Ontario Rat 1
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Budget knives are a point of interest for many, me included. We want an EDC knife that isn’t just going to shatter on us under any kind of abuse, is cheap to replace, and doesn’t break within a year’s time of use. This was the exact intent of the Ontario Rat 1, as when I bought it I had just began a job as an animal caretaker. Sure enough, over the last few years the Rat 1 has really proven itself as an excellent budget option.
With my Ontario Rat 1 I got a cardboard box with the knife in it. The specs are as follows.
Grip Material: Nylon 6
Blade Steel: AUS-8
Locking Mechanism: Stainless Liner Lock
Blade Style: Drop Point
Activation: Thumb stud, unassisted
Overall/Open Length: 8.5 inches
Folded Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Width: ~0.6 inches
Height: ~1.1 inches
Weight: 5 ounces
The Ontario Rat 1 has all the makings of a good budget knife. It has a bland design, you can attach the clip tip-up/down, left or right hand, and the thumb-stud is obviously ambidextrous. Out of the box the blade had a usable edge, but it definitely wouldn’t win any contests. Fortunately AUS-8 is easy to sharpen even for novice sharpeners like yours truly.
This knife is truly the epitome of a “meh” knife and I love it (Meh: Bland as all get out). The ergonomics on it aren’t top notch, blade steel is “eh”, and the pocket clip kinda stinks. That said, for a non-assisted folder the action is fast and smooth. Despite beating on this poor knife for a few years now, the blade still comes out extremely smooth.
Out of the box the knife came with the clip set-up for right handed tip-down carry. The clip is able to be place tip-up, or tip-down for lefties or righties. From browsing, this doesn’t seem like something that’s offered on a lot of knives which kinda stinks.
Ergonomics are okay-ish. The faux G10 scales don’t appear to be anything special, but they do a good job of gripping your hand even when wet. The knuckle guard is adequate to keep your hand from moving forward and getting sliced, and the jimping on the back of the blade is deep enough to work well. I will say the mini-serrations on the liner lock are basically pointless though.
In use I have found one issue with this knife; the pocket clip. After about a week of carrying the Ontario Rat 1, the pocket clip began to slide side-to-side like it had loosened up. The screws were still tight, so my only explanation is that the holes widened slightly. Since I began noticing that though it hasn’t gotten worse. Despite this, my only big request to Ontario would be to make it just a little tighter as it doesn’t seem as secure in my pocket as other pocket gear.
Having become a staple of my “EDC” gear let’s talk about how the Rat 1 carries in your pocket. I wouldn’t really call it a deep carry pocket knife, but it isn’t hanging out too bad. It also isn’t the lightest so you aren’t going to forget about it being there.
Where as the pocket-clip isn’t as tight as it could be in my opinion, it isn’t exactly loose. There’s enough tension that it won’t hop out if you’re running, but not so much that it will try to yank your pocket off.
To the left you can see how much of the knife sticks out of the pocket, also something I forget to make mention of previously was that it has a lanyard loop. I personally have no use for these, but if it’s something you enjoy it’s there!
The Ontario Rat 1 has honestly become a benchmark that I will use for reviewing knives and what to expect; which is crazy considering I got it for $25. If you need a cheap-o pocket knife to beat-up, definitely checkout the Rat 1. And if you aren’t a fan of AUS-8 steel, don’t worry, they offer it in D2 steel as well! If you enjoyed this review, be sure to checkout the links below and to visit me on social media! Thanks for reading and I look forward to producing more reviews for you to read!
Buy the model reviewed HERE
*This review is the direct opinion of TacCat and not that of the team members of the Liberty First Foundation*