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Cold Steel Rajah II Knife. Mega folder, Huge Folder…

Cold Steel Rajah II  6 inch folding knife. AUS 8A Steel, Grivory handle, 58RC 5.3mm thick, 13 oz. Retail $159.9. Street $90 – $100. I wanted to start off with a overall shot so you can get an idea of how large this knife really is and yet how it all vanishes into a pocket. It’s actually 6.25 inches on the blade, Kukri style.  The amazing thing is how well this knife handles for a knife this size. I could go into the history of the Kukri style blade but I’ll save you the reading, you can google it. The Rajah folders are made by Cold Steel and designed by Andrew Demko, They are huge heavy duty folding knives or “mega folders” as some may say. Cold Steel is one of the few makers mass producing big folding knives in large numbers at this time. They even have a 7.5 inch Espada model coming soon ! There is a Rajah I version that looks nicer, ever slightly thicker blade but costs almost 3 times more. I went with the Rajah II vs the Rajah I for the modern materials throughout, same functionality, and the cheaper price to carry with less worry. If you have the extra coin handy and want the same knife in a nicer looking package, the Rajah I is for you. There is a growing segment of the population that like carrying large knives in the pocket (legally of course), and would like a to have a large knife handy without the spectacle of an external sheath showing in public, specially in urban areas. Many states, counties and cities have no limits on how large a “folding” knife you are allowed to carry in the pocket. Some cities however do not allow knives over say 3 inches or even ban knives all together. So if you are lucky to live in a city where there are no limits on how large a folding blade you can carry concealed or in your pocket, then perhaps you may get bitten by the “mega folder” bug. To several people I know, this is more of a guilty pleasure, some may even be afraid to admit they are into these large beasts, probably afraid of someone wanting to school them on why they should be carrying a fixed blade if they want a knife over 5 inches. Some may even be fix blade fans that don’t want to be seen with a 6 inch folder 🙂 Well, every knife has their place, and every one has an opinion on knives, and you know what they say about opinions 🙂 Personally, I love the large folding knife segment and I hope more makers get into the game. I’m gonna stay out of the politics of the manufacturers and just speak on the knives themselves 🙂 The Rajah II is a great knife for the price. It’s beefy and uses the Tri-Ad lock system for positive lock up. It uses AUS8A, 58RC steel and is balanced great. The Rajah II blade is bead blasted, but blasted or coated, it all scratches up the same. Know however that you do have at least AUS8 there, true its not a high dollar exotic steel, but the knife is fairly cheap. The exact same steel is to be found on the Rajah I but the blade there appears to be a semi polished type blade. However with the amount of steel being used and the machete / Kukri style of blade, you may tend to get slight discoloration and of course scratches galore if you use it heavily, so having a bead blasted blade does not really bother me. I would have loved to have seen a polished blade on both the Rajah knives but that is no big deal considering the duty of these blades. The Rajah I above is the same as the Rajah II but with a 5.5mm  thickness (vs 5.3mm), and it uses 7075 aluminum base for the handle body with G10 scales. The blade finish is slightly different. It looks cooler as well, only it costs about 3 times the price. Blade Steel is identical AUS8. Also note the Rajah series is made in Taiwan, now before you think something note it’s one of the best blades I seen come out of Taiwan. The new shifted mindset is if Japan is the new quality bar for import knives, then Taiwan is now the Japan of the 80’s and mainland China is the new Taiwan in terms of quality and what they are capable of. If that made any sense 🙂 It’s a nice hefty blade for the money, specially in the Rajah II’s case (more cost effective). How much abuse can it take ? Well, when you get the knife it comes wrapped with this huge red warning label that basically says in not so few words “this is a big knife”.. haha…  but to “go easy” and not forget that it is a folder and not a fixed blade. They say “light chopping” is ok. Though I think most people have common sense and will use the knife accordingly. There is an extra clip (with screws) included, why ? well just in case of course. The clip is secured by screws that tap through the handle and into the metal support inserts. Which brings is to the handle.  