Evo kog zanima govor precjednika CS o nedavnim testiranjima koja su digla tolku prasinu i zabavnu raspru na forumu...
Over the last month, we've released several testing videos featuring direct side-by-side comparison testing of our folding knives against our competitor's offerings.
It's caused a lot of buzz, and as I'm writing this we've seen over 100,000 views on Youtube and Facebook combined.
As I read the comments and feedback from the knife community, I'm fascinated by how shocked and surprised many people are by the results of these tests.
You see, I've been doing these tests for over 35 years..."Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
- Theodore Roosevelt
When I first decided to explore designing, making and then mass-manufacturing my own designs my motivation came from a genuine desire to do better. I am a lifelong knife user, hunter and Martial Artist. I'd already been using knives for decades - and what I'd discovered through my own research made me mad!
I had spent my hard-earned cash on knives that had failed catastrophically, and I was determined to make something better!Birth of Proof
My early designs were subjected to the most brutal tests that I could devise. I drew inspiration from the classic feats performed by Samurai that I read about in my Martial Arts research, and then combined those tests with some of the awesome things I'd seen being performed by the American Bladesmith's Society. I took small factory made fixed blades and tried to make them perform to the same levels as high end custom knives and swords.
Well, the rest was history, and PROOF was born!
As a Martial Artist I saw no higher standard than that of a fighting knife. A blade that could withstand the rigors of combat in the worst possible situations was (for me) the pinnacle of the bladesmiths art.
I wanted to make knives you could bet your life on!
My first customers were Military, Special Operations guys and Martial Artists. They understood the need for a blade that was both a weapon and a tool. A life-saving blade that could be relied upon to be there for them when things went bad.
They shared my belief that if you are down to a knife to save you, then you are in truly dire straits! You cannot accept second best in those situations. You cannot rely on hope. To paraphrase Lt. Col. Dave Grossman "Hope is not a strategy!"
I began training with the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto, and my blade knowledge went to a whole new level!
We were teaching knife fighting techniques way back in the mid 80's, while my competitors talked about "art knives" and criticized us as "too aggressive".
I can remember working with some of our nation's warriors at the Soldier of Fortune convention back in 1983.
The amazing actor Robert Duvall made an appearance and we talked sharp stuff for a while.
A few years passed and I began exploring the idea of Cold Steel folding knives with increasing fascination.
I saw real potential there. An easily carried and concealed knife that's always at-hand is only a good thing. But many people forget that by the simple act of folding these knives become far, far more dangerous!
Once you add a hinge to a razor sharp object - look out!
Back in the day a folder was mainly a small pocket knife for simple and easy cutting tasks.
There were exceptions (like my beloved Navajas!) but for the most part here in the USA, a folding knife was a handy little tool for easy daily tasks.
Tactically minded individuals, or people who may have required a knife for self-defense tended to carry a boot knife, neck knife or a fixed blade concealed in their waistband.
As the political climate changed and it became less "PC" to carry a knife in "polite society", more and more people began looking to the folding knife as more than just a light cutting tool. It became a last ditch self-defense tool in the minds of more and more people - and as such, the idea of the modern "tactical folder" was born.
People forget that Cold Steel really were breaking new ground back then. We were at the tip of the spear in this fledgling (and at the time highly controversial) "tactical" evolution. We took the criticism and the heat, and endured the hate from my rivals who saw us as "bad guys" for developing tools for protection and defense.
How ironic it is, that only a few short years later, every one of them was offering "tactical" blades of their own.
Well, what is "tactical"?
Well, as a Martial Artist I was taught that "Tactics" was the science of gaining an advantage to achieve success.
"Tactical", for me, meant gaining the edge - and when it came to fighting with a knife that folds, that was a scary proposition!
Like I said before, if you are down to a knife to defend yourself, then you are already in trouble. If you are then limited to a small blade, that needs to be opened to become effective, and then furthermore REMAIN OPEN under the horrendous rigors of combat - then you are in just about the worst situation I can imagine!
