The Cold Steel knives just keep on coming! The Black Sable is perhaps the highest end of all the Cold Steel knives that have passed through my hands, and it is quite a decent knife if you don’t consider its retail price . Seriously.
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.
Now, the knife is readily available for just over half the retail price just about anywhere online, but the fact that Cold Steel dared to list a knife of this quality for $489.95 shows just how stupid they think their buyers are. The knife is probably worth closer to $200-225 based on build quality and finish.
Now that we’ve got the ridiculous pricing out of the way, we can talk more about the actual qualities of the knife. The VG-10 San Mai III steel blade; the beautifully ground, shaped and polished blade; and carved titanium bolsters. The lock back mechanism is excellent and looks like a bank vault. Micarta handles are smoothly polished, showing a level of finish a cut above your usual knife, especially from Cold Steel.
The San Mai III blade uses layers of 440A sandwiching a piece of VG-1 steel, and when they are fully polished like this one, the result is quite stunning. The trailing point blade is unusual, with a Tanto-style tip, giving it a Japanese inspired look. The handle has a pronounced finger choil and a curved butt, giving the knife fantastic retention. Carved bolsters add a level of sophistication to the design, and the reversible pocket clip adds versatility.
I would have liked to see a larger pivot screw, maybe with a fancy proprietary spanner pattern of some sort. Additionally, the action, while precise, is somewhat stiff on this knife. This is due to a combination of the shape of the blade tang and the amount of pressure exerted by the lock back mechanism. This knife is a bit hard to open compared to others.
The blade is very thick, and overall the knife has a lot of weight to it, and the curved handle fits my hand nicely. I would recommend this knife if you can pick it up at a bargain price in the under-$250 range, and do not plan to use it. The stiffness of the action means that it is slow to deploy, and the abstract shape of the knife make it difficult to use as an EDC. Additionally, while the polished blade is beautiful to look at, it will scratch easily making the knife look used very quickly.
Blade Length: 4″
Overall Length: 9 7/8″
Blade Steel: San Mai III
Handle Material: Micarta