Cold Steel’s Black Sable: A Man-Sized Folder

Cold Steel’s Black Sable is not a gent’s folder by any stretch. This is a real man-sized folder that will satisfy the demands of a do-all tactical folder—with style and class.

It’s pure beauty, if you ask me.

Black Sable

The Black Sable comes with two pocket clips: one for right-pocket carry and the other for left-pocket carry. The curve of the handle mandates two separate clips.

concealed carry handgun

For a back up to your lawful concealed-carry handgun, the Black Sable will do to ride the river with.

The Cold Steel catalog starts out describing the Black Sable with: “Your friends may turn a pronounced shade of green—with envy, that is—the first time you snap open your new Black Sable and they start eyeing that magnificent mirror-polished blade.” Make no mistake, the Black Sable has one of the most highly polished blades I’ve seen.

All Cold Steel custom-line folders come in a foam-lined metal case. The Black Sable also comes with a second pocket clip for left-hand pocket carry. The reason you can’t simply switch the pocket clip is because of the flowing curve of the knife’s handle. The Black Sable is pure symmetry; the design just flows from the tip of the blade to the butt of the handle.

Cold Steel Black Sable

The Cold Steel Black Sable comes in a foam-lined metal display case.

Cold Steel Black Sable-1

The flowing lines of the Cold Steel Black Sable are symmetry from the tip of the blade to the butt of the handle—pure beauty!

Black Sable is striking

In silhouette, the Black Sable is striking.

The 4-inch San Mai III blade will provide all the cutting power you can muster. Because of the curve of the blade, the actual cutting edge is longer than it’s overall length of 4 inches. It can cut and slash all things out of proportion to its size. Speaking of size, this is a large folder; the overall length with the blade opened is 9 7/8 inches. If you’re used to smaller folders in your pocket, this knife isn’t for you.

Stuck in a dead tree

Stuck in a dead tree on the author’s Oregon property, the Black Sable shows off its highly polished San Mai III blade.


For such a large folder, it only weighs 8.4 ounces. I know it sounds like a lot of weight, however, considering the size of this knife, it is proportional. It doesn’t feel this heavy in the hand.

The titanium liners are overlaid with polished-black Micarta handle scales, and forged titanium bolsters that have been matched together to the frame with the latest hi-tech fasteners. A nicely configured and lined lanyard hole can be found on the butt of the handle. The bolster’s top portion also contains friction grooves for a sure thumb placement in the fencing grip. The blade locks with Cold Steel’s rocker lock. The rocker lock relies on strong springs, close tolerances and other refinements that make it equal, if not superior, in strength to any lock. This rocker lock is stout and, in my opinion, there no way it will accidentally close on your fingers.

The titanium bolsters

The titanium bolsters have friction grooves on the top to allow for sure thumb placement in the fencing-style grip.

Dual thumb studs (on the blade) allow ambidextrous opening. I believe that the thumb studs need to be a tad larger and not as smooth/slick as they are. For me, it makes a speed opening next to impossible—not that I think my life would depend on a speed opening to get the knife into action. I would certainly hope I’d see the danger approaching long before I had to draw a knife and open it. Still, I’d like to see the dual thumb studs slightly larger.

Note the friction grooves on the underside of the handle. These make for one sure grip under adverse conditions.

Everyone I showed the Black Sable to all described it in one word when they opened it: “Wow.” It’s a most impressive folder, and not for the faint-hearted. I think it would give cause for someone who planned on doing you harm to be someplace else!

The Black Sable also works well in the fencing grip and in the reverse grip ice pick. I loved the way the upswept blade raised the thrusting angle/point. It is just one of those knives that has to be seen (and felt) to be appreciated.

Black Sable shines

In the reverse ice-pick grip, the Black Sable really shines.

The Black Sable’s lines flow from tip to butt.

The Black Sable’s lines flow from tip to butt.

highly polished blade

Note how the highly polished blade of the Cold Steel Black Sable reflects the grass from the writer’s lawn. We’re talking “highly” polished, here folks.

The Black Sable doesn’t come cheap; suggested retail is $489.99. They are made one at a time, and the finest materials are used in the construction. As for the overall design, the photos can better attest to this than my mere words can.

The Black Sable

The Black Sable is not only a thing of beauty, it’s also extremely rugged and could be used for all types of cutting chores, indoors and outdoors.

The titanium bolts

The titanium bolts are attached to the handle.

folding knife

The extremely stout rock lock is second-to-none for locking strength; the blade isn’t going to accidentally close on your fingers.

The Cold Steel Black Sable is from Cold Steel’s Custom Folder line.

The Cold Steel Black Sable is from Cold Steel’s Custom Folder line.


By Pat Cascio