Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #9 Cold Steel Recon 1

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 63 out of 404 respondents said the Cold Steel Recon 1 should never be discontinued.

There’s a reason Cold Steel Recon 1 buyers can’t stop talking about it. G-10 scales, CTS-XHP blade steel, and what could very well be the strongest knife lock in the world; it’s an upscale knife made to take a lot of punishment.

Much like the Voyager, American Lawman, and AK-47 series, the Recon 1 was given a major overhaul in 2010. The previous Recon 1 was heavier, with thick steel liners and more hardware holding it together. It was a popular knife, but the redesign brought the Cold Steel Recon 1 into step with the burgeoning knife scene’s thirst for lightweight, high-performance blades. The new Recon 1 weighed less, cut better, and could withstand obscene amounts of abuse thanks to the Andrew Demko-designed Tri-Ad lock.

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Tanto blades have been around for hundreds of years, but the angular American tanto blade shape was popularized in the 80s by Cold Steel. One of the very first Cold Steel knives produced was the fixed blade Recon Tanto. While it is available in other blade shapes, the Recon 1 folding knife series takes its inspiration from this knife. An American tanto has two separate edge grinds, one along the length of the blade and another across the angle to the tip. The strong tip makes the American tanto a great piercer in self-defense or even utility applications.

The Cold Steel Recon 1 Series is available in a tanto, clip point, or drop point blade shape, any of which can come serrated. You can choose between black or tan G-10 scales. As with most Cold Steel knives, the Recon 1 comes with larger and smaller sizes. The standard model has a 4”, the Medium a 3”, the Micro a 2”, and the XL, a whopping 5.5” blade.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #8 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Cold Steel Recon 1 4″ Tanto

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#24 Emerson CQC-7 15/404
#23 Victorinox Cadet 18/404
#22 Benchmade Adamas 20/404
#21 Zero Tolerance 0562 21/404
#20 Cold Steel Ti-Lite 24/404
#19 Opinel No. 8 25/404 
#18 Zero Tolerance 0350 28/404
#17 Cold Steel Voyager 30/404
#16 Case Trapper 41/404
#15 Ontario RAT Model 1 43/404
#14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian 53/404
#13 Spyderco Manix 2 54/404
#12 CRKT M16 57/404
#11 Kershaw Skyline 58/404
#10 Kershaw Blur 62/404
#09 Cold Steel Recon 1 63/404
#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
#07 Chris Reeve Knives Large Sebenza 21 75/404
#06 Kershaw Leek 76/404
#05 Benchmade 940 78/404
#04 Spyderco Delica 4 79/404
#03 Benchmade Griptilian 81/404
#02 Buck 110 Folding Hunter 90/404
#01 Spyderco Paramilitary 2 94/404