Friday, November 11, 2011

Cold Steel SRK Survival Rescue Escape Knife Review

Cold Steel SRK Survival Rescue Escape Knife Review

Cold steel has been one of the leaders in the knife industry producing knives, swords and weapons ranging from recreations of classic designs to the non-typical.  Cold Steel’s products range from affordable to extravagantly high-end.  One of the most popular affordable designs Cold Steel has ever made was the SRK - Survival Rescue Knife. The Cold Steel SRK’s simple clip point design and class leading strength quickly made the SRK one of the most sought after survival knives of all time.  I own and have heavily used one of the original Carbon V steel SRK knives. Unfortunately the old famed Carbon V steel has been discontinued however the new AUS8 SRK version provides similar performance with a few upgrades over my old version.
Like all Cold Steel knives the SRK delivers outstanding fit and finish from the handle to the blade to the kydex sheath.  The perfect weight, handy size, and balance of the useful clip point SRK blade are the features which have made the SRK so popular over the years. On the update of the SRK, Cold Steel updated the handle grip and slightly changed the overall dimensions of the knife over the original to provide a little extra room in the finger choil area in front of the handle finger guard.  The old SRK was epoxy coated, the new version has a much more durable Teflon coating to protect the upgraded AUS8 blade from the elements.
Cold Steel hit the mark perfectly with the SRK design however the old cardboard/nylon sheath left something to be desired.  The new SRK features a Kydex which provides tremendous flexibility for carry and assures secure and safe retention. The sheath has a design I prefer which has plenty of holes along the edges for securing other items or lashing to a pack.  Those same holes can be used to attach and secure the sheath via Tek-Locs or other Chicago Screw attached carry systems such as the included belt loop.  The nylon belt loop provides for easy belt attachment and removal without removing your belt which is another nice feature.  The great utility of the SRK knife itself with the sheath system make this not only a great knife to use, but an easy knife to carry as well.

The SRK was and is still designed to provides the most useful sized and versatile knife with extreme durability.  I remember years ago when Lin Thompson started demonstrating the strength of knives by bolting an SRK into a vise and “trying” to break it.  Today the SRK can still take that same unreasonable abuse and survive the worst conditions and still keep working.
The very strong 3/16” thick blade and clip point blade works well for fine to heavy duty work and skinning strokes. I have always found this un-assuming standard blade shape extra-ordinarily useful for all manner of tasks and have used my old SRK so much that it could almost use a new paint job. In a time when there are so many funky knife blade designs, this no nonsense versatile clip blade shape works well for a variety of tasks and can take a beating.
My old SRK was my first real high quality sheath knife.  Sure I owned others however Cold Steel’s famous razor sharp edge and edge holding made it perform unlike any other knife I had owned back them.  

My testing including a number of camp and bush craft type chores which my old SRK has seen and performed perfectly time and time again. Some of the sap and other goo that ends up on the blade used to cause some rust. The new SRK's stainless AUS8 Steel seemed to be significantly less sensitive to neglect. The other appreciated update noticed during testing was the extra room for your finger in front of the guard while completing detailed tasks.

Today I am happy to see that the SRK lives on in this new and improved version that is better than the original and still remains one of the best Survival Knife buys on the market.

  • Steel: AUS 8A Stainless Steel
  • Blade: 6"
  • Handle: 4 3/4"
  • Overall: 10 3/4"
  • Thick: 3/16"
  • Weight: 8.2oz.
  • Sheath: Secure-Ex
  • $124.99
  • 38CK
Cold Steel

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