I wanted to make a folding knife that could live up to those exacting situations and huge demands. The stress, shock and sheer physical demands of combat were the benchmark. The standard to which everything I made was held. So, for me, the idea of a "tactical" folding knife has always been irreversibly connected to strength."Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
- Vince Lombardi
Back in the 1980's, I released a range of folders that I named the Shinobu series. With high-performance Japanese San Mai III steel blades, deeply checkered space-age polymer handles, and a pioneering lock-back design that could hold an unprecedented 90lb of weight, the large Shinobu was (in my opinion) one of, if not the first real modern tactical folding knives.
The only other knife maker that I remember exploring tactical applications at that time was Al Mar with his SERE folder. Boy, that was a big knife!
I held true to the belief that a sharp folding knife should also be strong. To make a wickedly sharp blade and then equip it with a flimsy and dangerous lock seemed grossly negligent to me. And while the knife industry had no set standardized regulations for strength, I took it as my personal mission to preach a message of safety and to try and set that bar as high as possible!
My PROOF series began to include more and more extreme and dangerous lock strength tests for folding knives. I subjected them to the most brutal tests I could imagine, and in doing so I risked my fingers with every new feat. But, that's how much faith I had in my products!
Our industry has always been very competitive, and I've always found that competition to be both motivating and inspiring. As my peers finally began to strive harder to make stronger locks, I pushed my own research and development even further. I never stopped testing. Whether it was my own designs, or knives developed by my competitors, I was always quick to put the product to the test and see how it held up!
Old School Voyager
Cold Steel's R&D facility was filled with broken knives. Prototypes, production samples and blades from all over the world were tested and broken. I invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in research, always looking for the next big innovation.
In the mid-nineties I could proudly claim that my Voyager series could outperform any of my competitor's offerings. In magazine adverts at the time, Cold Steel's Extra Large Tanto was shown easily holding 392 times its own weight!
A few years later, I had the great fortune of connecting with a talented young custom knife-maker with some big ideas. Andrew Demko was not only a highly accomplished Martial Artist who shared my love of the combative arts, but he was also an incredibly gifted designer with a very analytical engineering mind!
His Tri-Ad locking mechanism changed the game. It marked a new evolution in the world of tactical folding knives that has yet to be equaled.
Not only did the Tri-Ad lock hold huge weights, but it also almost completely negated the effects of shock! This allowed a folding knife to be used for actual "tactical" applications like never before.
This new innovation in lock strength opened my eyes to so many new possibilities!
I was now able to explore real hard-use mega-folders (like my range of "pocket swords" the Espada series) and Martial Arts techniques that I had been studying for years with Bowie Knives and other large fixed blades now became possible for the first time with a folding knife!
You can't pick up your pay check with no fingers!
The most persistent comments from naysayers are "well, I'm never going to hang weight off my knife" or "I'll never hit anything with the back of my knife"
In many ways I agree with you. In an ideal world none of these things would ever happen.
But - we don't live in an ideal world!
As long as bad things happen to good people I will continue to say "what if"...
Over the years I've spent testing blades I've seen folding knives fail in the most crazy, unpredictable and catastrophic ways. I've also seen some of the most imaginative, ingenious (and abusive!) uses for a folding knife in perilous situations.
When all you have is a folding knife to get you out of trouble, you'll find things get pretty creative!
I have spoken to Law Enforcement professionals and Military personnel who've used our folding knives to cut open car doors, pry open emergency exits and even stab through body armor. I've talked to guys who've stuck one of my folders in a tree and used it as an improvised platform!
During my own extensive field testing in Africa over the years I've seen native hunters and outdoorsmen push the limits of their one multi-purpose knife that would boggle your mind - and with good reason. It's the only tool they had!
I sincerely wish everyone a fulfilling life full of security and safety, but if things go bad and you need to rely on a folding knife to keep you and your loved ones from harm - I hope it's up to the task!
I believe that anything in this world can be destroyed by a man with enough time, desperation or determination. Nothing is indestructible, but I'm determined to increase that margin of safety at every opportunity.
There is no time in life where your fingers somehow become less precious!
Whatever the circumstances or conditions, at no point are your digits somehow devalued or worth less!
