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Review of the Ontario Knives RAT 1

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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A good solid portable knife is a great part of an EDC (Every day carry) kit. There are hundreds of knives on Amazon claiming to be "the one", but the average user wants something solid, dependable and affordable. This is where the Ontario Knives RAT 1 really excels (compared to Spyderco and Kershaw).

General physique

The RAT 1 has an [open] length of 8.6", of which 3.5" is the blade. At 5 ounces, the RAT 1 is slightly heavier than some of the other competitors in this space but I find the weight just right. The design is well thought out and makes this knife extremely versatile. It can be part of your EDC kit, used as a tactical knife and can even be used for light bushcraft.

The blade is a drop point shape with a flat grind and comes relatively sharp out of the box. Ontario Knives sells 2 versions of this knife: satin finish or black coating. Many on the internet have called the black finish "cheap". Many complained that the black finish quickly wore off. Having used this knife everyday for the past 1.5 months, you can see that the black finish is still fairly intact. The satin one is too "shiny" for me, since my personal preference is more "tactical style" knives.

The RAT 1 blade is made of AUS8 stainless steel. AUS-8 is comparable to 440B stainless steel and is considered a mid-range stainless steel. It loses its edge easier than a 440C blade but is easier to sharpen in the field. With my Smith's Pocket Pal Knife Sharpener (link), I can sharpen the blade enough to slice paper in 45 seconds or less. A big win.

The handle

The handle of the RAT 1 is made of a solid metal housing covered in Zytel plastic. The handle has a nice natural-feeling wave shape which makes gripping the knife easy, even when performing long running bushcraft tasks. The long (5") thick handle make this a fantastically grippy knife.

My only complaint is that the handle is slightly slippery when wet.

Deployment 

Opening and closing the knife is smooth and easy. The knife has thumb-studs on either side making this usable for both lefties and righties. It is not spring assisted (aka automatic opener) but this is a positive since many jurisdictions do not allow automatic opener knives.

Field test

I used this knife religiously for 1,5 months and even took it on some outdoor expeditions. I used it to perform light bushcraft and the knife sill looks new. 

Even after an hour of continuous bushcraft use, my hand didn't feel tired and the knife did everything I asked of it. 

Conclusion

If you haven't already guessed, I really liked this $30 folding knife (link to Amazon). Ontario Knives gives you a solidly made, durable knife at a budget price. Sure this one is made in Taiwan. Sure they used AUS-8 mid-range stainless steel but this is how they managed to give you so much value at such a competitive price. This is a great deal and anyone looking for an affordable EDC/tactical folding knife should consider it.