REKAT Pioneer review (attn. Bill McWilliams)

Oct 2, 1998
Marlboro men, have I found the knife for you. My new REKAT Pioneer (drop-point) is the strongest folding knife I’ve ever seen. Period. All of the cliches that are usually associated with something strong (built like a Mack truck, chiseled out of a solid piece of granite, etc…) don’t do the Pioneer justice. To say this thing is overbuilt would be a tremendous understatement. Everything from the scales to the blade right down to the pocket clip is built much stronger than I’ll ever need. The REKAT website says that it is built to last several lifetimes. I have no doubt that this is true.

I received my new REKAT Pioneer a few days ago. When I first opened the box I said, my first impressions were, “Huh… hmmm… uhhh… gee… well…” I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of it.

Let me give you some background that’ll help you understand where I’m coming from when I evaluated the Pioneer:

In the six months that I’ve been collecting knives, I’ve leaned towards quality small folders. Since buying my first S&W S.W.A.T., I’ve bought a BM mini-AFCK, small BM Ascent, Chris Reeve small Sebenza, BM 3500 Pardue auto, and a BM 875 Sentinel. My daily carry is the Sebenza, along with a Micra for smaller chores. So, for the most part, they all have smooth actions and are very nicely finished. With the exception of the Ascent (Zytel) and AFCK (G-10), I tend to go easy on my knives. This is one sucker that I won’t baby. I wouldn’t hesitate to throw it in my pocket with my keys, Micra, or coins. If I drop it on the concrete, I think the concrete will be the loser. Scuffs and scars really will be “character” marks on this baby.

Having said that, here are some nitpicks:

The Pioneer is pretty crudely finished. The G-10 scales, steel liners, and ATS-34 blade all show tooling marks.

The thumb stud itself needs to be ambidextrous (when are makers gonna learn this???) and could use some type of checkering. Between the smooth stud and the fact that it’s not centered in the finger groove, it’s not as easy to open as it should be.

Also, a knife intended for such hard use really should come with a grippy thumb ramp. This one doesn’t have one.

I was initially disappointed in the blade sharpness (of course, comparing anything to my ‘benza is gonna be disappointing.) After using it though, it did a good job going through fairly thick stacks of copy paper (who needs a shredder?
) It also handled cardboard with ease. I suspect that its best use will be with those chores that absolutely abuse other blades. I haven't had time to get around to any abuse - yet. It also appears to be a good pryer, for those of you so inclined.

It’s gonna take a while to get used to the lock. A small pivoting unlocking bar juts out of the top (pivot) end, between the scale and liner. To close the blade you push the unlocking bar forward with your thumb and use your forefinger to close the blade. When the blade is open, the stud is slightly in the way. The lock spring is heavy, and the small bar does a pretty good number on your thumb after a few hundred open/close
cycles. I think that using some sort of thumb mechanism, travelling along a groove in the scale itself (maybe something like the new ‘Cuda opening disk) would be a better way to go. Regardless, I doubt that the lock is going to break, even under unusually difficult circumstances.


With all of its faults, I’m still enamored with this knife. I can’t seem to put it down – it’s hard to explain. I think it has something to do with the ruggedness. This knife has completely changed what I thought I knew about knife strength. I also applaud REKET. They seem to be creating their own niche instead of trying to copy the big boys. So far, they seem to be doing a great job with this philosophy. I’ll give the Pioneer some time and a few good workouts and let y’all know how it’s doing later.

Here’s the Pioneer page at REKAT’s website:

Hope this helps.


[This message has been edited by Senator (edited 04 December 1998).]
The "hummmm...uhh...gee...well" will pass quickly. You hit the nail on the head when you said you would have no reservatiions to actually USE the knife. To me, that's part of its beauty.

The toolmarks are indeed there and noticible. However, all the angles are thoughtfully cut to enhance grip.

The pressure of that unlocking lever will ease up over time, but you are headed for a case of "REKAT Thumb" during the process.
Check with Bob or Christina at REKAT as they have checkered-surfaced thumb studs.

I have used one of my Pioneers in the rain, in mud, in sand, with a glove, for prying, for carpentry, cutting rope, copper wire, wet wood, dry wood, cleaning the horses hooves, as a can opener...just about everything.

I put a 20 degree edge on it right out of the box. The damn thing was so hard that I had to go purchase two expensive diamond stones for my Lansky just to get a "proud of" edge. But that edge has held up to all the above use/abuse and is still extremely sharp.

This knife sits on top of my computer desk/office and is there to be grabbed when something needs to be cut. It has spared alot of my other knives use/abuse.

I can relate to that "feel" you describe and agree that these knives are hard to put down.
You will get both used to and proficient with the locking mechanics, and in the meantime your knife will smooth out with use.
These knives truly get better with age and use.

I'm going to ask you how you like this knife in a few months, if you don't mind.
In the meantime,you did a good/accurate/unbiased review.
Thanks, Bill
I have two REKAT Pioneer's, both Swept, R and L, and these are probably going to be perenials, other knives have a way of drifting in and out of my pockets, but these always seem to have a place.

My only complaint with the knife is the clip. It interferes ever so much with my index finger, and it wobbles...

Small thing though.

I had hoped to go to their shop since a live but a short distance away, but their insurance doesn't allow that, so be it.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle and the REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu

RE: The clip.

First, I hammered mine flat. It has a lump right before the screws, but otherwise it is a flat slope down to the handle. Secondly, I took a Dremel with a coral bit and ground an index groove in the clip. Third, I put athletic cloth tape over it for padding. Now it is very comfy. This is what I do with all my pivot-end clips, and I have gotten very handy with the process. The difference is night and day.

RE: Wobbly clip. The design is not perfect, the clip starts to wobble. I epoxied mine down under the screw, careful to only epoxy the clip. No more wobble.

These improvements, among a couple others, are normal for me. No reflection on the knife, I redesign all my knives with my Dremel, because by-golly, no one can design a knife as well as I!

Awesome knife!!!
Bill, I don't beleive am strong enough to go sans clip quie yet.

thad, Cool idea, I am going to have consider that.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle and the REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu


Is the Pioneer no longer shipping with the Kydex belt "sheath"?

I purchased my clip point Pioneer a few months ago and received it without a steel belt clip ,but with a break front Kydex sheath that positions the knife pivot down and opening to the front. I had little sucess snapping open a folder until I tried this setup. The knife is positioned perfectly not only to use the break front design, but to continue the motion to an opening snap and on to areverse grip.Hard to describe, but even I figured it out.

Anyone who can live with open belt carry should check this out.


Although I don't own one of these, I just purchased the poket hobit from Rekat. If they build all their knives like this one, kudos to them. I figure if the blade ever jams closed, I can use the handle to beat my attacker silly. This knife is very heavily build and appears more rugged than even my benchmades. I just sent it back to add a pocket clip for it and see if they can make it ambidextrious.
I have a Pocket Hobbit's sort of the Defender 90 of pocket knives. How did you go about getting them to add the clip for you?

Fred, when I ordered it from them, recently, I asked for the clip to be added as well as 1/3 serrations on the blade. It came as I asked with serrations, but they forgot the clip. So I sent it back and called them. They said , sorry for the mixup and that they would add it. I should receive it back soon. They probably don't add clips because of the mass of the knife. But weight has never bothered me. I'll let you know the outcome when I get it back.