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#300635 - 01/26/22 03:17 PM Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2191
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Now that I'm retired with more time to enjoy hobbies I've been on a bit of a knife focus.

Santa brought me a Becker BK62 Kephart knife (beautiful knife, but a tad too long for my taste - I would have liked it more with a 4.5 inch blade, though I know historically the buying choices were either 4 or 5). This month I finally gave in to a long-time urge to aquire a Becker BK9 (BIG knife!). I also bought a Becker BK40 folder mostly out of curiosity (similar blade size to Doug's full size Mk1, but sadly a much much lower quality knife than the Mk1. Oh, and it uses a liner lock- ugh!). As you can tell, I like Becker's knives.

I've been using my Becker BK16 more lately, and really enjoy the blade size and geometry, but the curve at the end of the handle is a bit irritating for my ogre-sized (XXL) hands. I also admit that I have a bit of an irrational concern that the blade will rust between uses. Still, it is a great knife especially for the price - highly recommended. I actually bought BK16's for my kids this Christmas.

In the end I keep coming back to Doug Ritter's RSK MK3 as my all time favorite fixed blade knife. For me, it's just the right blade length, the blade shape I prefer, semi-stainless steel, and a very comfortable handle. It might be a minor point, but whoever designed the sheath had the brilliant idea to add a little bit extra plastic above the top of the blade liner pocket. This prevents the tip of the blade from catching (digging/cutting) into the gap between the liner and the nylon. Brilliant!!

I have the original MK3, and probably will eventually purchase the new MK3-G2 so I can keep one in my outdoor pack, and use one around the house. Every day is like going camping when you're retired and living in a national forest in the Wisconsin northwoods!! (... even if it was -17 °F when we woke up this morning ... it's worth it)

If you haven't already looked at the MK3, I very highly recommend you take the time to do so. It's only available at https://knifeworks.com/kw-exclusives/

Here is a good YouTube review of the MK3 https://youtu.be/ktb8P6eKBxs . There are a few other reviews if you search.

And if you don't already have a Ritter MK1, it is honestly worth every penny! Besides, a portion of the cost of every Ritter knife goes to support KnifeRights.org which actively protects your right to carry a knife.

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#300648 - 01/27/22 03:33 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: KenK]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7688
Loc: southern Cal
I can well understand why folks are fascinated with knives. I own plenty myself. But frankly, what can any of the knives mentioned in your post accomplish that a $15 Mora Companion cannot do?


Edited by hikermor (01/27/22 03:33 AM)
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#300650 - 01/27/22 03:51 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: KenK]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3688
Loc: USA
Speaking as someone who owns a Companion, the knives KenK mentions, and others:

Doug’s knives stay sharp and useful longer than many other knives. I personally find that Doug’s designs are easier to use than many others I’ve used and owned, at least for my purposes.

There are certainly better blades for some purposes — they’re not machetes or swords — but for the purposes that they’re designed for, I’ve found that they work better and last longer in the field than other knives I’ve owned that are far more expensive.

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#300655 - 01/28/22 03:47 PM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: KenK]
Doug_Ritter Online   happy

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Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2178
Thanks for your compliments and support!
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#300874 - 03/28/22 10:06 PM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: KenK]
paulr Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 495
This knife sounds fantastic. Moras are functional and a great value, but relatively flimsy compared to even a midrange knife (I had a Cold Steel Master Hunter for a while). Plus the Mora's steel (Sandvik something or other iirc) is very corrosion resistant but won't have the toughness or edge retention of the more exotic steels used in higher end knives.

I'm too broke for an MK3 right now, but I ordered an MK5 (Doug's tiny skeletonized neck knife that comes in an Altoids-like tin) last night, just as a nod to this thread. A lot of careful thought goes into these things.

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#300876 - 03/28/22 10:29 PM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
But frankly, what can any of the knives mentioned in your post accomplish that a $15 Mora Companion cannot do?

Not much. Maybe stays sharp a bit longer. Probably looks a bit prettier.

