to grip and hold, or you can even upsize beyond that, thanks to Cold Steel's amazing collection. At that point the risk of lethality increases, but if you are on duty you are generally legally protected.I use this for package opening and it does a great job. The single edge allows me to bear down on the top of the blade for easier cutting, or I can hold it in my hand (not between fingers) with my thumb on top of the blade. I have used this to separate half a Thai bbq chicken purchased on the street in Thailand into parts to share with my wife, to slice open the fibrous husk of a rambutan. I find it much safer than a folding knife (two accidents - my kid jostled me while opening my folder and pushed the blade back on my hand before I hand completed the opening; and the large hole in a folder got opened by other junk in my pants pocket and stabbed me). It is also minimally "threatening" to bystanders, although respecting the nervous-nelly nature of bystanders is always a good idea. The one time I was followed into an alley by a suspicious character, the sight of this in my hand was enough to make him reconsider and back away, so overall this is good for both utility and self-preservation, without weighing down your pocket or leaving an obvious silhouette in your pocket.