It seems that everyone’s favorite piece of gear to carry and discuss are knives. With the variety of styles, shapes, sizes and the jobs they can perform, it is easy to see why they are a favorite piece of gear. When it comes to folding knives, I am very particular and will not carry an old pocket knife. I have seen a lot of guys carry those five to ten dollar knives that are piled in a box on a gas station or sporting goods counter top. Those guys always love to show off that new, shiny, cool looking knife.
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Of course within a week or two, the blade locking mechanism has broken, the edge of the blade is as dull as a butter knife and some of the screws or rivets are falling out. Those guys might as well have thrown their money into the garbage can because that is where their cool new knife ended up anyway. For most of my life I carried a Schrade Old Timer , Swiss Army knife, or a Gerber Paraframe.
All three of these knives held up well, never broke, kept an edge and paid for themselves time and time again. The only down fall of folders, is that they generally don’t stand up to the activities I would use a fixed blade for. I know that I should not expect that kind of strength and durability from a folding knife as it is a completely different from a fixed blade. However, I always wanted that out of a folding knife, and I think I have finally found a folding knife that will perform as closely to a fixed-blade knife as possible.
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Over the years I have owned a few fixed, full-tang knives from Cold Steel and have always been very happy with their products and their prices. So, a few years ago I decided to purchase a folder from them and I decided on buying the Pocket Bushman. It is probably one of the plainest looking knives you can buy, but boy is this knife a BEAST! The blade measure in at 4 ½” inches long with an overall length of 10 ¼”! All the reviews said that this knife was big and it did look big in the photos, but I really didn’t appreciate how big It was until I was holding it in my hands.
It felt more like a fixed blade knife than a folding pocket knife. Unlike other pocket knives, the Cold Steel Pocket Bushman does not whiz open with a flick of your thumb. It is rather slow and you need both hands to properly open it and shut it. When closing the knife you have to be extremely careful. The knife has a rocker lock which is tough as nails but it is a bit different to close than other folders. In order to close the knife safely and properly you need to place one hand on the spine of the blade and the other hand needs to pull the paracord lanyard at the bottom of the handle. The first time I tried this it was a bit awkward and I almost cut myself. After opening and shutting it a few times the motions became very natural.
The handle has a very large and deep groove for your index finger. This helps in keeping your hand from slipping forward to the blade when working with the knife. The handle is probably the only downfall I can find with this knife. While I like the smooth steel finish, it makes it a bit tough to use the knife if your hands are wet. It would have been nice to see some kind of textured finished on the handle. However, there have only been a few times that I have tried to use this knife in wet conditions and most of the time when I am using this knife I am wearing gloves, which I highly recommend.
While this is a folder and it fits well in my pocket, I love that it can handle the big jobs as well. I have used it for making tinder, cutting cardboard, tape, ropes, tie downs, zip ties, carpet, to baton wood, gutted fish, and even split small logs. I still remember the first time I showed it off at work. The guys thought I had wasted my money on some big knife just to be a show off. While they were chuckling I bent down and picked up a broken piece of wood from a pallet. I then commenced beating the back of the blade into a very tall, thick stack of cardboard. Once I got halfway down the stack I turned to a pallet that was leaning against a nearby shelf.
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The Pocket Bushman easily took chunks out of the pallet and after a few minutes it came out the other side of the board. I turned around to the guys, showed them there was no damage to the knife and no wiggle in the blade, folded it up, placed it in my pocket and walked away. A few years have passed and I have used this knife so much, yet there is still no movement between the blade and handle, and it still sharpens very easily. I have added paracord to the loop hole in the lock release slide at the bottom of the handle. This is by far, hands down, the best folder I have ever purchased and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new tool. I believe, when I bought this knife it was forty dollars. I checked out the knife out on Amazon the other day and it was listed for fifty nine dollars. I have been thinking about getting another one and I would not think twice about paying that price for this knife. If anyone else has used this knife I would love to hear about your experience with it.