If you think that your only choice of authentic medieval weaponry is a decision between a cheap reproduction and an expensive antique, you haven’t seen any of Cold Steel’s work. Cold Steel takes the old ideas and translates them into rugged examples of modern technology. Cold Steel does not claim to reproduce old techniques — instead the company applies today’s methods and materials to these useful old patterns. Many of Cold Steel’s ideas are unusual, and their pieces have value as collector’s items as well as applications in modern martial arts.
Since 1980 Cold Steel has pursued the goal of making the world’s strongest and sharpest knives. Along the way the company has introduced some surprising old ideas to the modern world, as well as engineering some respectable new technology. Their San Mai III steel brings samurai concepts of laminated shock-resistant blades to new versions of sporting and survival knives. Not too many years ago, seeing a tanto point on an American knife was unusual — thanks to Cold Steel, we now see that option in many blades designed for extreme conditions. Cold Steel thought that a blade made to penetrate armor might also be handy in a car wreck, and many people now agree. Products now range from carbon fiber walking sticks with the action of a good fencing foil, to totally functional hunting spears.
You can tell that the people who work at Cold Steel enjoy what they do, because there’s a library of company videos showing company executives trying out nearly everything they make. From pork to plastic tubing, if it’s at Cold Steel it’s probably destined to become part of a product test. Their modern medieval weapons surpass the quality of old weapons in many ways, and in appearance vary only slightly from the traditional patterns. Cold Steel also makes a variety of self defense tools, and folding knives for sporting use and everyday carry. Not everything made by Cold Steel would be appropriate for civilian use, but among the swords and spears and self-defense items you’ll find plenty of sturdy and completely useful everyday blades. If an interest in martial arts brought you to Cold Steel, consider taking part in their Cold Steel Challenge — a combat competition using non-lethal weaponry and plenty of protective gear.