Cold Steel is a knife company that is generally known for their entertaining videos and demonstrations on how tough and durable their knives are. They often video themselves torture testing these knives and using them to do somewhat outlandish tasks with them. I personally feel like Cold Steel has a very vast selection of knives that span from the highest of quality to the lowest and worst quality. The company is one of my favorites when it comes to tanto blade designs, though. The GI Tanto is a no frills tactical knife that is designed to be capable of doing everything a soldier might need a knife to do.
Personally, I first invested in this knife for a couple of reasons. The price was about $30, the tanto blade looked sexy, and the knife looked basic and rugged. I figured that all this was exactly what I wanted in a fixed blade knife for camping, survival, combat, etc. I was going to finally have a knife that could do it all, right? I honestly did not know much about metallurgy, knife designs, or anything like that. All I saw was a knife that cost half the money of a Ka-Bar and promised, with it's looks, to be a terrific working knife.
The Cold Steel GI Tanto is made of spring tempered 1055 carbon steel, which isn't the hardest steel out there. However, it s a common in knives that are expected to endure alot of shock and heavy use, like perhaps a machete. The blade of this knife is advertised to be 7 inches long, but I found that to also count the area between the cutting edge and the guard. Realistically, you are only getting a 5-6 inch cutting edge on the GI Tanto. The blade is wide and the tanto looks a little too big to penetrate anything too effectively.
I have used my GI Tanto knives for a while now. I have used them to chop up trees that have fallen, cut up branches, and used it a good amount as a recreational throwing knife. I am not going to call myself an expert in using this knife, but I have gone through a couple myself. It seems to be a pretty durable beater knife.
In some of my testing and abuse of the GI Tanto, I would stab into trees and through tires. The tanto edge held up real well, but it did not really penetrate that great. So the durability was great for the tanto edge, but I believe that the wide tanto profile prevented it from being more capable in penetration.
Overall, the knife is pretty good for a multitude of tasks, but it isn't really that great at everything. The blade sharpens pretty easy, and fortunately, it keeps its edge for a good amount of time. The good news about this knife is that it was purpose made to be a heavy duty use and abuse knife. You can buy several of them, beat the hell out of them, and go to a fresh one.
If you couldn't tell by now, I like this knife and I plan on having a few in my stash. It has proven to be a good knife for general utility uses. I use knives regularly to chop down branches and shrubs for my animals, so I like having a knife that is not expensive and one that won't hurt my feelings if it breaks beyond recovery. They are really well worth the money if you use a knife regularly for woodcraft or firecraft. I definitely recommend this knife for outdoors usage, and even a backup knife in a vehicle.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.