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jlauffer

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History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:33 PM ( #1 )
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>
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:33 PM ( #2 )
Safe Keeper Series  
  
The Safe Keeper series consisted of 3 models, the I, II, and III.  However, only the I and II were available at first, with the III following a couple years later.  The I was then discontinued a year after that.  Thanks to BigJoe for the SK III pic (3rd pic). 
 
The I was the longest, and is the largest push-dagger CS has made to date.  The II was similar to the Terminator/Defender I, and the III was almost identical to the Urban Skinner/Defender II.  In fact, the blade lengths are the same, but the necks on the Safe Keepers were lengthened a little, increasing the overall length a bit.  The blood-grooves on the Terminator/Defender I are gone, which makes the blades a little plain in my opinion. 
 
Period:    Safe Keeper I:    1996 - 1999
                Safe Keeper II:   1996 - 2005, 2007, 2010 - ???
                Safe Keeper III:  1998 - 2005, 2007, 2010 - ???
 
Blade steel:  Originally AUS8A, and then in 2001 they switched to bead-blasted 420 Sub Zero Quench.  In 2007 they were 4116 Krupp, and then switched back to AUS8A in 2010.     
 
Blade length / Overall Length:    Safe Keeper I:  5"  /  7 5/8"
                                                      Safe Keeper II:  3 3/4"  /  6 3/8" 
                                                      Safe Keeper III: 2 3/4"  /  5"   
  
Blade Markings:  Unlike the Terminator/Defender, the Safe Keeper series has nothing on the handle.  See 2nd pic for markings.  This is a bead-blast 420 SK II made in Taiwan.  Japan models are marked the same except replace Taiwan with Japan.  Evidence suggests that the 2007 models were made in China, and just said "China" rather than "Made in China".    
  
Sheath:  Kydex/SecureEx.  Seems to be a lot of variation here.  See 1st pic.  Far left is a 420 SK II, and the other 2 are SK I's.  The SK I in the middle has a sheath where one side is totally flat, and the other side has the blade "bulge" and belt clip.  The SK I on the far right has the blade "bulge" on one side and the belt clip on the other.   
   
<message edited by jlauffer on Tuesday, November 08, 2016 10:23 AM>
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:34 PM ( #3 )
Safe Maker Series  
  
The Safe Maker series consists of 2 models, the I and II.  Both are double-edged.  The most distinguishing, and controversial characteristic, is the "chisel-ground" blade.  The back of the blade is basically flat (slightly concave), while the front is ground down to the edge.  The blood-groove from the Terminator/Defender I makes its return on the Safe Maker (but only on one side).  Another nice feature is that the Kraton is extended down the neck so that it is more comfortable between the fingers.
     
Period:  2006 - Present.  The Safe Keeper II and III are coming back in 2010...not sure what this means for the Safe Maker series.
  
Blade steel:  AUS8A.     
 
Blade length / Overall Length:    Safe Maker I:  4 1/2"  /  6 3/8"
                                                      Safe Maker II:  3 1/4"  /  5"
 
    I believe these blade lengths include part of the neck, making them seem longer than they really are.   
                                                       
Blade Markings:  See 2nd pic.
    
Sheath:  SecureEx...see 1st pic.
 
Misc:  The Safe Maker has a different style of checkering on the Kraton handle compared to the Terminator/Defender & Safe Keeper series.  Thanks to BigJoe for the SM II pic (3rd pic) which very nicely shows the Kraton handle and the back of the blade. 
<message edited by jlauffer on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 6:57 PM>
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:34 PM ( #4 )
Here is a pic comparing several push-daggers.  From left to right:
 
Terminator/Defender I, Safe Keeper II, Safe Maker I, and Safe Keeper I
 
Can see that the blades of the Terminator/Defender I, Safe Keeper II, and Safe Maker I are basically the same length, although the neck length varies.  Can also see how large the Safe Keeper I is compared to the others, which is probably why it didn't last very long.
<message edited by jlauffer on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 7:02 PM>
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thedragon.blue

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:52 AM ( #5 )
sweet!  thats great information to know.  thanks for compiling it, sir! 
            
BigJoe

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 2:02 PM ( #6 )
jlauffer,
 
Another great job! Thank's for gathering all the information reguarding this blade pattern's production by Cold Steel.
-Joe
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ManOfMisery

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 2:21 PM ( #7 )
Another great write up jlauffer. The Safe Maker 1 has been starting to appeal more to me lately.
jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 2:54 PM ( #8 )
ManOfMisery


Another great write up jlauffer. The Safe Maker 1 has been starting to appeal more to me lately.


Thanks.  If you don't mind the chisel-ground blade, I think the SM I is a good option.  I really like that they extended the Kraton down the neck to be more comfortable (can't believe they are bringing back the Safe Keeper but not adding that feature).  I also think the blade shape may be a bit better for stabbing than the others, as it stays narrow longer than the others.
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Sarafan

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 3:06 PM ( #9 )
jlauffer


ManOfMisery


Another great write up jlauffer. The Safe Maker 1 has been starting to appeal more to me lately.


Thanks.  If you don't mind the chisel-ground blade, I think the SM I is a good option.  I really like that they extended the Kraton down the neck to be more comfortable (can't believe they are bringing back the Safe Keeper but not adding that feature).  I also think the blade shape may be a bit better for stabbing than the others, as it stays narrow longer than the others.


Agreed, it makes it much more comfy. Awesome History posts, these are really cool of you to make.
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ManOfMisery

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 3:07 PM ( #10 )
The Kraton down the neck of it is what I really like about it. The back of the blade doesnt look great but I dont plan on looking at it that much. Looks like it would cause some serious damage to someone.

