Pros: Easy to transport, easy to use, shoe design allows for effective practice.
Cons: Fragile, weak welds, not very durable.
The real beauty of the Cold Steel Samburu spear lies in the take-down design. You won't have to find a way to pack a nearly 6' spear into your vehicle. It assembles quickly and easily (with the right technique).
To assemble the spear properly, I found it works best to stab the shoe into the ground first, set the handle inside of it, screw those sections together, then place the head over the handle and screw that together. This allows you to force the handle into the shoe, and the head around the handle so the handle seats as deep as possible. The screws are quite short and tiny. Don't be surprised if you strip one, especially with a multi tool screw driver. They're the same screws used on the Cold Steel Assegai spears, so nothing that can't be replaced for less than 5 cents at any hardware store.
Taking it apart is a little more difficult. More than likely, after using the spear, the handle has sunk deeper into the head and shoe, skewing the screw at an angle. It happens. Don't worry. Simple remove the screw and instead of trying to pull, pry, or hammer the head and shoe off the handle, stab the shoe into the ground, place one hand just above the cone of the head section and your other hand on the handle. Shake the handle and head section back and forth, in a few seconds it will loosen up. Just repeat the same step with the shoe.
When the spear is disassembled, I would advise putting some kind of sheath over the head. There's no need to get fancy and get a custom leather sheath; a simple leather work glove with a rubber band around the wrist works just as well.
The Cold Steel Samburu spear has two iterations that I've seen. The older model has a very smooth transition where the handle meets the shoe and where the handle meets the head. The newer model has a very abrupt squared-off transition in those same places. The older one had very poor welds; so lousy in some cases that you could see day light through the welds themselves. Now if you're just buying one of these spears as a showpiece like most of my customers, this is no big deal. If you plan to use the spear multiple times, that's a different story with a sad ending got you if you actually paid for the spear.
The newer model has much sturdier welds around the handle, however, the weld around the spear head itself is still quite half-hearted. As for the spear I kept, after about a dozen head first throws into a Styrofoam archery target rated to 40 lbs draw weight, the spear head sheared right off at the weld - not above it or below it like it should have. And worse yet, there were no beach marks in the break either, so this was a very sudden break.
So, ugly welds and poor construction aside, the spear is pretty good. It has very nice balance, flies relatively straight, assembles and breaks down quickly, and penetrates quite deep. Not to mention it requires very little practice to use effectively.
The shoe is sort of pointed, so if you throw the spear shoe first in practice, you can save the 'business end' for when you really need it. The spear is very nicely balanced, so throwing shoe first in practice isn't different from throwing head first during a hunt.
The edge retention of the head is so-so. 1050 grade steels are meant more for taking impact than they are for holding an edge. Even so, it really doesn't matter much. The shear weight of this spear and the force at which it impacts is easily enough to break ribs on most quadrupeds. Just be aware that the spear heads often come with burs at the tip. Thankfully, this is easily remedied with a file, even in the field.
If you've never thrown a spear before, there is a technique to it. Lynn Thompson walks you through the steps in the Cold Steel Spears in Action DVD. If you've never seen said infomercial, you can watch parts of it online or you can get Cold Steel's latest Proof DVD which has an abbreviated version of Spears in Action. Or, if you're like most of the world and don't want to see Lynn in shorts, here are the basics of throwing a spear. Take everything you know about throwing a football, replace the ball with the spear, and keep your thumb on the bottom of the handle of the spear - never cross your thumb over the handle so it touches your fingers. At closer ranges, hold the spear over your head and point the head down a bit, This will eliminate the need to arc the spear. That's pretty much it.
One more thing to keep in mind if you decide to purchase a Cold Steel Samburu spear is the legality of its usage. Some states will allow you to hunt certain game during certain seasons with a spear. To the best of my knowledge, most states will allow you to hunt boar with a spear. But check with your state's DNR before attempting to hunt with one of these. If you plan to spear fish with one of these, keep in mind that 1050 grades of steel of prone to rusting, even in fresh water, and the coating on these spears wears off VERY easily.
Bottom line, if you want a hunting spear, go with a Cold Steel Assegai or Boar spear, or even a Cas Hanwei spear (which look nicer). If you want a fishing spear, get a SOG Fusion Spirit and a broom handle.