Whether peeling an apple or fighting for your life, it's all the same!
For Doctors, Musicians, Artists, Mechanics and every profession you can imagine, those fingers are your livelihood!
I know that without my trigger finger, I'd be truly miserable!
Try taping up your index finger for a day, and see just how inconvenient life can be.
Now imagine that you lost the use of that finger at the worst possible time, when you are in trouble and all you've got is a knife to help you out.
When it comes to a strong, reliable, safe, dependable lock - I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!"Opinions are opinions, but performance is a fact"
- Andrew Demko
Andrew Demko and I both share a fascination with testing. We believe that it's through testing that great things happen.
By adding pressure, we evolve and we adapt.
For me, it's always been a very exciting and educational process, and I know that Andrew and the rest of my R&D team share that thirst for knowledge and self-improvement that keeps us motivated and inspired.
I have cancelled entire projects after years of development (and tens of thousands of dollars!) because they just weren't strong enough.
I'm not afraid to go back to the drawing board and re-think a design because the best that was achievable was "average".
Average doesn't interest me. I want to be the best.
Andrew also shares these sentiments, and it is that perfectionism that makes him such a valuable asset to my company and an exciting collaborative partner on our designs.
Since day one we have not only released footage of our testing to the public, but recreated those feats at live shows and events.
Back in 2009, we hung weights from our Espada at the SHOT Show for all to see. Mere feet from Blade Magazine's booth! Over 30, 000 people passed by our booth that weekend and saw that knife hold world-record weights - and yet the magazines never covered that story. I wonder why?
We've always been very open about what our products can do. But our competitors have been conspicuous in their absence. Where are their tests?
Until now, we've never shown the flip side of that coin - but that's going to change!
After 35 years, I've finally decided to release some of our internal testing videos, and to undergo new tests with my competitor's latest offerings to show the public just how well they hold up!
I've always enjoyed America's great tradition of comparative advertising. I still fondly remember the "Pepsi Challenge" and the great shake up it caused in the beverage industry. Today, it's almost impossible to turn on your TV or listen to the radio without encountering comparative advertisements.
Public reviews (particularly on YouTube) have increased not only public interest in these side-by-side comparisons, but also public knowledge and education about materials, technologies and manufacturing processes.
Our fans and our customers are smarter and better informed than ever before, and we as an industry must acknowledge that.
Other brands can no longer make unsubstantiated claims without backing up their brag!
I truly believe that these tests are of HUGE benefit to the end user. Who doesn't want to be safer?
I also believe they are important from a consumer standpoint. People want to know exactly what they are paying for.
I also feel that the public release of these tests will be of great benefit to the industry as a whole.
Hopefully I will be able to raise the bar for quality and performance in a tool that is intended for life saving use!
I've done everything I can to make these tests as fair and unbiased as possible.
As I said before, there are no standardized tests for strength in this industry, so I've chosen to subject these knives to what I personally have set as the minimal acceptable standard testing for Cold Steel folders.
Spyderco's Tatanka held up very well under hard use. Their Power Lock proved to be a well-engineered and tough competitor, though it failed to match up to one of our XL Voyagers at less than a third of the price of the Tatanka, and over 20% lighter.
The Wildsteer (with three locks!) also proved to be very tough, though a little unwieldy for me, and it to failed when pitted against our Espada.
Zero Tolerance's ZT0350 proved to be a huge disappointment to me, as it failed catastrophically under hand pressure alone!
Over the coming weeks I'll be releasing more of our findings and test results, and I'm as excited as our customers to see just how well my knives hold up.
Maybe one of my competitors will beat us? It'll be fun to find out!
As always, I'll equate this to my training as a fighter. I train with some of the best in the world, so don't you think I've been knocked down before? I'm a better fighter because of those beatings! Each bruise is a lesson well learned.
If a competitor's knife out-performs mine I will acknowledge that, go back to the drawing board and then come back stronger.
After all, competition is nothing to be feared as long as you are willing to evolve!
Where the metal meets the meat
Lynn C Thompson
Cold Steel, Inc.