Cold Steel knives are known the world over, especially within the US, Pacific Rim, and in Asia. This is because the company makes premium knives for all sorts of survival situations. High quality means only the best steel forged with cutting edge techniques. The results are knives that can last for a lifetime.
This quality comes at a high price. However, if you know where to buy and what to buy, you can get a hefty discount. This usually means Cold Steel factory seconds as well as older model knives. The goal of this article is to discuss the basics and provide consumers with a way to purchase factory seconds and/or discount cold steel knives.
If these were clothes, they would be called overruns. Simply put, factory seconds are knives that did not pass the strict quality checks of cold Steel. Therefore, these knives are not sold thru the usual channels. However, at least twice a year, the Cold Steel Factory in California sells factory seconds in order to turn in a bit of profit. There are several types of Factory seconds. Knowing each can help you a lot in determining what to buy and for what purpose.
These are knives that structurally there 100%. However, there are minor imperfections such as a tiny scratch on the blade, handle and/or sheath. Simply put, there is really nothing wrong with the knife itself. This is a lot better than most knives that have been used moderately for a day.
These have bigger dents, and dings. These are already considered serious cosmetic issues, but will not really affect the structural integrity of the unit.
Take all the problems of Level A and B then add some rust. The rust can be removed, but the bare steel itself will show. And the same rust will occur time and again. The thing is, use any Cold Steel pressed knife on an extensive hunting trip and all these imperfections or more will show. So think of level C as slightly better than second hand.
The answer depends on the type of knife model as well as the damage. The biggest discount will of course be had with Level C seconds. These are usually bought as “beaters” or for use in everyday situations, even one time uses, especially if you do not want to use your prized unit. Some collectors actually buy 1 fully approved unit and another Level C unit. They keep the former for their private collection or shelves and use the latter for their actual trips.
Cold steel does not warrant factory seconds. However, most avid buyers beg to ask the question “What exactly can a few rust spots and dings do to affect the performance of a well maintained knife?” As long as it is cleaned and sharpened, it will function properly all the same!
These Are not Fakes!
Factory seconds and/or discount cold steel knives come from the same Cold Steel forges. They are constructed by the same expert craftsmen. They contain the same steel, the same materials, and are made to the same specifications, and are the real thing. Fakes are not. More often than, not you can take a brand new and fake Cold Steel and use it together with the worst Level C factory second. After a day of grueling use, the former will be deformed and no longer usable. The latter will probably need extensive cleaning and sharpening, but will still be structurally sound.
If you are interested in Cold Steel discounted knives, read this other KnifeUp post explaining when Cold Steel has their semi-annual factory second sale. Check out the KnifeUp guide to machetes, balisongs, pocket knives, and multitools.