Cold Steel Voyager - made in Japan?

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by offeror, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. offeror

    offeror New Member

    May 17, 2004
    NE Indiana
    I got my Cold Steel Voyager used, at a gun show a week or two ago, and after I got it home I noticed a marking on the blade -- Made in Japan. I know the line is quality and all, but I'm wondering why it's made in Japan. I thought Cold Steel stuff was made here. I'm sure they can specify the materials and get a good knife from a contractor outside the U.S., so quality is still not the issue for me. I'm happy with my knife thus far. I just wonder what caused Cold Steel to have one of their most central, popular lines produced outside their own plant, and when it started, if anyone knows. Anyone have the skinny?

    I'm aware of the fact that Ka-Bar and some others are now offering some knives from overseas to compete on price (probably to compete with the price point of Chinese junk) and I assume the high-quality knife makers will stipulate the steel, the specs, and the overall quality. I would of course not buy a bad knife just because it has a logo or brand name stamped on it and I assume the good makers control quality on products they design and import to sell.

    (But the Chinese knives are designed so that they can be sold for $20 while the quality folders usually retail for closer to $75.)
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  2. z537z

    z537z New Member

    I was wondering about that with mine, also. For what I can figure, Cold Steel produces a lot of knives, and Japan's just cheaper labor, or some other similar advantage going towards profits.

    It may be that Cold Steel just didn't have the dies/machines to do this model and/or others, and outsourcing was their best bet.

    Japan, IIRC, puts out more steel than any other country, and I know they use American made stock for most stuff (vs. China, which uses their own crappy stuff for those 20$ knives you mentioned).

    Either way, I've used mine for 2 years, and haven't had a complaint about the metal at all. It doesn't stay as sharp as I'd like sometimes, but it puts up with a lot, and the metal hasn't bent or snapped yet, despite my using it as a screwdriver, prybar, hatchet, hammer, ice breaker/scraper, etc.


  3. IShootBack

    IShootBack Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    We have a well respected forum member that works for KBar. I am going to send him a message and have him chime in here.

    He has a wealth on knowledge about this topic.
  4. Pabooger

    Pabooger New Member

    Im not sure about Cold Steel but I can tell you about Kabar. Kabar was originally made in Olean , NY. Several years ago the company closed it's manufacturing plant in Olean. The Kabar knives were then made by many various knife factories in the U.S. and abroad. A few years ago Alcas corporation bought Kabar and moved it back to Olean, Ny, The facility in NY was set up to mainly manufacture a high line of kitchen Cutlery called Cutco.

    They were just not equipped to go full bore into the sporting kinife market nor did they want to. What they did do was start to once again make the Kabar line of fighting knives along with some fixed blade hunting knives in the Olean, Plant. Most of the folders are still outsourced to other companies in the United States and abroad.

    Most of the knife manufactures in the U.S. have closed their doors, do to the high cost of steel and the cost of skilled labor. I can tell you that there are very few plants in the U.S. today still producing the steel used in the knife Industry. American made steel is very expensive compared to Imported steel! Many companies have felt the crunch of high operating costs and competition from foreign countries whom have much cheaper labor and no Import costs. Schrade recently closed it's doors as well as many others.
    It basically boils down to the fact that most American consumers would rather pay the lower price of a foreign made knife than to pay the price of an American made product.
    Some of the knives made in Japan and some other countries are very high Quality knives and some are not! Basically ya get what you pay for, if it's fairly expensive chances are it's a good quality knife.
    All Kabar knives that are made in the U.S. are marked made in the U.S. The ones that are not are marked accordingly. My guess is that ColdSteel has to outsource there knives to various places for many of the same reasons.
  5. IShootBack

    IShootBack Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    Thanks for your expertise PB.

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Some of Cold Steel`s knives are made in Japan, the folders have always been. I believe the blades are made there and the rest is assembled here.
    From my reading of CS, Japan is the only one who does what they ask to be done to the metal`s used. Most of the fixed blade line is US made. Probably one of the best Knife lines out there for the $$$$$. I have abused them for years with no complaints.

