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#100142 - 07/18/07 09:42 PM Broken Rat 7
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Here's a guy that broke a RAT-7 as posted on BF


Hi all I have had a rat-7 fail me while I was battoning through some seasoned mulberry. This is a pretty tough wood the round I was battoning through was about 3.5" and about a foot long. I got the knife I week before last Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving night is when the knife had a 3" piece break out of the knife and stayed in the round. I sat there with a shocked look on my face and then went into my 5th Wheel camper and told my wife and that I just broke my new knife get your camera and take some pics. Later that knight we drove into town and I e-mailed Mike perin and Rat knives. Now this is Thanksgiving week end so I did not think I would here any thing back until at least the nest week. The next day Mike called me and we talked about it and what happened Mike said he would get a new knife out to me. Mike told me that D-2 is a bit more brittle and say the 1095 modle that they have to. I asked Mike if he would send out a new knife in 1095 steel instead of a new D-2 steel. Mike said he would but that I would loose money on it because the D-2 cost more I said thats ok. So to wrap up here I am glad I was not in a real sitution. I did get the new Rat & in 1095 steel and I went out and battoned with this one and had know problems. I own a few rats and believe this was just a one in a millon mishap. The morale of this story is carry more than one blade. Which I do anyway. Here are the pics.

Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

#100148 - 07/19/07 12:15 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: falcon5000]
AROTC Offline

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Wow. Good service though.

I'll probably think twice about batoning now, especially since my new outdoors knife is an unlaminated mora so its also a bit more on the brittle side. Yet another point in favor of carrying a light axe. I know, I know lots of people have had no problems of any sort batoning with their knives, but why risk it if you don't absolutely have to? Yours might end up being that one-in-a-million that fails catastrophicly.
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens

#100150 - 07/19/07 12:23 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: falcon5000]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852

see my "ax saves fork" post..
i had never heard of "battoning" untill i saw it on this site
and i assume it's from one of the TV survival programs..
as a last ditch way to get dry wood i can see it but is not
what a knife is made for..it's good to see that the maker
stood behind his product..

#100161 - 07/19/07 01:45 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
When I bought my first Rat I had a choice between 1095 and D2. After thinking it over I figured the harder D2 would be too brittle in a large knife, while 1095 has been used in large knives and machetes for years with no problems. I guess I was right. blush

#100166 - 07/19/07 02:33 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: falcon5000]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
This is why I don't baton. I'll wittle down to the dry wood rather than risk this. I've said it was a bad practice ever since I learned of it, and it sucks to have a knife this nice killed proving it.

I think he's also a member here; he's been innactive for a couple of months.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#100170 - 07/19/07 02:56 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: ironraven]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Please note the wood is SEASONED MULBERRY. I don't know about you, but seasoned wood of that hardness and size is the FINAL addition to my fire. I can also state axes are just as prone to catastrophic failure with the wrong set of conditions. The idea of knife batoning is an expedient method when axe carry is not possible. As an expediency, it takes a little thought to do a tougher job safely for both tool and user. No knife; Swamp Rat, Mora and everything else in between is immune.

#100172 - 07/19/07 03:41 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: Paul810]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Thank you for sharing this experience. I know which steel to prefer now in my next knife.

Just a side note from my experience.
"Battoning" is also no good for a liner lock folder knifes. The lock spring is prone to crushing at the blade end, no matter how careful you are. So, at some point, the blade will start to play when locked.

Is the Lock Back or Axis Lock locking mechanisms will do any better in such a situation?

#100174 - 07/19/07 04:25 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: Alex]
jmarkantes Offline

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 138
Loc: Portland, OR, USA
Originally Posted By: Alex
Is the Lock Back or Axis Lock locking mechanisms will do any better in such a situation?

Not sure about repeated use, but I've batonned the heck out of my ritter mini folder a couple of times. Still seems super-solid to me. Just sort of testing things, so I really pushed it and split a log that was about 2/3 the length of the blade. Really worked it. No problems so far!


#100178 - 07/19/07 05:07 AM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: jmarkantes]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
WOW, that's an insane break to me. I have the same knife, it's one of my favorites and it sure doesn't seem like something that would break like that. Then again that is some seriously hard wood... (Keep comments to yourself!!)
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

#100185 - 07/19/07 12:58 PM Re: Broken Rat 7 [Re: Todd W]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
This makes sense to me. D2 has a natural tendency toward latticing anyways, and so likely your hard batoning found a lattice point and the clean break occured. This is much the same as how diamonds are cleaved.

This is also why most service swords aren't made out of real hard/inflexible alloy. A certain amount of hardness balanced with tensile strength is what's desired in a bigger blade. You don't need a lot of flexion in small blades like what folders are made out of, typically, so it makes sense that they would be from harder, more rigid material. Tool steel is made for precision, not for manipulation. D2 is a tool steel. This is another reason why mower blades are made pretty soft. If you had a lawnmower with a D2 blade, it would explode on impact with the curb, the sidewalk etc, rather than just burr up the edge some.

I think metallurgically we are at perhaps the limits physically of what can be done with metal. We now have such things as dendritic cobalt blades, crucibled composite blades, differential heat treating, cryogenic hardening, nitrogenation, and every possible alloying formula across the periodic table. Short of hiring a group of elves or dwarves to start putting +1 attack features onto our stuff, it is about as good as it is ever going to get. Besides, I haven't seen any vorpal bunnies or short ugly hairy footed dudes with mithril armor running around lately. I'd say that the next big improvement will be in educating people how to use and maintain the blades they have, which to me means opening the history books and re-educating people about how guys with standard issue carbon steel blades conquered the frontier countless times past. Yeah, maybe they didn't have to stab through car doors or chop through 10p nails and such, but they did carve up an awful lot of wilderness. The best $300 blade out there won't be worth a tinker's darn if you don't know how to use it right. Now that you know how D2 fails, you've learned that sometimes the best uber-metal on the market isn't the best choice, and so we go back to what we know works, having learned an important and somewhat expensive lesson perhaps. Kudos to the Falcon for stepping up and sharing his experiences here with us so we don't have to repeat the lesson ourselves.

It makes you wonder sometimes how not-so-ancient man got by with glass and stone blades. Can you imagine chopping down an oak with a copper headed axe?
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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