SHOT Day 2: Cold Steel Unleashes the Mayhem

Cold Steel’s first 2023 release is a big one – literally. The new Mayhem folder channels the head-turning brashness of older Cold Steel knives with its imposing dimensions and hard use construction.

More so than any other manufacturer, Cold Steel does not shy away from big blades. They have more than a dozen models with a blade length north of 5 inches – and the Mayhem joins them this year. It isn’t quite the absolute biggest (that would be the Espada XL), but with a 6-inch cutting edge this one is still in pocket sword territory as far as we’re concerned.

The blade shape could be described simply as a clip point – but that doesn’t do it justice. There’s a dramatic dip on the spine, with chunky sawtooth jimping cut into it, followed by a harpoon swedge that moves out towards the acute tip. Detail-oriented cutting is not the Mayhem’s calling obviously, but a forward choil does look like it would work as a choke-up point if a little extra control is called for. The Mayhem is rolling out in two different steels initially. The standard model is made from AUS-10A, like many recent Cold Steel projects; but there is also a limited edition Launch Edition Mayhem made from S35VN steel instead.

Handle material varies slightly between the standard and Launch Edition Mayhem too. The standard model has a black G-10 handle with some lighter highlights; the Launch Edition gets a red/black G-10 combo handle. Both versions are equipped with Cold Steel’s Atlas Lock, an ambidextrous mechanism designed to be robust and reliable. You knew the weight would be substantial and it definitely is: Cold Steel tells us the Mayhem tips the scales at 13 oz.

Knife in Featured Image: Cold Steel Mayhem

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