> TEOTWAWKI Blog: The Cold Steel SRK



The Cold Steel SRK

Here's a nice survival knife I bought unused but secondhand for $50. I bought it for a solid deal on a fixed blade for backup purposes or to stash, but the SRK has fast become one of my favorite knives.

Big reason: it feels great in hand. The grippy Kraton handle is comfortable and works in whatever grip you need. The just over 8 ounce SRK is light and fast while still be tough. The balance - often an oversight - is pretty much perfect. It shifts and rolls to various grips without trouble. Comparing it to my ESEE-4 and Becker 7, the SRK feels quick and nimble. Good stuff.

This one is in AUS-8A steel, which is a middle-tier but totally serviceable blade steel. Cold Steel makes the SRK in their well regarded San Mai 3, too, for a blade steel upgrade. SRKs in the Carbon V steel, another good one, are no longer made, but can be found second hand.

At 3/16 inches thick, the blade strikes a happy medium between too thick and too thin, and the 6-inch blade length is big without being clumsy. The shape is handy and utilitarian; nice, pointy-point and a good straight edge. I've done some abusive hammering/prying with the tip, and it performed flawlessly - passed that test for sure.

I hate coatings, and you can already see the coating wearing off near the end, but at least the SRK's coating doesn't interfere with throwing sparks from a ferro rod. In fact, the SRK throws the best sparks of any knife that I have. It's impressive, and just as good as a purpose-built striker.

The sheath is actually pretty good, too. Good retention, pretty good materials, lots of mounting options if you won't want to use the removeable belt loop.

For $76 shipped on Amazon, the SRK is a solid, capable and agile survival knife that won't break the bank. I'm favoring it over my ESEE-4 these days, which cost significantly more and was in pretty desperate need of an aftermarket sheath. If you can find a deal on an SRK, jump all over it. I would pickup an uncoated SRK in San Mai 3 if money were no object.

I would only change one thing about the knife - adding an exposed hammering pommel on the end of the handle. The very similar, but pricier Fallkniven knives have this feature, and it's a nice-to-have if you need to do some hammering/smashing or need to baton the tip of the knife into something. Certainly not a dealbreaker though.

I've owned a dozen or so Cold Steel products over the years and handled many more, but none of them have really wowed me like the SRK has. Definitely a knife to take a look at! I know others have spoken well of the SRK, too - if I remember right, it was one of Dave Canterbury's favorites back in his early YouTube days.