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Old 10-15-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Ontario RAT 3 versus ESEE RC 3



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I was wondering if anyone can enlighten me on the Ontario RAT 3 versus
the ESEE RC 3.

I've always liked the looks of the RAT knives, and I know they are highly
respected and recommended on these boards. But now as I start
shopping around, I find myself a bit confused.

The Ontario RAT 3 -- Made by Ontario Knife in collaboration with RAT,
according to the blurb on Knifecenter.com.
http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/st...s=ONRAT31095BL
Micarta grips, 1095 steel. $62

ESEE-RC3 -- Made by EESE Knives (who I thought bought out RAT Cutlery,
but I'm not certain about that.) The RAT Cutlery logo is stamped on the blade.
http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/st...html?s=RC3MILP
Micarta grips, 1095 steel. $113

They sure do look similar. Anyone got any insights on the differences?
Are they both "RAT" knives, or is the Ontario a knock-off?
What am I getting for nearly double the price with the EESE vs. the Ontario?

(The sheaths look real darn similar also.)

Pictured below, the Ontario RAT 3 on the left, and the EESE RC3 on the right.
Attached Thumbnails
Ontario_RAT3.jpg   EESE_RC3.jpg  
Old 10-15-2010, 02:59 PM
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ESEE and Ontario Rats are essentially the same, but when ESEE(original Rat) started to have Rowen to make their knives, performance of the knives went up dramatically.

ESEE can bend their knives to 40 degrees and return to true, 90 degrees before breaking. Ontario knives (after Jeff left the company) doesn't fair so well, Ontario's blades will break at 30+- degrees. A lot of people says bending test is unrealistic in real world environment, but how far a knife bends also reflects how well its edge will hold up to hard use. For example, if you were whittling hard wood and you hit a knot and both knife edges rolled, ESEE's having greater flexibility can be realigned without the edge chipping. So I say the bending test has a lot to do with the real world application. You pay more for ESEE, but you do get more performance, not just the name. I have both ESEE Junglas and Ontario RTAK 2, ESEE outperforms Ontario hands down.

ESEE's that's manufactured by Rowen are marked RC-3, starting in 2007 they marked them ESEE-3.

Ontario before and after Jeff left has always been marked RAT-3.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:14 PM
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A lot of this is vague. But let me give you my take on it. RAT(Randall Adventure &Training) designed the knives. At some point early in the life of the RAT company they commissioned Ontario knife co. to make their knives. This is all fact. For some reason Randall wanted to break the ties with Ontario knife. (I think it's because the knives became wildly popular and Randall found another knife maker that could duplicate quality and sell them for a higher price. But this is purely speculation on my part. If I'm wrong I know someone will set me straight.) Anyway, due to contractual agreements RAT cannot stop Ontario knife from making the models that they are currently turning out. So RAT has changed its' name to ESEE knives in an attempt to distance themselves from the Ontario folks. I own 3 ESEE knives and am astounded by their ruggedness. I have never seen an Ontario version of any of the RAT knives so I cannot speak to the quality of those knives. If they were made to Randall's specs initially, I'll bet they're good knives.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:30 PM
Entrekman Entrekman is offline
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Varmit: What am I getting for nearly double the price with the EESE vs. the Ontario?

Knifeworks.com:
ESEE-3's are $89
Ontario RAT-3's are $74

You're not paying 2X the price, it's about 20% more for ESEE's but the performance of ESEE's is justified.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:18 PM
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The Ontario made RATs are marketed directly at those types of people that either can't afford or can't handle a real knife.

Trust me...there IS a difference between the two.
Or don't trust me & go the cheap route...your choice.

Cliff
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:11 PM
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Aw c'mon Trixie....I was just rattlin' your cage a little bit.

Cliff
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trixie View Post
same knife, 2x the price, its designed specifically for those type of people that are born every minute.
The handle on the 3 is a little bit longer on the (RC) ESEE knives...

I can't talk about the Ontario knife but mine is a good slicer and easy to take to a wicked edge.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:30 AM
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Maybe this will help answer the OP's question.
Or maybe not....who knows???

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=129621

Cliff
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Nieporte View Post
Maybe this will help answer the OP's question.
Or maybe not....who knows???

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=129621

Cliff
Maybe the OP should have used the search function before posting.

