Cold Steel Leatherneck Review


The everyday man does not know the difference between a kitchen boning knife review and this Cold Steel Leatherneck review. For the men who admire and encompass the United States Marine lifestyle surrounding the motto, “Semper Fidelis,” they can appreciate the tribute made by Cold Steel in their Leatherneck series.

Finding a good combat knife is not an easy task. When choosing a combat knife, there are several important things to consider. The Cold Steel Leatherneck SF—short for “Semper Fi” fits the bill in many ways. This review will focus on the features of this particular knife, how the knife makes a good choice for combat, and will even touch base on a couple of flaws.


Knife Features and Dimensions

The Leatherneck SF features a 6.75-inch German 4116 high carbon stainless steel blade with a non-reflective black Tuff-Ex coating and has an overall length of 11.75 inches. You’re more than likely looking to put in some hard work with this knife and do not want to take a chance the blade comes up short in length or is prone to rust.

To those who appreciate a good knife, outside of combat or not, it is obvious Cold Steel designers intended this knife to be utilized in different circumstances and surroundings. They created a design that not only looks good but functions in any combat and survival-type situation. A number of people around the internet have affirmed in their review that the quality of workmanship in this price range can be seen in the details of this solid knife. The SF definitely lives up to the Cold Steel reputation and standard.


The Leatherneck SF is a hollow ground, fixed blade, so you won’t have to worry about the knife blade folding on your hand when in the midst of combat. The extra-wide full tang provides greater strength and durability, and the deep 5-inch handle made of checkered Kray-Ex™ completely surrounds it. The blade comes sharp right out of the box from base to tip without additional sharpening needed but it’s easy to hone.

The size and sharpness of the blade are both sufficient to infiltrate someone’s crucial arteries and organs in combat if needed! The handle allows fingertips to position comfortably, allows a firm grip, and keeps fingers from slipping down further to its sharp blade. The forward-bent quillions are especially well-built and offer an outstanding shield for your hand. If you find yourself in close combat, this can be an important feature.



The weight of the knife, 12.3 ounces, feels hefty without being heavy or problematic. Though durable and stout, the knife can be maneuvered effortlessly and rapidly. Many of us realize that our opponent is not going to just stand there while you engage them in combat, so maneuverability is high on the list when choosing a combat knife.

Unlike other knives with reprehensible casting, the Leatherneck has a substantial, machined steel butt cap. Use it as a blunt instrument to defend yourself with a swift blow or use it with dual purpose as an alternative to a hammer in a crisis.

Carry and Sheathing

Next, the quality of a knife sheath is essential. The last two scenarios you want to find yourself in are cutting yourself while trying to utilize your knife or losing it. Included in the price, the Cold Steel Leatherneck SF is accompanied by a black, sturdy Secure-Ex® sheath to carry the knife safely, is fully detachable, is not overly large, and can be reversed for the southpaw consumer.

This knife can be boot-laced or belt-looped for versatility and convenience, and the knife snaps into the sheath securely. It makes a comfortingly loud snapping sound when the knife is inserted or removed. For the price, the value of the Secure-Ex® sheath is a great addition.

The Leatherneck Tanto

(Metrics of this knife may differ slightly from the SF)



As with all knives, there are a few small downsides to the Leatherneck. One common gripe is that it is not USA-made and is made in Taiwan, as reflected on the blade. Second, the knife is meant for hard work but because the edge is thinner, it is not necessarily for heavy-duty work, although light batoning should not be out of the question.

However, a knife should be primarily reserved for cutting and stabbing, and one would think an axe or hatchet would be preferable when it comes to pummeling something outside of combat. Finally, the large molded-in “Cold Steel” lettering in the handle is not needed since the company name is already depicted on the blade. This is could be a personal preference and does not affect the functionality of the knife.


To conclude this Cold Steel Leatherneck review, it can be said Cold Steel has created the greatest low-cost combat knife on the market today with the SF design. It is well-balanced, has a sharp blade, is comfortable to carry and handle, includes the versatile Secure-Ex®, and is sure to meet your expectations. This isn’t a fancy knife with great grind or fantastic edges, but sometimes simplicity gets the job done right.

For its price, there is no reason to improve upon it. The Leatherneck SF has durability, design, and functionality to make the knife a perfect gift to give to a soldier, to use in combat, or even to use simply as a utility knife. The courage and sacrifice given by the United States Marines who have fought on behalf of our country and who are synonymously known by the word, “leatherneck” have been given proper homage in this series produced by Cold Steel. No matter the intended use for the SF, this blade can survive a little beating and abuse!

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