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 Photo Comparison: Tai Pan

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grindermcgee

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Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 5:00 AM ( #1 )
Bored and taking some knife shots today. Not too happy with a couple of these pictures but decided to share anyway. These are the two daggers I believe to be the finest produced in any quantity today.

The Tai Pan from Cold Steel (AUS-8 version) and the Randall Model #2 Stilletto 7" blade.







Side by side of grips:



Lets talk for a minute about these images.

On first glance the similarities are clear both double edged, double guard, solid end cap, synthetic handled knives. But each knife has its strengths.

Notice the extra belly of blade near the tip on the Tai Pan and the longer, tapered grip. The grinds of this knife are also deeply hollow ground. Taking these three subtleties into consideration and you might see, while clearly a strong thrusting tool, this knife truly excels at handling and manueverability in slashing techniques.

Now look at the Randall knife. What I was unable to capture in an image is the 3rd dimension of the blade, or the cross section. The blade is hand forged and only slightly hollow ground. A crude drawing of what I mean.


On the grip, it is shorter and has a swell in the middle. This makes it not reach as nimbly and grips most securely with that swell filling the palm. Also, the point terminates more acutely. Taking these design details into consideration, while I'm sure it does make a nasty slash, the Randall knife is more specialized in the close quarters thrusting type motions.

Overall:
Very tough decision. Both knives are very impressive. On the one hand, the finishing of the Randall knife is unmatched. Hand forged, soldered guard, nickel/silver spacers. As far as function is concerned, the Tai Pan is no slouch, and as far as fighting dags go, it is the most versatile.

I would trust either knife fully, and love the Randall for the collection, but taking into consideration the versatility of the Tai Pan, and a price of under $200. Gotta give this one to CS!

For fun here is a picture of Tai Pan with some other back-up blades.



United Cutlery Boot knife, Frost Commando Dagger, CRKT Hissatsu. That CRKT is a fierce sight, but functionally, the Tai Pan is superior.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to post any questions or comments.

<message edited by grindermcgee on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 3:03 AM>
VastlyBlank

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 7:43 AM ( #2 )

Dudefella

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 8:22 AM ( #3 )
Awesome. I love posts like these.

What made you choose the desert finish on the CRKT? I always thought it looked the best.
Loki1

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 9:57 AM ( #4 )
Great pic's and write up on two great knives
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
ManOfMisery

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 1:38 PM ( #5 )
Nice pics and write up Grinder. I was able to handle a Tai Pan a while back and I haven't found a dagger I like better than it yet.
 
I like that Frost Commando Dagger.
<message edited by ManOfMisery on Saturday, February 06, 2010 1:39 PM>
Picksmith

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 8:13 PM ( #6 )
Nice letter opener, have you considered getting a full sized #2?   I always forget that the Tai Pan is so huge, but your pictures help put it in perspective.  Bigger than an ODA...       
grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 9:00 PM ( #7 )
Yes, they make an 8" Fighting Stilletto. But availability is an issue. This knife is not the standard model. Black micarta handles, stainless steel blade, nickel silver spacers, guard and end cap. Wait five years and you can have it for $450 from Randall. Try to find one in 8" of the same options from a collector and be prepared to pay up to $750 when you find it.

Taking all that headache into consideration. The Tai Pan looks much better by comparison now doesn't it smart guy?

Ok, seriously though, I do have a lot of the CS fixed blade line so if you would like to see some other comparisons please let me know and I'll do my best to take some grainy photos for you all. Just did this one 'cuz these knives are so similar in appearance.




<message edited by grindermcgee on Saturday, February 06, 2010 9:04 PM>
Picksmith

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 06, 2010 9:47 PM ( #8 )
I know, I know.  Geeze there's just no joking around with anyone that owns a Randall...

Maybe you could take a photo next to an SRK, one of the tanto's, an ODA, or one of the other economically popular CS knives. 
jankerson

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 5:31 AM ( #9 )
Nice review.
Natchez Bowie, San Mai III Trailmaster, SK-5 Trail Master (MARTEMP), Laredo Bowie (Carbon V Made in USA), Original 5 3/4" Tanto (1986), Mini Bushman, 2 Spikes, Recon 1 (Old), Recon 1 (New), Hatamoto, Black Talon, 4" Voyager, Gunsite II, Gunsite, Recon Tanto Carbon V, Black Rhino, Rajah 1, American Lawman G10 Vers, 2010 Recon 1.
ToolMan

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:02 AM ( #10 )
Grinder, since you seem to have done Randall before, how long do you suppose the wait is for an 8" with no frills or "beauty" options?

