Cold Steel SR1 Lite Voted Best New Value Folder

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

The Cold Steel SR1 Lite is the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice for Best New Value Folder 2020! The burly, budget-friendly beater bested a bewildering bevy of blades, including the Ferrum Forge Stinger, Ontario Knife Company Shikra, SOG Aegist AT, and Spyderco Astute.

When a manufacturer sets out to make a high value folder, they’re looking to emphasize performance while minimizing price. But what exactly does the word ‘performance’ encompass? It depends, of course, on the maker; and in in Cold Steel’s case, “performance” means “strength and rigidity” – after all, this is the same company that brought Andrew Demko’s Tri-Ad Lock to the masses.

In fact, Demko and the Tri-Ad Lock are the man and mechanism behind the SR1 Lite as well. “The SR1 lite may be the best value knife Cold Steel has ever created,” Demko himself told us upon learning of the award. “While we have many great values, when compared to how much knife and strength you get here it’s really hard to beat.”

The first production SR1 was part of a wave of mid-priced models from Cold Steel. These were designs that moved in the high-end direction without fully occupying that segment of the market. It was a successful attempt to get premier Demko designs into more users’ hands, but the three-figure price tags still left some potential users out in the cold. But the Lite concept allowed Cold Steel to bring the admirable, hard-working SR1 into an eminently affordable price bracket.

Griv-Ex and 8Cr13MoV replace the G-10 and S35VN of the original model, while the same utilitarian, but still stylish and distinct Demko design shines through. “[It] has more strength and durability than probably 90% of the knives out there while costing far less,” Demko reflects. “We are so honored to receive this award and thank our customers so very much.”

Cold Steel itself is undergoing some changes right now – stay tuned for more on that subject in the near future – and tune in tomorrow to see which knife won the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Folder!


Monday, November 30thBest New Tactical Fixed Blade (WINNER: Spyderco Nightstick)

Tuesday, December 1stBest New EDC Fixed Blade (WINNER: Mora Eldris LightDuty)

Wednesday, December 2ndBest New Outdoors Fixed Blade (WINNER: Benchmade 202 Leuku)

Thursday, December 3rdBest New Kitchen/Culinary Knife (WINNER: Spyderco Wakiita Gyuto)

Friday, December 4thBest New Slipjoint/Non-Locking Knife (WINNER: Fox Knives Nauta)

Monday, December 7thBest New High-End Knife (MSRP of $300 or more) (WINNER: Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 31)

Tuesday, December 8thBest New Value Folder (MSRP of $100 or less) (WINNER: Cold Steel SR1 Lite)

Wednesday, December 9thBest New Folder

Thursday, December 10th: Best Knife Upgrade

Friday, December 11thBest Overall Lineup

Knife in Featured Image: Cold Steel SR1 Lite