Every once and a while something catches your eye, like an Ontario Knife Company Rat 1 in Walmart's discount sporting goods section. There it was, lying in a confusion of camo baitcaster reels, SOG novelty items and unwanted Gerber knick knacks. The knife looked solid and workmanlike against the rolled over detritus of the outdoors industry.
It felt good, too, fitting the hand well and weighing enough to let you know you're holding something (5.0 oz), which you are, over three and a half inches of AUS 8, full flat grind, 58-59 HRC, satin finish steel. And it was even sharp, very sharp. So I bought that knife and took it home.
The Ontario Knife Company describes their product, which is made in Taiwan, thus:
The immensely popular RAT folders are among OKC's top selling products. Featuring versatile AUS-8 stainless steel and a nylon handle, the RAT folder comes in a variety of styles including different blade and handle colors. The RAT folders are an ideal and affordable every day carry.
That's the marketing, what's the reality?
Fit and finish are fine, with metal liners and scales flush and no upwards, downwards or sideways movement from the blade when it's in the open position, or when it's shut. Dual thumbscrews provide ambidextrous opening and the jimping is pronounced enough to do its job. The scales (handles) look like G10 but are, in fact, Nylon 6, but don't worry, they're attached to the metal liners with 5 screws. Yes. Five. What about the blade? It's sharp, really sharp, and deploys well, with an authoritative click, like a magazine coming home. I like that. The verdict?
Does it work? Oh yes, my Rat 1 sliced through a frozen pie package as though it were butter. The knife is sharp. Does it feel good? It fits in the hand well and has a good heft to it and it's not too big to fit in the pocket. Do women like them? They love them. A lot. Is it tactical? You better believe it is, just look at that black handle. But how much does it cost? It costs the grand total of $15. Seriously, 15 bucks, that's all.
So go out and get this knife if you're looking for an inexpensive workhorse folder. The only downsides, to me, are that it's made in Taiwan and the Nylon 6 is a bit slick, G10 would be better. But look, for $15 you can't go wrong with this knife. Get one, I don't think you'll be disappointed. The specs are here, and elsewhere.
Don't be a rat, get the knife,