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Okapi Ratchet Knife! :)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Mitch Taldison, May 16, 2019.

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  1. Mitch Taldison

    Mitch Taldison

    78
    Jan 26, 2019
    Guys, now that CAS Iberia no longer carries the famous Okapi ratchet knife, I emailed Okapi customer service to see about U.S. importers. They directed me to Post Oak Knives out of Elgin, Texas, and I went to their site and ordered two ratchet knives. Here’s one!

    [​IMG]

    Neat knives!! The ratchet mechanism is really fun to do. Cost less than $15 each. These are an everyday work and “street” knife in many parts of the world, from South Africa to Jamaica to Syria, Okapi ratchet knives can be found being used by everyone as diverse as farmers and day laborers to criminals!!

    The overall quality is a bit crude but entirely durable and useable. My only complaint is the edge came quite dull and I really had to work on it with some diamond rods and ceramics, but is not nicely sharp. The factory doesn’t spend much time putting an edge on, which keeps the cost down. Lock up on both examples is very good and they are very lightweight. Fit and finish as mentioned are on the rough side, but these are designed as unpretentious working knives mainly for the blue-collar types.

    In my conversations with Okapi via email I found their customer service to be very good and friendly. One rep mentioned they make 3000 of these knives a day. Seems like a good company. In all, I really like these knives! They have a certain charm to them, that’s for sure! Certainly not a modern tac folder but for a tackle box or beater blade not a bad buy, and would work nicely as an EDC blade once you put a good edge on it and learn its peculiarities.

    Anyway just thought I’d share guys! Post Oak (I have no relationship with them BTW) shipped my knives to my front door in 3 days from the morning I ordered them, and the price was very fair. These can be had on eBay for the same or more money and usually come out of South Africa so the shipping times are long.

    Thanks for reading and pick up an Okapi ratchet knife if you’re wanting something inexpensive but interesting! Take care all!

    -Panzer :)
     
    Frontiersteve and willc like this.
  2. WilliamTK1974

    WilliamTK1974

    2
    Jun 1, 2019
    Thank you for posting about this. I have been searching for one of these knives for a few weeks now, but haven't made the purchase because it seems like so many of them are fakes. I did send a message to CAS Iberia this afternoon about whether or not they carried the 907 ratchet knife, but didn't expect to hear from them before Monday. As an interesting aside, CAS Iberia is HQ'd not too far from my home, and I had one of my first "real job" interviews there just prior to graduating college.

    Has anyone posted a recent fake v. real Okapi thread in the last year or so?
     
    Mitch Taldison likes this.
  3. Mitch Taldison

    Mitch Taldison

    78
    Jan 26, 2019
    Not sure, but per the actual Okapi factory in S. Africa, but Post Oak is the only current importer of real Okapi ratchet knives in the U.S.
     
  4. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    You could also have a look at the pre-1988 vintage models that were still made in Germany.
    I just finished hand regrinding the blade on this one on 240 & 400 grit wet & dry + WD40 oil to a shallow convex with a tiny microbevel @ +/- 30 degrees inclusive, so it not only cuts in another league when compared to a factory edged one, but can also be kept sharp fast & easy on a Sharpmaker or comparable.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    I recently got a non-ratcheting carbon blade Opaki. IMHO, one of the worse knives I've ever seen. The edge was about 1.5 mm wide (like a butter knife which is probably sharper). The point was non-existent - it was wider/blunter than some of my small flathead screwdrivers. The kick was useless as the front part of the blade hits the wood on closing. The chrome on the back spring was peeling off. It's now in my junk knives box, not worth my time or effort to try to sharpen.
    Rich
     
    Mitch Taldison likes this.
  6. Mitch Taldison

    Mitch Taldison

    78
    Jan 26, 2019
    I agree. I’ve since gotten rid of my Okapi knives. I get it, they come blunt to make them cheap, but when they retail for $15 in the US where you can get an Opinel, Mora, etc. for the same or less money but come razor sharp, it just doesn’t make sense. The overall quality was nonexistent. I understand these are mainly produced for South African and Middle Eastern street hoodlums who want a shiny blingy object to intimidate rival gang members. These are considered a low-end street knife in South Africa.

    Overall, they’re junk and only worth about $5 if you ask me. I’m over them.
     
    Rich S likes this.
  7. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Is Cold Steel still selling them ?
    I almost pulled the trigger, no pun intended, but in the end just couldn't get past the sheet metal cape that would trap all manner of unmentionables. It is a cool knife and I tend to prefer handles like this long and not too wide; think Case Trapper or Buck 121. The blade is in the ball park to be a favorite for me think Brad Zinker Urban Trapper.
    Looks like I'm going to learn some stuff from this thread.
    Thanks for starting it.
     
  8. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    . . . well keep at it . . . you'll get it;) :p :D
     
  9. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I know . . . this may seem like I'm being a butt
    but
    People have "enlightened" me here when I type something that might be a little questionable .
    Perhaps a more accurate way to express your angle info would be : @ 30 degrees +/- 1 or 2 degrees.
    Your example says : " I sharpened it but it might be off 30° in one or both directions ". :) :D
    Or perhaps you might mean approximately 30° so then : " ~ 30° "

    By the way, at least on my MAC key board, one can get the degree
    symbol " ° " by holding down SHIFT and OPTION keys then typing the " * " that is above the " 8 " key.
     
    kwackster likes this.
  10. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    You people just sound like spoiled Americans. When I was in South Africa these were the everyday work knives of virtually everyone including the professional skiiners employed by the PH's. At that time they cost around $1.50 for the locking version and $1.00 for the non-locking. Most skinners bought the non-locking to save money. But they know how to sharpen a knife and the factory edge didn't bother them at all.
     
  11. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Or maybe us spoiled Americans are just use to getting/having well made knives. Not having to do complete reworks of a knife that should have been done at the factory. End of my rant about Opaki.
    Rich
     
    Mitch Taldison and palonej like this.
  12. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    Why should they do work on a knife that will raise the price higher than the local market in Africa will bear? I know they sell them there but how big do you think the market for Buck, Spyderco, Gerber, Benchmade etc is in that part of the world? The normal alternative to Okapi is something made in China.
     
  13. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Which would and are much better made.
    Rich
     
    Mitch Taldison likes this.
  14. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    And totally kill local jobs in South Africa. Something that is happening to all their local manufacturing from textiles to cast iron cooking pots. I'm actually not sure China can produce a better quality knife for a $1.00 than Okapi can. I bought a Chinese copy of an Okapi in Costa Rica (non-locking) a while back and it was about the same level of workmanship people here are objecting too.
     
  15. kamagong

    kamagong

    Jan 13, 2001

    Lol...talk about a complete 180.
     
  16. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Happens here all the time.
    New knife love vs. having used it for a while.
     
    jbmonkey and Mitch Taldison like this.
  17. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    The OP has requested that the thread be closed.
     
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