Budget EDC Knife Review: OKC RAT II Folder
OKC RAT II Folder
Manufacturer: Ontario Knife Company
Model: Randall’s Adventure Training (RAT) II
Finish: Satin Black
Price Paid: $44.00 (Overpaid)
The OKC RAT II is a drop-point folder with a 3” blade, and an overall open length of 7”. The blade doesn’t feature any serrations, which was a plus for me. My previous budget EDC was the HK P30 manufactured by Benchmade. While I loved the feel of the knife and the assist-open feature, I found that most of my daily cutting tasks were actually hindered by the presence of the serrations. After losing that knife, as I do most of my EDC knives, I decided to replace it with the RAT II.’
Who is OKC?
Founded in 1889, the Ontario Knife Company has been producing knives and tools out of Upstate New York for over 100 years. They’ve grown into an international distributor, and their products have seen continuous service in the U.S. Military since the second World War. Like many companies that have been around for over 100 years, they’ve branched out significantly. They manufacture tools, household cutlery, and all kinds of knives. Their manufacturing division, Jericho Tool, has branched out as far as the medical and agricultural sectors.
Jeff Randall / Randall’s Adventure Training
Jeff Randall is a jungle survival instructor, knife designer, and general badass. Primarily known for his work with ESEE, his company designed the RAT line in partnership with OKC. I was surprised to find that OKC doesn’t mention his involvement at all on their website, as far as I could tell.
The RAT II
Let’s be clear: this is an affordable EDC. It is manufactured in Taiwan. I do not expect to be able to use it as a pry-bar, for it to be made of adamantium, or that it will keep an edge until the year 2025. My expectations for a budged EDC folder start with the blade.
It should keep a sharp edge with light daily use and monthly attention. Next comes comfort: for me, an EDC can’t be huge, and shouldn’t be so aggressively textured that it is either unduly hard on my clothing, or uncomfortable. It should also be easy to remove and deploy. Finally, durability: I should be able to rely on this knife. The pocket clip should not regularly become loose, and screws should not loosen themselves in a short period of time.
The Blade & AUS-8
The blade is a classic 3” drop-point style with a satin black finish, and full flat taper grind. It isn’t terribly thick, at about a tenth of an inch (0.095”), but it feels very sturdy and hasn’t given me any trouble at all. The AUS-8 steel that OKC used is comparatively soft, but it’s very easy to sharpen and holds a shaving edge for just over a week of light daily use (see gallery.) AUS-8 quality can vary depending on different heat treatments, and in this case OKC seems to have done a great job. Aesthetically, the blade looks great. It’s simple, and features an emblem that combines the Randall’s Adventure Training logo with Ontario Knife Company script. Some might find that this image crowds the blade, but I think it’s rather sharp. Pun intended.
Grip, Clip, & Deployment
I love the RAT II’s grip material. Nylon 6 is a synthetic material that has high tensile strength, and mild elasticity. It’s used for gears, bearings, under-hood material in cars, Glock frames, guitar strings, and toothbrush bristles. The mildly stippled grip panels feel like a good compromise that will hold on to your hand, but not scratch you up. In any event, it’s my favorite feature of the knife. Some might complain that it’s not aggressive enough, but for my personal use it’s just fine. I wouldn’t take this knife into any true hard-use or bad weather situations, so it doesn’t concern me. There are a total of 8 screws that dot the surface of the knife, all are comfortably flush except for the 3 clip screws. I have to say that I was disappointed that at just 9 days of ownership, the clip and thumbstud had started to lose their finish. The clip has the same black satin finish as the blade, and the little logo is emblazoned at it’s top. I’m already noticing the finish chipping in a few places- the thumbstuds are starting to wear, but that’s fine as long as they don’t fall off. The thumbstuds are actually a big selling point- they’re huge, which makes deploying the knife very easy.
Red Hatchet Says…
If you are willing to maintain and sharpen this knife monthly, have no need of serrations, and don’t mind the cosmetic wear that is inevitable, this is the sub-$50 EDC folder for you.
- Reasonably Durable
- Comfortable to carry
- Smooth Deployment
- Decent blade
- Flimsy finish
- Potentially slippery grips
- AUS-8 can dull quickly