Nice R9 I like them a lot too. Kinda reminds me of a FBM when I hold it, even though it looks way different.
Thanks Azwelke, I am hoping to beat on it this weekend so I can present an indepth review.
Awesome blade man. I'm looking forward to your review. How's the factory edge on it? Does it fit your hand good?
First of all, this is a BIG knife with a great tip. I have medium sized hands and find the multiple grip options very secure. I have held it indoors and swung it around a bit, trying to get a sense of how it feels in hand.
The grip is the part of the knife most people want to know about. The choil is one of the best I have experienced. Your finger is not getting cut on the blade when choked up and your hand will not slide past that metal piece in the normal grip. It feels like the designer wanted to go for a super secure grip when thrusting into things like a fighter. The reverse grip feels just as secure. Choked up for delicate tasks or gripping all the way back for extra chopping momentum, your hand is comfortably locked on there.
The only thing I would change or modify is the width of the area in the center of the grip. My hand is usually closed a little tighter on my other knives. Keep in mind this knife is made for chopping for which I do not use a white knuckle grip anyway so no deal breaker there for me. I find if I hold the tool a little looser, I prevent blisters on my hand which is a good thing. I love the center notch. It is why this knife feels so secure in hand. It looks unconventional but it actually does work. YMMV.
The Rodent 9 feels heavy enough to be able to blast though some hard wood. It weighs in a little over 22 oz, so not too much weight on my pack. I have always prefered convex edges and fortunately this one came with a terrific one. It is almost a full flat grind. The last 1/4 inch or so is thicker so it is technically a sabre grind. I should get the added strength of the extra steel on the spine and still retain 90% of the cutting performance of the flat ground part. A very nice compromise, especially when processing wood. I say should because it has been raining alot in Florida lately and I havent been able to actually chop with it. The next part of the review will have the results of my actual chopping tests and report how comfortable or uncomfortable the handle was during chopping and batoning. I already know it cuts paper like nobody's bussiness. lol. Please stop raining.
The results are in. For those of you wondering about how the Rodent 9 felt in my hand during my chopping test, here we go. I will post a link to the video so you can see the short test.
I will begin by stating for the record that I am not a soldier or lumberjack, I am just an ordinary guy who could benefit from some excercise. if you know what I mean. I am not a knife expert. I just wanted to share my experience with people who are into knives as much as I am.
I did not use gloves for the chopping or battoning. Good news first. The handle felt great. I did not get any hot spots or feel any vibrations while chopping or battoning. The knife never felt as though it where going to go flying out of my hand at any point. Great news for those who questioned the handle.
However, I was dissapointed in my ability to chop with the Rodent 9. When I struck the pine straight on, it bounced off it a few times and never bit in deep. My machetes have bit deeper in this same wood with no deforming of the blade. (The R9 was still shaving sharp after test, no deforming either) I did expect the Rodent 9 to bite really deep because of the convex edge and forward balance.
When I struck the wood on an angle, then the R9 did bite in nicely. It also sank right in when I dropped it like a lawn dart to stick in the wood for a nice picture. I knew it would excell at piercing and todays limited test confirmed that for me. So lets ask and answer some basic questions about this limited experience.
Is the Rodent 9 my grail of ultimate choppers?, no.
Does it have a comfortable handle? Absolutely!
Do I think it will break during battoning or prying? Highly unlikely.
Will it hold a working edge after heavy use? Come on, it's SR101, of course it will.
Please do not take my opinions as a condemnation of this knife or the craftsman that built it. I am not in the physical kind of shape to ever realize this knife's full potential. I will tire out long before the edge gets dull. I also do not have much experience using a knife this way. I usually use a saw to make small logs and then batton them into smaller pieces. I am certain someone in better physical shape would have different results. I am just reporting my experience. The machetes I mentioned earlier are the only tools that are in the same size category, that I could compare the R9 to. Let's not forget the R9 is a Heavy Duty Knife that will stand up to way harder use than any machete I have ever owned. Although the Rodent 9 did not WOW me personally, I still think it is a well made tool. YMMV
P.S. Maybe someone with more experience with big knives can answer why it bit deep on an angle than it did straight on. That suprised me. Also, if someone had a different experience please share it with the community. I am curious how it performs for other people.
Any knife will bite better at an angle due to the properties of wood.
I don't have a Rodent 9, so I can't add anything on this particular knife. I can say that in order to maximize many of the swamp rat knives full potential, the stock edge often needs to be altered. I usually grind the secondary bevel to a lower angle, and this does increase performance. Sometimes I remove the coating, and sometimes I even grind the primary bevel thinner. I understand why they grind them the way they do as while steel can be removed, it cannot be added. This is my experience, and as always, YMMV.
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I did just sharpen my R9 on my worksharp as it was dull.May have chopped good but it would not slice paper.The worksharp put a really nice convex edge on it.I sharpened it just sharp enough to shave,didn't want to go super sharp with it.
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