Cold Steel Recon 1 Review

Every knife enthusiast today has been admiring knives since their younger years. We all have seen something on T.V. or an uncle, grandfather or our own father had shown us that spark that interest in knives and for the most part, it has something to do with how cool the knife looks. With the Recon 1, Cold Steel has certainly hit a homerun in the looks department. The Recon 1 has four versions, the Micro Recon 1 (2” blade), Mini Recon 1 (3” blade), Recon 1 (4” blade) and the XL Recon 1 (5.5” blade). The Recon 1 comes with a clip point or a tanto blade with a choice of plain or partially serrated edge. This gives you almost like a personalized Cold Steel knife that suits whatever purpose you have for getting such an awesome blade. With all the reviews about these folders, one thing is for sure, nobody is complaining about how the knives look. The tactical feel appeals to pretty much everybody. The strong construction of the liner-less handle to the pure, unadulterated functionality and dependability of the blade, Cold Steel has certainly made an impeccable cutlery masterpiece with the Recon 1.


The Recon 1 comes with a Japanese made AUS 8 stainless steel blade that is coated with a Teflon-like substance that Cold Steel refers to as “Tuff-Ex”. It provides an extra layer of protection for the blade and gives the blade a tactical look. But the Tuff-Ex coating, particularly on the tip, is relatively easy to scratch off. But this can be an advantage for some who likes to have their knife “au naturel” or in its natural state. Even without the Tuff-Ex coating, the Recon 1 AUS 8 blade happens to have a particularly gorgeous stonewash finish underneath. But the Tuff-Ex is indeed there to improve the blade’s durability and look. With the finish aside, the 4” long and 0.13” thick hollow ground blade of the Recon 1 is a beast. It can slice through a ton-tested rope like hot knife through butter. It is a big boy knife and is suited more for heavier tasks. Not that it wouldn’t work well slicing tomatoes but the blade deserves more work than that. The blade is suited more for self-defense or heavy duty camping tasks. The Recon 1 is not the best everyday carry knife but its smaller brothers (Micro Recon 1 or the Mini Recon 1) does fit the bill with their smaller blades. Smaller, but still look as good as their bigger brothers and just as dependable.


The handle of the Recon 1 is made from G-10. Yes, it is a solid G-10 handle and not just scales. It houses the Tri-Ad locking mechanism designed by Andrew Demko. This gives the Recon 1 a strong lock that can support well over 350 lbs. and yes, it has been tested. The newer versions of the Recon 1 has do not have the steel liners that earlier versions had. For some, this might mean Cold Steel is sacrificing strength but as many reviews have shown, the handle is very strong. The Recon 1 is designed for hard use and the handle is the focal point of that. The pure, textured G-10 handles is ergonomically designed to provide control and safety. Some say the texturing of the G-10 is a bit too aggressive but you can sand it down to your preference if necessary. The handle is designed to give you control even in wet conditions and the particularly deep finger grooves ensures safety. It’s great in normal or reverse grip. This is particularly important for stabbing motion. You can comfortably grip the Recon 1 even with gloves on and not worry about it slipping and slicing through your gloves. The clip/s allows for a deep tip up carry. As mentioned earlier, if you are looking for an everyday carry knife, the Micro or Mini Recon 1 would be better but the full sized Recon 1 certainly is not a bad idea either.


Overall Length: 9.37″
Blade Length: 4.00″
Blade Thickness: 0.13″
Blade Material: Jap AUS 8A
Blade Style: Clip Point / Tanto
Blade Grind: Hollow
Finish: Black / Tuff-Ex™ Coating
Edge Type: Plain
Handle Length: 5.37″
Closed Length: 5.37″
Handle Thickness: 0.51″
Handle Material: G10
Weight: 5.3 oz.
Lock Type: Tri-Ad
Country of Origin: Taiwan


Cold Steel is no stranger to making great quality folders and fixed blades but even with that said, the Recon 1 is still a welcome surprise. It’s a great quality folder that has immense application potential. The fact that it has four versions, Cold Steel ensures that there is a Recon 1 for any need. If you need an everyday carry knife, Cold Steel has the Micro or the Mini Recon 1 with 2” and 3” blades respectively, if you need a workhorse of a knife that can handle an immense amount of abuse and major camping tasks, then you have the Recon 1 with a 4” blade. And for those times that you need something more substantial, there is the Recon 1 XL with a monster 5.5” blade. All four versions have the Tuff-Ex coated AUS 8 stainless steel blade, G-10 handle and the tried and tested Tri-Ad locking system. It’s a trifecta of greatness and unquestioned dependability. For sheer slicing power, control and safety, you will be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than the Cold Steel Recon 1 series.

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