Cold Steel has a reputation for making good knives. Expensive ones, so when I saw the Bushmaster Knife on Amazon for $23 I had to give it a try, so I ordered one online and it showed up a couple of days later. Here are a few thoughts on the Bushmaster after using it for a few days.
This is a fairly good sized knife with a 7” blade, which is big for a survival blade in my opinion. It’s got a hollow handle, but it’s made from a single piece of steel thus there is no joint between the blade and the handle. When you first open it there’s a note on the knife saying that it will rust, so be sure to keep it clean and lightly lubed and not to store it in the sheath for any length of time.
It came with a good sharp edge on it out of the box and I left it as it was.
Performance-wise there are a couple of things I don’t like about it out of the box, but with a little ingenuity these issues can be taken care of.
First, the round handle and light weight of the knife causes it to twist in your hand when chopping. Even batoning wood was a little tricky because of this, so I looked online and found a lot of people had the same issue.
My idea was to put some hockey tape on the grip, so it wouldn’t turn and this was one idea of many put out there by readers and viewers on Youtube. Other ideas included wrapping paracord around the handle (I tried it and it just came loose, but there were other ways to weave it as shown on Youtube), and putting tape around it. I’ll probably opt for the tape option although I haven’t done it yet.
The cordura sheath confused me at first because I wasn’t pushing down on it hard enough to get it all the way in. The pommel should be at the same level as the loop on the sheath and it requires a good bit of force to get it down in there. Not necessarily bad, but it does take getting used to and it doesn’t strap in, so make sure it’s good and tight. It has a small pocket on the sheath for fishing line and hooks, or a firesteel, or whatever you want to store in there. I put a Gobspark firesteel in mine.
One of the more interesting features is the hollow handle. It can be used to store small items of survival gear or – get this – you can put it on a long stick thus making a spear. I highly doubt I’d ever need to do that, but it’s a pretty fun idea. Supposedly the knife can take the abuse although I haven’t subjected it to that kind of treatment yet. Check out this video of Lynn Thomspon – the owner of Cold Steel – abusing one of his Bushmaster knives.
You can throw them, put them on a stick to make a spear, or just use them as a regular old knife and at the $23 price tag ($22.79) if you break or damage the knife it’s not a bank buster.
The bottom line: a great blade for the price. Yeah, it’s a little big, but if you’re looking for a backup knife or one to store in your extra BOB, or whatever then I would recommend this knife. Chances are good you’ll never have a good reason to make a spear, and throwing your knife in a true survival situation is never a good idea (at least for me), but if you want to play around with it you can.
I like this knife for its versatility and its utility.
3.8 out of 5 stars.