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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Pat Cascio