If you are anything like me, you like traditional things. For me, my mind goes to my grandfather, a farmer all his life and one of the wisest men I know. One thing I remember as a kid was his pocket knife. It was a big single bladed lockback made by Old Timer. I remember asking him if I could see it, and when I had the opportunity to handle the knife I was mesmerized. I think that is where my obsession with knives came from.
Many years have passed since those days on the farm but I remember them like it was yesterday. Has the knife industry changed at all since then? Some would say yes, and I would agree, but there is just something about a big single bladed lockback knife that I am attracted to. Fast forward about 20 years. I am living in Kenya for a year doing missions and emergency medical work. The scenery has changed from the old farm in Indiana but one thing remains the same: the no nonsense practicality of a single blade lockback knife. Please allow me to introduce to you the Cold Steel “Lone Star Hunter”.
The Lone Star Hunter is in a newer line of knives from Cold Steel designed to go back to simpler days before the entire Velcro tactical craze. Please do not misunderstand me, I have many modern style knives and carry them. When I saw this line advertised I knew I had to get ahold of one. Much to my surprise and joy I received a message from Cold Steel saying I would receive a package from them in the mail here in Kenya. Inside were many items but the one I immediately fell in love with was the Lone Star Hunter.
To give you a few specs on the knife I will briefly list them. The Lone Star weighs in at 6.6 oz. It is 3.5 mm thick, the blade is a whopping 4 inches long and the overall length is 9 1/4 inches. The blade is AUS 8A stainless steel. They say that everything is big in Texas and this knife sure is a big one!
I want to start with the blade and work down to the handle. The blade is made from AUS 8A steel which boasts good edge retention, strength and corrosion resistance. In the time I have carried this knife in Kenya it has held up wonderfully. The steel takes an edge and holds it, it does not chip or crack when used in harder cutting tasks and I have not found one spot of rust. That is saying a lot since I live in a jungle environment on the equator! Do I keep a light coat of oil on the blade? Of course I do, no steel is perfect but I have always loved the AUS 8A that Cold Steel offers.
Since we are on the topic of the blade how about the grind? The Lone Star offers a full flat grind that I have found to be most effective for effortless slicing. The actual edge is set to 40 degrees and I have found that to be perfect for every day usage. When I got this knife it was hair popping sharp right out of the box.
How about the blade shape? The shape of this blade is really what attracted me to the Lone Star. It is a long blade that is reminiscent of those old single bladed bowie shaped blades. The blade has a nice clip at the top that gives it the bowie look and functionality. This shape also lends itself to a tip that is very penetrating. I was in love. In my usage I have found this classic blade shape to be very conducive to every day cutting tasks. The fit and finish of the blade is outstanding. It sits perfectly centered in the frame.
Let’s move on to the lock. Cold Steel and crew really pride themselves on the patented “Tri-Ad Locking Mechanism” and rightfully so. This lock is the strongest that I have ever had experience with. If you have ever watched one of the “Proof” videos you know they put these locks to the test, hanging hundreds of pounds on them. This knife locks up like a bank vault with no vertical or horizontal blade play whatsoever.
Moving on to the frame, the knife is housed in a stainless steel frame. I have always enjoyed the strength of knives like this. Some may complain about the extra weight of a pocket knife housed in stainless steel but for me it is not a problem. I know that I can use and abuse this knife with full confidence of its strength. The handles are made of faux stag and are held on by two small torx screws. For what I use this knife for I have found the handles to be very good. I enjoy the look and functionality of the faux stag. Granted, the handles on this knife will not be as “grippy” as say G-10 but for my purposes the faux stag is perfect. You might ask, “Why not real stag”, this is one way that Cold Steel helped keep cost down on this line of knives. I like the fact that the handle scales are held on by two torx screws, this means that if desired this knife is very customizable. For me, I like it just how it is!
The last topic while moving down this knife is the pocket clip. The Lone Star features an ambidextrous tip up only carry pocket clip. The retention of this knife is very strong and I like that. Many times when I am out and about theft is an issue. Not only theft but just the terrain I encounter makes a strong pocket clip a must. The stainless steel clip also goes with the knife very good in my opinion. One could justify this as a “hard use gentleman’s folder”. For me, it is an everyday carry.
From my use of this knife I am very pleased. From digging out splinters with the sharp tip to cutting rope on our work sites it performs every time. I also need to mention this this knife is a great option for self-defense. I pray I never have to use it in that capacity but I know I have a tool that will stand up to the job.
Overall I am very happy with this knife. It is a solid option with flawless fit and finish. Cold Steel does offer a smaller version called the “Mackinac Hunter” that would also be a good option. You can get both knives with thumb studs or a traditional nail nick. I prefer the thumb stud option. The Mackinac Hunter also has an option for a leather belt sheath whereas the Lone Star only offers a pocket clip.
If you are wanting a hard use traditional style locking knife made with top notch materials you may want to look at the Lone Star Hunter. From the hunter, outdoorsman, working man or African explorer, the Lone Star Hunter will perform time and time again. The catalog price is set at $63.99 and street price will be lower than that. In my opinion this is a home run knife.
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