Beware the fury of a patient man.
 
"Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers."
Aristotle


"Fighting spirit one must have. Even if a man lacks some of the other qualifications, he can often make up for it in fighting spirit." Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF
jankerson

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:05 AM ( #11 )
The normal wait time is over 5 years.
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Ti lite

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:23 AM ( #12 )
Great review.

I find that Randall knife more of a stinger than the Tai Pan.
But for the price, you can't beat the CS Tai Pan.

Still don't own one, must have it some day.
Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare a war.

I'd like to depart this world the same way I came into it - screaming and covered in someone else's blood"  

A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. ” Don B. Kates, Jr



A word of advice. If you’re picking the wrong fight, at least pick the right weapon.
grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:58 AM ( #13 )
jankerson


The normal wait time is over 5 years.


What he said. But if the standard model is what you are looking for it will be much easier to find on the secondary market. Twice the price tag of a new San Mai Tai Pan in a Southern Comfort though.

Thanks for the comments guys.

TiLite. Of all the knives to not have from CS you do not have a TM, Laredo, or Tai Pan? You don't know what you are missing.

Of course while I say this I do not have a CS sword and you have an entire house full so pound for pound your collection makes mine seem almost silly.
ToolMan

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, February 07, 2010 7:38 AM ( #14 )
OK, so the question becomes, how does one go about finding a Randall, of any type, on the secondary market? It's not exactly something you can Google for.

Beware the fury of a patient man.
 
"Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers."
Aristotle


"Fighting spirit one must have. Even if a man lacks some of the other qualifications, he can often make up for it in fighting spirit." Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF
Knivsamlare

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 1:27 AM ( #15 )
Nice pics and a good review!
 
When looking at the picture and comparing the Tai Pan and the Randall dagger,i notice that the Randall has a very big space(maybe it´s called choil) between the guard and where the edges begins.
 
IMO,i think this is a litle bit of waste of space not having any cutting edge there.By curiosity,does anyone know what purpose this design has?
grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 3:06 AM ( #16 )
ToolMan


OK, so the question becomes, how does one go about finding a Randall, of any type, on the secondary market? It's not exactly something you can Google for.


Knife shows. The bay is absolutely smeared with them. They are at collector cost though. Also, a company called AG Russell orders the standard models of these knives in batches. They show up every once in a while.

If we are talking about the most popular Randall military knife the model 1 there are some great and similar reproductions out there to be had. Cold steel's R1 knife is one of the best I've seen.

Knivsamlare

Nice pics and a good review!
 
When looking at the picture and comparing the Tai Pan and the Randall dagger,i notice that the Randall has a very big space(maybe it´s called choil) between the guard and where the edges begins.
 
IMO,i think this is a litle bit of waste of space not having any cutting edge there.By curiosity,does anyone know what purpose this design has?


Thanks.

Yes, those dips are called choils, and the area where you see the maker's mark is generally called the ricasso.

Usually a choil is for placing your grip further up the blade for more precise cutting.

 It could be the point where the ricasso is widest, the blade grind is also the most shallow. It is possible any cutting edge left here would not be at a geometry to allow the kind of cutting edge to yield effective slicing.  It may also be for blade strength, or it just might be removed for aesthetic purpose.

Short answer, I do not know for sure, but I like it.

You may want to see these. Model 13 Arkansas Toothpick with 6" and 12" blades, respectively.




 I borrowed this image from the Randall knives webpage.
<message edited by grindermcgee on Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:27 AM>
Wraith Blade

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 3:23 AM ( #17 )
Well done review.
Tai Pan is more than enough of a dagger for me. 
Too bad most daggers are illegal to carry in CA.
I want one, but I really don't need another knife I would just handle at home and not have a utility use for... then again, if I saw it in person, the CS fever may bite me in the wallet again. 
Mike Sastre

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 3:26 AM ( #18 )
Knivsamlare


Nice pics and a good review!
 
