Feb 2, 20172055 views

Could you help me choose?

Dear EDC Community
I'll keep it short.
So I think I want a knife. Specifically a Tanto folder.
I've managed to narrow it down to one of two:
The Cold Steel Recon 1 (27TLCTH),
and the CRKT M16-14T.
I understand the Recon 1 has the better steel, however, I like the ergonomics and titanium grip of the 14T.
Which one would you get or recommend?
Anyone who has both?
Also, please feel free to talk me out of it...


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I carried a Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto as my EDC for years and had no issues with it. It's an excellent knife and should serve you well. I recently replaced it as my EDC with a Spyderco Endura 4. The Cold Steel is still serviceable but I need to refurb it a little to get it back into EDC condition. I probably won't make it my EDC again though, it's just a little bigger than I need in a EDC since I'm no longer in the Army. Whichever one you decide to go with I'd suggest going with a plain edge over a partially serrated edge. In my experience, partially serrated edge knives are fairly useless as an EDC. If you fall into a limited use case (constantly cutting very tough materials such as seat belts, rope or wires) where you need a serrated edge then get a fully serrated edge knife, and a Tanto also isn't the best design to go with in that case. For self defense and general use a full plain edge is the best choice.
Ugh. Serrated blades, I cannot get myself to like them.

In my mind it's like they take away the 'nobility' of a blade to replace it with 'practicality'.
I see this is an older post, not sure why it has jumped up on my feed. For the sake of someone else looking for a EDC knife and is curious about the Recon 1, I have decided to add to this thread. I have carried a Recon 1 for around 4 years now. I absolutely love this knife. The handle looked cheap to me when I saw it in the packaging. I asked the gentleman at my local Cabelas if we could pop open the package and let me feel it. He did. I instantly loved it. The handle on this thing grabs your hand. A relatively firm grip and this thing is not leaving your hand. So much so that that I liken it to handling asphalt shingles when I was roofing. Not so much that its going to slowly sandpaper your finger prints off like a shingle, but enough that if you handle this regularly your going to get some calluses. The notches in the handle also prevent your hand from sliding forward on to the blade in the event this is needed in a self defense situation and a stabbing motion is used. The blade has maintained a very good edge over its lifetime so far needing only to have its blade hit with the knife steel every so often. The locking mechanism will feel stiff when first purchased but will break in quickly with use and will still hold a very firm and solid lock when fully opened. The clip is removable and can be placed on either side for lefties or just for best position in preferred location. I would like to specify that I do not have the Tanto blade on my Recon 1. So whatever differences there as a result I can not comment on. I do not know much about CRKT knives so I can not comment on that directly. I do however own a CRKT Freyer Axe and the Chanceinhell Machete and they are quality products I take hiking to clear trails frequently. I would like to express here to anyone looking for an EDC knife to thoroughly search your local laws and comply (I know some of them are stupid). Some places carry some steep fines and even worse, felony jail time, and the police don't care that you didn't know. Be smart and be safe.
I think SMKW has the Kizer Shoal on flash sale, in M390, it's got a nice (not American-style hideous) tanto profile and it's absolutely beautiful.

If you can snag it on a flash sale for the same rough price as the Cold Steel, don't buy the Cold Steel. In fact, Kizers are weird because they rule but also they can be found deeply discounted sometimes. They look plain and vanilla, but they're lovely.

The Crux is a nicer knife than any Cold Steel as well, and is similarly priced to the Recon1. If you really want a G10 Triad lock, the Broken Skull is probably their best priced knife of all of them. Very similar in build to the Recon 1, lighter, probably still available in XHP, and it's almost dirt cheap at $60ish dollars.
These 2 knives are not in the same class, but they each have good and bad. The Cold Steel Recon 1 DLC blade coating is excellent and will not come off. The CTS XHP or the current S35VN used in the Recon 1 is vastly better in edge retention than the AUS 8 used in the CRKT M16-14T, but if you regularly strop the blade, you can go with the cheaper AUS 8. CTS XHP. S35VN and AUS 8 are all easy to maintain and sharpen. I put friction tape on my slick side scales, such as this CRKT. I have dropped my CRKTs while flicking them open without friction tape. The Recon 1 G10 will shred pockets in use, unless you sand the area where the pocket clip contacts, and/or loosen the tension of the pocket clip. I am not a fan of the AutoLAWKS safety on the CRKT, but it is not a bad thing to have with a liner lock, especially a thin one. The Cold Steel Triad lock is extremely strong, but you may not like how hard and deeply you must depress the lock to release it. Looks is a personal preference thing and, as with these knives, I have multiples of each.
Hi, I completely agree with you in almost all the points you made, having both, I will recommend the CRKT over the ColdSteel basically because the CRKT is more easier to maintain, more pocket friendly and slimmer. I will strongly recommend the plain edge over the serrated version (easier to maintain a proper edge).

Please remember, harder the steel better edge retention, but more brittle and difficult to maintain on the field.