I am amazed that they didn't change the SK's too. The reason I won't buy them is the neck looks like it would be really umfortable.
jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:13 PM ( #11 )
The extra comfort is certainly nice to have, but then again, these are pretty much pure SD knives, so hopefully you won't need to hold them too often...otherwise you've got bigger problems!

Sarafan, no problem...I like doing it, and its nice to have info all in one place for future reference.  Just wish I knew more about some of the other knives, like the Trailmaster, so I could do them too.
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daytime dave

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:21 PM ( #12 )
This was terrific.  I hardly knew anything about these and now, right here, is a ready reference for these great knives. 

Thanks for posting the two threads you have. 

Please, do your research and don't stop.  These are great posts.
Sarafan

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:37 PM ( #13 )
jlauffer



Sarafan, no problem...I like doing it, and its nice to have info all in one place for future reference.  Just wish I knew more about some of the other knives, like the Trailmaster, so I could do them too.


Perhaps a mod can sticky these posts so new users who join will be able to see them easyer?
 
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jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 8:14 PM ( #14 )
I believe they are both stickies already.
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Sarafan

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:01 PM ( #15 )
jlauffer


I believe they are both stickies already.


I see that now, haha my bad :)
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Orbit

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Friday, January 15, 2010 8:08 PM ( #16 )
jlauffer, excellent pics and write up. Unfortuneatly for me such things are impossible to get as push-knives are on the Australian customs ban list (as are lots of things). So I'll just have to drool at the pics *sigh*
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:30 AM ( #17 )
Great information all in one place I always confuse them all and I am certianly part of the I hate the flat back group but also do wish and cant help but wonder why not make the handles comfortable to hold on the others,sure if find yourself needing to use this knife as SD to an extent that it becomes uncomfortable.... well you really need to move someplace more civilized But still it would be good to have the handle comfy for people like me who just practice draws constantly and love playing with my knives
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, January 17, 2010 2:18 PM ( #18 )
I have owned both the Safe Maker I and the Safe Keeper III.  Personally, I don’t feel a great amount of difference between the “comfort level” of the necks on these knives, but I suppose it depends on what you’re using them for.

I had the Safe Maker I on my belt in Afghanistan, but lost it during a mortar attack on our hilltop position. :(  I was never completely sold on the hollow-ground side of the knife, and in truth, had I known this was a feature, I wouldn’t have ordered it.  I would have sought to find someone selling the discontinued Safe Keeper like I have now.  That said, it was a quality blade all the same, and very effective for it’s intended purpose.  

Having the Safe Keeper III now, I think a symmetrical cross section is superior - easier to maintain, and it doesn’t cause cuts to be redirected during the stroke.  I have a feeling that this is partly why CS is going back to the older design (if they indeed are doing so).
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Monday, January 18, 2010 3:25 PM ( #19 )
Thanks for taking the time to do these histories, J. It's much appreciated.

The all-steel model you saw on ebay must have been an early Urban Pal. See Here: http://www.coldsteeldealers.com/catalog/1988circa.pdf
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jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Monday, January 18, 2010 4:32 PM ( #20 )
sonoranscott


The all-steel model you saw on ebay must have been an early Urban Pal.


Yep, that's it.  Duh!  Don't know how many times I've looked at that brochure and never really noticed that one.  Guess I'll edit that part out for clarity...
 
<message edited by jlauffer on Monday, January 18, 2010 4:37 PM>
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Friday, January 22, 2010 1:44 PM ( #21 )
  jlauffer,that´s a great post you make!
 
It was very  informative with the text and the photos. Me for my self loves Push daggers,so i realy enjoy reading your posts.
jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Friday, January 22, 2010 4:58 PM ( #22 )
Thanks!  I love them too...too bad I can't legally carry them in my state.
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Tuesday, February 02, 2010 3:57 PM ( #23 )
Good job on this one too, jlauffer.
Because of its length, the Safe Keeper I is pretty intimidating, but they seem to be hard to find; I can't find them online, and I've only seen one, at a gun show.
I wouldn't get one unless it was dirt cheap, though, because it lacks some of the SM I's features, such as the Kraton handle stretching onto the neck and the more polished look.  I think it might be cooler to have a Safe Maker not hollow ground (both sides like the one with the groove).


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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Saturday, February 27, 2010 12:55 AM ( #24 )
Thanks for taking the time to do that. The SK III is always on my belt, and it's also my favorite skinning knife.
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Monday, March 08, 2010 4:06 PM ( #25 )
I would be stocking up on all of these if I could carry them legally...or else I would be left to decide whether I want to "break the law" everyday by wanting to open carry a push-blade even if it isn't double edge.

CA laws on balisongs/pushblades are dud.
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Friday, March 19, 2010 2:51 PM ( #26 )
Good job.  Please keep this up.  I am learning and enjoying reading your posts.
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, April 04, 2010 9:50 PM ( #27 )
Nice review JL.  I purchased the Safe Maker 2 recently, great carry!
<message edited by jason boswell on Sunday, April 04, 2010 9:55 PM>
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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, July 11, 2010 7:18 PM ( #28 )
Thanks for posting! I would love to finda safekeeper 1.  Does anyone know why they were discontinued?
jlauffer

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Sunday, July 11, 2010 7:55 PM ( #29 )
Don't know for sure, but probably wasn't very popular due to its size....it's a big freakin' push-dagger!
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NaterFromDecader

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Re:History of CS Push-Knives - Thursday, July 22, 2010 5:40 PM ( #30 )
I guess so...but thats why I want one
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