The HOLY MOLY of Cold Steel's XL ESPADA...

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Yup, it's been said and shown before... But, the size of this knife is truly hard to fathom without one actually handling and seeing it for oneself!
Fresh out the box, here's my new S35VN Cold Steel XL Espada placed right next to one of my Cold Steel 1917 Frontier Bowie knives. I believe the Frontier Bowie is the largest fixed blade Bowie knife that Cold Steel offers.
I also believe that the XL Espada is Cold Steel's largest folding "pocket knife".
So, both are obviously very big knives, but the Espada being a folding knife, truly adds to it's "Holy Moly" :)

The blade being 7 1/2" long on the XL Espada, means that it's blade is 1/2" longer than the blade found on a full sized military KaBar!

HOLY MOLY! 😆



This next picture shows my new Cold Steel 'XL Espada' alongside my Cold Steel 'Charm', (Cold Steel's smallest folding knife offering).


Before I ordered this knife, I clicked onto Cold Steel' website to see what the knife's specs were. I didn't see anything about the blade's grind, but the picture of it had me thinking it was a Saber Hollow Grind. Well, I was wrong to think that, since my XL Espada has a Saber Flat Grind. I actually prefer seeing it being done this way, so it turned out to be a pleasant surprise :)

Going back to the "Holy Moly" size thing about this knife, the inspiration for it came from historical Spanish Navaja knives, (this is what Lynn Thompson himself has stated). That being the case, the blade's shape, (AND it's size), is very much in line with those knives of the past. In fact, the Spanish Navaja' size range had some knives being big enough to actually dwarf the Cold Steel XL Espada.
So, when I hear or read folks opining that the XL Espada is too big... Well, I guess one has to understand that it's inspiration, (the Spanish Navaja), explains the XL Espada' style and size.
While it is "Holy Moly" by today's folding knife standards, it's actually totally within the size range of the historic Spanish Navaja knives that it was inspired from :)

Here are a few pics I found online of a very large antique Spanish Navaja... Holy Moly!




 
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I have the cheaper G10 model . Great knife , IMO .

I bought it more for the novelty and didn't expect I'd ever carry it , because it is really HUGE for a folder .

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it carries in the front pocket of my "Rigg's" Wrangler work pants .

I sometimes carry it on my trail hikes through the woods , to use for light machete duty .

Of course , also makes a great SD knife / short sword .

 
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One thing that some Taiwan made products offered by Cold Steel & Ontario Knife companies have taught me, is to rethink my view of merchandise coming out from that country.
I'm 55 years old, and the truth is, I do not remember any Taiwanese products as being in the good to high end quality standard categories back in the day. I am not saying that they didn't exist, but the stamping, (or sticker), "Made in Taiwan" was simply not recognized decades ago as a marking that gave one great confidence that the product was well made.
My recently having purchased a few Taiwan made folding knives, (Ontario Rat folders), and having purchased some of Cold Steel' items sourced from Taiwan, I have realized that the quality levels have not remained stagnant in that nation. They seem to be doing very well in making knives for many reputable brand names, and I'm no longer surprised when I read online reviews of people giving high fives about their Taiwanese made purchases.
I look at the nice machining and excellent fitting done on my new XL Espada, and it reinforces my new opinion about Taiwanese products, and that is that they seem to have really improved as a whole in their quality.
Of course, Taiwan, just like any other nation, has good, and not so good, manufacturing... But, I do believe one is more likely to be happy today with a Taiwanese made item, than one would have been decades ago.
In my opinion, they are turning out to be the new up in coming Japan. Folks started noticing that knives coming out of places like Seki Japan, could most definitely be of world class quality. But, that industry has shrunk in that region, less folks involved in it, and much more expensive for US firms to now source their products from their.
Taiwan seems to be doing a great job of being the latest replacement for that sourcing, and the quality is approaching what Japan was, and still is, achieving.
With world politics being what they are, and with prices of raw materials and other manufacturing costs constantly in fluctuation, who knows what nation the knife brands may turn to next... But, for now, I can honestly say that Taiwan's knife products have convinced this aging man to keep a more opened mind about products coming from other parts of the world.
An area that was once generally known for high quality goods, may no longer hold true today... And, an area known for less than stellar quality, can now be a region that produces exceptionally good products.
Hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but when the proof is right in front of my face, my accepting it becomes inevitable :)
 
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At least some knives made in Taiwan are absolute top notch , IMO .

Some Cold Steel and most Spyderco Taichung , Taiwan made are nearly as good as a production knife gets .

I'm old enough to remember when "made in Japan " meant cheap junky clones of transistor radios , etc . :rolleyes:
 

nephron

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At least some knives made in Taiwan are absolute top notch , IMO .

Some Cold Steel and most Spyderco Taichung , Taiwan made are nearly as good as a production knife gets .

I'm old enough to remember when "made in Japan " meant cheap junky clones of transistor radios , etc . :rolleyes:
I remember the rumor of the Japanese town changing its name to usa so they could mark their goods made in usa, pretty funny, no truth to it though. Japan was noted for cloning anything and everything right after the war, many times with worthwhile improvemnts but still copies.
 
