Pros: Overall Quality, Lock Ease of Use, Handle Material, Blade Sharpness, Handle Feel, Ease of Opening, Lock Type
Cons: Blade Material, None
The perfect working folder (plain edge clip point)
With the most aggressive G10 scales I have ever felt, finger grooves, and an integral guard, this thing isn't leaving your hand until you want it to. The scales are very flat. The knife is just a hair thicker than a Spyderco Endura and a lot thinner than a Cold Steel Voyager or Benchmade Griptilian. The jimping on the spine side of the handle is mostly decorative but you really don't need any more control. You will need to lightly sand the G10 under the pocket clip to avoid destroying your clothes. Keep in mind that G10 dust is highly toxic. I use 320 grit wet or dry paper with a lot of water. The pocket clip is designed to give the appearance of a smaller knife.From the box, this knife has perfect lockup, with no play in any direction with any amount of force. Blade centering is perfect. The blade coating, a type of painted finish, was applied with perfect evenness. I haven't use this knife enough to wear on the finish yet, but my other Recon 1 had the coating flaking off in only weeks of moderate use. It has a stone wash under the coating like the Voyager series. I had a half dozen Tri-Ad equipped knives and they are almost impossible to break. The blade might give before the lock.The edge geometry is fantastic and very slicey, with a great edge from the factory. It does very well for food prep and outdoor use. You could use this for skinning if you felt like disassembling it to clean it out later. Cold Steel's AUS-8 rusts a bit easily for a stainless steel, takes a very fine edge, keeps it a reasonably long time, and sharpens easily. I wouldn't mind a choil similar to a Spyderco Manix - it's over an inch between your index finger and the edge. The point of balance is right at the index finger groove.All screws are secured with loc-tite. The Tri-Ad lock takes a little force to unlock, but it feels incredibly secure and I've never had a problem closing these one-handed (and I'm female without a ton of hand strength). Depress the lock, tilt the knife so the unsharpened base of the blade stops against your index finger, move your fingers out of the way and finish closing with your thumb or a little inertia.Overall, the Tri-Ad equipped Cold Steel knives are the toughest folders out there right now, but you are giving up steel quality, you have to lightly mod the handle scales, and the blade finish is not durable. The perfect hard use beater that takes durability over edge retention.