Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review - Cold Steel Bushman

One of the more interesting and affordable fixed blade knives on the market today, the Bushman, by Cold Steel, is a good woods knife. It does have some drawbacks, but it also has some advantages that other knives do not have. In this review, I'll be going into those, giving you my take on the Cold Steel Bushman.

The Bushman comes in two blade shapes, a Bowie and a Clip Point. They are both similar in their function, so I don't know if I have a favorite. I own the Bowie, but I think that both blade shapes are useful and functional.

The knife weight on both models is 10 oz, which is fairly light for the size knife that you're getting. The overall length of the knife is 12.3" and the blade length is 7.0". Both models have nearly identical specifications.

The Bushman by Cold Steel has an interesting design.
The Bushman blade comes razor sharp from the factory. According to Cold Steel, the blade is made of SK-5 High Carbon Steel, which from my experience holds an edge well, but is prone to rust. I suggest keeping the blade oiled when not in use to prevent rusting.

The Bushman has a very thin blade, which is why the knife is so light. The blade thickness is 0.1", very thin for a knife of its size. It mimics a machete in terms of its blade thickness. In my opinion, this is a disadvantage to the Bushman since it makes the blade weaker. I should say, though, that I have not had problems with the strength of the blade, but I have not really whacked on it either.

The Bushman is constructed out of a single piece of metal. It consists of a blade and a hollow handle. The construction of the knife is actually really amazing; I don't know how they rolled the handle out of the same piece of metal as the blade but they did a good job with it. This design makes the blade/handle transition very strong.

The integrated hollow handle also gives the blade uses that normal fixed blade knives don't have. According to Cold Steel, this handle can be used to store small items. I can't quite see how this would work, since the knife doesn't come with a plug to keep the items stored.

The Bowie Bushman by Cold Steel
The handle can also be used to turn the knife into a spear. Since the handle is hollow, a stick can easily be inserted into it. On the side of the handle is a small hole, which can be used to secure the knife to your spear shaft with a screw. This was very easy to do in the field when I tried it. In 5 minutes I had a very functional spear. As a survival tool/weapon, this is a useful trait.

The sheath on the Bushman is made of heavy-duty cordura nylon. It also has a large pouch on the front, which is useful for storing items such as a knife sharpener or a fire steel. The sheath allows the knife to be carried on a belt loop.

The sheath holds the Bushman by friction and I wish the sheath had a stronger blade retention system. One time when carrying the Bushman, I jumped across a small ravine. After walking a short distance further, I realized that my knife was gone. I figured it fell out when I jumped. I backtracked for a couple of minutes, worrying that I had lost my knife. Luckily, I found it one the ground at the place where I had landed after the jump. If the blade were held in the sheath more securely, this would not have happened.

So, that's my short review of the Cold Steel Bushman. It's a good knife, with some great features and a couple of drawbacks. Despite the drawbacks, the knife is unique enough for me to recommend it, especially if you are interested in having the ability to turn it into a spear.


  1. Cold Steel Bushman one of my favourites.
    Thank you Sir, I am also a big fan in collection of knives and having a website of my own. Link is:-

  2. Folks have plugged the handle with cork, rubber stoppers and cane tips. And I suspect you didn't push the knife all the way into the sheath, but left the entire handle sticking out. That older sheath was meant to work like a pouch-style sheath.