Cold Steel

Cold Steel
Cold Steel Inc.
Type Corporation
Industry Manufacturing
Founded California (1980)
Headquarters Ventura, CA
Key people Lynn C. Thompson (President & Founder), Robert Vaughn, Ron Balicki[1]
Products knives, swords, tomahawks, pepper spray, machetes, martial arts & self defense-related Products

Cold Steel is a Ventura, California-based maker of knives, swords and other edged weapons and tools. Cold Steel was founded in 1980 by company president, Lynn C. Thompson.[1] Cold Steel's products are manufactured in various countries including the United States, People's Republic of China (PRC), Republic of China (Taiwan), India, and South Africa.[2]



The company's products include fixed blade knives, folding knives, swords, machetes, tomahawks, kukris, blowguns, walking sticks, and other martial arts–related items.[1] Cold Steel is credited with popularizing the American tantō in 1980.[3][4]

The knives are made using VG-1 Stainless Steel, 4116 Krupp Stainless Steel, 1055 Carbon Steel, SK-5 High Carbon Steel, San Mai 3 Laminated Steel and AUS 8A Stainless Steel.[5]

Cold Steel has partnered with custom knife makers such as Andrew Demko, Phil Boguszewski, and Lloyd Pendleton on certain designs.[6]


Cold Steel is known for its marketing videos and DVDs which demonstrate their products. Featured tests include piercing car hoods, using folding knives as monkey bars, slicing through large free-hanging pieces of meat and bone, and shearing free hanging rope with a single stroke.[1]

Special Projects division

Special Projects is a division of Cold Steel Inc. that produces a line of tools and weapons such as Spetsnaz-type shovels, sjamboks, and spears. Additionally a line of tomahawks, axes, and hammers is marketed under the name of The American Tomahawk Company.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Barlow, Zeke (October 19, 2008). "Flamboyant businessman deals in Cold Steel". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Official Cold Steel FAQ". Cold Steel.  Official Cold Steel FAQ explains "Most items are made in Japan, Republic of China (Taiwan), or People's Republic of China (PRC)."
  3. ^ Kertzman, Joe (2001). 2002 Sporting Knives. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 99. ISBN 9780873492669. 
  4. ^ Kertzman, Joe (2002). 2003 Sporting Knives. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 29. ISBN 9780873494304. 
  5. ^ Petty, Charles E. "Cold Steel Knives". American Handgunner Magazine. 3 July 2009.
  6. ^ Winter, Butch (2003). "Collaborations with Custom Knifemakers". Sporting Knives 2003: 154–161. ISBN 0-87349-430-X. 
  7. ^ Suermondt, Jan (2004). Illustrated Guide to Knives. Grange Books. p. 24. ISBN 9781840136944. 

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