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1095 vs. Sr77 or Sr101

Discussion in 'ESEE KNIVES' started by SOUTHSTAR, Jul 29, 2009.



    Jul 1, 2009
    I have been doing a ton of research on a lot of diffirent knives and a lot of diffirent steels. I'm speaking on rough use knives here not closet queens.
    I eventually narrowed down the knives worth a damn and RAT falls into this category. Along with Busse kin knives , maybe ranger , Becker and a few others.

    My main thing is I have seen the distruction tests on knifetest.com and although this doesent show practical uses other than batoning , chopping I think it shows the quality of the steel and the heat treat. Some 1095 do better than others and I am convinced that there is a diffirence.

    There is no denying sr77 but I think that propery treated 1095 can perform almost to the same level. What do you guys think. Is it really worth the extra money for sr steels?

    Especially with Increadable warranties like the ones being offered by RAT.
  2. drew1095hc


    Jun 27, 2009
    of coarse i may be bias but i think 1095 is the best steal for a users knife....i don't beleave it is worth the extra money for "super steels" when 1095 is perfectly suited for hard use....Drew
  3. D-Ranger


    Oct 26, 2008
    1095 high carbon is a good, solid, well proven (and therefore often used and relatively inexpensive) tool steel. The proprietary heat treat that Rowen Mfg graces the RC's with functions to further enhance the steel properties that are considered to be crucial for the use that these blades are intended for. Together with the R.A.T. warranty this makes for an unbeatable combination for many.
    In the end it all depends on personal preference, depth of pockets and your own intended use. But still...if you looking for outstanding quality for an honest pricing (and US workmanship not to mention the warranty), go with R.A.T.!!

    Hope this helps..


  4. Grump


    Oct 20, 2008
    I know nothing about steel but I will offer a 2ยข opinion. While the RAT warranty is exceptional, it won't do a darn bit of good if the knife fails in the field, particularly in a survival situation. If one feels that the knife's limits could be exceeded, it might be prudent to look at different steel or a more suitable tool for the task(s) at hand.


    Jul 1, 2009
    Well that is a good point. But out off all the knives out there busse kin and RAT cutlery are the only 2 I have not heard of having failures under normal use conditions. Every knife on knife test breaks eventually but how much it can take shows it's quality.

    For example I like Becker but they didn't fair so well in the knifetest trials. I have heard several accounts of them breaking battoning or chopping. My theory is that those were flukes because there are a lot out there that haven't failed . But that then falls into quality control.

    I'm curious, Has anyone heard of a RAT cutlery knife failing under normal use conditions?

  6. lukacsmihaly


    May 1, 2009
    SOUTHSTAR, if you got the bucks to spend, go for it! Sr77 and Sr101 are high quality steels. IMO, though, a tool so basic and so ancient like a knife shouldn't be that expensive. 1095 is about the best you'll get for that money, it's tough and has great edge retention. Just my opinion.
  7. texastonydobbs


    May 25, 2007
    I own every RAT Cutlery model and have Baton with each model and everyday camp chores w/o fail....
    I had a Ka-bar BK2 and Baton same wood and had the edge roll,and a small chip in the edge being 1095 it was easily removed with a stone but I was in awe of the edge of the BK2 vs. the RC4 & RC6 . it is all in the heat treatment of the 1095.
    The Scrapyards are my Favorite over the Swamp rats..... I love my Dogfather & Dumpster mutt
  8. rmc85


    Nov 27, 2008
    Scrap Yard and Swamp Rat isnt that much more (If any). I paid $100 for my Scrapper 5 I just got when they came out.
  9. Joezilla

    Joezilla Moderator Moderator

    Jul 22, 2005
    1095 has been around forever and is STILL preferred world over!
  10. t-k-c

    t-k-c Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 14, 2009
    I have a friend who just put an RC-4 through a vigorous workout. He is very knowledgeable about knives & a very credible person. He was batoning a piece of White Oak for part of the workout. He said that he was hitting the knife as hard as possible and really expected to see some edge rolling when the batoning was completed but there was NONE. This was his first experience with a RAT knife & the knife came through the workout with flying colors.

