I won this knife in Jimislash's 400 giveaway (check out his channel, one of the nicest guys I had the chance to communicate with on YT) and would like to review it and compare it to the recent Chinese Cold Steel and other clones.
The knife came in a Cold Steel cardboard box, nothing fancy.
First impressions are good - the knife is sharp out of the box, grind is even on both sides, blade is centered and there is no bladeplay in both directions.
The action was a bit stiff out of the box, but got better later (with use).
Things I liked about it:
1) The concept - this is a great no nonsense working blade. If I was in the line of work, in which I would use a knife on daily basis - I would definitely carry this one as an EDC knife. Stonewash finish and plastic handles are great for hiding scratches (although I won't even mind scratches on this one, as I think it would only add character to the knife).
2) Truly ambidextrous, including the clip - the knife can fit a left handed user for 100% (just need to adjust the thumb stud and move the clip to the other side) - which is great for options and uses. One more thing about the clip - this is the best clip I've ever seen on a Cold Steel - it's stonewashed, straight and not stiff at all, I don't know why they don't use this style of clip more.
3) Ergonomics - great job Andre Demko. The Pro Lite fills the hand nicely and has decent traction (unlike the Code 4 I had, which was too slim and slippery).
4) The steel - the German 4116 is pretty decent for the price. Seems well heat treated and is comparable to the Ganzo's 440C. It is also stainless, which is a big plus for a working blade.
Things I didn't like so much:
1) It is great as a working EDC blade, but as to keep in the collection not so much - feels too simple and cheap. I mean if I got this as my first knife (instead of the genuine Ontario RAT 1) - I would be stoked, but after trying knives with ti frames and bearings, I have the feeling that I need more than cheaply feeling plastic scales and mediocre action.
2) The position of the lock on the handle - it is further back than in the Code 4, which makes it harder to close one-handed (do a blade drop).
How does it compares to Chinese knives in the same price range?
Well, again, if I was a man who works with one knife every day, all day - I would definitely pick this over a Ganzo or a similarly priced clone (maybe even over the RAT 1, because it carries a bit better).
But because I'm not and because I've tried better knives already - I feel like I need something more complex to carry occasionally and to keep in the rotation.
With that said - I do like this knife very much because of its sentimental value to me as a present from a great guy and as the first prize ever to be won in a GAW.
Check out the knife here: Cold Steel Pro Lite
Or here: Cold Steel Pro Lite
Also could be found here: Cold Steel Pro Lite