Review Ruike LD41B

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Trollbane, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Trollbane

    Trollbane

    741
    Feb 3, 2004
    - heavyweight contender, part 1

    The theme for today and my return to the BF is multi-function knives often called "SAKs" or Swiss Army Knives. That is now not an entirely correct term since they were not invented there and all brands are certainly not from there either, only the most well known. This is an example of one of the newest challengers with a totally different origin. The model is called LD41B and is produced by Ruike, a Chinese based company. They are the knife division of the perhaps more well known Fenixlight which concentrates on lighting gear of all kinds and are well established within the EDC-community with their excellent flashlights.


    [​IMG]
    Ruike LD41B

    This knife is a rather massive piece that in weight and size more competes with the largest red knives from the Alp-country and multi-tools built around pliers than small pocket knives.

    It means that the tools are sturdier and that the knife blade is larger than most of the competition. If you add modern features like one-hand opening and locking blade, screwed construction, sides in G10 and a pocket clip you got a tool worth considering.

    [​IMG]
    This knife offers no less than 22 features


    Twitter version: Ruikes LD-series, a serious contender in the heavyweight division among multi-function knives!


    Overall measurements and weight

    LD41b is the second largest model in the Ruike line-up. It is only surpassed by the "51" that has an extra layer that allows for an addition of a wood saw. The nomenclature usually indicates how many layers these kinds of knives have and the LD41 boasts four. That's enough to hold 22 functions although I found it a bit redundant to include a lanyard hole and clip in the list. But it is customary in the multi-tool world to state everything that can be used in one way or another.

    [​IMG]
    Not a fly-weight as can be seen. The grams are compensated by stability

    That we are talking about a tough knife is reflected in the dimensions. If you are going to include over twenty functions and a larger knife blade that requires some space. In this case, it translates to a folded length of eleven and a half centimeters, a thickness of 2,2 centimeters and a weight of 235 g. It is actually the latter that is most evident when you first grab the knife.


    Tools

    Knife blade

    For all multi-tools not built around a pair of pliers, the knife blade, in my opinion, is the primary tool. You can tell that Ruike shares that view. The knife blade is a full 8,5 centimeters in length and is 3 millimeters thick. The shape is a classic drop-point with an almost full flat-ground topped with a polished finish. Besides size, there are three distinguishing features: the one-hand opening via a thumb stud, the liner lock and the choice of steel. As a material, they used the well known and well-chosen Sandvik 12C27. A steel that is fairly rust-proof, easy to sharpen and as you might know takes a very keen edge. It's definitely a step up for them in this context more common 1.4116 and 1.4110 steels I think.

    Combined with the dimensions it provides a really versatile blade that can handle most chores with ease. I especially appreciate that it is good even for handling wood which for me is almost a demand for these kinds of tools. At least if they are going to be used in the great outdoors in any way. Moreover, the wide handle makes it possible to put some force behind the cuts.

    [​IMG]
    Without a doubt, the blade is the main tool. A sturdy one-hand operated blade in 12C27 steel

    The opening of the blade is quite easy with good access to the thumb stud but what can surprise the ones used to ordinary one-hand openers with a liner lock is the amount of resistance. It takes some force and the blade also has a (late) halfway. Of course, it is related to the design which includes back-springs. That combined with a liner lock offers plenty of safety but also less of a fidget factor.

    [​IMG]
    One of the few misses on this specimen. The lock bar travels all the way to the other side when engaged

    Releasing the lock isn't entirely comfortable but given that this is no fidget toy but a tool it doesn't matter that much to me. The lock bar is thin and thus becomes angular even if all surfaces are rounded correctly. However, there is one miss and that is the precision of the lock. There is a tendency to a small up and down movement in the blade because the lock bar travels all the way over to the other side. That is not good. I certainly hope it is something unique for this particular sample. What saves the function is the back spring which prevents the blade from moving while in use. There is no safety issue with the lock though. Not even spine whacks cause failure.


    Belt cutter/secondary blade

    LD41 is equipped with a smaller secondary blade. It is presented as a seat belt cutter which means a curved and serrated edge with a rounded tip. A tip that doubles as a small flat head screwdriver. It has a somewhat odd 135 degrees stop instead of the usual 180 degrees to create a more effective angle of attack. The blade works but since it's so short it requires some force to cut things with. The edge isn't simply long enough to let the material (seat belt or the like) slide over the serrations.

    [​IMG]
    The short serrated blade call for some power

    [​IMG]
    My lady who acted as a stand-in for these pictures definitely preferred the main blade for heavier tasks


    And if you are going to add emergency functions as seat belt cutters they should be one hand opened too. To fiddle with fine motor skills like finding a nail nick when the adrenalin is flowing during a crisis is not easy.


    Awl, Reamer, and Drill

    This tool has a powerful spring that makes it fall into place with authority. Luckily enough I might add since the awl is really sharp. I managed to cut myself the first time I opened all the tools at the same time for taking pictures. This combination of awl, reamer, and drill is one of two tools that is hidden under another. Here you have to open the scissors first. In combination with the strong spring, it makes the awl a bit hard to reach. But it is logical, it is perhaps not the most frequently used tool. But still very good to have.

    [​IMG]
    The combined awl/reamer/drill works really well. At the base, you find a spoke wrench and a wire stripper

    However, the function is really good. Used as a drill it is very effective and also as an awl. The sharp edge bites good both in plastic and wood and makes short work of leather. It also has an eye for heavy-duty sewing but that is not a function I ever used on any knife. But it can sure be handy if you need to mend a boot or tent or repair a backpack or the like.


    Pliers and scissors

    The pliers are as usual presented as a multifunction tool that besides the obvious also acts like a nipper and a specialty tongs for a fishing line in this case. The pliers are relatively sturdy but are, of course, no way near a Leatherman Super Tool or similar kind of tools. It is more to be compared with say a Victorinox Mechanic or Tinker. The format thus implies certain limitations in which tasks can be handled.

    But sure, there are no problems grabbing things with it. The small nippers also work as advertised but any coarser dimension isn't allowed and I didn't attack any of the brake wires on my bikes with this tool. It is hardly fit for "piano wire".*

    [​IMG]
    Both scissors and pliers are spring-loaded which really facilitates handling

    [​IMG]
    The nippers work but only for smaller tasks


    The scissors are unusually large and sturdy and are actually suitable for both paper and slightly thicker cardboard. But I choose not to use it for other than detailed work since the knife blade is better suited for heavier duty. They turned out to be perfect for trimming plants indoors though. Both pliers and scissors are spring-loaded which really helps when working with them.


    Drivers

    This tool includes three different screwdrivers. One larger 6,5 mm flat head and a smaller 3 mm ditto complemented by a larger screwdriver for Phillip's heads. That combination capably handles most common screws. They are also sturdy enough to handle some torque. Something that is underlined by the powerful backs springs that keep them in place. They don't lock though.

    [​IMG]
    The combination of screwdrivers can handle the most common screws

    The Phillips driver is like the awl hidden under another tool. This time you have to open the pliers in orders to use it.


    Wire stripper x2 and wire benders

    LD41 has no less than two different kinds of wire strippers. One of the more common types that aren't sharpened but more like looks like a semi-circle cut out. It can be found at the base of the cap lifter/large screwdriver. On the same tool, you will also find two wire-benders in different sizes for the ones who like exact angles on their wires. Perhaps they are a bit redundant because the pliers can fulfill the same function with ease.

    The second wire stripper is of a much more aggressive character. It can be found at the base of the awl and is really sharp.

    To be continued in part 2!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    willc and silluine like this.

Share This Page