Cold Steel Kobun Review

Last summer when I was preparing to go for a scientific excursion in the Grand Canyon, my wife gave me a cold steel Tanto knife. It turned out the most reliable knife tool during the event. Weighing only 4.5 ounces and its sizeable outlook, carrying this knife everywhere I was no issue.

With its blade of 5.5 inches and overall length just under ten inches, the cold steel Kobun Tanto is functional and fun to have all the time. It is the perfect partner you can ever anticipate. Clipping it on the belt or boots, I found this knife very easy to deploy and slash the target with great precision. Whether you are planning for a holiday in the woods or prefer doing most tasks outdoors, this is one knife that will deliver great value for money.

Exclusive features of cold steel Kobun

Blade / Blade Body / The Materials of the Blade

Cold Steel, the designer of the tanto knife is really fond of tanto blades. A closer look at most of their fixed design-blade tantos reveals they have the same blade design. The tanto blade has its origin in Japan where it evolved to become a perfect stabbing weapon. Now, the American model is even more enthralling.

The blade is 5.5 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. The spine thickness extends forward giving way to a heavily reinforced tip. It also features a secondary angled tip at the point where the tip bevel meets the blade bevel. This design gives you the perfect edge whether targeting direct combat or focus on specific materials. The entire knife is 9 7/8 inches long but only weighs 4.3 ounces. Indeed, this makes it lighter than most 3-inch tactical folders.


sharpness tests put the knife way ahead of its peers. The blade uses Japanese AUS-8A stainless steel, 57-59 RHC which gives the knife a very effective edge. The knife does very well in slicing newsprint materials. It was also very effective as a field chisel and even sliced a nylon rope in a single firm-stroke.

The blade was very effective when tested by cutting cardboards across the grain. It started developing some abrasions after slicing 130 feet of corrugated box cardboard. This is very impressive for an upper-middle steel blade.

While this knife holds its edge like super steel, the ease of sharpening is remarkable. When the knife losses the edge, you will only need a few strokes, about 90 seconds, to get it in top shape. This implies that you can easily resharpen the knife even when working in the field. Remember that though the edge can hold longer, it is advisable to resharpen the piece every two weeks or when leaving for outdoor events.

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One description that many people who have used the kobun knife will agree with me is that it is the confluence of beauty and strength. Tucking the knife on my boots down the Grand Canyon gave me a sense of security and power. Rubbing against the leg or body, the same force that you feel from the knife is the same that goes to slicing materials.

Holding the knife on its molded Kraton grip, I could feel its weight and energy getting transferred into the thin blade.  Besides, it made attacking the material that one wants to slice easy and effective whether from the front or sideways. I was able to effectively use the knife sharpening additional buttons for our camping site in no time.  This coupled with easy to deploy design made this knife really fun to use.

Sheath System

One of the most impressive things about this knife is its uniquely designed sheath. The sheath is made from a molded polymer that only adds 2.5 ounces. Its design relays a sense of authority, firmness, and fun. You look like a special marine waiting to attack.

Note that the sheath is created for the right-side carry either on the boots or inside the belt. This leaves those who are left-handed disadvantaged. The sheath firmly holds the knife by the rubbery hilt to make it firm and prevent falling when running.

To guarantee you of extra safety, the belt boot clip on the sheath can be detachable for those who want to secure the knife with a cord. When you order the knife from the stores, it will come with a reinforced nylon belt sheath. No matter the method you prefer for securing the knife, it will be truly enthralling. I tried both of them and they were indeed remarkable.

Handle and Ergonomics

The knife features a slender grip with some lovely palm elevation and texture. Indeed, the handle is so thin that you might think it will be an issue.  I also had the same fear at first. While working on a scientific application in the marshlands, I did not lose the grip of this knife even with water splashing all over in my hands.

On blade control, it is within range of other combat knives such as SOG Seal Pup. Though tanto knife lacks the sculpted finger groove found in the SOG Seal Pup, blade control is still remarkable. With the handle slightly raised in the middle, you can easily lock the knife by holding tighter during cutting operations. Even if the hand slides a little when cutting materials with extra force, the elevation at the point where the handle meets the blade provides additional protection.

Pocket clip

To be able to cut through materials easily, make your way through the thicket, or even defend yourself, the knife must be within reach. Because the tanto knife features a detachable sheath, Cold Steel compensated using a special clip. The clip is positioned on the upper end of the sheath so that it feels like the knife is held at the center when properly secured.

I also liked the fact that the clip is fixed on the sheath permanently. Whether you tuck it on the boots or the belt, you are sure of enjoying factory firmness. The good thing about it is that you only remove the knife while leaving the sheath firmly clipped on the boots. This helps you to secure the sheath without having to remove it every time that you want to cut something. Whether you are running after a target or working hastily on tasks, this knife clip guarantees you optimal attachment and security.

Cold steel kobun Review & Final Thought

its a great tactical option for military, police, workers, researchers, and other people who do not want to use folding knives for EDC (every day carry). Its strength, ability to maintain sharpness, and ease of use when concealed in the shoes or pants provide a perfect self-defense tool. If you are looking for a cutting knife that guarantees strength and firmness, well, this is one option that will not disappoint. I used it and it was awesome.


Pros and Cons


  • The knife is light and very easy to use. This makes it an ideal option not just for field operations, but also for every day cutting tasks.
  • The blade is designed with the focus on delivering longer lifespan and sharpness.
  • The knife is very strong and can handle most tasks that the foldable designs cannot.
  • The knife is really fun to use. Whether in the field or for other purposes, many people come back indicating the thrill of using this knife.


  • The clip and sheath are designed to work with right-handed users. However, you only need to get used to it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I need special skills to use this knife?
A: The knife does not need special skills. However, those in the military may consider some training to use the knife for combat.
Q: Where can I buy the Kobun tanto knife?
A: You can buy the knife from the manufacturer or top stores such as Amazon.
Q: It is true that this knife is designed for combat, but can I use it for general office work?
A: The tanto knife can be used for all-day tasks depending on your preference.
Q: How long will the knife sharpness last if I only use it lightly?
A: It can last for more than two weeks. However, you should consider resharpening it before use or every two weeks.

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