And for all the guys who want to make the case for what you need to destroy a knife, remember that is a knife, not a sword or a prying tool, you will use this for normal tasks, and that mean for cut things with the least effort in the safest way, not for destroy an oil barrel or try to make a dent on a tank.
Just remember: those who live by the folder, die by the folder!
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More like Leonardo Di Caprio from What's Eating Gilbert's Grape?, amirite
Yeah, wouldn’t wanna meet him on a dark Buffet line.
Recon Tanto cut and dried, there shouldn't be debate. The purpose of a tanto is durability under impact penetration, else one would select a finer, unreinforced point that penetrates with less force or has more belly for slicing. The M16 lock is too weak for impact (it's actually weakened by the safety mechanism) whereas the Triad is about as strong as you can get. Steel really matters too. CS's XHP is worth it, though can be a bit chippy under hard use if the edge is ground thin. That introduces the CS Voyager series with tougher though a bet less wear resistant steel. CS has better build quality in general, though abhorrent marketing. As for ergonomics, the Recon is clearly superior. The disadvantage is the cutting edge length to handle ratio the lock requires and inferior serrations. Now if you were considering a general (not hard) use knife, a drop point M16 could do the trick with weight efficiency if the steel is decent, but then it would have to compete with (and lose to) the CS Code 4, unless you need a narrow profile. So Voyager Tanto for hard use or a drop point Code 4 or M16 if you're really set on it.
I'd say it depends a little on your use-case.

The Recon is a larger knife and probably a bit pricier (I'm going on company reputation as I don't know the specifics on either off-hand) It will perform better in more stressful tasks as the steel is better and the grip is made for more intense things.

I'm also partial to tanto tips and my general carry consists of an urban trapper (clip point, though there's a tanto version up on bladehq) and a much larger Schrade
Recon 1
Well, a lot of this is personal preference.

If I had to pick between these two, I'd probably go with the CRKT M16-14T for the following reasons:
- I can't stand tactical coated blades (mostly due to it's lack of durability on the finish).
- It's slightly cheaper for similar materials (both AUS-8 for the blade).
- The titanium scales on the CRKT seem a bit nicer than what I assume is G10.
- The serrated section is shorter for the very rare occasion I use serrated blades.

I will say in the Recon's favor the ergos and grip-texture look better. I also like that it has a sharpening choil (although with a serrated blade it's gonna be harder to sharpen and it's rather shallow).

Outside of those two I would suggest a Benchmade 940 with a tanto blade shape (which was my EDC for 6 months). It's a bit more expensive but the steel is much higher quality (usually some CPM powdered steel variant) and the axis lock is quite nice for a plethora of reasons.

EDIT: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ontario-rat-1-carbon-fiber That would also be a good selection in the general price range.
Recon 1,
The M16 is nice to look at but isn't a better knife. you will have less troubles with the cold steel, so go with that, since knives are tools and not primarily manjewelry.
"...since knives are...not primarily manjewelry."

This is a dirty lie and you know it
Recon 1, I have both and the Recon is my top pic daily.
I recommend the Recon 1. I have the spear point version. It is the best edc knife I have ever had. I have been carrying various knives for about 15 years. The thin profile, the texture of the G10, the steel, the coating, the reliable locking mechanism, all the best I have had. It feels great in the hand and I love using it. The texture will be very rough when you first get it, but it will break in nicely. It stays sharp for a long time. I have cut cardboard and all sorts of stuff without having to sharpen it. The pocket clip is very strong. I tied a paracord lanyard on it to help me draw faster.
I just received this yesterday:
$52.00 from Blade HQ out of Lehi, UT.
Best build on any folder since I bought an original Benchmade Allen Elishewitz Ares with the original Axis lock over 15 years ago at over $100.00 at the time.
There are no sharp edges anywhere on this knife, and the G-10 scales have subtle contouring so that it is narrower in the middle where your fingers wrap around and thicker at the ends where the butt meets the heel of your palm and your forefinger and thumb guide the blade. It just feels good in the hand, regardless of grip (foil, horizontal foil, underhand ice pick, overhand ice pick).
The pivot rides on two captured ball bearing races, and it is the smoothest liner lock I have ever felt, except for my Boker Plus Brad Zinkers, that use the loose IKBS bearing system. The action is much smoother than either the Cold Steel Recon Tanto or the CRKT M16, above.
I have a shoe box full of Cold Steel folders, and another shoe box full of CRKT folders (had an OEM relationship with CRKT at one point). I prefer the fixed blades from both.
Until yesterday, my EDC was still my Benchmade Ares unless I was going suit and tie or black tie / white tie, then it was my Brad Zinkers.
Just to be clear, the fit, finish and hand polishing on the Bestech is second only to my over 30 year old original Al Mars.
And no, I don't work for Bestech. And yes, I have a shitload of knives. My first paying job was in a meat packing plant, so I know a little bit about edge retention, re-sharpening, brittleness, and ergos. If you visit a meat packing plant, you won't see any knives with sharp edges, checkering, jimping, or skateboard tape in any of the packer's multi-knife scabbards. All contact surfaces are smooth, because these tools are in your hands 8+ hours a day, and if you injure your hands, you can't work.
Just my $0.02, respectfully submitted.

Without a doubt - the Cold Steel knife is the better knife between the two.