Ontario 8630 Rat-3 Knife Review
If you are looking for a shorter bushcraft knife, then the Ontario 8630 Rat-3 is the best knife for you. With only a 3 3/4" blade it is on the shorter size for most bushcraft knives. It can handle all the carving, fire making, and small game tasks that you demand from your bushcraft knife.
Ontario knives are made in the USA in New York. Ontario Knife Company is a major supplier for the United States military. You can see the quality and ruggedness in their knives because of this.
Let's take a look at some of the features of the Rat-3 and see if it lives up to being the best bushcraft knife for you.
Blade Length, Blade Thickness, and Knife Weight
- 3 3/4" Blade Length
- 7 7/8" Total Length
- 0.14" Blade Thickness
- Weighs 5.3 Ounces
What Comes in the Box?
Blade Design Advantages & Disadvantages
Drop Point - The drop point design provides a versatile blade with a strong tip. Ontario has put a smaller finger choil on the blade as well. It works great for smaller hands like mine but I question how comfortable it will be for someone with large hands.
There is also some nice jimping on the spine of this blade. It really helps you get a firm grip on the knife when you want to bear down on a heavier task. The blade is also full tang so you don't have to worry about breaking it.
The 3 3/4" blade is definitely on the shorter side for a main bushcraft knife but it gets the job done. The length means that batoning will have to be on smaller pieces of wood. This is probably a knife that would accompany an axe into the wilderness.
The black coated blade also has a nice 90 degree spine. You will have no trouble throwing good sparks on your ferro rod with the Ontario Rat-3.
1095 High Carbon Steel - 1095 steel is composed of 95% carbon. This allows the blade to be able to throw a good spark when using a piece of flint on it.
1095 High Carbon Steel is also easy to sharpen in the field and therefore, a popular choice among bushcrafters. It also has decent edge retention.
One thing to keep in mind is that 1095 carbon blades will rust easier that stainless steel blades. Therefore, you should routinely apply a thin coat of food grade oil to the blade or force a petina on the blade.
One complaint I had with my Rat-3 is that it didn't come as sharp as some of my other Ontario knives. I had to do some sharpening and honing on the blade before I was ready to take it out into the field.
Handle (Scales) Material
Canvas Texture Micarta Handles - Micarta handles can come in different colors and textures. The ones on this Ontario knife is a beige color and have an excellent texture to them.
The texture really allows you to get a solid grip on the knife even when your hands are wet. There is also a lanyard hole towards the back of the scales if you want to tie some paracord on there.
Kydex Sheath - The Ontario Rat 3 comes with a black reversible Kydex sheath. Simply remove the screws and put them on the other side to be able to carry this knife on your left hand side.
The knife comes with a clip for your belt and a Tek-Lok. For those of you that might not be familiar with a Tek-Lock, it works on a swinging hinge principle. This allows you to carry your knife sideways or attach it to Molle points on your gear.
The sheath retention is pretty stiff right out of the box. This did loosen up on my knife after a while making it easier to remove the knife from the sheath. It still has enough retention that I'm not worried about it ever falling out of the sheath.
The Rat 3 comes with the Ontario Knife Limited Lifetime Warranty. Basically Ontario will replace this knife if it ever fails due to faulty materials or faulty workmanship. You would need to send the knife back to their New York location for this warranty.
- 1095 High Carbon Steel Blade
- Textured Micarta Handles
- Full Tang
- Sheath has Tek-Lok Attachement
- Made in the USA
- Shorter Blade
The Ontario Rat-3 definitely deserves a spot in your bushcraft gear. It has a lot of the things that I look for in a bush craft knife. 1095 High Carbon Steel, strong handles and a 90 degree spine to name a few. It's also reasonably priced as are most Ontario knives.
Give one a try today. It is that perfect smaller blade sized knife that you have been looking for.