Most guides and knife reviewers will tell you that the CS Andrew Demko AD10, the Espada or the Master Hunter, or even the Cold Steel Recon Tanto, or the Cold Steel 4-Max is the best Cold Steel knife.
We’re taking a very different approach. We think it might be the Cold Steel Canadian Belt Knife.
But why? Let’s take a closer look at this absolute hidden gem from the Cold Steel lineup.
First, the blade profile, which is not something you’ll find easily elsewhere. It’s sort of like a cross between a Nessmuk-style skinner and a Grohmann’s Canadian Belt Knife.
Actually, it’s probably patterned after the latter one. It has a leaf-shaped blade with plenty of belly; the orientation of the blade is such that the end is angled slightly down and away from the grips.
This makes natural sweeping, arcing motions – necessary for skinning – effortless with this style of blade.
The blade profile is excellent as a hunting knife, as stated, and has aggressive, deep jimping along the spine that verges on uncomfortable – which means it provides a sure grip.
While it’s a sure bet for skinning, this style of blade is also suitable for fileting cuts of meat, too, making it an ideal pattern for hunters.
Cold Steel has also gone above and beyond with economy, as the materials it has used in this design are both affordable and practical.
The CS Canadian Belt Knife is made with a polypropylene handle. It is not attractive; in fact, it is downright ugly, but it is perfect for this knife.
Polypropylene is not absorbent and will not corrode; water, grease, fat and blood can easily be rinsed right off it and will not stain it or cause other lasting damage.
The ergonomics of the grip are good, too. It’s a little bit angular, which helps prevent rolling when your hands are wet or greasy, and has no hot spots since it has rounded-off edges. It also has a light texturing which improves traction.
The sheath is a Secure-Ex model. Again, there’s nothing to scream about here, but it is corrosion resistant and will not be damaged by blood, grease, water, or fat. It’s easy to clean, easy to mount, and secures the blade well.
How about the blade steel? Cold Steel makes this one (and other similar models) with sub-zero quenched 4116 stainless steel.
It is a budget steel, but it is an incredible budget steel. Even though it’s cheap, it’s capable of taking an holding a shaving-sharp edge – which some other budget alloys struggle to do.
Another thing about this alloy is the fact that it is basically bomb-proof. Seriously; which is a big deal for a hunting knife.
Not only can you get this knife wet or bloody, but you can leave it that way, sheath it, pull it out three days later, rinse it off, and the blade will (probably) be spotless. It resists corrosion just about as good as any alloy out there.
(Also, a lot of other “great” CS knives are folding knives. Since this isn’t a Cold Steel folder, there’s no locking mechanism that can fail.)
And all of that still doesn’t even touch on the best part.
The Grohmann’s Canadian Belt Knife mentioned above, after which this knife is likely patterned – that thing will set you back more than $100.
This Cold Steel knife will probably set you back less than $20. In fact, if you get it from a supplier like White Mountain Knives, you can probably score one for closer to $15.
Nowhere else can you get a blade in this pattern for such an affordable price.
So what we have here is an unbelievably cheap Cold Steel knife with a practical design and corrosion-proof construction, that is highly serviceable as a hunting knife.
There are other good, even excellent, Cold Steel knives, but that’s what makes this CS Canadian Belt Knife the best Cold Steel knife.