All great information. Thanks to everyone for all the responses.
Old 10-16-2010, 09:39 AM
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I have a Ontario RAT-3 that I carry about 50% of the time. Had it for about 3 years. Nice knife, stout little slicer and even split kindling with it now and then. I also HAD a RAT-7.I was splitting some oak and hit a knot, rolled the edge. I tried to bend the roll back with a pair of vice grips and roll broke right out of the blade. So I reprofiled the blade into a RAT-5 and now its my sons first hunting knife. My conclusion is that if you are buying a blade over 3" go with ESEE or even Becker.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:43 PM
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Is there an ESEE version of the RTAK II that I somehow missed? I ask because the RTAK II is on my shopping list, and if there's a better version I'd rather have it...
Old 10-18-2010, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazedrop View Post
Is there an ESEE version of the RTAK II that I somehow missed? I ask because the RTAK II is on my shopping list, and if there's a better version I'd rather have it...
The ESEE Junglas has almost the same dimension as the RTAK II. I have both the Junglas and RTAK II, fit and finish on the Junglas is WAYYY better than the RTAK. The handle of the RTAK feels like 2x4 and gives me a nasty hot spot at the base of my index finger after 10 min of chopping, but I can chop with the Junglas (more ergo grip) all day without any hot spots. Now I use the RTAK as my beater knife. If you go to knifetest.com, you'll see RTAK breaks easily. To break a Junglas, however, requires a 4 foot long pipe to use as leverage and will take a bend of 90 degrees before breaking.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:06 AM
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My understanding is that the fit and finish all around is better now than it was with Ontario. I don't know from experience as I only have an ESEE, but from what i've read here's what i've come up with. Apparently the grinds on the Ontario stuff weren't always spot on. Then there's the ESEE warranty, not sure what Ontario's warranty is like but ESEE's is pretty much no questions asked you break it we fix it.

I would Also like to note that I frequent ESEE's forum on bladeforums and I've never seen Jeff or Mike say anything negative about Ontario.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:22 AM
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Another note about ESEE's warranty, the knife is what's covered, not the owner. So if you buy an ESEE/RAT Cutlery knife (must be marked Rowen) from ebay or if you find one in the gutter, it is fully covered by the warranty. You will never be asked to provide proof of purchase. Very few, if any, other manufacturers offer a warranty like this.

Oh yeah, in my book, Trixie is an idiot.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:20 PM
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ESEE Junglas looks like a good knife, and I am right now contemplating buying one. Is it a good buy and those of you who have one; what tasks do you use it for? I use my Fällkniven F1 and my Victorinox Forester a lot, but sometimes I feel the need for a bigger blade.
Old 10-19-2010, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_NH View Post
Oh yeah, in my book, Trixie is an idiot.
+1
Old 10-19-2010, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indoorsman View Post
ESEE Junglas looks like a good knife, and I am right now contemplating buying one. Is it a good buy and those of you who have one; what tasks do you use it for? I use my Fällkniven F1 and my Victorinox Forester a lot, but sometimes I feel the need for a bigger blade.
It's a great knife. I use mine as a machete a lot, but I have done basically everything you would use a smaller knife for as well. Including batonning, not that I NEEDED too, but it was fun. If you're any fan of knives, once you hold the Junglas, you'll know its quality immediately.

The big thing to me that makes this knife and other ESEE's worth the money is the handle scales. They are so well designed and fit the knife so well that I don't experience hot-spots after extended use. Every other knife I have ever owned left me with blisters at one time or another.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback, guys.

After sorting through all the input and doing a bit more research,
I'm gonna pull the trigger on the ESEE. A little pricy for what I
was looking to spend on a knife, but once I have it in hand, and
the money is gone, I suspect I won't regret it.

(Just didn't like the sound of some of the rumored Q/C issues on the Ontarios.
Uneven grinds and poor finish -- probably still a perfectly good knife despite
the cosmetic flaws, but that sort of stuff just bugs me. Seems like a knife
even in the Ontario price range ($60-ish) should have a reasonbly clean
build. Ka-Bars and Beckers seem to manage ok in that price range.)

Did decide to jump up one size to the RC-4 instead of the RC-3.
Slightly longer blade length, but what sold me was the 3/16" blade
thickness on the RC-4 versus the 1/8" on the RC-3. Just seems
like a 1/8" blade is good for a folder, but a fixed blade should be
a little thicker.

Just wanted the stouter blade in case I can't resist the urge to
do something stupid with the knife. "Idiot-proofing" if you will...
Old 10-22-2010, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmit View Post

Did decide to jump up one size to the RC-4 instead of the RC-3.
Slightly longer blade length, but what sold me was the 3/16" blade
thickness on the RC-4 versus the 1/8" on the RC-3. Just seems
like a 1/8" blade is good for a folder, but a fixed blade should be
a little thicker.

Just wanted the stouter blade in case I can't resist the urge to
do something stupid with the knife. "Idiot-proofing" if you will...
Yeah, a thick blade is really good. My girlfriend has nicked my Becker BK2 and she really abuses the hell out of it. She batons with a hammer (the spine is not in “mint condition” any more), pry things with it and pretty much do things to it that no knife should have to endure. If it breaks I will post pictures, but so far so good. You can also get a really thick blade to become razor sharp, I have done so with my Becker.

I will soon reward myself with a an Esee, probably the Junglas.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:48 PM
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If you guys want a nice thick blade, check out the ESEE 5. 1/4" thick blade.
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