Cold Steel Outdoorsman Review

Posted by Leighton Taylor on

So I've been playing this game on PS3 for the past few days, and it's about the zombie apocalypse. Naturally, my character is some badass guy who can use various weapons to kill zombies and some very bad humans. Anyway, in the game, my character realizes that one of the best ways to kill a zombie is with a shiv or a knife because they can be killed quickly and quietly (not alerting other zombies in the vicinity) with just a quick jab in the neck. So it got me thinking. What knife would I want to have if I suddenly found myself living in a post-apocalyptic world, particularly one that featured zombies? Well, a lot of knives come to mind and I'll probably write something about my top choices later on. For now though, I thought it would be cool to review a knife on its capability of ensuring my survival in such a scenario.

With all that in mind, let's take a look at Cold Steel's Outdoorsman. The name itself is quite telling... at least in portraying its intended use. This full tang knife has an overall length of 11 inches with a blade that's 6 inches long. The blade style is straight back and the material used to forge it is VG-1 San Mai III® Steel. The blade is decently thick - 3/16 inches. The back of the blade has some jimping and a "bone breaker" edge. The handle is made of checkered Kraton, no finger grooves though. The Outdoorsman weighs 9.9 ounces and comes with a black leather sheath.


Just by looking at the specs, it would seem to me that the Outdoorsman would perform pretty well as a survival knife. It is a full tang fixed blade that is extremely sharp directly out of the box, exactly what I prefer in a survival knife. The Outdoorsman has just about the perfect length and weight for a hunting knife while still being effective for light chopping tasks.

Though it has no finger grooves, the checkered Kraton handle provides a very solid grip. And since the handle has a tanto grip, the knife can be held with the edge up or down. More on that later.

But what about the material? I've always preferred carbon steel over stainless steel. It's much more durable, can be easily sharpened, and can be made razor sharp. But since we're talking about the zombie apocalypse where you don't really know what type of environment you'll find yourself in, a rust resistant blade would probably be your best bet. The construction of this particular blade also makes it an ideal knife for survival in such a scenario. The Outdoorsman has a core of VG-1 stainless steel layered twice with a tougher stainless steel. The end result is a very tough blade (nearly unbreakable as some have said) that has great edge retention.

When it comes to performing outdoor tasks, the Outdoorsman definitely lives up to its name. It can hack branches off, clear away some brush, skin game, pry stuff out, and carve wood without losing its razor sharp edge or chipping off pieces of the blade.

For heavy chopping tasks, you have the "bone breaker" found on the blade's spine. The jimping is an added bonus because it gives you great control. I'd definitely say that, in a zombie apocalypse, this seems to be a great knife for providing me with my basic needs. It's important to note that the knife is easy to clean and will stay sharp for a very long time (despite whatever abuse you hurl at it) so that's two things you won't have to worry about when there are zombies around.


Obviously, in a zombie apocalypse, your knife is not only a high-end tool for outdoor survival. It would definitely also be a tool for defending yourself. Now, I'm not a guy with any fighting experience, so I'm only inferring from the specs and from what I've seen the knife can do. The Outdoorsman has a bit of a piercing tip that's really tough. So, I imagine it wouldn't be hard to use it to stab a zombie in the neck, not to mention that you wouldn't have to worry about the tip breaking off. The steel butt cap at the end of the handle would work well for knocking someone unconscious.

And since the knife has a tanto grip, you can easily hold it in your hand with the edge facing up or down - a feature that you'd definitely need to have in times of combat. Based on the design and the construction of the Outdoorsman, I'd say that it could give some combat knives a run for their money.


Overall, I'd say that this knife is definitely a tool that will serve you well in a zombie apocalypse. It's extremely sharp and tough. There's no doubt that it would be able to perform well as an outdoor survival knife and a combat knife. You can do your wood processing tasks (both light and heavy), skin game, chop bones, pry wood, and defend yourself without having to worry about rust or breakage.

If you want to have this well-designed knife in your collection (just in case there is a zombie apocalypse), check it out on Amazon here.

View the Cold Steel Outdoorsman on Amazon

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