Cold Steel SRK San Mai III Black Kraton Handle
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All of the knives featured in our Battle Ready Classics Series have been made by Cold Steel for many years and are well proven in the field as well as in hand to hand combat. Frankly, we have been scratching our heads trying to figure out how we could improve them without drastically raising their price. The answer was to offer them in our famous San Mai III steel. Made in Japan according to our strict standards since the mid 1980's, San Mai III has proven unsurpassed in strength, toughness, sharpness and ease of re-sharpening. Over the years, other "super steels" have come and gone but San Mai III remains as the most proven high performance stainless steel in the world. If you want a combat knife you can bet your life on, and reasonably priced, check out our Battle Ready series as we have the knife for you.
Top customer reviews
The knife has the weight and length I was looking for. The blade thickness is a generous 0.19" which I think is just fine for this type of knife, it should hold up well to hard use. The handle length is roomy for my XL hands, US glove size 10.5; that's a hard attribute to find. The sheath is compact, light and effective, no complaints there either.
Things I don't like about the SRK are few, limited to two minor complaints:1) wishing the tang protruded out the end of the handle slightly, a la Fallkniven 2) there is a full 3/4" of non-sharpened blade towards the handle, I'd rather have the sharpened area extend back another 5/8" or so. Those things weren't enough for me to move it down a whole star.
There are photos of the SRK An Mai III next to a Fallkniven A1. As you can see the Fallkniven A1 has more blade edge for a similar sized knife as well as thicker steel and the Fallkniven is has a much finer finish to the steel. If you run your fingers down the slide of the SRK you can feel the grain of the metal, do the same with the Fallkniven and it feels like glass. The SRK compares favorably for less than 60% of the price of an A1 but the SRK is a bit rougher around the edges.
Looks great, mean as hell, San Mai III steel, nice'n hefty, super sharp, comfortable - what's not to like!
If you've seen my review of the Benchmade Nimravus, you won't find this knife on my list of the top 5. That's because I didn't have this knife yet.
The first thing I noticed was the heft and thickness of the spear-point blade (a measured .200"). That's a mere .050" away from a quarter inch. The second thing I noticed was the comfy Kraton grip, which fits my hand like I wish all knives would. My thumb finds the thick spine a quite natural resting place.
Aside from the Nimravus, this is the sharpest knife I've ever held out-of-the-box. It passed the paper/cardboard test with laughable ease, and makes short work out of blister packs, fiberboard, plastic soda bottles, seat belts, and fire hose. The top edge of the spear point is also very sharp. It will certainly be an asset in the woods, or in your camp or bug-out bag. I highly recommend it for campers and preppers. I'd use it for EDC, but it's an inch too long for legal carry here.
THE SHEATH -
I've seen reviews here, criticizing the sheath for being too tight or too loose. Mine is on the tight side, which is perfect for me. Perhaps there's a wide bell curve of manufacturing tolerances at the factory, and I happened to get one close to the middle. TIP - if your sheath is tight, pushing against its forward edge with your thumb will pop it out with ease.
The retention strap is a little awkward though - it's designed to snap on-center, which makes UNsnapping a bit clumsy. It also interferes slightly with "re-holstering". The sheath is adjustable for "ride-height" - an interesting feature. It will also tac-tie horizontally to a MOLLE vest.
In the woods, this knife is a pleasure to use. It whacks and carves through branches like a bolo, and the spear point will pick up a four-foot heavy branch from the ground with a light jab.
If you're a camper or a prepper, I highly recommend this knife.
My cousin has the AUS 8 srk and its pretty good too, but he got his when it was $6o...not $80 like it is now.
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