Quick look at Cold Steel's Recon Scout

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by ehhh, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. ehhh

    ehhh

    562
    Feb 4, 2006
    Received this knife today, took it out and immediately noticed the thickness of the blade (5/16"). The next thickest knife I have is a Ka-Bar which is half as thick. There's just something I like about thick blades...I dunno what it is.
    For the purposes of this review, I will be comparing it to a USMC Ka-Bar. This Scout is also an old one. I don't know how old, but it came with a cordura sheath which I believe came with the knife many years ago.

    Minor issues with the knife:
    The top swedge is ground very poorly. The point where the edge of the swedge begins is off center by about 1mm and looks very strange, probably because the thing is so thick and the angles are so different on each side. My other Cold Steel also exhibited some fit and finish problems, so I was not too surprised.
    The edge also has what appears to be some rust spotting. I don't know how easily Carbon V rusts, but I have never had a problem with my 1095 Ka-bar rusting even though I never oil it and I leave it in its sheath. There is also a sizable chip in the coating from who knows what. The knife is supposedly unused and it does appear that way. Factory edge still intact and very smooth against my fingernail. The age of the knife could be a factor.
    I don't have any special rust removers, so if anyone knows a way to remove rust with ordinary household items that would be great. Otherwise, I guess it's time to order some rust remover (recommendations anyone?).

    Design:
    Personally, I love the design. When I first saw the knife I knew I had to have one. A great looking, well designed blade profile. The full flat grind allows for a lower edge angle than the Ka-Bar without major reprofiling. Surprisingly, the thickness behind the edge of the Scout is thicker than that of the Ka-Bar. The angle is also similar. The guard is thick and a good size, not too big not too small. The handle is comfortable in any grip and very grippy, but the Kraton already shows some scratches. If Cold Steel ever makes one of these with a full tang and Micarta or G10 scales, I would buy it in an instant. Overall, I love the design. It looks great and is totally functional, too.

    Cutting some cardboard:
    I cut up a large USPS Priority Mail cardboard box with the Scout and a Ka-Bar. Both knives can push cut paper right next to my point of hold (I'd give the edge to the Scout) and neither can shave hair. This isn't really a test of edge retention, as I don't have enough cardboard to cut. I found that the Cold Steel cut through much easier even though the edge angles are very similar (~45 degrees). The Scout simply required much less force and did not bind at all (perhaps something to do with the full flat grind and heft). The Ka-Bar had a more controllable feel to it, but just did not cut through as smoothly.
    After cutting, I ran the edge over my fingernail and both edges have bumps in them. From what I felt, both edges seem to have about the same amount of dings. I noted that the edge of the Scout is much more polished and feels smoother along my fingernail. It should also be noted that the Ka-Bar is 56-58HRC and the Scout is supposedly ~59. So it would seem that the durability of Carbon V is very similar to that of 1095 in a Ka-Bar, though my test is far from extensive. Neither blade showed any signs of dulling.

    The coating on both blades show marks from the test, though the coating on the Scout has more and they are worse (the ka-bar has been used before too). Not pretty for cutting up half a box. I'm considering turning this knife into my first diy project and stripping the coating and giving it a nice satin (or even mirror) finish. Maybe even out the swedge, too.

    In conclusion, another great functional blade from Cold Steel in my collection. The fit and finish on these are far below my other knives, which is a little disappointing. However, it is a big step up from my Ka-Bar. It feels much tougher and cuts better. Looks better too, in my opinion.
     
  2. Pietje010

    Pietje010

    420
    Dec 30, 2005
    Nice review but...where are the pictures;) I never heard or looked at the Recon Scout before but it’s a nice looking knife, a bit old-school but IMO a high retail price. The Recon Scout, with its full-flat grind, has a significant advantage over the Kabar for cutting cardboard. IMO any full-flat knife is a better cardboard (and stuff like that) cutter because it doesn’t push the material away from the knife, like a 5mm thick flat grind (Kabar) knife will do. If you compare the Racon Scout next to the Becker 7 (same steel, size and full-flat grind) you will have about the same results.

