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FIELD BLADE REVIEWS
Pretty much ANYTHING made by Ontario is at the top of my list when it comes to "bang for the buck". I've never had one of their products fail me, nor have I heard stories of their products failing. They maintain top notch quality control over their steel processing and heat treating, and simply put, their steel takes an edge and holds it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you could MAKE one fail with the proper amount of abuse, but these are extremely durable field grade blades. By "field grade", I mean that the fit and finish of these isn't display case material, but if you want a blade that you can really use and abuse, choose an Ontario. Most of their larger field blades fall in the $40-$60 price range, and I've reviewed a couple of those. This time, I chose to review one of their higher end products.
The RTAK (Randall's Training/Adventure Knife) is a large jungle blade built for hacking and slashing. The 1/4" thick carbon steel is durable as all hell, and the "Gun-Kote" molybdenum disulfide finish on the blade wears like nobody's business. The handle is a linen micarta and is rather large. It's a little too large in my book, but my hands aren't big. Those with big, meaty paws will LOVE this blade. I gave it to my brother-in-law after reviewing it, and this blade fits his larger hands like a glove (he's about 6'2" as compared to me at 5'7").
I have only 2 "issues" with this blade. First, the sheath is a bit on the tacky/flimsy side. There's a rather thin plastic liner under the nylon exterior. This has started to slide out a couple times, and it didn't fill me with confidence. It's thin, clear plastic, not thick black kydex as I'd hoped. The sheath sports a pocket on the outside that is actually of a pretty good size for carrying a multi-tool or small survival kit. That's a nice touch in my book. By the way, that sheath doesn't come cord-wrapped... I did that on my own.
My second issue is with the huge and obvious logo across the blade. It's laser etched into the steel providing a nice place for rust to set in. Rust there would almost be welcome, as the logo is quite bright and shiny as opposed to the subdued finish on the rest of the blade. The RTAK isn't the only blade to commit this "sin". The Kershaw Outcast is another blade that sees fit to advertise itself with a blade billboard.
These are definitely not reasons to avoid this blade. The logo is easily subdued with a Q-tip and some spray paint, and the sheath is okay for camping and hiking use. If I wanted to haul this into battle, I'd probably re-sheath it.
In summation, this is an outstanding blade, and a very formidable chopper. It's easily worth the $80-$100 asking price, but you'll probably want to subdue the logo and maybe even re-sheath it. I wish Ontario would offer better sheaths. It's one of the few problems I've seen with their line of blades.
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