When looking at the picture and comparing the Tai Pan and the Randall dagger,i notice that the Randall has a very big space(maybe it´s called choil) between the guard and where the edges begins.
 
IMO,i think this is a litle bit of waste of space not having any cutting edge there.By curiosity,does anyone know what purpose this design has?




That space allows for a grip where your index finger crosses under and surrounds the guard. Used in a killing technique.
Orbit

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:01 AM ( #19 )
Very nice review!

In regards to the Tai Pan, it's probably one of the few daggers I'll get my hands on since daggers are a restricted import in Australia *sigh*.
grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:11 AM ( #20 )
Thank you. If you had only one to get, the Tai Pan would be a great choice.
Ookami

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:14 AM ( #21 )
Dudefella
Awesome. I love posts like these.


Same here, can't never go wrong with pics of nice knives.


Ookami


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grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:31 AM ( #22 )
Thanks Dudefella and Ookami.

It is hard to get good photos indoors for me but I am getting a little better.
Sharpest in the Shed

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:41 AM ( #23 )
Mike Sastre


Knivsamlare


Nice pics and a good review!

When looking at the picture and comparing the Tai Pan and the Randall dagger,i notice that the Randall has a very big space(maybe it´s called choil) between the guard and where the edges begins.

IMO,i think this is a litle bit of waste of space not having any cutting edge there.By curiosity,does anyone know what purpose this design has?




That space allows for a grip where your index finger crosses under and surrounds the guard. Used in a killing technique.


It would be a good thing if you showed us the grip in a pick Mr. Sastre
You can choose to be a lion or a zebra in life. But, come morning, whether you're a lion or a zebra, you have to run like a motherf***** to survive.
grindermcgee

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:53 AM ( #24 )
I imagine it looks something like how AK74auto grips his ODA knife. Is that right Mike?


 
<message edited by grindermcgee on Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:54 AM>
Knivsamlare

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 3:19 PM ( #25 )
GRINDERMCGEE,thanx for further explaning the blade therms and knife anathomy. That Model 13 Arkansas Toothpick with 12" blade looks mean! I notice that on this knife there is no choil like on the Randall Stiletto knife.
 
MIKE SASTRE,thanx for explaining the use of this design. I had a hunge that there was a reason why the Randall Stiletto have so big choil. Always being very interested in Daggers and other Fighting/Combat knives,but this specific practical use of the big choil on a dagger i´ve never heard of before.
 
Still,IMO i prefer the small choil design on  the Tai Pan dagger over the Randall stiletto. I like when the edge goes as close to the guard as possible,giving it more suitable for utility tasks(like whittling) besides of the fighing aspects that the Tai Pain definitive has.
 
 
 
 
Mike Sastre

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 5:20 PM ( #26 )

I imagine it looks something like how AK74auto grips his ODA knife. Is that right Mike?  



Correct, that's it, grinder!!
Sharpest in the Shed

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:18 PM ( #27 )
ooooh, the mountain man grip! i remember now...
You can choose to be a lion or a zebra in life. But, come morning, whether you're a lion or a zebra, you have to run like a motherf***** to survive.
Orbit

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:57 PM ( #28 )
grindermcgee


Thank you. If you had only one to get, the Tai Pan would be a great choice.



Randall


I have the Taipan (the ambiguity of English made my post unclear), though my chances of laying my hands on a Randall are low to say the least (as they are on daggers in general). Aside the 5 year wait and cost (both I could accept), with Australian customs restricting daggers it comes down to paying top dollar from a collector downunder (if they're ever willing to part with one?).

Certainly a nice aquisition you have!
Toxigenic

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Sunday, July 29, 2012 9:08 PM ( #29 )
Excellent information guys...thanks!!
The purest form of war is one on one


If you don't own one , commenting on it is irrelevant.
sasquatch

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Re:Photo Comparison: Tai Pan - Monday, August 06, 2012 3:55 PM ( #30 )
Toxigenic


Excellent information guys...thanks!!

I couldn't agree more, but it's a two and half year old thread brought back to the top page???
<message edited by sasquatch on Monday, August 06, 2012 3:57 PM>

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