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I find it amazing how Japan started to look at their manufacturing as a major source of pride sometime after WW2.
It took them a bit to gain their bearings, but once they did, it started showing in everything they did.
It was great while it lasted, but with their products getting more and more recognized for quality, the costs went up, and as it always winds up happening, people start looking elsewhere to source their products from. This happens not only with their foreign buyers, but even with their own country's firms, them choosing to have things made elsewhere as well.
It seems like a pattern that happens time and time again.
It was the same with Germany. When I was growing up, a made in Germany, (or made in West Germany), stamp, was an almost sure sign of quality. But, prices went up, and the sourcing from Germany got hit. Now, even the Solingen region of Germany has gone down the path of Sheffield England, where much less cutlery is coming out from there, and much of what still is, is just rebranded foreign made, or at least made using a lot of foreign components.
Will it happen with Taiwan?... Well, it does seem to be an almost inevitable pattern. Also, with Taiwan's situation with mainland China, we could all wake up some day in the near future to a Taiwan that is no more... The possibility of it being taken over by China, is very real, always has been, (but closer to reality now than in any recent time I can think of).
Then, of course, anything made there would simply be "Made in China" like the rest of mainland China's products.
For now, what I see is a Taiwan that holds it's own in making products of good quality for those that are willing to source out from there :)
 
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we could all wake up some day in the near future
Not gonna happen without a shooting war from Taiwan, IMO . Unless things have changed radically .

And USA is supposedly their committed military ally , but I'm not sure if that means anything right now with present leadership . :rolleyes:
 
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Agreed, DocJD. Taiwan is the major fabricator for our integrated microchips. Basically, Silicon Valley East. That are used in everything from automotive, aeronautics, and vital defense applications. It is also important to note, that we would rather destroy the factories there, than see them fall into the hands of the Reds.
 

nephron

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Not gonna happen without a shooting war from Taiwan, IMO . Unless things have changed radically .

And USA is supposedly their committed military ally , but I'm not sure if that means anything right now with present leadership . :rolleyes:
Taiwan is still officially part of China but we sell them a butt load of Military Hardware to China's chagrin. China wants their chip making, but it would be a real fight with our equipment, whether we would be pulled in is anybodies guess but doubtful."The United States has long pledged to help Taiwan defend itself, but it has deliberately left unclear how far it would go in response to a Chinese attack."
 
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Taiwan is still officially part of China but we sell them a butt load of Military Hardware to China's chagrin. China wants their chip making, but it would be a real fight with our equipment, whether we would be pulled in is anybodies guess but doubtful."The United States has long pledged to help Taiwan defend itself, but it has deliberately left unclear how far it would go in response to a Chinese attack."
I can't comment any further without becoming extremely "political " . 😱
 
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Forget Taiwan being important for supplying us with critical technological components... More importantly, they supply us with such things as our Cold Steel Espada knives! I don't want to see China wind up with the Espada! Although, under the new GSM ownership, that may occur anyway, lol! 😆

In all seriousness, I do hope that GSM doesn't go full blown Chinese sourcing for the bulk of CS offerings.
They, (GSM), purchased a company, (Cold Steel), with a good selling product lineup, but it wouldn't take much to drop the ball on things.
Lynn Thompson's Cold Steel found ways to keep a constant relevancy with it's customers.
That said, I could see GSM tweaking this or that in just such a way, that it sinks the CS popularity. It could go the other way too, with a little tweaking possibly helping the CS brand to grow even more. My fingers remain crossed that somehow they get a good grasp on what makes CS tick, and that they find ways to keep fueling it 👍😊👍
 
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Taiwan was controlled by the Portugese, then China, then Japan from 1895-1945 when the foundation of industrialization was established. Taiwan is a small but growing vibrant democracy in East Asia. The current government of Taiwan, the Republic of China was chased off the mainland by the communists in 1948. In 1949 the victorious communists established the PRC (People's Republic of China). Unfortunately China refuses to recognize Taiwan as independent and they live under the constant threat of Chinese invasion.
Although some Knife companies like Cold Steel did contract with Taiwan factories in the 1990s, the models were few, as the exchange rate made contracting in Seki Japan with the higher quality far more attractive. I remember the Cold Steel R-1 and the Black Bear Classic both being marked 400 Series and Taiwan in the 90s.
This was at a time when most of Cold Steel's products were made in USA or Japan. Both these two models eventually went to Japan manufacture and after 2007 into San Mai models.
All that changed in the mid 2000s when the USD/JYen rate made contracting in Seki unattractive. While some makers jumped onto the China bandwagon, some did not initially such as Cold Steel, SOG, Spyderco, and others.
I agree that in the last 15/16 years Taiwan quality has improved greatly. And their factories tend to use American and Japanese steels. The few Taiwan made Cold Steel folders I've handled have been top quality.
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