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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Cold Steel Mini Hunter > Owner Review by alex legg

Cold Steel Pendelton Mini Hunter
Owner Review By Alex Legg
April 9th, 2013

Tester Information:

Name:  Alex Legg
Age:  30
Gender:  Male
Height:  6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight:  195 lb (88 kg)
Email address:  alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country:  Lyons, Colorado, USA

I have backpacked extensively throughout the southwestern United States my entire life.  I prefer a lightweight approach using tarp tents and trail shoes so that I can save my strength for clocking miles.   I hike on average 4 m daily from my back door and also enjoy trips up to 5 days in the backcountry.  I encounter elevation from 5,000 ft to 14,000 ft and temperatures from below 0 F to 90 F.

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer: Cold Steel, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Listed Blade Thickness: .125 in (.32 cm)
Measured Blade Thickness: .125 in (.32 cm)
Blade Material: VG-1 Stainless
Handle Material: Kray-Ex
Sheath Material: Secure-Ex
Listed Knife Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Knife Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g)
Listed Sheath Weight: Not Listed
Measured Sheath Weight: 1.2 oz (34 g)
Listed Blade Length: 3 in (7.6 cm)
Measured Blade Length: 3 in (7.6 cm)
Listed Total Length: 6.25 in (16 cm)
Measured Total Length: 6.125 in (16.5 cm)
MSRP: $69.99

Product Description and Observations:

The Cold Steel Pendelton Mini Hunter is a small fixed blade hunting knife styled after a popular larger knife.  The polished 3 in (7.6 cm) blade is thick and study with a sharp point.  The knife boosts a tapered full tang construction that creates enough strength to pry bark from a tree just as easily as slicing through steak. 

The handle is constructed from Cold Steel's Kray-Ex material.  To me it feels very much like sturdy rubber molded around the blade.  There are lots of gripping patterns to give me many holding options for multiple uses from skinning deer to chopping vegetables. 

The sheath is made from Cold Steel's Secure-Ex material that the manufacturer claims will not mildew or rot.  It feels like a very hard plastic that the knife would have a difficult time piercing.  The handle locks into place holding the knife in so securely that I cannot shake it out, yet it releases into my hand with great ease.  There is a slight rattle noise when shaking it, but the sheath seems to hold onto the knife exceptionally well.  The sheath has a nylon strap mounted to allow me to attach the knife to my belt or backpack.
Field Conditions:

This knife has been all over southern Arizona and most recently in northern Colorado.  I have carried it daily as a helpful tool and also carried it on many of my backpacking trips over the past six months.  Some of the backpacking trips are listed below.

I carried the knife on multiple trips to the Rincon district of Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona.  The temperatures ranged from 32 F to 80 F (0 C to 27 C), and the elevation ranged from 5,400 ft to 9,453 ft (1,646 m to 2,909 m).

The Mini Hunter has also been with me on numerous excursions in the Sonoran desert around Tucson.  Elevation has been around 2,500 ft to 2,700 ft (762 m to 823 m) and temperatures have ranged widely from 45 F to 105 F (7 C to 42 C).

I took the knife on a 2-day 1-night trip to the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona.  The elevation was around 7,500 ft (2,286 m) and the temperature ranged from 25 F to 55 F (-4 C to 13 C).

I also carried the knife on more than ten outings in Roosevelt National Forest in northern Colorado.  Temperatures were between 15 F to 45 F (-9 C to 7 C).  The elevation ranged from 6,500 ft to over 12,000 ft (1,981 m to over 3,650 m).

Performance in the Field:

The Pendelton Mini Hunter has performed outstandingly well over the course of time I have owned it.  The blade is very strong, and not just because it is a fixed blade.  The blade thickness makes this one of the stronger small knives I've ever had.  It is actually one of the stronger blades I have found on any knife over the years.  I can barely flex the blade regardless of how hard I try and I have no trouble using the blade as a small pry bar which is pretty impressive to me.  I have seen many high end knives break in the past with just the slightest bit of prying. 

The blade has remained sharp after cutting through sticks, shrubs, electrical wire, sheet rock, and various types of cordage.  The only thing that has ever affected blade sharpness is an unfortunate run in with a steel surface while on a job site.  The blade now has a small dent in it, but it has not disabled the knife one bit.  I just used it to cut through leather for a project and it felt like cutting butter.  I have not sharpened the blade in the six months I have owned it.  I think that if the blade had not gotten a dent, there would be no reason to introduce it to the sharpening stone at all.  I will probably work on the dent issue in the future when the entire blade needs sharpening, but for now I don't see it being necessary.

The handle looks just like it always did with the exception of a few small drops of paint on it.  The grip has not worn down from use and shows no signs of wear and tear.  I have had excellent grip on the knife while in the snow and the rain.  It is easy to hold onto if I rinse it off in a fast running creek and easy to use when my hands are cold and wet. 

I absolutely love the sheath that comes with the Mini Hunter.  It is so strong and sturdy that I can only slightly bend it with my hands.  There are six holes around the edges to allow for multiple carry options.  The nylon strap can be mounted so that the knife is either parallel or perpendicular to my belt.  The strap can also be removed entirely and substituted with paracord offering me the possibility to mount the knife to my backpack, belt, or just about anything I can tie it onto.  This is a vary versatile sheath that given me the chance to test out many carry options.     


The Pendelton Mini Hunter is a great small fixed blade knife in my opinion.  It has held its edge and proven to be a really strong knife.  Everything about the construction from the blade to the sheath to the handle is strong, sturdy, and well thought out.  I look forward to continuing to carry this knife for a long time to come.


1.  Strong
2.  Sharp
3.  Well built


1.  I have no complaints regarding this knife at all.

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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Cold Steel Mini Hunter > Owner Review by alex legg

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