Cold Steel 4-Max Elite

Colossal Cutter!

To get an idea of the scale of Cold Steel’s 4-Max Elite folder, that’s a
silver dollar in front of the handle frame. The knife is, in a nutshell, a beast.

If you go by size alone, Cold Steel’s 4-Max Elite is a man among boys — if for no other reason than the simple fact folding knives are rarely made this big. But this is not Cold Steel’s first rodeo when it comes to making oversized folders. The company’s Talwar XL and Espada XL models are both longer and weigh more than this one, but they are more exotic in design. The 4-Max Elite, if only viewed on a white background with no reference to size, looks like a modern tactical folder. An in-person introduction says otherwise.

Fully extended, the 4-Max Elite is 10.0″ overall. Breaking it down, the blade is 4.0″ and the handle 6.0″. The blade is an upscale CPM S35VN stainless steel drop point with a 2.5″ swedge grind along the rear spine. The blade is employed via an ambidextrous thumb stud and snaps in place via a lock-back mechanism. The 4-Max Elite’s handle is curvaceous with all the highs and lows in all the right places, and there’s jimping on the upper rear spine to nicely align the thumb pad with the index finger groove. The frame has ample layered grayish-green and black G10 scales over stainless steel liners. Out back there is a beefy pocket clip. Weight is a healthy 10.1 oz.

On the backside of the handle you can see the 4-Max Elite’s lock
bar and détente as well as the knife’s stout pocket clip.

Why You’ll Like It

Once I got past the fact this is a much bigger knife than I was used to handling, I found it handled quite well indeed. Kudos to the designer, custom knifemaker Andrew Demko. Another nifty design feature is the holes in the blade tang and finger guard line up when the blade is locked into place which, with the right size brass or steel rod, could add even more rigidity to an already very stout lockup. Personally, I like the 4-Max Elite for use as a beefy field knife capable of medium to heavy chores. A big feller could EDC this knife — but I ain’t that guy. I’d need suspenders, but have at it if the beast suits you. This knife would make for a mean weapon for self-defense. Overall I like the Cold Steel 4-Max Elite — it’s a mega-size knife built for tough duty. MSRP is $499.99.

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