The Gear List: Cold Steel is closing out summer with deep discounts on tactical knives on Amazon
With so many solid fixed-blade and folding knives on sale, the hardest part is choosing which ones to buy.
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Welcome to The Gear List, a semi-regular series where we spotlight the best discounts and deals on tactical gear, outdoor equipment, and everything in between.
Unless this is your first exposure to Task & Purpose, you know we’re big on carrying a quality blade. Whether you’re sticking a compact EDC knife in your pocket on your way out the door or building a remote campsite with a burly bushcraft knife, it’s important to have the right tool for the job. That means you need a good tactical knife to use in the military, too.
Right now, you can take your pick from Cold Steel’s military knives while saving a bunch of money in the process. The fixed-blade SRK issued to Navy SEALs during BUD/S is marked down 36 percent. Affordable folding knives like the 4-Max Scout and Code 4 are on sale for half off and 45 percent off, respectively. Blacked-out fighting knives like the Recon 1 and AK-47 are both more than 40 percent off. Finally, if you want a more premium knife, you can score an AD-15 with the optional green handle for more than 40 percent less than the MSRP too, which gets it down around the $150 mark.
Cold Steel knives are always on our watch list because they’re quality items that deliver better results than what you pay for. They’re built to work hard and do well in a military environment. Adding one or two to your collection is a great way to bridge the gap between affordable knock-around knives and premium blades that you might be hesitant to use in the field.
These prices were valid at press time, but prices can change and deals do expire.
Price: was $69.99, now $44.85
The Cold Steel SRK is issued during BUD/S, so the SEAL connection will be enough for some people to buy one on that information alone. For the rest of you, I’ll point out that this is a stone-cold reliable survival knife at a price that’s almost too good to be true. The SK-5 steel used to make the blade is famously tough. Edge retention is quite good and sharpness is excellent; in fact, many scalpels and razors use SK-5. Where this blade struggles is corrosion resistance, because it’s not stainless (hence the protective black coating). The no-nonsense Kray-Ex handle is very grippy and a hard sheath is included.
This is an awesome buy for anyone who spends time in the field. It’s super sharp out of the box and tough enough to take a beating. Use the sheath’s belt loop or strap it to your plate carrier. The price should make you feel better about using it to its full potential, too, since you won’t feel pressured to baby it.
Price: was $129.99, now $64.44
The 4-Max Scout is far from an entry-level knife, but it’s priced like one at the moment. The heart of this knife is the AUS-10 steel used in the four-inch, drop-point blade. This is a high-quality alloy out of Japan and you can trust it to be strong and stay sharp. With a thickness of five millimeters, it’s also better suited to life in the field than most knives of the same size. The synthetic handle offers plenty of grip while being reinforced by a stainless steel liner for extra strength. Once opened, the blade is held in place with a super secure lock-back mechanism.
True to its name, the 4-Max Scout is up for just about anything. Its six-inch folded length can ride comfortably in your cammies but the blade is beefy enough to take care of business in the field. Best of all, it costs less than a lot of bargain-basement knives while it’s on sale. If you want one versatile folding knife to do everything, this is a great option.
Price: was $144.99, now $80.42
If you’re looking for an EDC knife that’s easier to slip into your pocket, the Code 4 is a great alternative to the more tactically-minded knives on this list. The S35VN steel blade is a decent buy at full price, and it’s a legitimate bargain at just over $80. The clip point and hollow grind allow the 3.5-inch blade to be precise when you need it to be without sacrificing strength. The anodized aluminum handle adds to the knife’s durability and offers a subtle touch of style. I always appreciate a reversible pocket clip, and this one can be moved from side to side for tip-up carry.
Spending a little extra on an EDC knife is easier when you know you can use it just about anywhere, and the Code 4 is definitely up to the challenge while remaining small and comfortable to carry. Right now you can spend even less, and get this $145 knife for $80.
Price: was $176.99, now $94.44
If you ask me, no military knife guide is complete without a tanto. Cold Steel’s Recon 1 rounds this list out with a blacked-out tanto point and rugged G-10 handle that was built for the battlefield; in fact, it reminds me of the Gerber FAST 06 that rose to fame during OIF and OEF. The Recon 1 uses high-quality S35VN steel that holds a super sharp edge and resists rust and corrosion better than most knives you’ll encounter. Some people like the versatility of a partially serrated edge, but this plain edge is more practical in most situations and it’s way easier to sharpen yourself.
Tanto points are favored for their superior piercing strength compared to other point shapes. That’s useful in combat, whether youre going hand-to-hand or chipping through frozen ground to build a terrain model for your motivated five-paragraph order. If you already have a good EDC knife, this is a great deal at less than $100 and an awesome companion to carry in the field.
Price: was $189.99, now $108.88
The actual AK-47 is famous for being insanely tough and so reliable you’d think it thrives on abuse. Cold Steel’s homage to the preferred fighting rifle of bad guys in Toyota pickups everywhere looks to uphold that legacy with an S35VN steel blade coated in a black diamond-like carbon coating. The fiberglass handle is contoured to allow loads of grip and a strong angle, whether you’re using a regular or reverse grip. The pocket clip and thumb tab are both ambidextrous so you can carry this folding knife wherever works best for you.
Because of the aggressive shape and handle design, this fighting knife isn’t the best choice for casual or everday use. If you need a backup to your backup in combat, though, it’s a good choice. Getting one near the $100 mark is a nice perk, too.
Price: was $269.99, now $156.80
Just because you appreciate a good deal doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the finer things. Right now, save $113 when you buy a Cold Steel AD-15 with the upgraded green handle. The burly S35VN blade is tough enough to use in the field, with deep jimping on the spine for extra grip. Still, the hollow grind allows you to be smooth and precise when necessary. The all-aluminum handle uses a clever locking mechanism that’s extremely secure and stands out from the crowd – which is a good thing for a premium knife.
At about $157, this is the most expensive knife of the group. It’s aimed at knife enthusiasts more than impulse buys, but it’s such a good deal that now is the time to up your game if you have any interest in high-end knives. Pick one up while the sale lasts to get a solid knife you’ll probably never have to replace.