Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cold Steel Voyager Tanto: Great Value Utility Knife

If there’s one tool that is strictly associated with survival, that one tool would be the knife. Usually it’s the “Survival Knife” that comes to mind, but in today’s world it is more realistic to expect a folding pocket knife to be the one that actually gets carried every day the most. Now here we are already setting a couple boundaries regarding the blade we will be carrying: a)It will be somewhat of a smaller knife, the plus 6 inch “survival knife” is probably not a realistic option for “true” EDC, as in something you honestly will have with you every single day b) We’re probably looking into either a small fixed blade or maybe more likely, a folding knife.
Now a folding knife has a couple serious limitations compared to fixed blades. They are not as fast to draw and open when needed when compared to a fixed blade in a good sheath, but even more important, it’s not as strong, with the locking mechanism being its weakest point.
Of course with care and experience even an ordinary slipjoint knife such as a Victorinox can be a wonderfully useful tool that lasts a lifetime. Today though, we have more options in terms of folding knives. Here I’d like to differentiate mutitools from exclusive folding knives which have a blade as their only tool. You have certain models such as Leatherman’s Skeletool or even the Wave and Charge which allow for clipped pocket carry and single handed opening making for very handy pocket knives besides de plethora of other tools, but in this case I’m talking specifically about folding knives. My personal preference is to have a dedicated folding knife in my left front pocket and a dedicated multitool in the right one.
From a tactical point of view regarding survival and preparedness, we will want this knife to be as strong and as large as it can realistically be given whatever limitations we are working with due to lifestyle or local laws. This is the point where you go on line and look up strong+sharp+big folding knife, and that’s how most end up finding Cold Steel Voyagers.

Cold Steel Voyager Large Tanto

Cold Steel Voyager series has been around for many years. My first Tanto Voyager is about 15 years. Today, if you want one of the strongest and biggest folding knives in the market you end up looking at Cold Steel Knives. The Voyager models have evolved since first introduced. They are no longer made in Japan and steel although good (AUS8) isn’t the VG-1 they once used. But other than that, ergonomics are much better, it has adjustable screws rather than rivets, and it allows for both left and right pocket clip placement. Even more important, the knife now has one of the strongest locking mechanisms in the market, the Triad Lock, which combined with the 6061 heat treated aluminum liners makes for an extremely solid knife.
In the case of the Tanto model specifically, what I like is the added strength to the blade thanks to the saber grind. This combined with the already strong Tanto tip makes for an extremely solid Utility knife. What do I mean by Utility? A knife that can be used for numerous tasks and will be adequate for various ordinary jobs from opening boxes to preparing sandwiches. Specifically, it’s a strong blade with a strong tip that will do very well if ever used as a chisel or for prying tasks which thinner blades may not be able to handle. A utility knife is more a “sharpened prybar” tool. The combo edge provides serrations in the lower section of the edge. Serrations are known to be useful for that kind of utility tasks, such as cutting thicker ropes and cordage but also stronger material such as plastic, carpet, etc. I’m not much of a fan of serrations, but for this kind of blade I can live with a combo configuration.
Test cutting different material the Cold Steel Voyager handled the different tasks very well. It would cut and shred through pretty much anything. The plain edge section is razor sharp and easily shaves hair off my arm. If ever needed to be used as a defensive weapon, the strong, sharp blade and mean tanto tip combined with the solid mechanism and great handle ergonomics means the Voyager is more than up to the task.

I’ll do another article comparing the different Voyager models but so far I can say the Tanto model, in either Large or Extra Large configuration are some of the best utility folding knives in the market, and without a doubt your best option when you consider the reasonable price. I’d probably go for the plain edge version though unless you plan on using it mostly for cutting strong cordage. Having said that, the Combo edge version is selling right now for $31.05 which is a freaking steal. Get yourself one!
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


Anonymous said...

THANKYOU for the Fantastic Writeup!

Fellow Readers-
Christmas is just 2 months from now! DON'T be like me and wait till the last minute - buy 5 of these right now and give one to your spouse, one to each of your kids and your best friend. This is a gift that friends and family will carry and use every day!

Thanks again Ferfal - your site is always my first stop on the Internet.

Unknown said...

I usually go for outdoors survival trips like camping, trekking and hiking. I always take along with me the best survival knife from Cold Steel which is generally fixed blade. Without the cold steel knives, I can't dream to going into the woods.