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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may have read my earlier thread on the Ontario RAT7 here:
http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/defensive-knives-other-weapons/77644-ontario-rat-7-a.html

...and my severe disappointment of the sheath. The knife itself handled well and has done a good job of staying in one piece even with my using it as a small machete on weekend trips.

I had decided though that the 7 was just a wee bit too large and made it almost impossible to do smaller chores...not to mention my total disdain and my doubts as to the usefulness of the sheath as anything other than a basic belt only, vertical only sheath. So... the search was on again. This time I got smart and went straight for the REAL RAT knives. The difference being that it came from RAT Cutlery and not Ontario Knife Company. Apparently there's some politics going on there as it seems the folks making the RAT blades at Ontario were actually split off from RAT Cutlery...like I said politics...

Anyway, I wanted something that was small enough to be able to do normal small type chores such as taking care of fish and small game as well as light whittling, carving work, etc...), but still large enough to handle medium-medium/large tasks like taking down small trees, splitting wood etc...

I settled with the RAT RC4PMB. The 3 letter PMB extension is important here as it seems to signify the "extra" options for the MOLLE back, and extra MOLLE locks. I found mine here:
RAT Cutlery RC-4 Black 4-1/2" Plain Blade with MOLLE Back Sheath - Knifecenter.com

What I received was exactly as specified in the link above and shown in the images. Hope the mods don't mind linking, but I was just showing where I found mine for a decent price and built in pics.:rolleyes:

Anyway, I received it today and immediately took it to task. The blade is impenetrable. It came razor sharp, and to see just how well it would hold an edge, I used it in typical tree cutting fashion. I used a small tree branch as a hammer and hammered it through cutting up a 5" diameter downed oak in virtually no time at all. When finished it still EASILY sliced through a section of 4" thick hemp rope.

My objections to Ontario's sheath system was also clearly resolved by RAT. The RAT sheath is well...perfect. If you can't figure out a way to carry it reliably...you are an IDIOT!:king:

I plan on using this new RC4 as my camp/hike knife come September and will let you all know if I run into any issues, although I doubt that will happen as RAT's warranty even seems to cover operator failure...which some of us are prone to every now and then.:redface:
 

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No politics just dishonorable business practices from Ontario. The guys who designed the RAT knifes for Ontario and owned the name were not happy with the quality control and customers service Ontario was giving they also wanted to make some improvements in the design and Ontario was resistant to the idea so when their 5 yr agreement was up the RAT guys went out on their own.So Ontario decides to send them a cease and desist letter and threaten to sue for the using the name they own. R.A.T is short for Randell Adventure Training the company they started and owned before they even designed their first RAT knife.
They have a quality product and the best warranty in the business Lifetime unconditional and that is the lifetime of the knife not the owner.If it breaks they will replace it free of charge although you may have to pay shipping and handling charges.
 

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Yep, there are okay knives, there are tough, durable, sharp knives...and THEN there's (real, non-Ontario) RAT. Never heard so much as a rumor of anyone being disappointed. Thanks for the well-written review. Congrats on your obviously good judgement.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah i haven't sharpened it yet since battoning it through that oak and the cut test on hemp afterwards. I'm planning on hitting a PERFECT hidden/virtually unknown fishing spot(private property) this upcoming weekend and will see if it's still sharp enough do do the gutting/cleaning etc... without having to sharpen...Granted that's assuming I catch anything..:rolleyes:

Aside...the fishing spot was opened up by invitation and is rather remote. Apparently the original land owner is up in age and my neighbor has been working his farm for him i nthe off hours. The old feller mentioned that he's been stocking the pond since as far back as the 60's and rarely has any visitors so basically it's chock full of lunker bass.
 

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Agreed. Sharpening is always available. It's the time & use between sharpenings that makes the difference. You've got me considering the 6". Good luck on catchin' some lunkers!
 

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Another RAT Cutlery fan here. :bier:

After the RC-4, I was so impressed, I went for the two Izulas and their fire-starter tool.