    Keep in mind that RAT Cutlery knives are made as hard use knives & police officers, survivalists & military personal stake their lives on them every day.

    As has been mentioned... the heat treat is the key and Rowen Mfg. obviously has it figured out.
  11. GRIM 62

    GRIM 62

    Mar 29, 2009
    You should also consider that the owners of RAT Cutlery test each model,in some pretty harsh envirements,for extended periods,before being put into production.
  12. SuicideFO


    Dec 26, 2008
    100% agree. 1095 and O1 are some of the oldest out there but I prefer them over the high priced steels...just me. I think they are a good mix of edge holding ability and ease os sharpening.

    Rowens got it down. Heat treat is where the magic is. I maybe wrong but would 5160 be a better comparision with the SR steels.
  13. leatherman

    leatherman leathermoderator Moderator

    Nov 30, 2001
    I've used and abused all three steels. You wont notice a difference under normal use.

    Dont judge a knives performance on those knife tests, the only thing they prove is that a person can destroy a perfectly good knife.

    All three warranties are flawless.

    Swamp Rat and RC knives have Micarta or G10 handles, Scrap Yard uses Res C.

    Rowan's 1095, SR101, and SR77 are all great steels treated by great knife makers, none will fail you in the field, and if by some accident they do, your covered. They stand behind their work.

    Becker is right up there in quality, I've put my Machaxe through the ringer and its asked for more.

    Busse Combat is in a whole different realm. They used to make basic tools. Nowadays its the same steel but more towards collectors with a side note of some still use them. INFI is an amazing steel, Jerry's designs are like none other. I just feel the need to go back to basic tools that perform phenomenally, I dont care if its pretty.
  14. DallasSTB

    DallasSTB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2009
    I continue to be amazed at the edge retention, the lack of deformity, and the ease of sharpening of RAT Cutlery's 1095. I have alot of stainless knives around the house, and have generally been pleased with the stuff from decent manufacturers, but none of them are like Rowen's 1095. It's really excellent stuff. From the general opinions around here, SR77 & SR101 seem to be the same.

    Bottom line, I think all three of these will suit your "hard use" needs. The decision will come down to what fits your hand and wallet better.
  15. silverbullets

    silverbullets Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    I collect all 3 along with Rangers and Bark Rivers and all have great warrenties. As for the busse group, the Swamp Rats are my favorite, mainly because of the steel. S7 is extremely tough but I find it's edge holding ability to be sub par. They are, however very reasonably priced as are the RAT blades and Ranger blades. The Bark River side of it, I also love Mike's A2, and they are by far the sharpest of the bunch but the convex thing is not for everyone and I find it tends to require more maintenance than the standard V bevel.
  16. lukacsmihaly


    May 1, 2009
    I'll second that! I have a few convex edge knives in D2 mostly and they DO require some extra maintenance, stropping after pretty much every hard use, etc. However convex grind has it's beauty once you get used to it. :)
  17. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    SR101= 52100, SR77= s7 shock steel, both with specialized in house heat treating protocols. The SR101 is in all ways superior to 1095, but if both have an exceptional heat treat and no flaws in the steel then they're pretty hard to tell apart. The SR77 should be a good deal more flexible and resistant to shock damage but won't hold an edge as long as the other two due to the low wear resistance.
  18. TheGame


    Sep 24, 2008
    My favorite steel is 1095, but I guess that is because I love all of the RAT knives for what they can do. I do not see the need to purchase anything more than RATs, to be honest. (Not saying I don't, just saying to me, there really isn't a need to)
  19. silverbullets

    silverbullets Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    speaking of different steels, how many of you would like to see Jeff and Mike come out with one of these :thumbup: :D :D
    would look mighty handsome with a RAT Cutlery engraved micarta handle
  20. SuicideFO


    Dec 26, 2008
    Indeed SB... a 30" RAT-tail short sword:D

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