Pat’s Product Review – Cold Steel’s Counter Point

There are many stupid knife (and gun) laws on the books, all over this country. Many are archaic in nature and aren’t enforced; however, they are still on the books just the same. There are some states, like Texas, that prohibit “daggers” or double edge knives. Believe it or not, some areas forbid the ownership of anything called a “Bowie” knife. Insane!

My late friend and mentor, Col. Rex Applegate, co-designed the Applegate/Fairbairn (A/F) double-edge fighting knife during WWII. It was a vastly improved Fairbairn/Sykes double edge knife. However, WWII came to a close before the A/F came into production. It wasn’t until the early 1990s, if I recall, that Applegate finally had the A/F produced commercially by Blackjack Knives. There were some serious problems with the first few production runs, and the center line of the knife didn’t meet at the tip of the blade. They were off-centered, to be sure. Since then, several companies have been licensed to produce the A/F double edge fighting knife. Gerber Legendary Blades also produced a folding version of the A/F fighting knife, and I had an early pre-production version. Gerber placed the pocket clip on the wrong side of the knife for right-handed use, with no option to move the clip. Stupid!

This is a review of the Cold Steel Counter Point Series line of folders that for all the world appear to be partially double-edged knives, dagger-esque, or spear point in design. However, the upper edge of the blade is NOT sharpened. The design allows for deeper penetration than many other folding knives, if the knife is used in a self-defense situation. I’ve said many times that most knife fights consists of slashing moves instead of stabbing moves, but if the opportunity presented itself, you can sure stab instead of slash. That’s for another article on self-defense with a knife.

We have three different-sized Counter Point folders in the series. The Counter Point I has a blade length of 4-inches; the Counter Point II has a 3-inch blade; and the Counter Point XL has a 6-inch blade. My test sample was the 4-inch blade version, and it was a good balance in size between the three folders. All are identical in that the blades are made out of AUS 8 stainless steel– one of my favorites, and the handle material is manufactured out of something called Griv-Ex– a super-strong polymer material pioneered by Cold Steel that is tough, very tough.

All three of the Counter Point folders have the famous Tri-Ad Lock, and it is one of the strongest, if not the strongest lock you can get on a folding knife. Cold Steel isn’t afraid to demonstrate the strength of the Tri-Ad Lock in their “Proof” video or on their website. There is also a reversible pocket clip for right or left pocket carry, with the tip up. (There is no option for tip down carry.) There is also a thumb stud on the blade for easy deployment, too.

The Counter Point I sample has an overall length of 9-inches, when opened. It weighs a mere 4.7-ounces and is 3.5mm thick. Seriously, you don’t even know you have the Counter Point clipped inside your pants pocket. Needless to say, but I’ll repeat it again: I believe Lynn Thompson, the owner of Cold Steel, set the gold standard when it comes to sharp knives. All of his knives come shaving sharp from the box. Everyone else has had to jump on-board with manufacturing sharp knives, or fall by the wayside. Thompson did us all a service, and it is a rare thing to find a major name knife company that doesn’t have hair-popping edges on their blades these days. Well, that’s just my take on it all.

The Griv-Ex black polymer handle scales have several holes on both sides of the handles, which lightens the weight of the knife as well as gives it a sleek appearance. The handle also has heat-treated aluminum liners to add more strength to the Counter Point’s Griv-Ex handle scales.

I did my usual testing of the Counter Point. It was used around the kitchen and out on my small homestead. I stabbed it into stacked cardboard, and I really abused the knife by throwing it a lot against trees. I got it to stick a few times, but this is not a throwing knife. I wanted to really abuse this folder. The Tri-Ad Lock never failed. It’s stout and, aside from a few small scratches, the Counter Point was good as new.

With many folding knives, I can draw them from my pocket and “flick” them open. It took some serious wrist-action to flick the Counter Point open, but I was able to do it. The Tri-Ad Lock really holds the blade closed, as well as locked open when deployed.

I recently had one SurvivalBlog reader take me to task on the Cold Steel AUS 8 blade steel and their serrated blades. This reader told me that he could bend the serrated portion of the blade he had with his finger nail. Uh, no!!! I tried this on several of my older Cold Steel folders, and I couldn’t bend the blade at the serrations. I’m not quite sure if this reader was taking me to task for serrated blades, AUS 8 stainless steel, or was against Cold Steel knives. I referred this reader to Lynn Thompson, if he felt he had a defective knife or whatever his complaint was. I have used AUS 8 stainless steel bladed knives for years, and I have never had it fail me. It’s a great compromise stainless steel that is affordable, holds an edge a good long time, and is easy to re-sharpen (and I’m not a wizard when it comes to sharpening knives).

Now, for the good news. The Counter Point I– the knife I tested– has a retail price of only $71.99. Additionally, it can be found discounted on many websites. The Counter Point II is retailing for $55.99, and the Counter Point XL is $99.99. All are made in Taiwan, where many high quality knives are being manufactured these days. You get as good as you want. If you want a 50-cent knife, you can have one made. If you want a thousand dollar knife made, you can get that too, and the quality will be exactly what you want. So, don’t let “Made In Taiwan” scare you away. You are getting a great deal. If you purchased the same knife made in the USA, you’d pay a lot more.

If you’re in the market for a new folder, check out the Counter Point Series. I bet you’ll find one that will fit you “just right,” as Goldilocks once said, and, it won’t drain your checkbook either. – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio