The Cold Steel Carbon Hunting Target Throwing Knife is a weird piece of equipment. It aims to sacrifice all the bells and whistles to provide a pleasurable throwing experience. However, with a steep price tag relative to its features and poor build, it fails miserably.

With a poor star rating of 2.3/5 on Trustpilot (based on 7 reviews), Cold Steel is not a well-known or a loved brand. However, the knife has a 4.3/5 rating on Amazon, with a lot of people lauding it for its ergonomics and performance. Its price point and its durability are what trouble us.

Let’s take a look at the corners cut by Cold Steel in order to create a carbon steel knife, and whether the knife is worth it because of them.

Cold Steel Throwing Knife First Impressions

I was a bit apprehensive as I opened the box. Numerous knife throwers have reported that their units arrived damaged (or scuffed). I was relieved to find mine in perfect condition. Holding the knife in the hand was a pleasurable experience, with the carbon steel blade immediately obvious.

However, that was where the good things came to an end. There was no nylon sheath, which is a staple of throwing knife packages (even at half the price of the Cold Steel). Sure, each knife has a lanyard hole for easier carrying. However, a lanyard hole is something that only a knife enthusiast would use. Many casual knife throwers do not know why the lanyard hole even exists, let alone if they should use it. Also, for this price, there should have been a paracord grip at the very least (if there was no sheath).

With an item model of B06VST3ZDJ, the 3-piece knife throwing set felt lightweight and gave off a premium vibe. As I was to discover later, my vibe was a bit off that day.

How I Reviewed the Cold Steel Throwing Knives Set

cold steel throwing knifeHaving bought the knives just for the review, I reviewed them in a similar manner to all the other knives I have reviewed. Throwing them at targets of various strengths over a couple of days and subjectively judging their pros and cons against similar knives.

As someone not only adept at the basics of knife throwing but also capable of participating in a backyard knife tournament, I have used everything from the most expensive and the most ‘professional’ knives to cheaper knives that try to deliver value for money. This is what I thought about the Cold Steel:

How the Cold Steel Set Compares

It Feels Right in the Hand

There is no other way of putting it: The balance is perfect. As someone that prefers smaller knives, I did not find the 12-inch double edge blade to be difficult to handle. The blade edge is more than capable of sticking to any surface you throw it at, and the low blade thickness leads to a lightweight knife that is easy to throw from long distances.

The Aerodynamic Shape is Perfect for No Spin Throws

Just to be clear, the knives can be used for pretty much any throwing style that you wish, and experienced throwers can easily get uniform rotation out of them. However, due to their aerodynamic shape, I found them to be especially great for no spin throws. They are able to maintain a speed that few other knives can, helping long-range throws and accuracy in the process.

The Carbon Steel is a Joke

This is where the good parts come to an end. As fancy as the hard spring tempered 1055 carbon steel sounds, it simply does not hold up. The knives breaking after just a few uses has been the biggest complaint online, and it is true. Two of the three knives broke during my testing, and I had to finish the review using the last working blade.

Considering the fact that the 1055 carbon steel is supposed to be quite durable, I can only chalk this down to poor build quality and using a low-quality variant of the steel. This would be fine if the knives cost less, but when competitors can provide a durable knife for half your price (not to mention a nylon sheath), it does not look well.

cold steel throwing knives

The grip is an Issue

Due to their lightweight design, it can be a little difficult to grip the knives from the handle. Gripping from the blade end is more than fine, but they tended to slip out of my hands when I was holding them from the handle.

This is where a paracord grip would have been perfect. Some of the Gil Hibben cord grip knives, for example, have a thin handle like the Cold Steel, but they do not suffer from the same problem due to the grip.

Price Over Function

The price of the Cold Steel must be mentioned. Considering the build quality and the problems I found in them, there is no way they should cost as much.

Sure, there are a lot of knives that are a lot more expensive. Still, that doesn’t excuse the fact that these are poorly made knives that are worse than many throwers available at less than half the price.

Are Cold Steel Knives Any Good?

Some of Cold Steel’s products are highly rated and are considered to be very good. While these were not one of them, there is another issue.

The company is quite well known for shady practices. Its customer service is readily touted as some of the worst in the industry, and there have been innumerable instances of customers not receiving the complete product. For example, many users reported that they only received one knife even though they purchased a pack of three. And when they contacted customer service, the return policy was nowhere to be found. However, you can still use Amazon’s return policy if you use their platform to purchase the knives.

Common Alternatives

Cold Steel 12 Inch vs SOG Fling Throwing Knife

Cold Steel Knives vs SOG Throwing Knives

The SOG Fling, while slightly expensive when compared to the Cold Steel knives, is better in almost every single way. Not only do they grip better thanks to the cord grip, but they will also last longer. The black nylon sheath for carrying is also a nice bonus.

You can see my full review of the SOG Fling here.

While I personally prefer the shape of the Cold Steel, the Fling has a better design that looks exceptionally beautiful under bright lights. As for performance, the two are quite close, with the SOG’s having a slight edge due to the more resilient blade and slightly better performance for multiple throwing styles (except no spin throws).