My Dad and I always enjoyed camping out together. We would pack our bags and head off into the mountains for almost three to four days, sometimes with the whole family, and sometimes just the two of us. Dad used this time essentially for bonding and teaching me some serious life skills. “Survival”, Dad would say, “is all about making use of both the right skills and the right tools”. These teachings of my Dad remained ingrained in me till date. I try to continue this tradition with my own family and always make sure I keep a heavy duty folding knife with me at all times – the quintessential tool.
A folding knife is a versatile little tool that fits into any pocket and its importance can not be stressed enough. Pocket knives are becoming more and more advanced nowadays in terms of quality and the facilities that they offer. Notable among these are the ones developed by Cold Steel. The company has become a household name in the survival knife industry and the Cold Steel 4 Max 62RN is one of their products to reckon to with. Built in collaboration with Andrew Demko, the knife design maven, this knife leaves no stone un-turned in terms of design, build and usability. This knife has perhaps been the most talked about in the realm of survival knives. Clean design, practical and built like a tank, this knife has been pressure tested in almost every way possible to ensure its users can truly enjoy their time in the outdoors. I cannot explain how excited I am to get an opportunity to test this legendary knife for you!
General Dimensions – Size and weight
The length of the entire knife extends to 10 inches, with the blade occupying about a third of it. This size of blade makes this knife ideal for a multitude of uses as it means you can cut almost anything, including wood, ropes and fruits by having the entire pressure applied even distributed over the length of the blade. The knife is completely efficient and quite good with day-to-day needs. As such, it can serve as an ideal EDC knife. Weight-wise, though the knife could do better. With a weight of 10.2 ounces, this knife is a bit on the heavier side, and this could be a problematic element for some.
Handle and Ergonomics
The handle has been designed with perfect contours at just the right places so your fingers get a good grip around the knife, whether in the forward grip position on in a reverse grip. In fact, the designer Andrew Demko is famous precisely for simple and ergonomic handle designs that can snuggly and comfortably fit a wide range of grips and hand sizes. To add to the tight grip and strength, all edges of the knife are chamfered and bead blasted. The pommel of the knife is quite large and owing to the weight, it can easily serve as a small hammer, if the need arises.
Jimping and Choil
As if the ergonomically designed handle grip wasn’t enough, the Cold Steel 62RN 4-Max is equipped with a good toothy jimping and large choil for your thumb and fore-finger to ensure you never have to suffer from finger blisters after a bout of heavy duty cutting, slicing or peeling. I especially loved the way the jimping nestled the pad of my thumb without being overly rough.
The titanium pocket clip is sufficiently sized and allows for the knife to go fairy deep into your pocket. The spring retention is good and strong, allowing you to carry it on your belt, without it loosening up over time. A belt sheath, though, would have been a great addition.
Patented Tri-ad locking System
The Tri-Ad locking system is the brain child of Andrew Demko himself. It is the best, safest and strongest locking mechanism for a knife. In this system, the blade sits around a stop pin, which essentially redistributes the force pressure or impact on the blade. This locking system also helps keep the lock protected from dust build-up and gives the whole knife an extra bout of longevity. It is designed to be self-adjusting. That means, that as time goes by, the tri-ad lock will adapt itself, protecting the knife blade against wearing out and keeping it both safe and secure.
The blade is a shiny stainless-steel CP-20CV, with a stone washed finish on it. It is a drop point blade measuring 4 inches in length, which is the entire length of the cutting edge. This also means that you have to be really careful to ensure that your finger does not go anywhere beyond the knife’s choil. The blade is super sharp. In fact, sharp enough to chip wood if used with a batton of sorts. Thickness of the blade is 4.5mm, making it really strong and resistant to breakage even after some good amount of impact.
Cold Steel 62RN 4-Max Pocket Knife Overall Review
To conclude, this is a great survival folding knife and is a great contender with some of its high-end counterparts in the market. If you’re into big and heavy knives, this is great for you. The knife is stoutly built, resilient and really sharp. Is it perfect? Not really, but I personally would give it two big thumbs up.
- Tri-Ad lock: The ground-breaking Tri-Ad locking system makes this the safest, strongest and longest lasting folding knife in the industry. This is one feature that sets Cold Steel knives apart from competing survival knives.
- Stain resistant blade: The stone washed stainless steel blades are resistant to staining and rusting, adding to the longevity of this knife.
- Exceptional Wear Resistance: The Cold Steel 4 Max is a beast of a knife, specifically designed for heavy duty use and some hard impact functions. It is really resilient and even after plenty of wear, this knife does not give in easily.
- Sharp blade: The blade of the 4 Max is really sharp and thick at the same time, allowing you to cut through a variety of items and still not worry about the impact loosening it up or breaking it.
- Comfortable to hold: The ergonomic handle and its scales allow you to hold the knife comfortably, and ensure that the knife doesn’t slip as your palms get sweaty.
- Hefty: Weighing about 10.2 ounces, the knife is slightly large and heavy for a pocket knife or an EDC knife.
- Extreme care needs to be taken: Once the lock is disengaged, you need to be seriously careful with the blade, especially when closing it in. The strong spring, along with the heavy and extremely sharp blade can be an accident waiting to happen.
- Unlocking may be a little tricky: The tri-ad lock is safe enough to ensure that it does not disengage when in your pocket (quite a necessity), but I sometimes find it a little tough to disengage in a hurry, owing to the high spring tension. You basically have to make sure that your thumb is placed right at the center to successfully disengage it. But in the end, I guess safety comes first, so this might also be a good thing.
- Expensive: The Cold Steel 4 Max is a great knife, no doubt, and designed mainly for the high-end market, but I still find it to be a little too expensive, considering it does not come with a lifetime warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A: This premium rated folding knife is a limited-edition model.
A: Cold Steel offers 1-year warranty, but only against defects in material or workmanship.
A: You can use sharpening tools like an Arkansas Stone. Each stone should be used along with a honing oil. Make sure to select the correct type of honing oil for your variety of stone. Another option for sharpening is a diamond sharpening stone. These are available in a variety of grits.