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What is up with the RTAK 2?

Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,870
For a long time, ever since I got started on buying real knives, I've considered getting this big, beefy blade. But for the past several years I've been seeing more and more bad reviews over on the big river store, with pictures featuring bent, chipped, broken blades.

Is Ontario having serious QC problems at the moment like Remington does, or are the reviewers simply people who're expecting too much from their blades?
 

not2sharp

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Messages
18,250
It could be user error. These knives develop a lot of force behind the swing and if they hit something solid (like dense bone) it will cause damage.

n2s
 
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Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
276
For a long time, ever since I got started on buying real knives, I've considered getting this big, beefy blade. But for the past several years I've been seeing more and more bad reviews over on the big river store, with pictures featuring bent, chipped, broken blades.

Is Ontario having serious QC problems at the moment like Remington does, or are the reviewers simply people who're expecting too much from their blades?
I have a few okc big chopping blades and they're all great. I've been on the lookout for a cheap beat up 2nd hand rtak ii that I can shape the handle and put a convex edge on, especially if it's in their sweet old 5160. I have seen the pics of rtak-ii's with big holes blown out of them when some guys were chopping bone, and also ive seen them spring back arrow straight after being battoned throgh huge knots. Since i like to hit seasoned hardwood as hard as i can and batton the heck out of these things, it's something to think about. It's possible that the full flat grind could leave the integral fortitude a little more vulnerable under the hardest use. Especially compared to a lot of .25 inch sabre ground angle iron heavy monsters that are out there. It gains the advantage of being nice and slicy 10" beast. That's actually pretty cool. I've beaten the heck out of a lot of 1075 chopping blades, including okc ones and have never had a problem. Based on my own experience with okc choppers and 1075, I don't expect you would either, it's tough stuff -I've tested it. Gofer it!
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
1,006
Well, these are FFG blade edges that when used on wood vs steel they work great. The 5160 makes using them very forgiving to the user. Just using them against things knives weren't suppose to be used for like FFG blade edge vs rock or some thing really hard, just probably not come out well.

For my area my RTAKII didn't work as well as I hoped, but that's local conditions, it still works superior to my regular choppers on more green and springy stuff and it makes a great camp knife and wood processing tool. (called a Froe) I used mine as a light prybar and it came back to shape no problem. As what it I was shifting logs on a log pile, lazy I know but it worked.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
48
When OKC hired Tooj, I had high hopes for their quality to go up, but five or so years later, nothing happened, and just retired. It may not be his fault as his hands may have been tied on what to improve.

I wouldn't waste my time and money for OKC knives. There are better options.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
1,006
For the bang for the buck, for chopping the SP-53 is one of the best. The RTACII works well for the intended uses and areas you use it in. Heck the SP-10 is a great chopper as well and there are several others like the SP-5 and the latter two are 1075, and where OKC does the heat treat for 1075, for their facilities they can do it pretty well. All my 1075 abuse blades have held up pretty goodly well with in their intended uses. And yes out side of intended uses, but that was me just being lazy.

The RTACII is a "Short" heavier machette class to me. I just wish OKC made more 1/4" spine andfull tang large choppers, I lucked out getting some RD9s, where on one site they are available but $100 or so. I got a 5160 woodsman, a full tang SP-50 (wish they did a SP-51 version! My ideal knife!) and it performs well. One big surprise I found was the Ontario Woodsman in OKCs version of 420 HC, it performed and still performs pretty well for its intended uses. But right now the one I gave away and mine have gone to kitchen duty and big critter cutting season, and mine still is a hunting camp knife and camp knife, well for cooking mostly because it is 420 HC and has no coating on it. I've been actually looking for another Woodsman in 420 HC but with this Covid 10+10-1 crap going on, still can't find one.
 

jbmonkey

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
11,702
When OKC hired Tooj, I had high hopes for their quality to go up, but five or so years later, nothing happened, and just retired. It may not be his fault as his hands may have been tied on what to improve.

I wouldn't waste my time and money for OKC knives. There are better options.
quality being more cosmetic as in fit and finish and better sheaths:D, or you talking about heat treat and quality of steels and more functional quality?

I dont find them so bad sure not pretty and terrible sheaths, but seem to hold decent edge and be useable.

