Monday, March 7, 2016

Cold Steel American Lawman

I recently purchased a Cold Steel Lawman folder from my friends at Midway.  I have owned a couple of Cold Steel products (this one for example) over the years and have been generally pleased with them despite the hyperbole that seems to go with the company. 

One thing that interested me about the CS Lawman is the Taiwanese steel.  It is called Carpenter CTS XHP Alloy, essentially a high-hardness (60-64 HRC) 440C-type stainless.  The reports on it are mostly positive.  The cutting edge of the blade, less the half-inch of deep choil, is 3 inches.  The blade is about an eighth of an inch (4mm) thick with a nice drop-point  profile.  It is sharp.  It is, perhaps, the sharpest knife I have including my Mora and a scary-sharp custom skinner.        
 The scales on the Lawman are G-10, with an intense but relatively shallow stippling that provides good traction without being uncomfortable.  I am glad because the grips are also quite thin.  While it carries easily and unobtrusively in all kinds of trouser pockets, it might be a little tough to hang onto when working with it for an extended period of time.

Unfolded the Lawman measures a shade over eight inches so there is plenty of room for my remarkably average hand.  If I have a gripe, aside from the concession to slimness in the scales, it is that every other folder I own carries tip-down and the Lawman carries tip-up.  We have heard for years about muscle memory.  I am experiencing the consequences of muscle memory every time I draw this knife.  I have to retrain myself and form a new habit.  It is annoying but something I will adjust to in time.

The Lawman gets carried a lot.  The clip is extremely secure so I don't worry about losing it on the bike, knocking around in the brush, or working on equipment.  I sometimes pair it up with a Leatherman Sidekick when riding.  While the Lawman is an excellent all-around utility knife, it does not have the heft or capacity to make pommel strikes that my CRKT Crawford Kasper does.  It would be a cutting son of a gun, though. 

Then there is the lock.  Most of my tactical folders are linerlocks.  Linerlocks are solid and dependable and relatively cheap.  They can get enough wear so as to make me less that confident they will hold.  I have retired a couple of knives because the lock made me wonder.  That is not going to happen with the Lawman.  It has Cold Steel's Tri-Ad lockback mechanism which is rigid and solid.  It may be about as close as you can get to a fixed blade in a folder.  

If you are looking for a dependable, high-quality, reasonably-priced tactical folder, I recommend checking out the Cold Steel Lawman.


  1. That's a fine looking knife. Thank you, Mush, Good to know the pros and cons of this knife.

  2. New knife?

    Reminds me of this

    Looking forward to the opening of The Missouri Museum of Fighting Cutlery one of these days.

  3. Yes, I have a friend who plays in a cover band around Fayetteville, AR. He has bought three new guitars since the first of the year.

    The older grandson also has the collecting (hoarding?) bug with knives. He'll be the one opening the museum.