2020 is coming...

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Jun 24, 2015
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Well, we're closed tomorrow so the release has been pushed back to Thursday. Completely forgot, sorry folks! One more day!
There are 2 pages of new items with pics and descriptions on the Cold Steel website as I type this. There are several items that says "Image Coming Soon". This includes the description and specifications on some of these items but not all.
 
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I hope the Black Bear Classic is going to be satin, with leather sheath...
Satin VG-10 San Mai III blade but no leather sheath, it's Secure-Ex. And oddly enough the blade is described as being 4 1/2" long with a 5" handle but overall length is listed as 13 1/4". Obviously a mistake. Does not specify Japan or Taiwan as the place of manufacture but I would imagine Taiwan as all of the VG-10 San Mai blades so far have been made in Taiwan. The quality of those blades has been excellent in the examples I have seen and handled. Really looking forward to getting one of these new Black Bear Classics.
 
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New stuff is up on CS website.
https://www.coldsteel.com/new-cold-steel-products.html

Stuff that stands out to me:
Air Lite, as many have mentioned, is going to be a big hit
The Kris models are sick
Love the spontoon hawks, they are 90% weapon, 10% hammer
The SR1 lites, if they don't have metal liners, will be a miss for me
The new locking clamp on the Hudson Bay axe is intriguing. It's probably piss off traditionalists, but if it is 2x stronger as claimed, it's going to get a following.
The Kiridashi is going to be the sleeper of the year
Does anyone know what the "rocker lock" on the Double Safe Hunter is?
 
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Cold steel just posted all the new stuff on instagram as well. So far the Air Lite is the only thing that’s interesting IMO.

Looks like there no new higher end folder design this year(AD15 isn’t new, just different color). Not even uncoated version of some of their most popular models. Most of the other new stuff are sword/axe/misc weapons.

CS seems to be going down market with the cheaper folder offering this year, similar to the new CRKT offerings. A worrying trend.

TBH i’m kinda bummed.
 
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That 1911 tho...
20npjaa_1.jpg


It's the oddest thing to me.
  • When I think of a 1911, I think large caliber, full sized gun. This is a small blade by CS standards
  • A liner lock instead of the illustrious tri-ad lock
  • It's a budget offering, unlike any 1911 I've heard of
  • That mini clip point tip, is it cool or ugly?
Whoever designed this has balls. It goes against what people think a CS knife is, and might appeal to a new market. Maybe that's the point.
 
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That 1911 tho...
20npjaa_1.jpg


It's the oddest thing to me.
  • When I think of a 1911, I think large caliber, full sized gun. This is a small blade by CS standards
  • A liner lock instead of the illustrious tri-ad lock
  • It's a budget offering, unlike any 1911 I've heard of
  • That mini clip point tip, is it cool or ugly?
Whoever designed this has balls. It goes against what people think a CS knife is, and might appeal to a new market. Maybe that's the point.

IDK man... this is probably biggest miss of the year. The design looks good but it has nothing im looking for in a cold steel - liner lock, plastic handle, flipper. If only they would make it in g10, triad lock and some better steel.

The other miss is the double safe hunter. After some production issue in China delaying the release of this knife, I thought cold steel would redesign it into a triad lock knife. Nope, still plastic handle with cheesy camo pattern, now with plastic clip. This has so much potential to be as classic as the Lawman or Recon 1. I understand the intellectual property concern with producing triad lock in China, but this is such a huge miss.

I honestly wonder what the thought process is behind the execution of these designs. If they have data to show that these will sell better than making them into a proper g10 triad lock version.

All the move towards plastic handle, cheaper steel, non-triad lock designs, I wonder if there some kinda major shift in strategy internally towards their folder business. Perhaps the sword and axe business is more important.
 
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IDK man... this is probably biggest miss of the year. The design looks good but it has nothing im looking for in a cold steel - liner lock, plastic handle, flipper. If only they would make it in g10, triad lock and some better steel.

The other miss is the double safe hunter. After some production issue in China delaying the release if this knife, I thought cold steel would redesign it into a triad lock knife. This has so much potential to be as classic as the Lawman or Recon 1.

I honestly wonder what the thought process is behind the execution of these designs. If they have data to show that these will sell better than making them into a proper g10 triad lock version.

All the move towards plastic handle, cheaper steel, non-triad lock designs, I wonder if there some kinda major shift in strategy internally towards their folder business. Perhaps the sword and axe business is more important.

I don't look at these new budget offerings as a threat to CS's higher end knives. CS has basically cornered the "toughest folding knife" market, and I look at these liner locks as a way to grow market share and steal thunder from overseas brands. Notice all liner locks have a secondary bolstering mechanism to differentiate from cheap liner locks. I like how CS is not afraid to think out of the box and "throw it against the wall and see what sticks." There are always models that come and go in a flash. Every once in a while they catch lightning in a bottle.

This year has more budget stuff, which I'm always grateful for. CS always remembers the average Joe who doesn't have lots of spare cash. I'm sure they will focus on more high end stuff next cycle.
 
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Not even expecting brand new designs TBH. There’s a lot of opportunities for different versions of existing design i.e. uncoated blade for some models that people have been begging for, which may help the sales further.

Going into new market with cheaper steel and liner locks is good. But are they going to be able to compete with the likes of Civivi, CJRB, Bestech etc? How is cold steel differentiating themselves in these market, besides perhaps their brand and their marketing?

It’s all about product differentiation in this highly competitive folding knives market where there’s a lot of perfect substitutions from many competitors. The biggest differentiator is the triad lock and I honestly think CS should capitalize it as much as they can before the patent for the triad lock expires in a few years. Learn from benchmade, they capitalize the hell out of Axis lock before their patent expired because this is their unique differentiation in the crowded market. Just look at how many followers they have on IG vs other knife companies. They tried branching out to liner and frame locks, most of them get discontinued very quickly due to poor performance.

Why buy a cold steel liner lock or budget knives when i can spend $34 and buy a dozen of different Civivi knives that has arguably way better material, action and fit and finishes? The lesson is - do what you are good at doing, and do it when nobody else can.

I guess I really don’t know knife industry enough. This is just my personal experience being a silly MBA working on product development for a fortune 50 company.
 
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Jan 23, 2011
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I think Cold Steel brand comes with a well deserved reputation of strength and reliability. If I buy a liner lock from them, I would expect it to be the strongest liner lock on the market. I agree the tri-ad lock is the golden goose, so I hope they come up with new mid-year offerings to keep everyone happy.
 
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Jun 24, 2015
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Anyway, didn’t mean to start this year with negativity. At least there’s one new model that people seem to like, including myself - the Air Lite.

Happy new year everyone.
You forgot to mention the reintroduction of the Black Bear Classic! Of all the 2020 products this is the one that I have the most interest in and reading the posts in this thread I'm not the only one!
 
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