Grivory you say ? What is Grivory ? Well it is a fiber reinforced stiff plastic like Zytel. To many people there is no difference, but there actually is. should you care much ? No. Grivory is an awesome material and very strong. The handle is also secured by 2 steel inserts on each inner side. If you want the lowdown on Grivory check out this sample application and also check out this industrial plastics website: Look at the blade thickness. Much of the weight of the knife is because of this hefty blade and the steel insert reinforcements inside the handle of the knife. The other side of the knife has the clip and Extra clip and screws are included. The handle feels nice. It’s a little more robust compared to say a Voyager X2 handle. It allows a medium grip and a chopping style grip by holding the knife toward the rear. You can also choke up on the blade (like in the first pic I posted in this review). I added the lanyard in the photos, that does not come with the knife. Another feature of the knife is this Emerson like “wave action”, or stiletto like fast draw. Many things had me LOL about this knife at first, mention of this feature was one of them, but I was amazed at how well and smooth this worked for a blade this size. I mean this is not some tiny zip-tied Spyderco, this blade is heavy and large, yet it whips out in a flash. There is a thumb plate on the blade that snags the pocket to allow this (demo pic already out of pocket but with blade still in above). Can you EDC this knife ? (every day carry) ? Of course you can ! How easily depends on your attire. I wear cargo’s (without a belt I might add) and even a knife this big completely dissapears into the pocket no problems. The weight of the knife may be an issue for some, but I’m used to that. Why would you want to EDC a knife this size ? Well the answers can be many. First off, if you are into knives, you are probably already carrying 2 or more blades on you already (keychain blade, smaller backup or utility blade, etc) so you won’t be pulling this knife out in a department store to cut tags. You will pull out the appropriate blade for the job. Also, like I mentioned earlier, in urban areas (where it is legal) its nice knowing you have something huge just in case, but in your pocket and out of view. Lets also be real, I put most carry knives into three categories. 1) Showing off (showcasing or trading to friends or other knife nuts). 2) Self Defense (or survival, emergency). and 3) Utility cutting. I carry a small Gerber Artifact and SOG Trident for utility cutting, but for showing off and self defense ? I’ll be pulling this Rajah out (or other mega folder). In a self defense situation this huge Rajah draws as fast as a Ti-Lite or stiletto and the blade is soooo heavy, that whatever the sharp edge did not finish off, the shear mass of the metal blade will. In fact with the huge handles that must accompany a large folding knife, the mega folder itself begins to take on more a blunt force instrument role (IE mini baseball bat) for breaking windows or mild chopping in emergency situations even with the handle alone. Then for showing off, come on… like most other mega folders, few could predict this size a knife coming out of your pocket, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. So 2 out of 3 main reasons in my book for even bothering to carry it are fulfilled, so I do. I actually go between a few different large knives (SOG Spec Elite II, Voyager X2, Ti-Lite 6″,Rajah II, etc.) for the “mega folder” role of my EDC. If you insist on carrying only one single “do it all” blade, then this is probably not the “one” you want unless you live in the outback 🙂 In the rare case when I’m NOT wearing attire with large pockets, then unfortunately the Rajah stays home, but some people IWB (Inside the Waist Band) carry this knife with their belts, yes even I laugh, but after seeing it and doing it myself a bit, I stop because its kinda cool that it can be done. I understand now why the clip is positioned almost center of the knife, it makes IWB carry more comfortable and frees all your pockets to carry other items. So how does it compare to the Voyager X2 or other knives… here is a quick pic of a few I had handy so you can see. You can google the specs on each knife I labeled above to compare sizes. Most people I’m guessing will be torn between the Voyager X2 / Vaquero XL and the Rajah in the Cold Steel line in particular. Perhaps even the Ti-Lite 6 inch model as well.. Specially since they are all 6 inch mega folders. My advice to you in this case would be to buy them all.. haha. Each knife is different enough to justify the purchase of each. They all have their up and down points. I briefly reviewed the Voyager X2 not too long ago here. I only recently took a torso shot so you can see the overall in hand size of the Voyager X2: It is also a great knife. What the Voyager X2 has going for it are it’s light weight and Japan VG-1 Steel. The Rajah has the fast from the pocket draw thumb stud, larger handle and thicker blade (AUS8 and made in Taiwan, but still nice)  and it weighs almost 2 times what the Voyager X2 does. I’ll compare these 2 with the Ti-Lite 6 inch in the near future so you can see the differences. Bottom line… If you are looking for a beefy, large, pocket machete or kukri, or perhaps a knife just big enough to be used as a club to boot, the Rajah II is a great choice for the price. RAJAH II Specifications: Blade: 6″ AUS 8A , 58RC Overall: 14″ Weight: 13 oz. Thick: 5.3mm
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