Cold Steel GI Tanto update

A few weeks ago I published a review the excellent knife – the Cold Steel GI Tanto. A great knife at a great price. The ONLY complaint I had was the handle was a little too slick. Compared to the rest of the knife and the sheath included – this is a minor concern. Regardless, I figured some modification was in order.

Quick and simple would be to just add some friction tape to the handle – which is exactly what I did. 


The addition of this tape to both side of the handle really made a difference securing a good grip. I may add a couple small strips along each spine of the handle – but really waiting to see how well the tape sticks. So far – the tape is sticking really well. The friction tape I selected is made for high traffic floor areas.


Another thought was to try to stipple the handle which I have not done yet. I want to reiterate that this is a great knife at any price – but it is a great deal.

Best price I have found on the Cold Steel GI Tanto is at Amazon.



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11 thoughts on “Cold Steel GI Tanto update”

  1. John, I read the headline and thought “that’s what I would have done” But reading on, that isn’t friction tape, it is grip or skate-board tape. Friction tape is old style electricians tape. Not that cheap plastic crap that the glue melts and runs. It is a fabric tape heavily imbedded with an adhesive, the outside is also sticky. It wraps and bonds well to itself and the stickiness will almost allow you to open your hand without the knife falling from it. Any REAL reputable hardware store will know what you want if you request “friction tape”. Wrap like a samurai sword hilt and you have a first rate grip. regards, D.

  2. I like the idea of using the non-skid tape on the knife, but being someone who has bear paws for hands I prefer to wrap the handles (samurai sword style) with 550 Para-cord. This not only provides a more substantial grip and contours, but also gives you all of the benefits that come with having a length of Para-cord on your when needed. and if you really wanted to, you could even wrap it with other things under the Para-cord just in case. You can see an example here:

  3. Do NOT depend on the ZIPPO lighter for SHTF situations. My dad carried his ZIPPO with him in WW2 and had it in his pocket the day he died. Years later, this came to mind as a great choice for my BOB and preps in general, so I bought one along with the recommended fuel. To my horror, when I tried the lighter a week or two after filling it, it was EMPTY and useless as a fire starter. I called ZIPPO and they said that because of milling specs,etc., their lighter could only hold fuel FOR 1 TO 3 DAYS!!!!!!!! I tried some experimenting and this was the case with my Heavy Duty Brass ZIPPO as well. I ended up getting the butane insides for this lighter and will be using the lighter fuel to start fires or the like. Save your money and buy a card of BIC Lighters if you want reliability. You can buy a heck of a lot of BICs for what I paid for this useless ZIPPO. They ain’t what they used to be folks. Learn from my mistake.

  4. Der Karen,
    Don’t throw that ‘zippo’ away. after topping off the liquid fuel, just simply make a single wrap of plastic electrical tape round the lighter where it opens and closes. the tape will seal the fuel vapors and prevent evaporation… zippo lighter sealed that way will hold fluid indefinitely.

  5. TinMan,

    Thanks for the tip. I will hang onto the old insides and the fuel (already paid for them anyway) and will have a back up. The electrical tape is a great idea.

  6. As Tinman said, wrap something around where it opens/closes. What I did when I carried one was use a piece of old innertube tire to keep it closed/sealed. It’s reuseable, can be cut to make a firestarter and helps in holding it in cold weather. I’ve had fuel last up to a month using the rubber tire or “ranger band” method.
    Rourke, I put similar tape on a Condor Rodan, but ended up rubbing my hand raw while not using gloves one weekend. Instead I wrapped it with tennis racket tape and haven’t looked back. I use to own a cold steel GI Tanto, didn’t care for the tanto point so it was reshaped and handles wrapped with tennis racket tape – friend begged me to buy it so I gave it to him for his Bday and he still has it after a couple of years of hard use.

  7. I looked at this knife before Christmas, when you posted the survival gifts. I bought the Schrade blade instead. This Cold Steel GI Tanto still has potential! I just should use the Schrade for a while before getting another one.

  8. The tape is a good idea as long as you carry a little extra for that “%&*()_&^%#%)(*)+&*%^ thing” time when it does fail. The paracord is another with much merit, as it can serve many purposes. Another, if you are inclined, is to get a small triangular file and lay out lines crossing each other at a 45 degree angle to the length of the knife and carefully an slo-o-o-wly checker it. Something to do when you’re bored, if you will. But , I think the paracord, as long as it is done correctly, is probably the best option.


    Semper Fi Semper Vigilans

  9. I looked at a large folding Schrade knife style much like the ubiquitous Buck knife (EVERYBODY should have one by BUCK). What a POS! It looked like that cra-a-a-ppy Pakistani junk you see at the gun shows. So crude it’s revolting. I’m not sure where they make this stuff, but I would advise you to stick to Case, Camillus, Ontario, ESSE, Puma, or if you can discipline yourself to save the money, got to “AGRUSSELL” website and pick up a Model 14 Randall. It’ll set you about $500+, and if properly cared for, will be usable 400 years from know. Knives are the single most important tools you must have under any circumstances. Also Eddie Martin and his son Newt make very good knifes, and so does Bob Dozier: his handmade’s are at about $800 and up, but his other line, which I have bought, runs $200 to $300, and are well worth every cent. Dan Crotts runs Bob’s shop, and has his own line, which appear to be very good. It’s sad to see a fine old line like Schrade to decline to such a decrepit standard. When I was in my teens 50 years ago, Schrade was a well made and well thought of knife. Unless I am badly mistaken (and I would it were so-feel free to jump my case) Schrade has whored itself and should best be forgotten eith a decent burial.


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