Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife, SRK REVIEW

By Patrick Gallagher

Cold Steel SRK

Versatility is the hallmark of the Cold Steel SRK. SRK stands for Survival Rescue Knife, and this blade offers the features, functionality and design necessary to adapt to any situation. With a length of more than 10 inches, you’ll find that this large knife gets you out of any situation you might find yourself in – and its ability to withstand even extreme abuse means that it will be around for years to come.


Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife
10.75 inches (10 3/4″)
6 inches
Japanese Aus 8A Stainless
Full Tang
Flat Saber grind
.19 inches (3/16″)
Clip Point
Black Tuff-Ex™ Finish
4 3/4″ Long Kray-Ex™
Secure-Ex® Sheath
Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle, Black Blade (Concealex Sheath)

Benchmade Bushcrafter Sibert Buck TOPS CSAR-T Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife Enzo Trapper ESEE 5 Fallkniven F1 Swedish Military Grohmann #4 Survival KaBar Becker BK2 Companion Mora Bushcraft Black Ontario Blackbird SK5 Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Spyderco Bushcraft G10 TOPS Brothers of Bushcraft Fieldcraft


This is a superior product for the money. The steel used is top shelf, and the performance matches or exceeds similarly sized knives in its class. Compare this to a A1 Kraton Handle Plain Zytel Sheath
which clocks in somewhere between $200 and $250, and you can see the appeal of the SRK.


The reason it’s so affordable is because it’s made in China, so you’ll have to weigh whether this is a major concern for you or not. That being said, Cold Steel sets the standards of production and steel doesn’t care where it’s heat treated and assembled. Also, the rubbery handle isn’t for everybody, but it is super grippy and functional.


The Cold Steel SRK measures a full 10.75 inches, with 6 inches of that length being given to the blade. The remaining 4.75 inches form the handle. It’s also very light weight, coming in at just 8.2 ounces without the sheath. That makes it an ideal solution for those who demand a powerful cutting tool that won’t weigh them down when it matters.

The blade is manufactured from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel with a black Tuff-Ex™ finish to protect it. This is one of the hardest steels out there, and it provides ample durability, as well as holding its edge for a long time. The protectant finish helps prevent scratches to the blade, but also provides an additional layer of rust and corrosion resistance, making this one of the lowest maintenance knives on the market.

Buy it on Amazon – $78.78

The blade is .75 of an inch thick. That’s a stout blade, and ensures maximum power delivery in all situations. It also features a clip point, which is able to do fine work, but strong enough for brutal tasks without the danger of breaking the tip off. However, it’s not all about the tip – there’s plenty of blade for efficient cutting through most materials, and it works very well as a skinning knife too. The blade’s spine is smooth, and applying thumb pressure is easy.

The Cold Steel SRK features a handle made from Kray-EX™, and offers a knurled texture to ensure a firm grip even in slippery conditions. A pronounced finger guard keeps your index finger firmly planted on the handle, and prevents it from sliding forward onto the blade during use.  The included sheath fits the knife well, and offers further protection from the elements when the blade is not in use. It’s a Secure-EX™ design, and features plenty of durability in the field. The blade is also secured within the sheath thanks to the trade-marked design of the sheath.

What Is the Cold Steel SRK Good For?

The Cold Steel SRK was not designed for any single purpose. It’s a versatile blade equally at home skinning a kill or trimming stakes. With a thick blade, excellent tip and a fantastic edge, it’s an ideal tool for almost any purpose. This blade was also designed to hold up under extreme conditions and abuse. It was manufactured as a search and rescue tool. Search and rescue personnel have to be prepared to handle any situation without any notice, and that’s exactly what the SRK provides. It’s a robust, long-lasting knife that can that works equally well as a bushcraft knife, camp knife, survival knife or military knife.

Buy it on Amazon – $78.78

Cold Steel

Cold Steel is an American knife maker with locations in several US states, although the company remains headquartered in Ventura, California. Founded in 1980, the company might seem like a relative newcomer to the knife-making scene, but Cold Steel is actually responsible for a number of innovations and breakthroughs. The company’s Kraton® handles are top of the line, and also helped make tanto blades a standard throughout the industry. New blade steel options have also been rolled out by Cold Steel, including the company’s San Mai III®.

Here are some similar bushcraft knives for your comparison:

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Title Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle, Black Blade (Concealex Sheath) Cold Steel SRK Black Kraton Handle Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife SOG Specialty Knives & Tools E37N-CP Seal Pup Elite Knife with Straight Edge Fixed 4.85-Inch Steel Blade and GRN Handle, Satin Finish Gerber 31-001901 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Fixed Blade, Survival Knife with Sheath Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife with Fixed 1095 High Carbon Steel Blade and Black Kraton Handle and Sheath
Feature Rescue knife with AUS 8A stainless-steel bladeTeflon coat helps protect blade from the elementsStrong clip point excels at detail work and tough jobsSingle quillon finger guard; deeply checkered Kraton gripBlade measures 6 inches long; weighs 8.2 ounces Blade measures 6-InchOverall measurement is 10 3/4-InchWeighs 8.2 ounceIncludes steel of VG-1 San Mai IIIThis item is not for sale in some specific zip codes Fixed blade knife with drop point shape and 20-degree edge angleBlade made of 1095 cro-van steel blade for strengthHandle made of Grivory materialBlade measures 5.5 inches long; knife measures 10.5 inches longLimited lifetime warranty Racy new blade shape, thicker steel stock (.185), deeper finger grooves and an added spine rasp for notching, filing and thumb placementStraight edge, fixed 4.85-inch AUS-8 steel blade has a clip point shape with a satin finishBlack handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon that will fit comfortably in your handIncludes a black Kydex sheath with a belt loop attachmentComes with a limited lifetime warranty Full tang fine edge blade made from premium steel (9CR19MoV)Sheath equipped with pull through sharpenerFire starter vertically mounted into sheathEmergency lanyard whistleBlade length: 4.8 Inches, Overall length: 10 Inches 6.4″ blade, 5.6″ handle1095 High Carbon SteelKraton handle15.9 ouncesIncludes nylon sheath
Size 8.2
Weight 0.75 pound 0.85 pound 1.5 pound 170.1 grams 1.05 pound 1 pound
Rating star_4-6-6
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of Dec 5 21:03:31 EST but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Here’s what people are saying about the Cold Steel SRK

It’ll open anything from M&Ms to oil drums, and it’ll slice through mud flaps, radiator hoses, nylon webbing, sheet aluminum, or anything else you have without a second thought.

This thing has survived all sorts of stuff! I’m pretty handy around the house and I’ve been able to cut wiring, start cut drywall, open any packaging, carve plastic anything, chop wood (2 x 4), split small fire wood, mis-behaving appliance recombobulation…. Oh, and all my male friends are totally jealous!

I’ve never been a huge Cold Steel fan (cheap China made stuff, marketing hype, etc.) but I bought this to compliment a few USMC Ka-Bars I’ve had over the years. I’m sad to report that in a lot of ways, it might just be better than the Ka-Bar.

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About the author

Jack Thompson is a seasoned outdoorsman, bushcraft expert, and knife aficionado. With over a decade of wilderness experience, Jack is passionate about teaching others essential outdoor skills and providing insights on bushcraft knives. As a writer for Best Bushcraft Knife, he shares his knowledge and adventures, inspiring readers to embrace nature and thrive in the wild.