Feb 2, 20172155 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...
Omniseed, Duncan, and 14 others

I have had the crkt 14t about 10 years and it's a very dependable and solid edc.
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: http://bestechknives.com/index.php/product/142 $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.
Every company invests in marketing. Cold Steel invests in hype, exclusively. No need to increase the size of Lynn Thompsons tiny little dick by supporting his company and his shameful habits.
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Here, here!! He is a Dick--tiny though it is.
I think Lynn Thompson is actually a Lilliputian, he's only killed a Bengal cat but he's so small and impotent that it looks like a leopard.
don't underestimate the utility and comfort of a nice big handstop on a edc blade. For heavy work to protect your hand, you will be glad you have it. That little nub on the CRKT will just be an annoyance and dig into your finger. Cold Steel handles are generally more comfortable. Personally I recommend the Cold Steel Talwar series -- better ergonomics, and a better point than any "tanto" knife (these tanto shapes were created by americans, and are not in fact true to historical japanese blades FYI).
My very first 'ok' knife was recon1 tanto...long time ago when they just new and still using aus8..not even aus8a...it served me well when I was working out door. Beside the fact that I personally do not agree with Lynn Thomson's view of the knife word, cold steel has been putting some strong folders out there. CRKT is a very innovated company, has tons of good designs with nice designer. However, their steel and fit/finish has been always a hit and miss...their knife is a bit over priced as well...they would ask over 100 dollars for a aus8 sometimes...it is just not very worth the money. beside all personal opinions, I think you should really think about what you will need the knife for. if you facing hard using often, choose the coldsteel, it will be a tank. if you just use it for cutting box or open letters, choose the CRKT so you are not support Lynn Thomson the bully of small knife makers. I donlt have a problem with him, I heart he is actually a nice guy, but I just really don't agree with a lot of thing he did to the knife community.
I have the rescue CRKT M16 older version with the safety lock and I hate that knife because of it. It takes two hands to close, I'm not a fan of it. I have been looking to add a Cold Steel to my collection and Recon 1 is on the list. Lately I have been carrying a Rat 1.
Cold Steel Recon 1 is a "sweet" looking knife and if you're a boater having serrated edge is a must for cutting ropes in an emergency.
Although I don't like serrated edges, I think the CRKT M16-14T would be good all around knife due to the less amount of serrations and the better handle shape as you said.
I recently acquired the MINI recon 1 tanto (by mistake-originally ordered clip point) and was pleasantly surprised. All the comments here on the recon 1 are legit, great knife but a big honker. The mini is absolutely perfect. Now with the upgrade in steel (CTS/XHP). Wicked sharp with the hollow grind. Easy to sharpen cuz no serrations. Definite recommendation. Look up YouTube vids on altering scale against the clip.
between the two, CRKT is a great edc. With the lock as study as a fixed blade. It's very relîable knife. IMO
Neither Emerson cqc7 costs more but in 20+ yrs of hard carry has never failed. Never scimp on knives. Cold steel has gone down hill in the last few years unless your buying their upper tier stuff.
I have the Recon 1 and it's a great knife. The tri ad lock inspires confidence and the knurling is aggressive as heck, so you get a lot of grip. I use it as my beater knife and sometimes EDC.
That said, how tall are you or how big are your hands? I'm average in height with average sized hands and the handle is way too big for my taste. My Code 4 is smaller and therefore the perfect size, so much so that I bought a second one with a clip point, and it's my favorite folder.
I habitually carry a cold steel recon 1 (albeit spear point as I wanted that performance use) and It is my favorite knife in my collection. The size to weight is phenomenal and the feel in hand is unbeatable. I use it as my primary defensive blade but because of its size rarely take it out for all but heavy duty tasks. I have a few m16's and they are, alright... they are smaller, which makes them better for everyday edc tasks but I prefer the lockup and build of the cold steel recon. I trust my life to this blade when I can't carry my guns so I take it very seriously and have the utmost confidence in it, however neither of them I would say make for the best utility blade. In formal situations they tend to have too large of a footprint and intimidation factor, not something I would want to say open a letter up, box, or cut an apple in front of most of the people I hang around with.
I will say though, you will like either of them, they are both good knives, but for me, I LOVE my cold steel recon.
I think you should get the Recon 1 because the button on the back for blade release is faster. And the knife just looks sleeker. (in my opinion) At the end of the day it is your choice so just get what you feel that you would be happier holding in your hand.
I don't like my tanto serated knife. Hard to sharpen. If I had to choose though, crkt.