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Cold Steel 16JSM Trail Master Fixed 9-1/2" VG-1 San Mai III Blade, Kray-Ex Handles, Cor-Ex Sheath

Customer Reviews 4.333 Read 18 reviewsWrite a Review
Part Number: CS16JSM
Manufacturer: Cold Steel Knives
Retail Price: $499.99
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CS16JSM: 16JSM Trail Master San Mai III
Cold Steel
Why buy a Trail Master®?
That's simple. Because it is, without a doubt, the most knife for the money ever commercially built! In terms of sharpness, edge holding and strength, it will out perform "by a wide margin" any factory made knife we know of and 99% of all hand forged knives as well! We know we're "going out on a limb" with that statement, but since 1987 we have challenged the industry to make a better knife and yet, to this day, we've had no takers. So before you spend your hard earned bucks on one of our competitor's knives, take a moment to review all the advantages offered by the Cold Steel® Trail Master.

Style and Construction:
The broad clip point of the blade is extremely resistant to bending or breaking. This is largely due to the fact that the tip is actually thicker near the point than what is seen on our competitor's knives. This, however, does not mean that the point is dull or blunt. On the contrary, the point is almost needle sharp and offers tremendous penetration. Plus, the blade-back is equipped with a slightly concave false edge that measures approximately three and a half inches long. Every Trail Master's® edge has been honed by hand, then given a high speed buff until it is truly razor sharp and capable of easily shaving the hair off one's arm. This knife is so sharp it will cut at the slightest touch. The Trail Master® balances approximately 3/4" in front of the guard for a slightly blade-heavy feel that is ideal for delivering heavy chopping and slashing strokes. The Trail Master's® Kray-Ex™ handle is 5" long and deeply checkered for a non-slip, shock absorbing grip. What's more, its contoured cross section helps prevent the knife from shifting or turning in the hand when striking full power blows. The double guard is very study and rigidly fixed into place. It is long enough to keep fingers off the blade, yet short enough to avoid being tangled in clothing or equipment when the Trail Master® is drawn.

VG-1 San Mai III® blade:
If you want a Bowie knife that requires minimum maintenance and is practically immune to water, salt, air, or the humidity of a jungle environment, the VG-1 San Mai III® Trail Master® is for you! This Bowie will outperform any other stainless steel Bowie in the world in terms of strength and toughness. And, as an added bonus, this Trail Master® is equipped with a beautiful rolled edge, capable of easily severing 4" or more of free hanging manila rope!

Information from Cold Steel.
  • Blade Length: 9 1/2"
  • Overall Length: 14 1/2"
  • Steel: VG-1 San Mai III®
  • Weight: 17.5 oz
  • Blade Thickness: 5/16"
  • Handle: 5" Long Kray-Ex™
  • Sheath: Cor-Ex Sheath
  • Made in Japan

UPC Code: 705442001805

Made in Japan
Made in Japan
The exotic steel Capital of the World, Japan produces and innovates some of the best products, from pocket to kitchen knives and everything in between.
Zytel Handles
Zytel Handles
A nylon polymer that is lightweight and extremely durable, Zytel can be shaped and textured to provide excellent grip.
4.333 (18 reviews)
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5 out of 5
Jan 13, 2016
Pros: Materials, Handle Material, Blade Material, Finish, Weight, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard, None
Japanese Made and georgous
Look...Cold Steel offers knives for all price points so every person can afford a cold steel knife. But make no mistake this knife is in a whole other class then the carbon trail master and all other cold steel offerings. It lies in the rarified atmosphere inhabited by very few production knives, and it is finer then most custom knives. Cold Steel actually makes nothing, it may do some designing and produces cool videos of fat men chopping heads of pig carcass. That doesn't mean they don't offer awesome knives and this is the crown in the jewel. This knife is actually made by Ichiro Hattori, the finest knife maker on the planet. This is the same blade as the Fallkniven Thor and Hattori 160-1, with only slight material and finishing differences. Hattori made the reputation of all the big boys in the knife business through the 70's to 90's, Al-Mar, Browning, Kershaw, Tekna, as well as early SOG, Cold Steel and Fallkniven. Only Fallkniven has all its fixed blades still made by Hattori. Sadly SOG has moved away from Hattori, and quality has suffered! Cold Steel is moving slowly away but still offers a handful of blades made in SEKI. This knife is essentially the same as the Thor except it uses a laminated VG1 instead VG10. Not much difference! It is much less expensive, and you forgo the leather handle and sheath, but if you want a kraton handle that will probably last longer, and a cordura sheath then this knife is good value.... Relatively. It has a hama guri ba (convex) ground blade, which can be 400x stronger edge, then a conventional flate ground blade. This type of grind can only be hand ground by master knife maker, and can't be replicated by a machine grind, thus the extra cost! The weakest point is the sheath, it is a bit thinner then I was expecting. I thought it would come with a similar sheath to the old Gerber Bowies, but it is about half the weight and bit flimsy. It comes like all Hattori blades....scary sharp, remove your finger tip, without knowing you did it sharp. If you don't know how to handle knives....AVOID this knife as you can do yourself great harm, but if you want a bowie style knife that has more in common with traditional made Japanese made Tantos and Swords of the 1500's then with a KBar then this is your knife
4 out of 5
small new england island
Jul 30, 2014
Pros: Blade Sharpness, Overall Quality, Weight, Finish
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard, None
The moment I received my Trailmaster sanmai, I went outside, and beat it against a tree using the sides of the blade. After my right hand was blistered and bloody, I switched to my left hand. After about forty minutes of the blade not breaking, nor the handle slipping in my hands from blood and sweat, I decided it was a fine knife. I tend to abuse my new knives in hopes of breaking it quickly before I get attached to it. After 7 years of much use and abuse, I would (and have) recommend this knife. It batons very well, makes devastating snap cuts, cuts bigger trees than you might expect, and the rolled edge sharpens nicely using a sharpening steel. The sheath on the other hand....Lynn Thompson, what are you thinking?! Please do better with the sheath. I had recently sent my Trailmaster to a custom sheath maker, my only regret is I did not insure the parcel, and the post office lost my knife. That knife was a great friend over the years, and I had a LOT of blade in hand time with it. It's blade heavy, which I did not like at first, BUT, quickly fell in love with the forward heft... like I said before, DEVASTATING snap cuts. If you want a large fighter, or bush knife, check out the Trailmaster SanMai. Just remember, you are buying a great knife, and they are throwing in a crappy sheath free of charge ;)
3 out of 5
Pacific Rim
Feb 08, 2013
Pros: Overall Quality, Weight, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Blade Material, None
WARNING: Looks nice, but BE CAREFUL
Over the years I've owned and used CS's Trail Master and (It's little brother) Recon Scout knives, each in both San Mai and high-carbon steel versions. Trail Masters are impressive, macho knives with lots of heft for heavy-duty chores, but are a bit too bulky to be good combat blades or well-rounded survival tools. The Recon Scout is much closer to the right size for these latter two uses. BEWARE: Having used these four knives extensively, I have to recommend AGAINST San Mai in these models. The internal layer of steel that forms the edge is fairly fragile, and chips surprisingly easily. It also picks up corrosion on the cutting edge quickly without careful maintenance, which defeats the main purpose of having stainless steel at all. The SK-5/high-carbon steel versions corrode as well without maintenance, but are vastly more durable with better edge/tip strength, and all the other advantages that hc steel brings. For heavy monster knives like TM and RS, go with the strong stuff, and leave the (gimmicky) San Mai for light, quick fighting knives that will never have to touch harder material.
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