The Spartan from Cold Steel
Sometimes you want your pocket knife to be light and nimble, suited for a gentleman of dignity and refinement. And sometimes you want it to be built like a tank. If it is going to be a tank day, the Cold Steel Spartan is an excellent choice.
This is a knife I have owned and carried for some time, so my experience is a bit more than out-of-the-box impressions. What first drew me to the Spartan was its unique blade shape, like a tiny copy of a Greek kopis sword. It looked cool enough that I was willing to buy one to try.
What pictures fail to tell you is how absolutely massive this knife is! The blade is 4.5 inches long, and 4 millimeters thick. The handle is almost 6 inches, giving it just over 10 inches in overall length. Not only is the handle long it is double the thickness of most folders. All this adds up to a whopping 9 ounces of knife!
Despite the weight of the knife, I have carried it quite a bit. The pocket clip has proven to be surprisingly durable. The Spartan rides rather low and combined with the curvy profile, it actually disappears in your pocket quite nicely. For such a large knife, I was surprised how well it carried. It also doesn’t have the bad habit of taking up your entire front pocket, which is good.
The handle is cut to also resemble a Greek sword, which I find to be one of the best features of the knife. With the grip folded around your fingers fore and aft, the feeling of security for your cutting chores is like no other. This is one of the few folders I would have no issue stabbing into anything, as there is virtually no fear of inadvertently slicing my own fingers.
Also standard on the Spartan is the Demko Thumb Plate. If you pull the knife back against your pocket on deployment, the thumb plate catches your pants, opening the blade. This is a lovely feature on any folder, and makes deploying the blade lightening quick.
As a tactical folder, the Spartan is an excellent choice. The blade has not only good reach at 4.5 inches, but it also has width. If you can’t make a deep hole, compared to a fixed blade at least, making a big or wide hole is the next best option. As a self-defense knife, you really can’t ask for more than that.
Is it all roses and lilacs? No. If I had to make two complaints, it would be these. First, while the low ride is nice for carry, it makes things a little dicey on initial deployment. Your grip is so low on the Spartan that your control of the knife is weak for a split second while it opens. Not the worst problem I have seen, but something to know.
My second point of contention is about the finish. My Spartan is an older model, made of AUS-8A steel. This is supposed to be a very corrosion-resistant steel, but my experience says otherwise. From the moment I got this knife, it will show rust spots in a single day. At least if it is humid, or anyone within 100 yards sweats near it.
It isn’t a show stopper, and the rust rubs off easily. But it is annoying. Since its initial release, Cold Steel has changed steels twice, and it now sports AUS10A. I have been told this new steel corrects the issue, but cannot verify.
Even with the spot rust issue, I love the Spartan. If you are in the market for a hard-use folder, this one is hard to beat.
- Weight: 9 oz.
- Thickness: 4mm
- Blade Length: 4 1/2”
- Handle: 6″ Long Griv-Ex™ with Steel Fittings
- Steel: Japanese AUS10A (for new models)
- Overall Length: 10 1/2″
- Additional Feature: Ambidextrous Pocket / Belt Clip (Battle Gear)
- MSRP: $129.99
- Steet Prices: $70-$80
For more information on the Spartan visit ColdSteel.com.