Even got my wife an Izula in "tactal pink" - which I think is a riot that they mock how everything has become "tactical" these days.
Great customer support there at RAT too. Their knives are guaranteed for life - weather you are the original purchaser or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Something to add...

The molle back attachment is great, but I do have one complaint...not bad, but one of those ones that gets under my skin. $%^*@(*&% VELCRO retention strap...REALLY...VELCRO:comeandgetsome:?

Anyone who's had the pleasure of using the same velcro closure over and over and over again for days, weeks, months, years, etc... The stuff WEARS OUT! The velcro will DIE! The nice soft fuzzy side that the hooks attach to eventually are all straightened out or bunged up and no longer loops for the hooks to hook to.

Funny thing is that the retention in the kydex is great so I'm not even sure why they added the evil velcro strap anyway. I'd be much happier with either a nice button snap(yes I know they can rust) or no strap at all. I may end up cutting mine off when it dies, or just adding my own snap button or something.:rolleyes:
 

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I have one as well. In fact I have the ontario version, 3" and then I ended up getting the Rat Cutlery version of a 3". I like the true rat better. I truly like them both and will stay out of the politics since I don't know the facts but the Rat version is a bit better. Has a longer grip that feels better in the hand mostly. :redface:
 

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I have an Ontario RAT 5" and a RAT Cutlery 4", both of which have seen a lot of use. Both are good knives, but there are definitely pros and cons to each.

The RAT Cutlery 4 has a better grip. The edges of the micarta grips are much more rounded than the Ontario, making it more comfortable to use. The RAT 4 grip panels have been media blasted to a rougher finish than those on the Ontario, yielding better friction when my hands get wet/slippery; water, sweat, deer blood. The RAT 4 also has a deeper finger choil that yields a bit better control for fine cutting/control situations. RAT Cutlerys have an overall better grip shape for my hands, while the Ontarios feel more blocky.

Curiously, the Ontario RAT 3s I've seen have the a grip shape very similar to the entire line of the RAT Cutlery's models, while the rest of Ontario's line do not.

My main complaint about the RAT 4 is it's 1095 blade steel. It needs to be cleaned and oiled to keep rust from forming anywhere the blade's not coated with epoxy/phosphate . . .I can't remember right off hand what the factory coating material is.

While the D2 blade of my Ontario RAT5 isn't my favorite blade steel, it's better than 1095. (Ontario used to sell most of their RAT models in both 1095 and D2. I don't know if both types are still available or not.)

While I think both knives are good, I have the same gripe about both Ontario and RAT Cutlery's knives that I do about TOPS knives: for the prices they're asking for their knives, the blade steel should be much better (by that I mean more stainless yet still have good edge retention); A2 would be an acceptable minimum, but ATS 34 or CPM 30 SV/its equal would far more appropriate for these knives' intended uses.

If I had to chose between a RAT Cutlery with a 1095 blade and an Ontario with a D2 blade, Ontario every time.
 

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I think 1095 is one of the best steels out there easy to sharpen takes a good edge and holds it well.D2 may hold an edge longer but it is also a lot harder to sharpen and if not heat treated right is very brittle.Also you can't beat the Warranty
No Questions Asked Warranty. If you screw it up, break it, or cut it in two with a cutting torch, send it back and we'll replace it. Warranty is transferable. In other words, we warranty the knife no matter how many times it's been traded, sold or given away. We don't ask for a sales receipt, date of purchase or where you bought the knife - No fine print and no hassles. If you have a problem, contact us.

Note: You MUST complete this form and return it with your knife. You must email us a tracking number when you ship the knife..

We do not warranty against rust or normal wear and tear. Note: Our knives are made from high carbon 1095 steel. And while 1095 is a top choice for professional cutlery designed for hard use, it will rust and stain if not properly cared for - especially on the cutting edge and around the laser engraving. It is the user's responsibility to keep the blades properly lubricated and cleaned. We suggest using a dry film rust inhibitor such as TUF-GLIDE or TUF-CLOTH.

