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Cold Steel Pro Lite Sport Tri-Ad Lock Knife

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by Allan DeGroot, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    Jun 15, 2019
    Over the Labor-day weekend Blade Head-Quarters had a lot of different knives on sale, and one "inexpensive" one that caught my eye was one of the Blue Pro Lite sport knives for $21.99 it was a "cannot resist the temptation", and I've been sitting here with it trying to figuire out what makes this "Triad lock" so special from a hundred different lock backs I've handled over the years.. Yes, it's smooth both on opening and closing releases cleanly, but it seems to be a fancy new name for the generic "lockback"

    What am I missing.

    I've probably owned (and lost) a couple dozen (plus the ones I've broken the tips off of doing something Stupid!) Buck 110s over the years and
    While this knife is far cheaper to buy than any of them in terms of dollar price and even cheaper in terms of real money (I'm old enough to still think a dollar Should be represented by an ounce of silver, and is how I calculate inflation!)

    The fact that this Knife is made in Taiwan (like most "Cold Steel" Knives) Explains it's "low" MSRP, I still cant help the impression that I'm missing something, but LACKING a working "Bucklite" version of a 110 to compare it to....
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  2. jlauffer

    jlauffer Dissident Aggressor Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Main difference is that the Tri-Ad lock has a stop pin between the blade and lockbar to redistribute force. It's also designed to self-adjust as it wears.


    dogstar, Smaug, jstrange and 3 others like this.
  3. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    Jun 15, 2019
    Thank You, that is far more info than I really wanted OR needed, but
    more is always better than less...

    I could already feel this knife has a very solid lockup and I did notice the stop pin but didn't think about it because I have quite a few Liner&Frame locks and I was used to seeing them, but it never really registered that Bucks lack them...
  4. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2004
    There are quite a few videos on YT produced by Cold Steel showing this lock in action vs folders from other brands. Pretty impressive.
  5. carvu


    Aug 1, 2019
    Adding one stop pin changes all lock and applying force vectors. Pushing on the cutting edge (cutting/chopping) - load comes on the stop pin, not the lockbar and its pivot. Whacking with blade spine - main strain comes on the locking tooth, compressed between blade cutout and stop pin.
    Wery sturdy construction, as a bonus - small reserve for wear off.
    dogstar, scdub and jux t like this.
  6. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    Jun 15, 2019
    Well, I've been carrying the new one (because it is NEW) for the past several days and I'm recognizing WHY I switched to "Liner" & "Frame" locks, decades ago because Regardless of the various engineering improvements it is STILL a "Lock-Back", though the "thumb oval" makes opening convenient, it is still a PITA to close One-Handed... ALL things considered I almost can't wait to switch back to the CQC-6K I usually carry in my right pocket!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  7. Josephldoyle


    Dec 30, 2008
    I have no trouble closing triad locks with one hand, but it is definitely not as easy as a liner lock.

    Everything is a trade off. You give up a little of one thing for more of something else.

    I used to carry Emersons almost exclusively, with a few ZTs thrown into the rotation. I used Cold Steel fixed blades, but really hadn't paid much attention to the brand in years.

    I was already getting tired of liner locks...most of my Emersons had been in at least once for lock replacement. Not to mention that a bit of dirt in one spot can keep you from getting a solid lock up.

    I wanted an over-built folder for outdoors use and was looking for a Grayman Satu on the secondary market. I ordered an SR1 on a whim. That's all that it took. Now almost all of my Emersons are gone and I carry Cold Steel folders exclusively.

    For me- lock strength and durability are the selling points. I can deal with a slightly more involved closing process to obtain those qualities.

    For you- if easy one hand closing is what you are after and you are not bothered by a liner locks many weaknesses...then Cold Steel might not be your thing.
    dogstar, scdub, jux t and 1 other person like this.
  8. jlauffer

    jlauffer Dissident Aggressor Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    I typically use both hands to close tri-ads, but can do it with one hand if necessary. But it's hardly ever necessary for me...YMMV.
    dogstar, willc, ducati and 1 other person like this.
  9. jux t

    jux t Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    Well said. I’ll add that I’ve found the latest pro-lite series to be outstanding work knives for the price. Recently discontinued but still cheap.

    Ergonomic handles, hollow ground so they slice well, fine stainless steel that I’ve had no problem with, and triad lock.

    Some of mine have more spring tension than the others. The sport model with the oval opening hole takes some getting used to. The clip point and tanto versions with thumbstuds I find very easy/natural to use.
    dogstar and Josephldoyle like this.
  10. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    The Achilles of the Triad Lock is the one handed closure; not a big deal for me - especially if you have a thing, any thing, handy for the blade to drop on. Allowing the blade to fall free then arresting its fall by reducing or eliminating pressure on the release bar is slick, but with having various CS folders the heavier blades can and do bite now and again. I'm really careful with the 4-Max and my beloved AD-10.

    I too have and had Emersons ... too many, truth be told. Looking back in my early knife history, I probably did more with Buck 110/112s than my Emersons and currently do more with my Cold Steel folders than Emersons. I'm not knocking Emerson - the knives or the company, but liner lock and "Hard Use" do not go together, IMHO, as much as other locks.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
    scdub and jux t like this.
  11. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    Jun 15, 2019
    All of my "Emersons" are actually Kershaw/Emersons and in addition are also FRAME lock knives,
    the only one I'm not particularly is the CQC-6K because it is in the cheap steel (8Cr13MoV), my CQC4-XL-K
    and CQC-11K are both "D2" upgrades!

    I only have the CQC-6K because BHQ was selling them CHEAP ($20) in their Black Friday Sale Last year.

    The CQC-4 and CQC 11 I knew I'd like enough to shell out the $50-ish for the D2 Model right off the Bat!
  12. cistercian


    Apr 22, 2015
    While there is a bit of a mall ninja vibe I have found Cold Steel large folders extremely serious knives
    and excellent steel too! I have an aluminum ti-lite 6 and a blue and black g10 Frenzy and both blades
    are S35VN. For the size of the blades both are a bargain and both are very strong. Neither blade is
    one I will use constantly so I forgive the presence of teflon washers. They are self defense tools and
    as such are a screaming deal. Incredibly better value than Benchmade.

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