Friday, September 2, 2016

You Dirty Rat, Knife Review

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,



LL said...

Great review. As you say, for $15, it doesn't have to be a work of art so long as it stays sharp and fits in your pocket.

LindaG said...

Haha. Good review. I carry a small Shrade Old Timer. Shrade aren't found much any more, though. But we could always use another knife, so I appreciate this post. Thank you.
Have a blessed weekend. Be safe.

Fredd said...

As the slightly ammended old joke goes...."just like an Episcopalian, bringing a knife to a gun fight."

Much like my preference for propane over charcoal, Republican candidates over Democrat candidates, and men bishops over womyn bishops, I also favor guns over knives.

tooldieguy said...

I have several Ontario Knife Works knives. They are solid tools that don't break the bank. I can recommend them also

LSP said...

I was surprised, LL. A very decent knife for the money, workmanlike.

LSP said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed if you buy one, Linda. See if you can get one discounted, for an even better price than its already cheap retail price. Good bit of kit.

LSP said...

I like guns too, Fredd. But sometimes you need a knife to get to your gun, or, in my case, to the frozen pie. I guess I could've shot the pie and, come to think of it, maybe I'll line a few up for ballistic testing, but I was hungry.

LSP said...

My first one, tooldieguy -- I was happily surprised. Good value.

Mattexian said...

I've got one, first production run I think, very stout, but not really my thing any more. I've compromised with my new NS OHT SAK (non-serrated one-handed Trekker Swiss Army Knife), as it's an upgrade from the Adventurer SAK I carried 25 years ago: longer, locking blade, can opener, bottle opener, standard and Phillips screwdrivers, awl, toothpick and tweezers, and now one-hand-opening on the main blade, and a wood saw. All that, and only weighs 4.5 ounces. Granted, nobody has it discounted down to $15 right now.

(I'm surprised there aren't any used surplus German Army One-handed knives yet, as they were the ones who finally got Victorinox into the modern style. As I understand it, the Bundesweir wanted to replace their old army pocketknives, saw the Trailmaster SAK, and said "we like everything about this but we want it with a one-hand-opening main blade.")