Cold Steel hinted that they still had a few surprises in store after releasing their 2016 catalog, and today they delivered with a brand-new knife dubbed the Pro-Lite. With a 3.5″ clip-point or tanto blade, lightweight FRN handles, Tri-Ad lock, and MSRP of just $49, the Pro-Lite might be the entry level Cold Steel folder that knife people have been waiting for. Dealer discounted prices should fall somewhere in the $30 to $35 range.
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When Cold Steel upgraded blade steels across nearly their entire lineup last year, the added performance came with a corresponding price increase. Many praised the move, but buyers on a budget bemoaned the absence of an affordable entry level folder in the line-up. Like the new Vanguard Series did for Kizer, the Pro-Lite fills the gap for Cold Steel. “We’ve always tried to have at least one ‘everyman’ series in our line up, a tough working knife that will suit anyone’s income,” a representative from Cold Steel told us. “The Pro-Lite’s aim is to give as much performance as possible into the most inexpensive package.”
The 4116 German stainless steel and fiberglass-reinforced nylon handles of the Pro-Lite help keep costs down, but both hit above their weight, according to Cold Steel. “They aren’t high end super steel or limited edition collectibles, they are tough-as-nails workhorses. Easy to re-sharpen, easy to use, light and affordable.”
The Pro-Lite takes its name from a discontinued blade from the Cold Steel archives but that’s where the similarities end. The Pro-Lite is a brand new design from knife maker Andrew Demko. “Andrew actually proclaimed the Pro-Lite to be one of his favorite handle designs to date,” a Cold Steel representative told us.
We weren’t the only ones surprised by news of the Pro-Lite: knife dealers weren’t expecting a new Cold Steel so soon, either. “The Pro-Lite is already shipping to dealers. I’m sure it’ll be hitting the web on other sites within a week,” says Cold Steel. “It isn’t the first time we’ve done this and it won’t be the last. We have something of a tradition for .. surprises.”
Knife featured in image: Cold Steel Pro-Lite