The 80/20 rule definitely applies to knives.


Edited by AKSAR (03/28/22 11:20 PM)
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#300878 - 03/29/22 02:25 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: AKSAR]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3043
Loc: Big Sky Country
Yeah, knives...what do you do! grin I have a lot of Mora knives, which I love. Also, I have at least 100 other fixed blades, some which cost me a few hundred bucks. And since I'm a chef don't get me started on kitchen knives...the "crown jewel" of my work knives as a gyuto that cost me $900! shocked blush

A Mora is great but I'd hate to have nothing else. They're handy but not incredibly robust compared to something like an ESEE-6 or RAT-7. Mora makes very few truly large knives, and IMO large knives have a place in my kit. Mora makes nothing that's equivalent to my JK Camp Knife, Ontario RAT-7 or Terävä Skrama 240. I'm also a bit of a steel nerd and the pedestrian stainless of a Mora Companion pales next to SG2, R2, Maxamet, HAP40, etc.

Could I do everything with a Mora? Probably, after a fashion. But knives are also a hobby, something I love, and sometimes a knife is an objet d'art in it's own right. There are lots of reasons for a purchase, some being practical some just personal. grin
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#300880 - 03/29/22 03:11 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: Phaedrus]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
Could I do everything with a Mora? Probably, after a fashion. But knives are also a hobby, something I love, and sometimes a knife is an objet d'art in it's own right. There are lots of reasons for a purchase, some being practical some just personal. grin
No argument with that. If you like high end knives and your budget allows, by all means buy the best.

But this is a "Survival Forum" after all. I have a really hard time thinking of a survival situation where you would die if all you had was a Mora, but you would live if you had RSK MK3?

As I pointed out above, in my opinion knives definitely fit the 80/20 rule. Once you get beyond the obvious five and dime junk, the first 20% of $$$ gets you 80% of the value. Beyond that, you are paying more and more, for increasingly smaller increments of functionality. A classic case of diminishing returns.

Of course one can always find specific situations where the added expense for tiny increments of functionality might be worthwhile. A mechanic who works on engines all day everyday might find it worthwhile to pay a premium for Snap-on tools. But I only need a wrench now and then, and I can get by quite well with Craftsman tools. Likewise for a chef, who uses a knife for many hours each day, day in and day out, paying $900 for the perfect kitchen knife might be worthwhile. For me in my home kitchen, not so much. Another example would be binoculars. There is some total junk out there. Once you get beyond that you can buy a decent set of binos for $100-$300. I like watching wildlife, and my $300 Nikon binos are quite adequate for my needs. But a good friend of mine is an avid, serious, hard core birder. For him the small incremental increase in optical quality of a $2500 pair of Swarovski binoculars is money well spent.

80/20 rules!




Edited by AKSAR (03/29/22 06:46 AM)
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#300881 - 03/29/22 07:05 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: AKSAR]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3043
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
Could I do everything with a Mora? Probably, after a fashion. But knives are also a hobby, something I love, and sometimes a knife is an objet d'art in it's own right. There are lots of reasons for a purchase, some being practical some just personal. grin
No argument with that. If you like high end knives and your budget allows, by all means buy the best.

But this is a "Survival Forum" after all. I have a really hard time thinking of a survival situation where you would die if all you had was a Mora, but you would live if you had RSK MK3?


Probably not. If we're being honest, how many situations would you die if you didn't have a knife but live if you did? Maybe cutting a seat belt, or a rope if you were being drug down. Short of that people "survived" for 250,000 years before metal was used, and probably we didn't have stone tools that whole time. I love knives and find them very useful, but maybe they're the single more overrated "survival" item in the kit.

But if establish that a knife is necessary, or even fairly useful, we could also ask if a Mora is the knife you'd choose if it had to last the rest of your life. Because in a survival situation it might!



