The Cold Steel Spartan knife is a solid, hefty, well-built knife suitable for heavy usage rather than everyday use. At 7.5 ounces, this knife is quite heavy, but the durable construction and the well-fitting heft of the knife make up for the weight. The blade is made of AUS-8A stainless steel, and the Tri-Ad locking mechanism is heavy enough that people can use the knife like they would a fixed blade. The price is modest for the length, toughness, and utility of the knife, making it a solid value for those who want a heavy-duty knife for outdoor use, self-defense, or as part of a knife collection.
The blade is 4.5 inches long, 4 millimeters thick, and is made of Japanese AUS-8A stainless steel. While this is a midrange steel in terms of durability and quality, the blade sharpens easily—which is a must considering the curved design of the blade. The Spartan is modeled after the ancient Greek Kopis sword, which features a sharp point and a large recurve. This recurve can make sharpening the knife difficult at first, but practice and experience help in terms of learning how to sharpen this blade.
The Cold Steel Spartan’s handle is made of Grivory, which is an injection-molded, high-impact plastic that is suitable for gripping and holding. The tiger-stripe pattern on the handle gives further traction and grip, making this a knife that contours to the hand and does not slip out or move around. The handle’s steel liners are well-made but heavy; some might suggest that these liners should have been milled out to some extent, but the overall quality of the handle and the knife as a whole makes up for the added weight. The handle’s length is 6 inches long, so even people with large hands will have no trouble comfortably and capably grasping this knife.
The Tri-Ad locking system on the Cold Steel Spartan is strong enough to hold the blade in place for doing activities that are typically reserved for fixed-blade knives. This locking system is strong enough that the knife has no play when in use; in fact, this knife’s lock is so strong that some people may have trouble opening the knife and locking it in place. This can lead to the knife not being easily opened with one hand, but many people would be willing to sacrifice that feature for the strength and functionality of the locking mechanism.
The Cold Steel Spartan comes with two stainless steel pocket clips, each one being used for either left-handed or right-handed carry. These clips set the knife low in the pocket, which can be convenient for those who want to carry a concealed knife. The knife is well secured in the clip but can still be quickly and easily removed should the need arise.
This knife is heavy and large enough to be better suited for heavy-duty use rather than the everyday uses to which most foldable knives are put. The Cold Steel Spartan can be used for camp cooking in terms of field-dressing game and cutting up food. The locking mechanism and overall strength of this knife also make it suitable for light woodcutting and batoning. Of course, this knife can also be used for self-defense if necessary; the sharpness and shape of the blade coupled with the stability of the locking mechanism and the well-fitting handle make this a good knife to have in a fight. The Spartan is an attractive knife, making it a desirable addition to any knife collection.
Considering that this knife generally only costs from between $50-$60, the durability and quality of this blade make it a solid value pick. While this knife is not particularly suited to the daily activities of those people who prefer EDC knives, it is well suited for various camping, hunting, and self-defense heavy-use needs. The Cold Steel Spartan is hefty, well-fitting, and tough; while the blade can lose its sharpness and can be somewhat difficult to hone due to the recurve, the nature of the stainless steel blade allows for keen sharpening with a bit of practice.