Benchmade VS Cold Steel: A Comparison of Two Excellent Knife Brands


If you are looking to purchase a knife for professional or recreational use, the knife market can be confusing.  There are so many different manufacturers to choose from that narrowing down the right knife maker can be an absolute headache.

While there are a number of big players in the knife manufacturing sector these days, Benchmade and Cold Steel are two of the best, and both are known for their quality products.

Both knife manufactuers have a number of different high quality knives that they offer, and because of that quality, both knife catalogs typically carry a higher price tag to match.  As with many types of consumer goods – the old saying definitely applies to knives when we say “you get what you pay for.”

Let’s look at Benchmade VS Cold Steel in a little more detail.


1. More About Benchmade

The history of Benchmade goes back to 1988. They have gained huge popularity among knife carriers due to their selection of knives, excellent quality, and high performance.

Innovation, durability, stylish design, and overall quality are all standards that that Benchmade is famous for. You will find a variety of different knife models within a range of categories with Benchmade, so finding the right knife won’t be a problem.

It doesn’t matter if you intend to carry a knife daily, or when you hit the hiking trails on the weekend – Benchmade has you covered with a huge selection of knives that will fit any scenario you can throw at them.

2. Knives and Specifications

The various knife models from Benchmade are grouped into different categories based on their use. This includes:

Steep Country: The Steep Country, is a hunting knife that has a fixed blade with a 3.50 inch blade made from CPMS30V steel. Its overall length is 7.65 inches and you can choose from a drop point blade or a drop point blade with hook.

The Foray: Benchmade offers the Foray, which is a folding knife that’s a great EDC knife. It has a 3.24 inch blade made from CPM20CV steel and an open length of 7.32 inches. It also comes with a comfortable G10 handle, which is contoured for ease of use.

3300BK-1701: The limited edition 3300BK-1701 is a quality military style tactical knife. It’s stylish and modern with an assisted opening. Its CPMS30V steel blade measures 3.91 inches and the overall open length of the knife is 8.91 inches.

Triage Triple Utility: The Triage triple utility tool is a rescue knife that offers a choice of two blade styles and is made from N680 steel. This knife offers versatility and functionality, both of which are vital for rescue situations. The Triage comes with a glass breaker and embedded seat-cutter, is scary sharp right out of the package, and stays so for long. It has a blunt tip which you can use as a screwdriver. This beauty is the prime choice of many firemen, coast guards, paramedics, and other rescue workers. Plus, the tool is made in the good ol’ USA.

The 570SBK:  The 570SBK is an everyday carrier, which comes with a serrated blade edge and is designed in a drop point style. The blade length is 3.72 inches and it is made from CPMS30V steel. When open, the overall knife length is 8.72 inches.

The Bushcrafter: If you want a tough field knife, The Bushcrafter, which is made with CPMS30V steel and has a 4.40 inch blade. Overall, the knife measures 9.15 inches and has a plan edge.

3. More About Cold Steel

Founded in 1980, Cold Steel has been in this industry for several decades and is still going strong. It has gained a reputation for producing high quality, tough, durable knives that perform excellently and boast innovative design.

There are plenty of knife options to choose from with Cold Steel and you can look forward to competitive prices as well as great choice and quality. This is a manufacturer that has built up a solid customer base and reputation over the years.

4. Knives and Specifications

Cold Steel offers knives that will cover just about every situation. Some of the knives made by Cold Steel include:

The Finn Wolf: This is a folding knife with plenty of power. It has additional safety features such as the Tri-Ad lock and is made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel. The blade measures 3.5 inches in length and the weight of the knife is 3.4 ounces. As a folding knife, it is very easy to carry around and is lightweight.

The Secret Edge: If you prefer a fixed blade knife rather than a folder, you can go for the stylish Secret Edge. This knife offers superior cutting power and is durable and easy to handle. The knife blade is made from stainless steel and measures 3.5 inches. The overall length of the knife is 6.5 inches. You can benefit from a stylish design and great performance from this product.

The GI Tanto: If you are looking for a tactically styled knife, the GI Tanto fits the bill.  With a 7 inch blade that’s made from 1055 carbon steel, this is a perfect fixed blade knife that can be used for just about any heavy duty situation.

The Black Bear Bowie: If it’s a machete you are after, Cold Steel can offer the impressive Black Bear Bowie. This robust and powerful machete has a blade that measures 12 inches and is made from 1055 carbon steel. Overall, the machete measures 17.75 inches.

The Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite: A handy addition to any bug out bag or to an EDC arsenal is the impressive Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite pocket knife. Weighing slightly over 0.3 pounds and having just a 2″ long blade, this tiny workhorse is a lot sturdier than it might look. It is made of quality materials like Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel and Long Griv-Ex Handle to offer you very long years of service. The Tuff Lite uses Cold Steel’s proprietary Tri-Ad Lock locking system, which makes this folder nearly as sturdy as a fixed blade. There’s also a slightly larger version of this model the Cold Steel Tuff Lite for people who believe that this folder is ridiculously small for their needs.

The Recon 1: This Cold Steel best-seller is an absolute crowd pleaser. It is a tactical knife with a sub-zero-quenched CPM-S35VN stainless-steel blade (the latest version) for enhanced durability. It is an extremely popular folder with the Army and the Law enforcement as it nearly matches the performance of many fixed blades thanks to the brand’s patented Tri-Ad Lock locking system. The blade is razor sharp straight out of the box and holds and edge impressively well. This is a knife large enough to use for self-defense but small enough for day-to-day tasks if you plan on using it as an EDC. Plus, it comes with an ergonomic G-10 handle for comfortable and prolonged use.

5. Making Your Choice

Both of these reputable knife manufacturing companies were formed in the 1980s, so in terms of experience there is not much differing between them when it comes to tenure.

The choice of knives seems to be greater with Benchmade but although the options with Cold Steel may be smaller, the quality of the products is outsanding and outdoors ready.  Your budget will undoubtedly play a role in what type of knife fits your needs, so that’s something to keep in mind.

While Benchmade is one of the higher end knife manufacturers, they also have a price tag that comes with it.  Bottom line: If you can afford the investment, there are few knife companies that produce a better knife than Benchmade.  If you are on a Budget, Cold Steel has some great options that will leave your wallet in good shape.

You might also like: Best Pocket Knife for EDC [2020]: 21 Folding Knife Reviews

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