    For rust removal I use WD-40 or Bellistol oil, but any other thin oil will do the job. If the rust is really a problem just use a soft-metal sponge, but this will effect you coating!
     
  3. ehhh

    ehhh

    562
    Feb 4, 2006
    I'll try to get some pictures up soon. The knife is a little pricey compared to Ka-Bars and Beckers, but you do get much thicker stock (8mm Scout vs 4mm KBar and 5mm BK7). I would actually think the Becker would be the best cutter because it has a nearly full flat grind and thinner blade. I was thinking about getting one, but there is something about that handle that I just don't like. I do like that it's full tang though.

    I tried some RemOil (which I assume is like Ballistol?) but it didn't take the spots off. I don't have any WD-40 around, so I think I'll just buy some metal polish. The spots are small and dark, but there are a bunch in this one area.

    I'll try to get some pictures up so you guys can see the knife compared to a ka-bar, see the coating wear and the rust spotting. I don't have my tripod with me though, so I hope they come out alright.

    EDIT:
    Pictures!

    Sheath:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In all its glory:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Check out those scuffs! Remember this is after slicing up half a box. Forty feet of cardboard at most, by my estimate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Some minor? rust spotting:

    [​IMG]

    To be continued...
     
  4. ehhh

    ehhh

    562
    Feb 4, 2006
    Off-center swedge (looks worse in person):

    [​IMG]

    Chip in coating near the tip:

    [​IMG]

    Finally, the handle (I find it to be a tad on the slim side and my hands are probably medium size):

    [​IMG]


    Scout compared to Ka-Bar:

    [​IMG]

    Huge difference in spine thickness!

    [​IMG]

    The pictures aren't the best, but I think they get the point across.
     
  5. hdwrlover

    hdwrlover

    548
    Sep 21, 2003
    Great pics of details.
     
  6. Vivi

    Vivi Banned BANNED

    Dec 4, 2005
    The rust looks like it would be removed easily with a sharpening.
     
  7. raylaconico

    raylaconico

    Jan 30, 2004
    The Recon Scout is a very nice knife in my opinion. If I were in the market for a production fixed blade that would be my choice. I wouldn't worry about the spots on the edge. You will get much more when you cut real stuff like wood/branches, vegetation. I suggest cleaning it with WD40 after using but the stains will happen and are just tarnish that will not come off unless you use something like fine sandpaper. They add character to a great using knife.
     
  8. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide

    Aug 20, 1999
    Stains, not rust.
    Sharpening, stropping and maybe even some Flitz would remove them.
    That chip in the coating is a good indicator of what lies beneath the black epoxy coat...for those of you toying with the idea of stripping it off ;)
    I highly recommend one of Normark's kydex sheaths for your RS.
    Well worth the cost and a quantum leap over the CS sheath.
    :D
     
  9. ehhh

    ehhh

    562
    Feb 4, 2006
    Thanks for the replies. Yes it is a great knife. I did remove much of the staining with the green side of a scotchbrite pad, but what remains look like tiny tiny little pits. I've never dealt with rust on any of my knives before, so I really don't know much about it. Should I be at all worried?

    The pad even smoothed out the dings and slightly polished the metal under the chip. EDIT: Smoothed out and dulled actually. Looks like I'll have to sharpen it, too.

    Ebbtide: I saw your satin finished recon scout while searching through the forum for info on the Scout. How long did that take you? I'm definitely going to remove this black coat someday.
     
  10. JurT

    JurT Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    I agree, with some sharpening the rust will disappear:thumbup:
     
  11. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide

    Aug 20, 1999
    Zip-A-Strip paint remover took the epoxy coat off in a 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour.
    The sanding took...I'm guessing about 8 or 10 hours.
    But that was spread out over a couple of weekends and weeknights...so it's a little hard to remember or count.
    Add to that the big frikkin scratches that I put in it when knocking down the bevel shoulder...I guess you could add half the time again.
    (doh)
    I consider that knife a work in progress...yeah, that's it...work in progress.
    :D
     

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