A lot of folks have asked us how we can stay in business offering such great customer service and warranty protection. The answer is simple; we believe that American consumers, as a whole, are honest people. The occasional customers who are dishonest are few and far between, so even if we lose every once in a while due to dishonesty, our reputation of great customer service, regardless of the situation, brings us more good customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I dunno. The 1095 for me is a nice tradeoff. One of the issues for me is ease of sharpening. I don't want to be screwing around trying to sharpen a D2 blade without a diamond sharpener...and what happens when you lose that magic diamond sharpener in the bush? Good luck getting it sharpened.
 

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I think 1095 is one of the best steels out there easy to sharpen takes a good edge and holds it well.D2 may hold an edge longer but it is also a lot harder to sharpen and if not heat treated right is very brittle.Also you can't beat the Warranty
RAT does have an excellent warranty. I don't know anyone who's had to return a knife, so I'll take them at face value that they'll honor what they say on their website.

If you like 1095, great. Use it. There's nothing terribly wrong with it. It's a compromise like any other blade steel. I have several 1095 knives and like/use them.

But, to me, at the prices they're asking, they should be providing a better blade steel. Either that, or knock about $30-45 off the price.
 

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I dunno. The 1095 for me is a nice tradeoff. One of the issues for me is ease of sharpening. I don't want to be screwing around trying to sharpen a D2 blade without a diamond sharpener...and what happens when you lose that magic diamond sharpener in the bush? Good luck getting it sharpened.

Use a rock.

One out of a stream bed usually works the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I used it for fishing and cleaning said fish this weekend. Cutting through 9 fish(heads, gutting etc...) still no sharpening needed.

An FYI though...DO NOT use CLP on your micarta grips. This is unless of course you want them a permanent shade darker. I've always noticed they change color when wet and was epxected, but when they dry off they normally turn back to normal color. After washing in warm soapy water to get the fish gut smell out I realized the smell still wasn't gone, so I hit it with breakfree.

It cleaned up nice, got rid of the fish smell, but the micarta grips haven't fully returned to the original color yet as of 14+- hours later. I suppose it's not too bad. They're actually a nice shade of charcoal gray now:rolleyes:
 

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Just ordered the RC-4 from that link. I love my Izula and I imagine this to be a bigger, nicer version...

Jonathan
 

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Well, I used it for fishing and cleaning said fish this weekend. Cutting through 9 fish(heads, gutting etc...) still no sharpening needed.

An FYI though...DO NOT use CLP on your micarta grips. This is unless of course you want them a permanent shade darker. I've always noticed they change color when wet and was epxected, but when they dry off they normally turn back to normal color. After washing in warm soapy water to get the fish gut smell out I realized the smell still wasn't gone, so I hit it with breakfree.

It cleaned up nice, got rid of the fish smell, but the micarta grips haven't fully returned to the original color yet as of 14+- hours later. I suppose it's not too bad. They're actually a nice shade of charcoal gray now:rolleyes:
Micarta is fairly impermeable and will probably eventually dry back to its original shade it just takes petroleum based products longer to do so. I have used mineral oil on mine in the past to get that darker color and have had to reapply after a period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Micarta is fairly impermeable and will probably eventually dry back to its original shade it just takes petroleum based products longer to do so. I have used mineral oil on mine in the past to get that darker color and have had to reapply after a period of time.
Yeah as of this late last night it seems to be mostly back to normal. So I guess it's a 2 day thing.
 

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Thanks for the review.

A few weeks ago I bought an RC-5 for my little brother in the Army (11B). That thing was a HOSS. I pulled it out of the box and played with it a little and was very impressed with it. The fit/finish, ergonomics, and sheath were all top-notch.
That said, it was a little beefy for what I would conceivably use such a knife for so I've been looking at the RC4 or RC6 (due to the thinner blade stock).
 
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