Is the CS Recon Tanto in SK-5 the Ultimate Cold Steel Tanto Knife?

For one reason or another, the appeal of the classic tanto has been totally taken over by many knifemakers and the design of traditional tanto blades has been worked into everything from modern interpretations of this Japanese icon all the way to modern tactical folders.

Whether it’s mystique or practicality, we’ll never know. It is true that the blade profile of a tanto point has a lot of integrity near the point; past that, it’s on you, the user, to determine.

At any rate, if you’re looking for a fixed blade that merges traditional tanto aesthetics with a contemporary twist and ultra-durable modern materials, look no further than the Recon Cold Steel tanto knife in SK-5 steel, a Kray-Ex handle, and a Secure-Ex sheath.

About the Steel
The real champion of this Cold Steel tanto knife is the SK-5 steel. SK-5 is a Japanese steel that contains about 1% of carbon. This is the main constituent of this steel (besides iron) and enables it to take an excellent heat treatment and offer great edge retention.

It also offers nominal corrosion resistance thanks to about .3% chromium, so while it’s not quite stainless, it’s decent at outgunning rust.

It also contains a bit each of manganese, nickel, and silicon, which together make it tougher, stronger, and harder.

All in all, it’s a good steel that can be used to make a variety of knives and other bladed tools, like razor blades.

Blade Profile
Obviously, this Cold Steel tanto knife sports a tanto-style blade. It is 7” overall, and like most tanto-inspired designs, features a gracefully swept edge that is great for cutting chores.

Thanks to the tanto-style point, the blade has a lot of integrity near the point and can be used for piercing and penetrating tasks as well, with a lower risk of tip breakage.

Another nice feature is the black matte Tuff-ex finish that coats the steel, protecting it from corrosion and minimizing glare.

Ergonomics, Handling, and Sheath
This Cold Steel tanto knife is well balanced and handles nicely. It’s not as blade heavy as you’d expect, given the length and overall size of the blade, which is a testament to quality engineering and execution.

The handle, though a far cry from the ray skin wrap of original tantos, is a dream. You might call it ugly, but it is comfortable to use in a variety of grips and leaves no hot spots.

Also, the texture of the Kray-ex handle is a big bonus. It’s sort of tacky without feeling gummy and sure in the grip, doubtless whether the hand is wet, greasy, cold, or gloved. Also, thanks to the cross-sectional girth and shape of the handle, it’s unlikely to rotate in the grip.

Two more nice features: the handle has an integral lanyard hole and there is a guard at the bottom front of the handle which prevents a user’s hands from sliding up on the blade.

By the way – a lot of manufacturers cheap out on the sheath, and Cold Steel has not. Actually, the sheath is one of this knife’s biggest selling points.

It’s a “Secure-ex” sheath, as Cold Steel calls it, which is “marketing talk” for a hard, MOLLE-compatible plastic sheath. It offers an excellent fil, a secondary retention strap for the handle, and can be carried in a wide range of disciplines. It can be mounted on a belt, tip-down, lashed to a pack, rigged for scout carry, or carried in any other way the imagination can devise.

Get the Whole Scoop on This Cold Steel Tanto Knife
Want to learn more about this Cold Steel tanto knife? Check out White Mountain Knives online at They carry this blade in San Mai and other tanto patterns from Cold Steel and other industry-leading manufacturers. Plus they offer free shipping on orders in the United States.

Visit their website today and get in touch with them at [email protected] if you have any questions.

For more information about Good Pocket Knife Brands and Best Gerber Knife Please visit: White Mountain Knives, LLC.

Leave a Comment