Cold Steel Recon 1 Review

The Cold Steel Recon 1, is the mid-sized knife option in the Recon 1 line.  It is smaller than the XL Recon 1, but larger than the Micro or Mini Recon 1.

The Recon 1 is a folding knife that is offered in numerous variations, costing between $70 and $80 on Amazon, depending on the model.  If you can deal with the large size, then the Recon 1 may be a new knife to add to your collection.

Our Impressions of the Cold Steel Recon 1

The Cold Steel Recon 1 is offered in three distinct blade shapes, all with blade lengths of 4 inches, with a thickness of 3.5mm. Depending on your preference, you can purchase the knife with a spear point, tanto, or clip point style blade.

All styles are available with either a plain edge or a half serrated edge. The blade is made from AUS 8A steel, and is coated with what Cold Steel calls a Tuff-Ex coating.

AUS-8A is not the greatest steel.  While it is not bad, for the price range of the Recon 1, you could buy a knife with much nicer steel.  The coating should mitigate rust for the most part.

The Recon 1 has an overall length of 9 3/8 inches, with a closed length of 5 3/8, which makes this knife quite large for everyday carry, at least in my opinion.  The knife weighs in at 5.3 ounces, and I just can’t justify carrying that large of a knife on a daily basis.

Everyone has differing needs, however, so this knife may fit just right in your pocket.

The blade on the Recon 1 is opened with the help of a thumb stud, and held open by a Tri-Ad lock, which is a locking mechanism than is proprietary to Cold Steel.  

The Tri-Ad lock is known for its durability and solid lock up.  There is no play in the blade when the lock is engaged.  While the Tri-Ad lock is very sturdy, it can be a little tricky to manipulate with one hand.

Handle Materials

Cold Steel Recon 1

The handle material is roughly textured G-10, which will allow plenty of grip when holding the Recon 1.  Although I think that the knife is too large for everyday carry, the handle is very ergonomic.

There are two finger grooves in the handle, and the handle shape fits nicely in my hand. The Recon 1 is available with black or coyote tan handles, although the coyote tan models sell for significantly more.  

The Coyote tan Recon 1 retails for around $100 on Amazon, compared to around $70 for the black models.

Cold Steel is known for the durability of its knives, as evidenced by the numerous videos that the company has released online that showcase the knives being abused, but not destroyed.

Everything on the Recon 1 feels durable, and I do feel like this knife will hold up to the test of time. There is a small, low profile pocket clip on the Recon 1, which can be attached for either left handed or right handed carry, but only in the tip up position.

Wrap Up

All in all, I feel like the Cold Steel Recon 1 is a good knife. Everything on the knife feels well built, the blade is long enough to accomplish major cutting tasks, and the locking mechanism seems solid.

However, I feel like the size of the knife takes away from its usefulness.  It is too large to carry in my pocket everyday, and the larger blade could be harder to control for precise cuts.

Also, for the price, I would much rather have a knife with better steel. For example, in this price range the Spyderco Endura would be my choice, the difference being VG-10 blade steel over AUS-8A.  However, if you do not feel like this knife is too large, and are comfortable spending the money, then the Cold Steel Recon 1 may be for you.

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