Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shanghai Shadow: Cold Steel's Smatchet Wannabe

For several years now, I've been jonesing for a Smatchet. Smatchets are massive fighting knives featuring a ten-inch leaf-shaped often double edged blades that were designed back in World War One as a backup weapon when most folks were packing long bolt actions with long sword bayonets. The shanghai shadow is not a smatchet, but the 7 inch blade is very similar. Cold Steel lists it under their throwing blades, but I have serious doubt about its abilities in that. It pretty simple, carbon steel construction with smooth polymer grips. The large ring I find rather useless and in the way of making this actually a cool fighting knife. The guard functional, but not very good or even cool looking. It is however, extremely sharp out of the box. Play with this at your own risk. This thing may be a $25 Chinese cheapy, but it is extremely sharp and the steel seems quite solid. I have no doubts that it could certainly serve as a fighting knife. It has the length of blade to hit the vital organs and just enough heft to chop someone to pieces. The sheath is predictably barely functional and outright junky. If you wanted to carry this thing, you'd need to find or make a better sheath for it.
I really have no serious use for this, its there to look kinda cool and be something sharp if I really needed it. If you're looking for something just kinda neat but not expensive to scratch that knife itch, give it a try.


Dan said...

Looks cool RK! Double edged I see. Could be handy tucked away inside the house.

Anonymous said...

Err... The ring is actually the main feature.

It's based off of a Chinese Ring Dagger, hence the name "Shanghai" Shadow.

Proper use involves rotating it around the first finger, holding it in a reverse grip. The point being that, by using wrist action (flipping the knife out, around one's finger) in conjunction with elbow, shoulder and even waist movement, you can create far, far more crushing / piercing force than a non-ringed knife.

Anonymous said...

The knife is, indeed, quite solid. Its made from 1055 Carbon Steel, not just your everyday Chinese stainless. That guard, pictured above, didn't really sell so well, (if only for being ugly,) so Cold Steel soon released an adapted model which I find much better, (more functional and cooler looking guard.)

The knife is neither a specialized thrower, nor marketed as one. Its purpose is to serve as Cold Steel's ring dagger, (which above commentator covered perfectly,) and it fills that role very well, I believe. I own two and train with them regularly.

Basically, I don't know where you got the idea that its supposed to be compared with a Smatchet, which its not. But you're certainly right about its potential as a fighting knife. And, if you're like me, you might enjoy doing some research one it, because its really a fascinating old weapon and loads of fun to play around with.

Roadkill said...

The ring may be the main idea around this knife, but the fact remains that if you cut off or collapse the ring into a proper pommel, you would have a rather functional smallish Smatchet. I cannot say that the Shadow is 'supposed' to be compared to the Smatchet, but the similarity is there.

It is listed in "Fighters & Throwers" on Cold Steel's website. It's description also says it functions as a good throwing knife.

I personally have no use for a ring pommel knife. I tried looking up some style of these ring knives, but I'm not seeing anything authentic. Just the Shadow and a narrower style of blade. I'd like to know: Is the broad leaf style blade common to these ring daggers?

Anonymous said...

The board leaf style blade is typical of a Shaolin Kung Fu style dagger, used in Shaolin's different dagger fighting systems. Size, shape, and weight seem to be consistent with tradition, to the extent of my training (I train under Grandmaster The at the Chinese Shaolin Center in Los Angeles.

This may or may not help anyone, but I hope it does!