The Blog for EDC, DIY, How-to, and Organizing my projects.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Ontario Knives RAT-3 Initial Review and Tree Falling
Ok, so I was going to go the the NAS Oceana Air Show today but it ended raining so we decided we weren't going to risk it and went to the SGK Knife and Gun Show instead. As we were looking around at the awesome weaponry (Kriss Vector, PS90, SCAR 17S, SOCOM 16, etc...) I found one knife I have been wanting for awhile; an Emerson Super 7. I waited for a few minutes for the guy working there to get a free minute and asked him about it, he said he wanted $200 for it so I thought about it while walking around the rest of the show. A few tables later (and by a few I mean most of the show) I saw another Emerson, this time a Mini CQC-7, and a Horseman, and a Commander... But the Mini-7 was awesome. I must have spent an hour deciding if I should buy it or not. I ended up not buying it because I didn't have that much cash to spare, but at the same table I came across quite a few knives I had been meaning to look at such as: Ontario RAT 3, 5, 7, and Izula II, and the Kabar ZK War Sword. The Kabar was one of those "Hey that would be cool to have" kinda things but I've been wanting a fixed blade for awhile and I hadn't seen the RAT-3 or Izula in person. The title probably gives away what I decided to get no?
As you can see I got the plain edge version, black blade with tan micarta scales. I actually really got a pretty good deal because I got the sheath and MOLLE lock, although I got the RAT-3 instead of the RC-3 from ESEE (I just found this out researching it and I'm kinda disappointed). I like the RAT-3 however and I will give it lots of tender loving abuse.
I love the finish on this blade, it's a black crinkle coating that is VERY durable (You'll see why later). The scales are also perfectly fit to the blade itself, high quality fit and finish here.
The scales themselves are a nice tan micarta, but after being handled by who knows how many people and then me playing with it for the rest of the day they have developed quite a nice brown patina (Can I call it that? It's dirty hand oils...) that goes well with the ready to go anywhere aspect of the knife.
I really like the sheath for this knife, it hides very well.
Now I will say that in VA we have an open carry law, but concealed carry of a fixed blade is iffy at best, in researching this I have come to my personal conclusion that with a CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) you can legally carry a fixed blade knife in public, although if you are questioned about it by the police they may consider it a weapon and take it, it depends on the cop. Without a CCP it is legal to carry a fixed blade knife openly or concealed on private property. Pretty much just keep it out of sight and don't be stupid is a good rule to go by. That out of the way, this is a great little knife. I haven't gotten to use it a lot but I'm going to be carrying it around quite often to get a better feel for it.
The edge on this knife is really good, hair popping sharp. The 1095 steel isn't that bad but it will rust and the edge won't last like some of the newer "Super Steels" but hey, it's a survival knife and it works.
This is the majority of my knife collection now, I do have some SAK's but they don't count to me because I never use the knife blade. The RAT-3 is my first fixed blade knife, so it will take some getting used to but hey, I'm learning here! The handle shape on this is very nice, much nicer than my Razel (Which just got replaced as my go-to work/hard use knife) and has nicely aggressive jimping and finger choils.
Here's a close up of the jimping and choil, nicely aggressive but not overdone, when you get a grip on this knife you know it's not going anywhere you don't want it to.
My makeshift sharpness test was cutting this sapling in half.
Which it did with no problems.
Granted, the knife needs to be sharpened now, but it still cuts. By the way, to me "needs to be sharpened" means it won't shave hair easily. This knife still shaves hair off but you need to work at it instead of "be careful you don't cut yourself". The blade coating shows some marks in the pictures, they washed right off afterwards and there are no scratches in the blade at all! I think there might be an extremely small nick in the blade from batoning the sapling but I'm not sure.
All things considered, I quite like this little knife. It's fun. The kydex sheath has excellent retention once broken in (when I first put the knife in it's sheath, I could barely get it out, now it holds very well and slides out with little force.) and the MOLLE lock is a nice touch. Here's a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure: