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A quick look; the BK-7 vs RAT-7 vs UKT0200.

Posted by Abner Fitzwillie on

 This is not a technical review of the BK-7, RAT-7, or UKT0200 as to how well they chop down a Giant Redwood tree in a survival situation. How one is better than another to start a fire by holding it upright in a thunderstorm to attract lightning (don't do this) or the relative merits of one protective knife coating over another. They are all great knives and I would be overjoyed possessing any of them in a survival or defensive situation. Rather it is more of a side by side analysis of 3 very similar knives and their minor differences.

The RAT-7 and BK-7 have a great following in the survival community and each person that owns it might have a different reason as to why they chose it, but for the money both are competative priced based on MSRP. I used the MSRP supplied from a distributor I purchase from as it would be consistent. I picked the UKT0200 as the 3rd knife because I have it in stock and it is similar but there are many knives like it that are in the category of what I consider Limited Edition Production, knives. They are not mass produced nor are they Hand Crafted Custom knives. The one I used is a 2013 production, #10 of 55.  

First of all the specifications are similar:

You will notice the blade thickness of the UKT0200 which is called the 8" Field Knife is 1/4" inch verses the more common 3/16th" of the other 2 knives and is therefore heavier. It also carries a lower Rockwell score that means it is not quite as hard as the other 2 blades and it features a leather sheath verses nylon. It also costs more.

The factor I consider first when I am getting a new knife is feel. How does it feel in my hand, how is it balanced; 50/50, weight forward, or handle heavy. Does the grip fit me or can I modify it to fit. If the knife does not feel right than I won't use it or if I plan to do some chopping and it is heavy in the handle, it will not chop as well and put more wear out my wrist. For general camp without much need for chopping use, a 50/50 is easier on your arms. Handle heavy makes it better defensively; slicing and thrusting in my opinion.

I used a triangle piece of wood to visualize the balance point on these three knives. Once I found the balance point I leaned the knife on it's pommel so it would stay in place while I balanced the other two.

You can see the RAT-7 has a balance point on the hex head on the micarta handle, The UKT 0200 after the choil where the blade begins and the BK-7 balance point on the handle (It actually balances just inside where the handle begins but the surface is rounded and it shifted slightly) . So while the knives are similar their balance point is different. 

All three have different sheaths and the handle designs and materials are very different. The BK-7 handle has a good feel but is unpopular as it has a plastic handle which can make it slippery when wet. You can purchase Micarta handles,they run $40-$50. I used the regular handles for quite awhile till I took in a BK7 with Micarta handles and swapped mine out. The RAT-7 has Micarta; it is a big handle which if I carried I would round down the edges to make the grip better fit my hand. UKT0200 has a good proportioned Micarta handle and fit's my hands but I have big hands.

There is a lot of comments on the internet regarding the sheath of the BK-7 being cheap. There are plenty aftermarket sheaths and I made me a simple one out of leather for mine. I was not blown away by the original BK-7 sheath, but it is serviceable. I remember a show where a knife buyer was looking at buying a BK-7 which at that time sold for around $100 and he was showing a photo of a custom sheath he saw on the internet for $265 he really wanted. It is whatever makes you happy.

Again all three are great knives, but all three are different, their balance point, the handles and the sheaths. You can see more photos of each as well as prices here. www.fitzwillies.com.

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