Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Mini Tac Beaver Tail from Cold Steel
Those who know my knife preferences know I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Lynn C. Thompson's world famous company Cold Steel Knives. On one hand (for better or for worse) the man is a 3-ring hype master who unabashedly promotes and talks-up the violent use of his products toward both game-animals and humans (those who would do you harm). On the other hand, the man and his company have continually blazed trails and released some of the finest and most fairly-priced knives for outdoor use, self defense and any other application one could think of. I've never met the man, and I'm sure he's a good guy, so I'm not saying these things to judge the guy...I just think some of his advertising is a bit "over-the-top". I'm not sure how much good advertising of that style does for the image of we, the American knife-culture, and the entire American (and foreign) knife industry as a whole.
That being said, I own probably well over 25 or 30 Cold Steel knives and other products. They've always made some really badass stuff. One of my favorites which I lost in an unfortunate trade, was the Scimitar folding knife, fully serrated and black and mean as hell, that's a great knife. Cold Steel's Sjambok rubber short-whips are also great fun. They are dirt cheap (about $12.00 USD) on most knife retail sites, fill some gallon milk jugs with water and strike and them with a 42" Cold Steel Sjambok, it's a great way to spend an afternoon. Again, in defense of Cold Steel, they make probably THE widest range of creative and unique products of any cutlery company going today.
Anyhow, new for 2009 are 3 Cold Steel Mini Tac neck knives. There's a pointy Japanese Kiridashi inspired design, an upswept skinner with plenty of belly, and my fave, the Beaver Tail!
I've been waiting for this series since well before they actually became available. I was drawn to the kiridashi pattern at first, but I figured the beaver tail blade looked a bit less weaponized and probably had more utility applications.
* Weight: 2.8 oz.
* Blade Thickness: 2.5 mm
* Blade Length: 3 3/8"
* Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
* Overall: 6 3/8"
* Handle: 3" Long G-10
* Secure-Ex® Neck Sheath
These things are feather-light. MSRP is in the upper $50-something range, but most good websites, including Cold Steel Special Projects should have them considerably less expensive. I got mine at a warehouse sporting goods store for under $35.00
These three new Mini Tac knives all come with a concealex plastic sheath and a bead-chain, but are light and small enough to wear in the front pocket of a pair of shorts or jeans. They might also be a good choice to tuck in your car's visor too.
Cold Steel's crazy "Proof" DVDs have to be seen to be believed. They hack up stuff with their swords and put their products through some really abusive and entertaining torture tests. I believe you can still request a free dvd and catalog on either of the two websites.
Cold Steel's original site
Cold Steel's discount site
The Mini Tac Beaver Tail, as well as the others in the series have very nicely textured G10 handle slabs over a full tang. The handle also features a pseudo-sub hilt design that effectively prevents your finger from sliding forward. It grips great, and is comfortable, even in large hands like mine. The knife snaps securely into the sheath and I'd have no hesitations about wearing this around my neck, it's not coming out of the sheath unless YOU want it to, which is more than I can say for a couple other neck knives I've owned that have cut my midsection while escaping their sheaths without my permission (Chinese V-Tech brand knives, I'm looking at YOU bastards!)
Any of the 3 new Mini Tac neckers would make great all-around choices, be they for utility, boat knives, camp kitchen, or even walking home at night through a shady urban jungle! I don't think you could go wrong with these guys if you want a small and easily concealable fixed blade that has definite crossover value. Cold Steel offers a 5 year warranty on their fixed blade/non folding knives.
Anyway, for less than the price of a night out at the movies with your sweetheart, you can own one of these really nicely done Cold Steel Mini Tac knives. Mr. Lynn C. Thompson, you are a despicable genius...
If you want to see all 3 knives in the series, here they are at KnifeCenter