Disclaimer: Neither Jim Rawles or Hugh J. Latimer asked me to do this article, nor did Lynn Thompson from Cold Steel. I received an e-mail flyer on this limited edition folder and requested a sample for review. No one involved in this project, including myself, are profiting from the sale of this folding knife. All proceeds are going to charity!
The Cold Steel Voyager folder is one of the best-selling folders in the Cold Steel stable of knives. It’s always in demand. I really like the Tri-Ad locking mechanism on this line of folders. It’s super strong, to be sure. You can see how the Voyager has been brutally torture tested by going to the Cold Steel website and viewing their videos. It’s amazing the testing that is done on this line of folders. Lynn Thompson puts his money where his mouth is. I’ve tested several of the Voyager folders in the past for articles, and I walked away totally blown away. My torture testing didn’t come any where near what Cold Steel did in their testing. Still, I was more than a little impressed with this line of folders.
A quick look at the Rawles Voyager XL folder is in order. The knife only weighs in at 7.8 oz, and considering the size of the knife, this is a light-weight, to be sure. The blade thickness is 4mm, and the blade length is 5 1/2 inches. This hummer is big. The OD green Griv-Ex handle scales were specified by Jim Rawles, and I love the aggressive checking texture. It will allow the knife to stay in your hand under any weather conditions. The Voyager is very light and fast in the hand, too!
The Rawles Voyager was made to Jim’s specifications, and it also has heat-treated 6061 Aluminum liners. This Voyager also has the new American CTS XHP Carpenter’s steel blade. (The regular line-up of Voyagers doesn’t use this steel.) The blade is a Tanto-style, which I love, and it is black DLC coated to fend off the elements. As mentioned, this folder has the Tri-Ad lock, one of the strongest if not the strongest locking mechanism on a folding knife, and it was designed by custom knife maker Andrew Demko, who is also foregoing any profits on the sale of this folder.
I like the ambidextrous thumb studs on the blade for rapid opening. However, I found I can easily “flick” the blade open, with very little effort and do it very fast! There is also included a spare pocket/clothing clip, so you can carry the knife in the left pocket, if you are a southpaw. The Voyager comes with one clip attached for carry in the right front pocket, but it only takes a minute or two to remove that clip and use the other clip on the other side of the folder.
The blade has survivalblog.com stamped on it as well as Jim Rawles’ signature with the word “Voyager” on the blade as well. There is a lanyard hole towards the butt of the handle, and that’s always a nice touch if using a knife over water. The blade is partially– 50% of it– serrated. Having this feature on a knife meant for survival is never a bad idea. You will also note that the blade is only sharpened on one side– the logo side. This makes the knife much easier to re-sharpen, and it also gives the edge much more strength.
Since this is an XL Voyager model, you can grip the knife up close toward the blade, or you can move your hand further to the rear of the handle, giving you a couple more inches of reach, which is something that can be important when using a knife as a self-defense tool. Like all Cold Steel knives, this baby came hair-popping sharp out of the box; I expect no less from Cold Steel. I’ve said for years that they set the gold standard when it comes to sharp knives, and I stand by that statement.
I wasn’t about to torture test my Rawles Voyager. As I said, I’ve tested this line-up before and have walked away impressed. I’m not at all sure I will carry this sample since it’s a limited edition. It might just go into my knife collection.
For more details on this limited edition folder, you can go to ltspecpro.com and be sure to pick one up. Retail is only $115.99, and this is an instant collectible – a limited edition. Keep in mind that no one involved in this project is profiting from the sale of this knife. All profits are going to charity!
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio