-Price Paid: $28.00
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for 3 months
There's a lot to like about this knife. The blade comes very sharp. Not super important because it is very easy to sharpen (as is to be expected of AUS-8). The action works. It's not like a drop shut kinda smooth, but you can open it one handed and you can close it one handed, which at the end of the day, is all I really want.
In fact, the action does one better to my needs. You can flick it out WHA-POW and it sure does feel good.
The clip is fine. It works. A lot of people don't like that it's painted. I don't give a RAT Model II's ass though, so I'm just fine with it working. I don't plan on selling or trading this knife so I'm fine with the clip looking beat up as long as it continues to work. On the subject of the clip, I do wish there was a cheaper option at a deep carry clip. The only one I have seen is $30. I'm fiiiiine carrying my knife like this. Being a little deeper would be nice, but it's not necessary, and not worth $30 to me.
The biggest short coming of this knife is how it feels to hold in the hand when you are cutting things (and that's a pretty big short coming). I don't have the largest hands. I wear a small size glove. This knife feels cramped in my hand. I want to grip it three fingered because it's so cramped, but then it's not very comfortable because my pinky can't find anywhere to live.
There are also so minor issues ergonomically. The lock bar isn't very comfortable to use. It roughs up my thumb a little bit and I'm not a super big fan of that. The scales are also a little hard to grip when using gloves. For 90% of the tasks I do, I don't need gloves, so this ends up being fine, but my ideal knife would be able to be useable when I'm wearing gloves. I didn't ding any points because of this fact, but I definitely did over the 3-4 finger grip.
End of the day though, if you have $30 and want to buy a knife that functions well as a knife, and should last you for a while, I think this is probably the best choice. If you're not allergic to nickel, I would probably steer you towards the ESEE Zancudo. It was designed for more varied hand sizes and comes in both AUS-8 and D2 steels. The D2 requires a little bit more care, moisture wise, but requires a little bit less sharpening care. For me it's a wash. For most, the D2 is a welcome upgrade.
If you are like me though, and a stainless steel frame lock with unknown nickel content is a deal breaker, I think it's hard to do better than a RAT II for $30
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