Originally Posted By: AKSAR
As I pointed out above, in my opinion knives definitely fit the 80/20 rule. Once you get beyond the obvious five and dime junk, the first 20% of $$$ gets you 80% of the value. Beyond that, you are paying more and more, for increasingly smaller increments of functionality. A classic case of diminishing returns.

Of course one can always find specific situations where the added expense for tiny increments of functionality might be worthwhile. A mechanic who works on engines all day everyday might find it worthwhile to pay a premium for Snap-on tools. But I only need a wrench now and then, and I can get by quite well with Craftsman tools. Likewise for a chef, who uses a knife for many hours each day, day in and day out, paying $900 for the perfect kitchen knife might be worthwhile. For me in my home kitchen, not so much. Another example would be binoculars. There is some total junk out there. Once you get beyond that you can buy a decent set of binos for $100-$300. I like watching wildlife, and my $300 Nikon binos are quite adequate for my needs. But a good friend of mine is an avid, serious, hard core birder. For him the small incremental increase in optical quality of a $2500 pair of Swarovski binoculars is money well spent.

80/20 rules!




I can't really disagree with anything you've said. Still, I've never done a job and once finished said, "I wish I'd have had a crappier tool!" grin I'm not a great carpenter nor mechanic, but I dad was great at both. So I know basic stuff and can appreciate good tools. But my toolbox for around the house would probably make my dad shake his head. blush The truth is that I don't do enough carpentry or mechanic jobs to make it worth the money to buy Snap-On tools that would get used every two years. I have a good screwdriver (and need a couple good pliers!) but most of my stuff is just enough to get the job done. None of those jobs are really important.

Survival is pretty important though! I don't scrimp on anything in my PSKs. My gear might not be the best that exists but it's the best I can afford. If it fails it might be the last time I ever need it. A good knife makes jobs easier and gives a margin of safety with durability. I'm not talking Doug's RSK, just knives in general.

The only down side to quality gear is that it's not usually cheap. If you're spending the rent money on survival knife you can't afford and won't need that's bad. But assuming your not bouncing checks and can afford it, I don't see the downside to having a better blade. grin cool
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#300884 - 03/30/22 04:05 AM Re: Doug Ritter RSK MK3 Fixed Blade Knife [Re: Phaedrus]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
I love knives and find them very useful, but maybe they're the single more overrated "survival" item in the kit.
What? Radical! Heretic! Burn you at the stake! LOL smile
Phaedrus, I'm starting to like you a lot!

Seriously, we all agree that a knife is a useful and important tool. And I think I made clear that don't really care if people buy the most expensive knife in the shop, provided their budget allows it. But I do get mildly amused/annoyed when folks start implying that one should buy a $150+ knife, when a Mora will serve quite adequately. (Which is probably why I'm wasting time on this thread, rather than getting ready for an upcoming trip.)

Personally, I seldom carry a fixed blade at all anymore. I do a fair bit of mucking around wild country in Alaska and other parts of the west, both winter and summer. Most of the time I only have a plain vanilla Swiss Army Knife in my pocket. (And usually a small Gerber LST in the junk bag in the bottom of my pack.) About the only time anymore that I routinely carry a fixed blade is when I'm sea kayaking, where I have a fixed blade river knife on my PFD.

While I'm on a rant, I think people get a bit too hung up on locking mechanisms for folders. I've been carrying a pocket knife since I was about five, and I'm now well into my seventh decade. I have yet to injure myself by accidently closing a blade on my fingers. Used properly, a folding knife shouldn't require a locking mechanism. Nice, but hardly essential.

And I can only recall breaking a knife blade one time. I once broke the tip off of a nice little Kershaw knife. frown But I was clearly abusing the blade, trying to use it as a small pry bar.

Bottom line? Buy at least a decent quality blade. If you want, and can afford it by all means buy a more expensive blade. Either because you think it works better for you, or you just like the nicer knife. But people shouldn't get hung up thinking they will die if they don't have $150 knife in their kit.

/rant smile


Edited by AKSAR (03/30/22 04:07 AM)
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