One of the last reveals from Ontario in its new for 2023 product blitz was also one of its most exciting. The company is bringing out the RAT 1, their flagship EDC folder, in an upgraded version this year. New color, new handle material, and a new steel help make the RAT 1 feel fresh again.
The RAT 1 is one of the canonical budget knives, a folder that, even many years after its original release, still draws in plaudits and gets recommended as a go-to affordable, quality pocket knife. “No Nonsense” is a term that we throw around a lot when describing knives, but if it’s applicable anywhere it’s applicable here: the RAT 1’s roomy handle, robust liner lock, and eye-catching drop point blade all came together in a package that didn’t break the bank, and could reasonably serve you for the rest of your life (y’know, if the knife buying bug never bit you again). Over the years the RAT 1 and its little brother, the RAT 2, have seen all sorts of different colors, two different steels, and even a souped up G-10/carbon fiber model.
The red RAT-1 continues along these lines. but takes things to the next level. The red scales are made from G-10 instead of the standard issue Nylon. That’s a nice little upgrade on its own, but the real headliner here is the steel. Instead of D2 or AUS-8, the red RAT 1 comes with S35VN blade steel, a swap that unquestionably boosts its performance across the board.
Does the presence of a super steel see the price spike? Well, yes, a bit. The RAT 1 has an MSRP of $135.99 and looks like it will actually sell for around $100. There’s not an official release date at this point, but Ontario said the wait will not be long. And no, at this time they have not revealed any plans to give the RAT 2 a similar treatment; but given the amount of variations that are same between the knife siblings, we’d say there’s a good chance we might see a red RAT 2 someday.
Knife in Featured Image: Ontario Knife Company red RAT 1 [Image credit: BladeHQ]
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