Cold Steel Spartan Review: Why You Should Get This Knife

A folding knife has become a necessary tool for adventurous people. It’s also part of the essentials of workers who may need it for emergencies and rescues. If you’re searching for an exceptional folder that suits your needs, this Spartan blade review.

Cold Steel is an American company that has been producing some of the sharpest and sturdiest knives since 1980. It is at the forefront of technological innovations in its industry and a pioneer in several blade styles and handles. It is a well-known brand that is known for quality and sophistication.

Before we delve deeper into this review, let’s first talk about some considerations in purchasing.

Our Cold Steel Spartan Review

Cold Steel Spartan Folding Knife with Tri-Ad Lock and Pocket Clip

The Cold Steel Spartan is a scaled-down version of the Kopis-style folding knife. The stonewashed, AUS-10A stainless steel blade is Kukri-patterned with a recurved edge, sharp point, and big belly.

The Spartan has a contoured handle with a heavily textured surface, so you get an exceptional and firm grip. It uses Griv-Ex polymer with nested steel liners, while its Tri-Ad lock features an outstanding strength. It comes with a reversible pocket clip for a tip-up carry.

Cold Steel offers a limited lifetime warranty on the Spartan. It doesn’t cover any damage due to misuse, disassembly, or non-maintenance. Additionally, it doesn’t provide a guarantee against normal wear and tear, so you have to use this pocket knife properly.

Return policy depends on the store where you bought it. Some sellers may provide a full credit or offer to exchange for another item.

Features & Benefits


  • 15-in-1
  • 8 oz weight
  • 3 inches in length
  • For quick fix-it jobs while fishing, camping, or on the road
  • Hassle-free refund


At 7.5 oz, the Spartan is a hefty pocket knife, so it may not be the perfect choice for an EDC tool. It is for heavy-duty usage that is suitable for your outdoor adventures. It is also an excellent option for a tactical knife. It’s also great for camping because you can use it for batoning and light chopping.

Blade Details and Overall Dimensions

The impressive Spartan blade has a unique shape with an extensive recurve drop point. It has excellent slicing power and is also suitable as a defensive tool. The recurve holds onto the material and cuts it with precision.

Its downside, however, is that it’s cumbersome to whet. You can sharpen it with the right sharpening rod. You may find it troublesome to hone if you’re on extended outings.

The blade is very sharp with its hollow grind and reinforced tip. It can penetrate and slice materials precisely. The AUS-10A stainless steel is very satisfactory because it resists chipping. It reduces the challenge of sharpening the recurve, although it loses its edge faster than other premium steels.

Handle Ergonomics and Pocket Clip

The handle scales are of high-impact plastic that is over the stainless steel liners. The handle is chunky and adds a lot of weight to the Spartan. The liners make the knife more robust, and the pommel is enormous and makes an efficient impact tool.

The unique ergonomics of the Spartan handle provide comfort and aesthetics. It secures your grip and ensures that the knife doesn’t slip away quickly. It’s a pocket blade that can cut through any material while securing your grip on it.

You also get two pocket clips that you can use for left-hand and right-hand carry. They have a semi-gloss coating, and they ride low in your pocket. You may have an issue if you use the knife’s wave feature because you have to reach deep before you can bring it out.

Lockup and Deployment

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The Spartan pocket knife has a big thumb plate that works similarly to a thumb stud. You can wave it open from your pocket, and the spring is robust, so you can expect some difficulty in flipping it.

The thumb plate has to traverse a considerable distance before it can fully engage. You’ll like the wave because it can open the knife quickly.

Spartan also has a Tri-Ad lock that many people consider as the most efficient locking mechanism. It allows the knife to snap into place with an engaging bear-like trap. You may exert some effort disengaging it, so it may take practice before you can unlock it quickly.

Spartan Knife Review Summary


  • A very sharp blade that resembles the Kukri in terms of cutting performance and aesthetics
  • Kopis-inspired handle
  • Griv-Ex molding with steel liners for durability and strength
  • Features the Tri-Ad lock that’s a favorite because it’s durable, robust, shock-resistant, and protects the fingers
  • Includes the patented Demko thumb plate that allows one-handed opening


  • Stiff and rough lock
  • Cumbersome to sharpen
  • Quite heavy for an EDC


General User Impressions

Generally speaking, more than nine out of ten customers gave positive feedback for their Cold Steel Spartan review. Although they recognize that it’s not a perfect EDC tool, they like that the manufacturer uses Japanese AUS-10A stainless steel.