  7. redworm

    redworm New Member

    Dec 18, 2012
    I've had several knifes made in my lifetime that were marked seki city.........Japan........They were some of the best knifes I've ever owned...............Redworm...................
  8. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    My Spyderco Delica 4 is from Seki City Japan. That knife has some good steel in the blade and holds a hell of a 20* edge. I think in the 2 years I have had it I have sharpened it 2 times. I used it every day. I even spent 4 days cutting 3/8" dia monitor cables off of old CRT monitors. Sliced right though them and didn't even think twice.
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    As far as I know, all Cold Steel knives are made in Japan and always have been. they have no US factory. For a start up company, having the knifes made in Japan made good business sense. No factory or employees to worry about and pay and the quality of the Japanese knives were outstanding. Also, at the time they were cheaper to make, a fact that is no longer true. However the cost of Japanese goods have been raising, as a result knife makers ( or perhaps sellers is a better word ) are looking to China. China has made some very cheap knifes, but under tight quality control they are turning out some very beautiful knives with good steel. Check out A.G. Russells site for some very nice knives . ( the ones with his name on them are not cheap ) . You can gripe and complain about losing jobs overseas, but before you do . look in the mirror. Who is buying these items? I own American made knifes, but I also own Japanese, German and China made knives. Germany and America are almost out of the knife business, Japan is losing ground fast and inflation is catching up with China, Who knows, it may turn out that it would be cheaper to make them back in the US.
  10. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    Let's hope so! I have looked into having a production knife made here, but it just doesn't look feasible right now.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Here is a list of knives made in the U.S.
    At one time we ran a business, the items we sold were from all over the world, and were the same products you find in WicksNsticks, and Hallmark stores. When we started most of our products were made in America, but over a few years they all moved to over seas plants, like Precious Moments. We were in a Flea Market, and we were making good money for the first two years, then the bottom fell out. Next door to me was an old Korean war vet with a knife shop that had about $20K worth of inventory. He wound up closing his shop down due to the fact that the only knives he could sell were the cheapest things he had in the shop. He did sell colector knives, and some very high end knives, but they just would not sell. No body had the ready cash to lay out. If you really want to see American made products on the shelves in stores, then you need to support these companies. Check out this site:
  12. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Kbar is not listed at: Maybe you should drop them an email.
  13. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    You got an original Voyager made in are lucky..many of the one's that Cold Steel make now are in China..

    Japan is one of the best producer's of blades out there with Seki City Japan that produce VG 10 blades like many of the Spyderco models have. Cold Steel whether it's made in China or Japan are good because they have atleast "AUS8" STEEL...Their San Mai III blades also are from "Japan" and very expensive. The sharpest folding knife I own is made out of that stuff and its so freakin sharp It scary.

    bottomline: many knives over 50 bucks are made elsewhere...Many below that price are made in China. I won't buy Chinese anymore even though I have plenty already from there. Just me I guess.

    USA MADE..GERMANY..ITALY..JAPAN.. any of those places are okay with me and all make awesome quality knives. People who talk about "as long as the quality control is good" are talking out of their butts in order to in their mind feeling okay they just bought a commie knife. How can you know how good quality control is in a communist factory full of children working machines at two cents an hour and a bag of rice as payment. The reason the prices are so cheap is because the labor is as well.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  14. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    now to get off my high horse having said all that...The Cold Steel Voyager is one of the most practical durable and awesome knives you can get for your money. I still have my Extra Large Voyager I carry in my gym bag because I broke off the molded plastic pocket clip years ago. The thing cuts like a chainsaw, especially that full serrated edge Cold Steel makes it's awesome.
  15. JasonS

    JasonS Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    UHG California
    I agree with this, the best and most sought after knives were the older cold steel made in Japan. I have a couple and they are worth 3 times as much now, look them up on ebay or whatever, always sought after and for good reason. Great pick up.
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