Coming from a CRKT M16-13T, I can tell you that the Cold Steel Recon 1 is simply on another level. The handle is big, well-formed, and unbelievably grippy against skin. The blade is strong, deep-bellied, double ground (as opposed to chisel-ground) and SHARP.
I still give the knife 5 stars, but there are a few things to watch out for:
The pocket clip is strong, so strong in fact that you're going to have to give the knife a yank to get it out of your pocket. And my jeans are already getting pretty upset.
The teflon coating won't look pretty for long. It scratches and stains. But knives like this are made to be used, not ogled.
The thumb stud works brilliantly with your thumb. But there's a notion around that this knife opens up immediately when the thumb stud hits your pocket liner. This hasn't been the case for me. But the knife opens easily and smoothly with either a simple thumb move or a hard flick of the wrist. And unlike lockbacks, it closes with one hand. Just watch your fingertips when you tip the blade back into the handle.
For the money, this is a serious, quality blade. I have total confidence in its durability, and the factory edge is outstanding.