This is a genuine Cold Steel brand 3" folding Tanto, made in Japan. What makes it special is that the blade is made from their 3-layer "San Mai" laminated steel, similar to the steel used in samurai swords. To quote from the FAQ
at the Cold Steel website:
"San Mai means “three layers”. It is the term given to the traditional laminated blades used by the Japanese for swords and daggers. Laminated construction is important because it allows different grades of stainless steel to be combined in a single blade. This allows the bladesmith to make a blade that more exactly matches the performance characteristics he needs. A simple way to think of this type of construction is to imagine a sandwich: The meat center is hard, high carbon steel and the pieces of bread on either side are the lower-carbon, tough side panels. Generally the edge of the blade should be hard to maximize edge holding ability, but if the entire blade was hard it could be damaged during the rigors of battle. For ultimate toughness the body of the blade must be able to withstand impact and lateral stresses. Toughness is generally associated with “softness” and “flexibility” in steel, so that surprisingly, if an entire blade was made “tough” the edge would not be hard enough to offer superior edge holding. San Mai III® provides a superior blade with hard (higher carbon) steel in the middle for a keen, long lasting edge and tougher (lower-carbon) steel along the sides for flexibility."Cold Steel no longer offers any of their folders made with this special material
, reserving it only for their premium fixed blades in the $300+ price range. If you collect knives, this is a nice one for the collection. If you want a really tough folder, this is it. Having said that, my knife has had a very soft life... basically sat forgotten in a drawer since I bought it in 1991, and is in pristine condition still with the original carrying case (and probably the original factory edge). Here is a photo:
I'm asking only $85 shipped to the lower 48.