Cold Steel

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Cold Steel Trailmaster
Cold Steel Inc.
Type Corporation
Industry Manufacturing
Founded California (1980)
Headquarters Ventura, CA
Key people Lynn C. Thompson (President & Founder),Robert Vaughn,Ron Balicki, Luke LaFontaine, Anthony DeLongis
Products Knives, Swords, Tomahawks, Pepper Spray, Machetes, Spears, Blowguns, Axes, Martial Arts & self defense-related Products and training tools

Cold Steel is a Ventura, California-based manufacturer of knives, swords and other edged weapons and tools.

Cold Steel's products are manufactured worldwide, including the United States, Japan, People's Republic of China (PRC), Republic of China (Taiwan) and South Africa.[1]


The company's products include fixed blade knives, folding knives, swords, machetes, tomahawks, kukris, blowguns, walking sticks, and other martial arts–related items and training equipment. Cold Steel is credited with popularizing the American tantō in 1980.[2][3]

The knives are made using VG-1 Stainless Steel, 4116 Stainless Steel, 1055 High Carbon Steel, O-1 High Carbon, SK-5 High Carbon Steel, Japanese San Mai III Steel, Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel and American CPM 3-V High Carbon.[4] Cold Steels folding knives are renowned for their lock strength, due primarily to the introduction of the TRI-AD locking mechanism, designed by custom knife maker Andrew Demko [5]

Cold Steels swords are primarily made from 1055 High Carbon Steel and Damascus Steel.[6]

Many of Cold Steel's products are designed by company President Lynn C Thompson [4] but Cold Steel has also collaborated with custom knife makers such as Andrew Demko, Phil Boguszewski, Zach Whitson, Steven Likarich, Keith Dehart, Rich McDonald, Bob Koga,Fred Perrin and Lloyd Pendleton on certain designs.[7]


Cold Steel is known for their graphic marketing videos and DVDs (entitled "PROOF") which demonstrate their products strength, sharpness, edge retention and durability. Featured tests include piercing car hoods, using folding knives as monkey bars, slicing through large free-hanging pieces of meat and bone, and shearing free hanging rope with a single stroke.[8]

In the Media[edit]

Cold Steels products feature heavily in movies, TV shows, games and web series. Their knives have seen prominent use in numerous action movies since the early 1980s [9]

Many of Cold Steels employees are Martial Artists and weapons experts, who feature in their notorious marketing videos. Some of the members of their "crew" are also Hollywood Stunt Men, Fight Choreographers and Trainers. Most notably, Ron Balicki,[10] Luke LaFontaine and Anthony DeLongis [11] Company President Lynn C Thompson is also a well known Martial Artist, who was awarded the title "Master At Arms" by his peers in 2011.[12] Thompson also writes regular articles regarding the use of knives for self defense [13] as well as pro-second amendment articles [14]

Special Projects division[edit]

Special Projects is a division of Cold Steel Inc. that produces a line of tools and weapons such as Spetsnaz-type shovels, sjamboks, and spears. Additionally a line of tomahawks, axes, and hammers is marketed under the name of The American Tomahawk Company.*[15]


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Kertzman, Joe (2001). 2002 Sporting Knives. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-87349-266-9. 
  3. ^ Kertzman, Joe (2002). 2003 Sporting Knives. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-87349-430-4. 
  4. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  7. ^ Winter, Butch (2003). "Collaborations with Custom Knifemakers". Sporting Knives 2003: 154–161. ISBN 0-87349-430-X. 
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  14. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Suermondt, Jan (2004). Illustrated Guide to Knives. Grange Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-84013-694-4. 

External links[edit]