6 Best Swamp Rat Knives

The Ontario Swamp RAT Knives Series can stand the test of durability. Made from 1095 steel, and canvas textured Micarta handles, this really is one robust knife.

The Ontario Knife Company has one of the foremost comprehensive product lines within the cutlery trade of survival knives these days.

As a worldwide provider, Ontario Knives is a provider to the U.S. Government and its military.

Ontario delivers real craftsmanship, high quality materials and components.

Top Swamp Rat Knives

Black coated non-reflective blade, the Full Tang blades are hardened to 55-57 HRC and canvas Micarta scales rounded for comfort. Lanyard hole in the handle. Includes nylon sheath.


Ontario 8604 RAT-7 Knife (Tan)

I’ve had the enjoyment of utilizing my RAT 7 on three trips and am really amazed with it’s handling and general efficiency.

Much better than typical balance and excellent proportions, the RAT 7 feels, sophisticated in hand. This is a bare contrast to the really ‘practical” feel of my RTAK II and RAT 3.

On paper, the RAT 7 draws a direct contrast to the Recon Scout, though no 2 blades might be additional apart in feel. Both have 7 inch blades with comparable cutting edge sweep.

The Recon Scout, with its chunky blade and extremely top-heavy feel, make it feel like a larger knife than it really is.

The RAT 7, with its much better percentage and balance, feels smaller sized and even more active than its abilities pay for.

It is comprehended that no 1 blade can do-it-all. From my experience. At 3/16 inch thick, the blade slices really well and has less tendency to crescent like the RTAK II.

Without the mass, it needs more down pressure with the holding hand when battoning.

Ontario 8604 RAT-7 Knife (Tan)


Ontario Knife Company 8665 Rat-3

The Ontario RAT 3 fixed blade knife includes a 3.5″ 1095 Carbon Steel blade that is .125″ thick.

The canvas Micarta Handle on the RAT 3 looks rugged, however is smooth and provides a stable grip.

This knife is provided with a molded sheath that consists of a boot clip and TekLock accessory.

A lanyard hole at the end of it provides an additional carrying alternative.

From the Ontario Swamp Rat Knives series, the Rat 3 knife is a little to average sized fixed blade knife that would be optimal for any individual with smaller sized hands (4.3″ handle).

The blade is appropriate for many cutting jobs and has a good shape to it. An epoxy powder coat on the blade provides it some structure and provides included blade protection and no twinkle.

An additional cool facet of it is the TekLok Belt Mounting system that’s included with the RAT 3. For those of you who have no idea exactly what the TekLok is, it is an accessory that you secure to your belt (fits a range of sizes) and the RAT 3 sheath.

Obviously the sheath for knife likewise has holes so you can carry it around your neck.

Do not let its small size put you off. You will get even more use from this knife than any fixed blade you have, due to the fact that you will have it with you more frequently.

Rat-3, Plain Edge with Black Nylon Sheath

3. Ontario RAT 5

Ontario 8627 Rat-5 Knife (Brown)

The Ontario RAT 5 is yet another blade that is on my “best survival knife” list. The Rat 5 is similar to the Esse RC 5 and also pretty similar to the Becker BK 2.

The similarities are in the Steel (1095 carbon steel ) the blade thickness at a 1/4 inch and the overall feel of the knife.

The RAT 5 has a slightly better feel than the Becker BK 2 because of the micarta handles and the area where that tang and the handle come together is a bit smother.

Some other upgrades are the finger toil at the base of the blade makes this knife easier to handle for smaller bush craft tasks.

The one draw back that I noticed on this blade is that the powder coating on the 1095 carbon steel is not slick like the Becker and other knives, it is almost like a grip tape material that can make it a little tougher to baton with.

Overall this is a great knife, it is great for carving, some splitting and chopping chores as well. The sheath is solid with a couple different options to carry including on your belt and MOLE attachments.

I have seen this priced from 90 -180 bucks, Amazon has it for about 90 right now which I would say is about the right price for this blade.


4. Ontario RTAK II

Ontario 8628 RTAK II Knife (Green)

The Ontario RTAK is at the top of this lens for a reason, this thing is a workhorse. At 2.2 pounds and nearly 17 inches this is one of the most hefty and best survival knifes that I have had in my hands.

The heft of the blade makes chopping down trees and splitting wood surprisingly easy.

The Ontario RTAK works as good or better than the majority of field hatchets that I have experienced so you essentially cut down on weight if you often carry a hatchet and a knife when replacing them with this blade.

The micarta handle fits your hand nicely but can have a bit of shock when you are chopping because the material is pretty rigid and not soft like a rubberized handle.

A good remedy is to wrap it in para cord or any other shock absorbing material.

Don’t get me wrong the handle is a comfortable fit but in cold weather while chopping down a tree, a little extra padding might be welcome.

The edge keeping capabilities on this knife are phenomenal, I have said that with other knives but this one really does a good job with keeping a sharp workable blade even after heavy chopping and cutting chores.

As pictured above the Ontario RTAK does come with either a partially serrated blade or the traditional edged blade.

Ontario RTAK II

5. ESEE RC-5 Survival, Escape, Evasion Knife

ESEE Knives 5P Fixed Blade Knife w/Kydex Sheath

Because of a rare trait among some people today, that trait being honesty, the RC-5 knife no longer carries the SERE name on it.

After assuming that SERE was in the public domain and marketing their RC-5 with the SERE acronym, ESEE Knives (formerly RAT Cutlery) did some digging and discovered that the SERE mark was actually owned by someone. As it turns out it was a friend of theirs in the knife industry.

ESEE has been having legal issues with a company they did business with previously over the use of RAT for their knives (which ultimately lead to their own name change), so they were extremely sensitive to the issues of intellectual property.

Although this knife was designed by SERE instructors it will not carry the SERE mark. The logo has been changed, on the ESEE Knives site the RC-5 blade logo is shown with a skull that has two knives crossed behind it and the letters ES EE.

This stands for Escuela de Supervivencia – Evasion Escape as mentioned above.

This knife has a couple of nice features, it has a bow drill divot on the handle for using a bow drill for starting a fire, and it has a point on the end of the pommel that can be used for breaking glass.

ESEE RC-5 Survival, Escape, Evasion Knife

6. ESEE RC-6

ESEE Knives 6P Fixed Blade Knife w/Molded Polymer Sheath

The ESEE RC-6 is a great mid-sized knife.

With an overall length of 11 3/4″ this knife is large and nicely balanced. It is has a drop point style blade, and comes with a plain or partially serrated edge.

Now you can also get this knife with a clip point style blade with the back edge sharpened.

The RC-6 can be used for battoning, light wood chopping, and whatever other chores you can think of to throw at it.

If you like large knives (I know I do) then this could be the knife for you.

ESEE Knives 6P Fixed Blade Knife w/Molded Polymer Sheath

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