The Cold Steel Pro Balance, or also known as the Cold Steel 80STRB Pro Balance Sport, is another throwing knife product by Perfect Point which is suitable for knife throwers of a much broader skill level especially if you prefer the no spin throwing.
Cold Steel holds a TrustPilot score of 4.8/5, which is great for a knife company. The Cold Steel 80STRB Pro Balance Sport, on the other hand, has held up a star rating of 4/5 stars over 49 ratings. It’s ideal for no spin throwing but not as durable as some of the alternatives otherwise.
So, I went ahead and tested the Pro Balance to see how it holds up.
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Cold Steel Pro Balance First Impressions
With a very first look, the Cold Steel Pro Balance does not seem like a quality product at all. It feels very second grade and that Cold Steel has cut a few corners with production. The double edge carbon blade with a black finish is relatively a little thin as well. It stands out as a relatively longer knife standing at 13 1/4 inches. The carbon steel blade length on this knife comes out at 9 inches which is rarely long for a throwing knife. It has a spear point blade shape which works very well for throwing purposes.
The problem here is with the ergonomics. Unless you are someone with unusually large hands, you might have trouble holding and manipulating the knife.
However, another hurdle to throwing the Pro Balance is the handle grip on it. Consisting of composite plastic, the handle would be very prone to damage and breaking with repeated impact. Therefore, to counter this issue I had unscrewed and removed the handles from it to leave only a one-piece construction. This certainly did alter the weight distribution on the knife and negatively impacted the throwing as it reduced the weight. Still, it was better than holding a flimsy piece of plastic in my hand.
Some will prefer the extra weight if you like having a bit of weight behind your throw.
How I Reviewed the Cold Steel Pro Balance
For the price the Cold Steel Pro Balance comes at, I was not expecting a lot out of this knife or holding it to exacting standards. And that is precisely what this knife can offer. I put this knife through a slightly less rigorous process over the course of 48 hours.
The knife was tested with and without the handle as well at various throwing distances against a spruce wood target block. Other testing points included different throwing styles and grips.
How the Cold Steel Pro Balance Knife Compares
The Perfect Knife for No Spin Throwing
When we covered the best no spin throwing knives, we rated the pro balance as our overall best pick. The reason for this is simple: The shape, size, and ergonomics of the knife make it ideal for the no-spin throwing style.
While I stated earlier that the knife is not ergonomic, the grip used for no spin throwing is quite different from other throwing techniques, making the Pro Balance specifically suited to one particular technique.
The aerodynamic shape, coupled with the heavy construction of the knife, makes it ideal for long-distance no spin throws. While you will need to apply a bit more force than usual at larger distances (since the knife is heavy), the performance will more than make up for it.
Requires a Few Modifications
If you need a knife that is ideal for no spin throwing but also suffices for other throwing techniques, it is possible to modify the Pro Balance to make it perform slightly better. For the most part, the handle is where the modifications should be made. However, you can also sharpen or dull the edge according to your liking.
The handle on the Cold Steel Pro Balance is a composite plastic, which is not very durable. On throwing the impact would break it fairly easily. It can conveniently be removed by unscrewing the Chicago screws. However, this can move the weight distribution on the already blade-heavy design further towards the tip of the blade. This does cause an extremely dangerous amount of ricochetting even up to ten to twelve feet. This can easily be countered by adding a custom nylon strip or paracord grip on it.
That said, it seems futile to put so much effort into modifying a cheap knife. There are numerous other knives that work perfectly out of the box in this price range.
The Cold Steel Pro Balance is a relatively lighter throwing knife which makes it much more prone to quality and durability issues. Just after slight use, I have noticed the black finishing on the carbon blade start to chip off.
The handle on the knife is also not a comfortable fit for most. It is not convenient to throw with the handle. And if thrown with the handle intact, it breaks off fairly easily with just a few bad throws.
Is Cold Steel a Good Knife Brand?
Cold Steel is a very good knife brand, known for ensuring quality at a lower price point. As such, I was quite surprised to find the Pro Balance to be such a subpar piece of equipment.
Sadly, some of their products have quality control issues. The Pro Balance is no exception. We have a great-looking knife here, but the overall experience is not a very positive one. That said, this knife still manages to outclass every other knife for no spin throwing (in terms of value), so Cold Steel still manages to deliver in that aspect.
Cold Steel Pro Balance vs Cold Steel True Flight
Both the Cold Steel Pro Balance and True flight are very similar in working. They are both larger knives that require a little practice before use. With that being said, they are both also very unreliable in terms of quality and can not be compared to professional-grade throwing knives. The True Flight has multiple reports of breaking between the blade and handle while the carbon alternative also faces a similar issue but to a lesser extent.
That said, the True Flight does throw slightly better, and I would prefer it over the Pro Balance if I was looking for a well-rounded knife. For no spin throws, the Pro Balance would certainly be my pick.
Cold Steel Pro Balance vs 12″ Black Steel Cold Steel Knife
These are both carbon steel blades but vary greatly. The Black Steel Cold Steel features a lanyard hole which is an advanced feature while the Cold Steel Pro Balance lacks the same. It also comes with a carbon steel handle which makes it more convenient for throwing. However, for better throwing, they would both require a paracord grip which should have been included with the purchase given both these knives do not even come with a basic nylon sheath.
I consider both these knives to be interchangeable, and you should try both if you have the money to afford them. If I had to go for one, I would go for the Pro Balance due to its superior no spin throws (I have a lot of other knives for other throwing techniques).