Today it’s time to crack into one of my favorite knives. I’ve always said the Rat 3 is the budget friendly version of the infamous ESEE-3. Both knives have similar specs but the RAT 3 is less expensive. It’s a win for the wallet and a win for your belt. The Rat 3 is an extremely competent knife and handles itself well in the bush. In this review I take an in depth look at the Rat 3.
|Blade Length||3.9 inches|
|Total Length||7.9 inches|
|Blade Thickness||0.125 inches|
|Blade Material||1095 steel / Plain edge / Drop point|
The blade comes in at 3.8 inches and is made of time tested 1095 carbon steel. Carbon steel holds a wicked edge. I had zero problems doing everything I needed to do with this knife. Everything from skinning to carving was an absolute breeze with the Rat 3. With the carbon steel you do have to keep up on the maintenance. The metal is prone to rusting if the blade is exposed to moisture over a period of time. A few swipes on a piece of leather does the trick. Just make sure to keep it dry and sheathed when you aren’t using it.
On a final note, this blade came razor sharp straight out of the box. Many cheap knives require a good sharpening after you unbox them. Not so with the Rat 3! Be warned, many a knife enthusiast has sliced themselves deep straight out of the gate.
The Rat 3 implements a Micarta handle. The handle is extremely ergonomic. I have medium sized hands and the handle molded straight into them. It’s curved in all the right places and very easy to find the right grip depending on what you’re doing with the blade. Micarta is quickly becoming my favorite handle material. The ESEE line of knives almost always use Micarta for their handles and for very good reasons – this material is strong, grippy, and easy to shape into a mold that feels good in hand. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Rat 3 is basically a high quality ESEE knife disguised as a budget friendly version!
Enough talking about raw specs. How does the Rat 3 really stack up in the bush? It’s time to take the Rat 3 out into the bush for a proper beating. A good knife at the very minimum should be able to make feathersticks and do some light batoning.
Making feathersticks – Very easy to make feathersticks with the Rat 3. The 1095 carbon steel means this blade has a razor sharp edge. Making the feathersticks was only a matter of placing the blade on the wood, and then smoothing my way down. With very little pressure I was able to create very fine feathersticks with the Rat 3.
Batoning wood – Can you baton wood with the Rat 3? The answer is yes, however, with the short blade it’s not the most ideal wood batoner. You can indeed produce some nice kindling with smaller pieces of wood. I would not recommend the Rat 3 if your plan is to produce a nights worth of wood in a short amount of time.
Is the Rat 3 a competent knife to take into the bush? Absolutely. I was surprised to see how similar it was to the ESEE 3 and if I was to be perfectly honest, it’s practically the same knife but almost half the price! At this price point the Rat 3 is an obvious choice for your belt. Grab one today and let us know what you think.