I dont own this particular knife so I'm talking more knives they make i own vs. this one.

thanks......
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
168
I have the RTAK 2 in 5160 steel and have beaten on it pretty good for years now. No chipped edges, no damage except the coating wearing off. As to the new steel, I think they're using 1075 for a couple of years now. I can't offer an opinion on the RTAK 2 in the new steel. But I'm glad I got mine when it was 5160. 5160 is one of the toughest steels around, and inexpensive too. For this kind of big knife, 5160 was a great choice. Too bad they decided to change the steel.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
276
I have the RTAK 2 in 5160 steel and have beaten on it pretty good for years now. No chipped edges, no damage except the coating wearing off. As to the new steel, I think they're using 1075 for a couple of years now. I can't offer an opinion on the RTAK 2 in the new steel. But I'm glad I got mine when it was 5160. 5160 is one of the toughest steels around, and inexpensive too. For this kind of big knife, 5160 was a great choice. Too bad they decided to change the steel.
I have a couple Ontario blades in 5160 and they're badass, I've put my SP-53 tgrough the paces. OKC says they switched to 1075 due to sourcing issues and liked the carbon grain structure and toughness of it. I have a bunch of condor choppers & an Ontario in that 1075 steel. Since the razor edge lasting is less important than surviving massive beat downs, It gets the job done efficiently.
 
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jbmonkey

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
11,702
been looking. most places show discontinued. few that have active say still 5160 steel. not just one or two, all that I found. y'all sure about a 1075 switch over on this particular model?
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
213
been looking. most places show discontinued. few that have active say still 5160 steel. not just one or two, all that I found. y'all sure about a 1075 switch over on this particular model?
Ontario still has it listed as available for order. Showing it to be 5160 steel too.
 

jbmonkey

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
11,702
I bought one and received today. seems fine quality wise for the price point. no bent blades, blade coating done okay. a bit sprayed over the rtak II logo, but that doesn't bother me. scales done well enough. came with that clear coating on the edge for corrosion protection. once I removed that on the stones, it was factory very sharp. I chopped up some water oak logs with knots today did fine at that without bending the edge or rolling it. im good with it for tasks its built for. maybe I just got lucky?

the sheath....not my favorite, but ill make it work. esee junglas sheath smokes this one, but it costs a whole lot more.
 
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
40
For a long time, ever since I got started on buying real knives, I've considered getting this big, beefy blade. But for the past several years I've been seeing more and more bad reviews over on the big river store, with pictures featuring bent, chipped, broken blades.

Is Ontario having serious QC problems at the moment like Remington does, or are the reviewers simply people who're expecting too much from their blades?
I bought one about a month ago. Box was marked 2018, so I believe it is 1075. I did not know they had changed the RAT line to 1075 until I started reading this forum. I emailed OKC about it, but never got a response.The edge had a wicked bow in it, like the person who ground it was drunk. It was fairly sharp. I haven't used it on anything particularly tough, but the edge has some dings in it, so it's fairly soft. I had an older RAT-7 that was 1095, and I loved it. I don't recommend the RTAKII in it's current configuration.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
276
I bought one about a month ago. Box was marked 2018, so I believe it is 1075. I did not know they had changed the RAT line to 1075 until I started reading this forum. I emailed OKC about it, but never got a response.The edge had a wicked bow in it, like the person who ground it was drunk. It was fairly sharp. I haven't used it on anything particularly tough, but the edge has some dings in it, so it's fairly soft. I had an older RAT-7 that was 1095, and I loved it. I don't recommend the RTAKII in it's current configuration.
Bummer you're not happy with it. If you're ok with touching it up every so often you might grow to like it more. I have a Junglas so I never picked up an Rtak II, but I've been keeping an eye out for a beater rtak for the right price so I can mod the handle and edge. My okc marine raider has 1075 and I'm rough with it, but that's a 1/4" sabre grind that I thinned out the edge on. It holds up to hacking through wood, sod, the ground under the sod, and even an old propane grill I had to bust up for recycling & trash. OKC 1075 aint a pretty princess, but i havent chunked out anything I cand grind out quickly and I have been trying.
 
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Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
276
I bought one about a month ago. Box was marked 2018, so I believe it is 1075. I did not know they had changed the RAT line to 1075 until I started reading this forum. I emailed OKC about it, but never got a response.The edge had a wicked bow in it, like the person who ground it was drunk. It was fairly sharp. I haven't used it on anything particularly tough, but the edge has some dings in it, so it's fairly soft. I had an older RAT-7 that was 1095, and I loved it. I don't recommend the RTAKII in it's current configuration.
I'll give you a bad price on it if you want to get rid of it though. Pag1492 gmaiI
 
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Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
40
I'll give you a bad price on it if you want to get rid of it though. Pag1492 gmaiI
Lol. Nah. I'm stuck with it. It cuts, and it doesn't break. It's so ugly that I don't feel bad beating on it. I'm just put off by the poor workmanship and Ontario's unwillingness to communicate just exactly what steel went into it. I know the Junglas is expensive. But you know exactly what you're getting, and if you're crazy enough to break it, you'll get a new one. Thanks for the offer. Truth be told, the balance and ergonomics are excellent. It's a great design. It was just poorly executed on this example. For $93 I didn't expect perfect, just competent.
 
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