It’s a robust and durable steel type that can withstand medium-duty chopping. The thin, sharp blade is also excellent for cutting and slicing. The handle has decent ergonomics, but Cold Steel can improve it.

It’s moderately grippy, and the design allows for choking back and forth when chopping and cutting. They also like the excellent deployment even though the pivot is tight. They also say that they get an efficient wave with some practice.

Our Opinion

At 7.5 ounces and 10.5 inches in overall length, Cold Steel Spartan is enormous and bulky. It’s not a general-purpose utility knife that you can use at work or home. I believe it is more suitable for camping and outdoor activities.

If you are on hunting adventures, you will discover that it functions better in dressing game animals because it can cut through ligament, bone, skin, and fur effortlessly. However, you can still opt to use it as an EDC.

The Spartan resembles the ancient Kopis swords. The recurve makes it somewhat troublesome to sharpen, but once it’s sharp, it can provide a sterling performance.

The handle wraps around the hand for a firm grip, and the textured pattern on the scales adds to the meaner aesthetics. Even the handle is sturdy and durable even under heavy usage.

Things To Consider When Buying A Folding Knife

Folding knives have a specific purpose, so bladesmiths have specialized designs for them. They create several blade types and use various steels. It isn’t surprising that you find it cumbersome to go through each one before deciding which one fits your requirements.


If you prefer an EDC tool, you have to consider the folding knife size because advanced tactical blades have various dimensions. You may opt for a small razor if you wish to put it in your front pocket without blocking access to other items like loose change.

You may want a large knife if you plan to carry it at the back of your jeans. You can begin searching for a tactical knife with the appropriate size for your intended use and how you plan to carry it.

Likely options include a belt clip or pouch, so you have ways to bring your knife. It can be either tip-up or tip-down, or right or left side.

Blade Construction

Before the invention of stainless steel, manufacturers use high carbon tool steel to create knives. Today, they use advanced steel because it’s non-corrosive and requires less maintenance.

However, high carbon steels have smaller grain, so they are cumbersome to sharpen. On the other hand, they hold a more precise edge longer than stainless steel.

Stainless steel can also blend with Vanadium and Molybdenum to have a distinct texture. You have to opt for high-quality stainless steel if you wish to use a folding knife as your EDC.

Opening Mechanism

A modern tactical pocket knife often features a thumb stud, so you can open it without looking at it. Some EDC enthusiasts prefer assisted-opening mechanisms for fast deployment in tactical circumstances.

Many manufacturers have their proprietary versions of this technique. You have to remember that some assisted-opening methods also have a locking device to prevent the blade from inadvertently opening when it’s in your pocket.

Locking Mechanism

A locking mechanism ensures that the knife blade remains open when in use. Today, it is part of the standard design of large tactical pocket knives. Some manufacturers have their proprietary locker, but users won’t put a lot of stress on it for it to fail.

Moreover, they won’t abuse the knife for the locking mechanism to suffer from wear and tear. As such, a traditional locker will work similarly as the fancy and new techniques that manufacturers offer.

Handle Design and Material

You also have to consider the ergonomic design of the knife handle. You can opt for a knife that gives you a comfortable, non-slip grip. It has to have an integral quillon or finger grooves to prevent your hand from sliding forward or backward in wet conditions.

A handle doesn’t only provide control and a means of wielding the blade but also offers a way of the orientation of the cutting edge to prevent you from twisting your hand.

For the handle material, you have to find out what the manufacturer used for the handle scales. Older models use hardwood, bone, or antler. Today, pocket knife makers use synthetic composites like G-10, Micarta, glass-reinforced nylon, among others. These materials minimize chipping, cracking, and splitting.

You may opt for stag antler or exotic hardwoods if you’re not going to use your pocket knife often. Otherwise, you have to settle for either G10 or Micarta.

Cold Steel Spartan FAQ

Is The Cold Steel Spartan US-Made?

No, it’s from Taiwan.

Does It Open With One Hand?

Yes, it does, but after some practice.

Does It Have A Pocket Clip?

Yes, it has two: one for left-handed people and another one for the right-handed.

Final Thoughts

I recommend Cold Steel Spartan because I’m a firm believer in the manufacturer and the knife model. It’s affordable, sturdy, and has the Tri-Ad lock, which is one of the mightiest locks available in the market. For its cost, I have to say that it offers value for money.

The build quality of this Spartan folding knife is highly durable. Even if Cold Steel is importing it from Taiwan, it’s still a folder that has all the necessary details. This knife has a uniform grind with the blade centered. The finishing is exquisite and smooth.

If you’re having a hard time searching for a folding knife, you may want to try this Spartan gem from Cold Steel.

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