OK, fresh off the Tanto history, thought I'd tackle the push-knives, as they can be hard to keep straight. To keep things somewhat simpler, I have not included the Mini Pal or Urban Pal in this.
Not sure when this all started, but if we go back to the archived 1988 catalog it starts with the Terminator (double-edge) and Urban Skinner (single-edge). Terminator, Urban Skinner, & Defender Series
The Terminator was double-edged with blood-grooves, while the Urban Skinner was single-edged and had a slot cutout in the blade (there is actually an FAQ on the Cold Steel website about why they did this..."This is simply a design feature to add interest and to lighten the blade"). They changed the names at some point in the late 80's/early 90's and became the Defender I and Defender II. As far as I know it was simply a name change...I don't believe the knives changed at all. My guess is that the name change was to be more politically correct. Period:
Not really sure of exact dates, but mid-late 80's until 1995. The Terminator & Urban Skinner appear in the 1988 catalog, and then the Defender series is seen in the 1993/94 and 1995 catalogs. Not sure when the names were changed. Blade steel:
"400 Series Stainless" up until 1994, and then AUS8A in 1995. Pretty sure they are either the same steel or very similar. Blade length / Overall Length:
Terminator/Defender I (double-edge): 3 3/4" / 6"
Urban Skinner/Defender II (single-edge): 2 3/4" / 4 3/4" Markings:
The blade is marked Made in Japan. The Kraton handle is embossed with the Cold Steel logo on one side and Made in Japan on the other. Sheath:
Black leather with steel belt clip...see pics Misc:
A Defender I was used in the movie Platoon. One was also used in the movie Total Recall, when Sharon Stone and Arnold's girlfriend were fighting, right before Arnold kills Sharon Stone..."Consider that a divorce" LOL. Twilight Zone:
I acquired a NIB Terminator that included the Terminator pamphlet. The label on the end of the box even has the same model number as the Terminator. But that same label says "Magnum Skinner" instead of "Terminator". I can find no record that the Magnum Skinner name was ever used, but since there was an Urban Skinner, it is possible that they used, or thought about using, the Magnum Skinner name. This would have been either before Terminator, or in between Terminator and Defender I.
UPDATE: I acquired another NIB Terminator and the Terminator label was put over another label, and you can just see enough of the label underneath to tell that it is the same Magnum Skinner label as my other one. So the Magnum Skinner name was first, and they were either going to use that name and changed it to Teminator at the last minute (after having boxes made up), or they actually sold it with that name for a bit and then changed it.
<message edited by jlauffer on Thursday, April 17, 2014 2:18 PM>