Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter Review

Having meat that has been hunted, skinned, cut and processed by someone else is great, but survival enthusiasts will tell you that your meat is ten times more relish-able when caught and prepared by you in the midst of nature. Our early ancestors made a living doing this and had to fend for or create their own tools to help them in the process. Thankfully, things have changed and now we can simply go online, browse through a whole selection of hunting tools and purchase the ones we find the most appropriate. In this search for the Ultimate hunting knife, one that is conveniently designed to skin your game, slice the meat as well as clean up sinews with precision, one name comes to mind a lot, and that belongs to one of the creators of versatile knives for years – Cold Steel.

Practicality and mobility are key when you’re out on a hunt, and when it comes to knives, a folding knife offers both of these. In this article, I will be reviewing the Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter Folding Pocket Knife. Let’s see if this one lives up to its profound name, along with its brand reputation.

Exclusive Features of Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter

Practicality and mobility are key when you’re out on a hunt, and when it comes to knives, a folding knife offers both of these. In this article, I will be reviewing the Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter Folding Pocket Knife. Let’s see if this one lives up to its profound name, along with its brand reputation.

General Dimensions – Size and weight

This rugged looking knife is big and hefty. It has a total length of about 8.5 inches, of which, the blade occupies 3.5 inches. Many find this ratio of handle to knife to be a little off-putting, but personally I feel this ratio is great as it gives you more control over the game. I’ve used this to cut open fish belly, deer skin as well as rabbit and I found the force from my finger pressure to go just where I need it to. Remember the physics principle of lesser surface area meaning more concentrated force over one area? Well I guess that comes into place here. When folded, the knife condenses to a length of 5 inches, just enough to slip into your pocket and retrieve as and when needed. For a knife of this size, you would expect the Ultimate hunter to be heavy, but it is surprisingly quite light. It weighs just 5.4 ounces, and is thus ideal as an EDC knife as well.


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Handle and Ergonomics

The handle is big and chunky, so it feels great when holding it. Shape of the handle is simple and contouring is very well done so it gives you a good grip, irrespective of the size of your hand. The body is liner-less and made from G10 material, with a stainless-steel lock bar. It is 3-D contoured with a smooth finish, but is also grainy enough for some traction. This is probably due to the bead blasting applied to it. Both the contour and the texture of the handle ensure that you get a solid grip, even when your hands are covered in sweat, rain or blood. Lastly, the pommel features a wide padding for your thumb, keeping your hand quite comfortable when using the knife in reverse grip.

Jimping, Choil and Thumb Stud

The knife does not exactly come with a choil, but it does have a nice little groove just above the handle where you can rest your finger while cutting. The spine of the handle has got a good amount of jimping done, so you get a good traction, especially when you are choking on the handle. The handle of the Ultimate Hunter also features a pair of additional divots or thumb studs on either side of the handle. The purpose of this is to rest your index or middle finger when using the knife, especially to give more torque when choking up.

Pocket Clip

The knife includes a pair of ambidextrous pocket clips that can be worn on both the left and right side. These are made from titanium and are quite sufficiently sized to allow the knife to go relatively deep into your pocket, while still giving you easy and quick access. The spring retention in the clip is strong, so there are slim chances of it loosening up over time.

Patented Tri-ad locking System

Intelligently designed by custom knife designer Andrew Demko, the Tri-ad locking system gives the cold steel ultimate hunter robustness, reliability and an extra bout of longevity. This lock has a mighty strong spring that can never be inadvertently opened. It requires you to purposefully open it and the blade will stay locked even under the strongest of blows. A lot of people prefer knives that can be easily flicked open with one hand, but this knife’s lock can be a bit tough to disengage at times, and you might need to use both hands to disengage the lock. I personally see this as a good thing, as it means there are less chances of the knife accidentally shredding my pants while in the pocket.

Blade, sharpness

The blade on this knife is a drop point that has been constructed from carpenter CTS XHP steel. The steel has a hardness rating of 61, which makes it quite effective for penetrating thick skin, unlike the steel found in most folding knives, like the Aus-8. When unboxed, the blade is razor sharp with quite an attractive shape. The CTS XHP steel has been given a nice flat grind along with a bi-toned satin finish. The blade is also effective in breaking down game without risking the puncture of any organs. However, with time, the sharpness will diminish and you will be required to upkeep it with occasional sharpening, which is quite easy to do with this make of blade. Overall, I found this blade to be quite workable and effective. I’ve used it to cut open cardboard boxes, slice through fish and also debone chicken with ease.

In conclusion, this is a great knife from cold steel. It is comfortable to hold, sharp enough for most of your game processing needs and safely locked away while in your pocket. I wouldn’t say it is the best hunting knife, but at its price point I would say I found it to be quite useful and well-functioning for its purpose.

Pros and Cons


  • 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.
  • Ideal Shaped blade: The CTS XHP steel blades are shaped in such a way that you can penetrate through skin and slice through meat with precision and without having to worry about accidentally puncturing an organ.
  • Comfortable to hold: The knife handle has been smartly designed to give you a good grip, both in forward and reverse grips, while ensuring your index finger, middle finger and thumb are comfortably rested. The additional thumb stud gives added comfort especially when you need to choke on the handle.


  • Unlocking may be a little tricky: The tri-ad lock ensures that the knife does not disengage when in your pocket, but it can be 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 justifyto successfully disengage it. But I find this to be a good thing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What kind of game is this knife most suitable for?
A: You can use it to debone chicken and cut through skin of any game from deer to rabbits. I’ve also used it to cut fish.
Q: What about the warranty?
A: Cold Steel offers 1-year warranty, but only against defects in material or workmanship.
Q: Can these be sharpened?
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.
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