Cold Steel Spartan Review

The Cold Steel Spartan is one of those knives I just had to own. Whether I was going to use it or not, I wanted one. It’s such an impressive blade. The Spartan is styled after the Greek kopis swords. It features a scaled-down kukri style blade and a hand enveloping handle. If you’ve seen the movie 300 (who hasn’t?) you’ll agree the knife is named appropriately.

Folding Kukri kopis knifeSpartan Specs:

  • Weight: 9.2 oz.
  • Blade Thickness: 4 mm
  • Blade Length: 4 1/2″
  • Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
  • Overall: 10 1/2″
  • Handle: 6″ Long. Griv-Ex™ w/ Steel Liners
  • Stainless Pocket/Belt Clip Battle Gear™
  • MSRP $109.99
  • Street ~$55.00 (4/2012)

The Spartan could fulfill a number rolls, but I’d mostly consider it a tactical folder; a fighting knife. The Spartan could easily be an used as a hunting/skinning knife thanks to the large belly of the blade and the awesome grip. The Spartan is very much capable of any daily cutting tasks you may need from an EDC blade, but for it’s a bit too big for EDC, though I have carried it on a few occasions.

Because of the curves and deep belly of the blade, ceramic rods are going to be your best option for sharpening the knife, and the AUS 8A steel will take a great edge. Cold Steel has the Spartan razor sharp out of box, as it should be.

The thumb plate that’s mounted on the top of the blade allows for one handed opening. One handed opening can be cumbersome because of the width of the knife when closed, so I prefer to use the wave opening feature. The thumb plate is designed to snag the pocket as you draw the knife, allowing you to extract the knife and have it open all in one fluid motion (see video below).


When open, the blade locks solidly in place with no wiggle at all. The larger blade calls for a heavy lock spring which also helps retain the blade when folded. Cold Steel boasts about the strength of their Tri-Ad Lock. They torture test all their folders and spine wacks and over strike tests, even hanging 300+ pounds of weight from the knife to prove the Tri-Ad lock is the strongest out there (see video above).

The chiseled textured grivery handles are amazing. It surround the hand ensuring your grip doesn’t slip forward or backward. The grip is second to none. Steel liners inside the handles give the Spartan added strength and weight.

The Spartan comes with 2 pocket clips. The one for right hand carry is preinstalled. If you’re a lefty you can swap out the clips, but this knife is designed for tip-up only carry which is what allows for the wave opening. The clips are strong and hold the knife firmly in pocket. Even though the Spartan is a large knife, only about 1/2 inch of the handle is exposed from pocket.

Overall the Spartan is a knife everyone should own. It’s just a fun, capable blade that is well worth the $55 price. Whether you plan on carry it or just keeping it at home to show off to you buddies, you’ll want to yell “THIS IS SPARTA!” every time you draw this pocket sword.

5 Responses

  1. Mikegleason51 says:

    Well, I do know if following the on|the|outside blog is healthy for my pocketbook. Just bought a Spartan of my own.;PdsSession=9f5d9c561360a5abe5c316c3fff9ffb3?itemId=230747513799&index=4&nav=SEARCH&nid=50097534481

    Looks like it will be a fine skinning knife, but the cool factor was the deciding moment…

  2. That’s a good price you got. I’ll bet once you play with that knife a bit and figure out the wave opening you’ll use it for more than just a skinning knife. 

    You wouldn’t be the first guy I got hooked on blades. My buddy and contributor, Josh bought 4 or 5 last month after I told him to pick up a Kershaw Leek that was on sale on amazon.

  3. Mike Gleason says:

    Just got my Spartan in the mailbox today, ripped that package open, and my first impression was, Oh Yeah!  Second impression was, Amazing it’s pocketed low profile is only a 1/2″ and it’s a peach to carry too.  It sure doesn’t appear I’m carrying a 10 1/2″ OAL skinning knife in my pocket. Third impression, “After 5 minutes of practice, I can almost wave open it as good as Justin can in the video.” Forth impression, don’t know yet, but no doubt there will be one.  Buy This Knife… 

  1. June 6, 2012

    […] the Cold Steel Spartan and other Emerson style openers, with the addition of a 10¢ zip-tie you can deploy most any […]

  2. September 13, 2012

    […] The shirt features a skull and banner design with the ancient greek ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ. Behind it is a grunge background with integrated gun silhouettes. The back of the shirt features a banner with the translation “Come Take ‘Em”.  This one goes great with the Cold Steel Spartan. […]

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