Sunday, December 1, 2013

Swamp rat RatManDu

Today i will review quite possibly one of the best knives to every come out of the bussekin shop
the RatManDu
i will also compare it to its possible competitors: the ESEE 5 and BRKT bravo 1.5 rampless and ESEE 6
Grading criteria: 1-needs work-10-excellent
steel: 8
Fit and finish:10
Price to performance: 7

overall: 9/10
the ergos is the reason this knife has really gotten a following with the busse/kin following.  combined with the good steel and great warranty.  This is a great choice for a 5in fixed blade knife.  the cons are minor and mostly avoidable if you take care of your knives

( as taken from SWKW website)
GRIND: Saber

Steel: 9
SR101 is a modified ball bearing steel(52100) with the Jerry Busse's heat treat.  The heat treat makes a already excellent blade steel even better.
the steel is very tough and i have not had any problems with chipping or rolling
the edge retention is also very good.  it is better then esee's 1095 and just a bit better then bark river's A2
 the only sector were this blade steel suffers is rust resistance as it is a carbon steel blade. 1095 is just as bad.  A2 trumps it with a bit more rust resistance.  but if you take care of your blades, it should be fine.

Ergos: 10
this is were this knife shines.  It just fits.  I have experienced no hotspots using it.  the choil is either hit or miss for alot of people, some like them. some hate them.  i think it fits this knife but it could go without one.

Fit and finish: 10
no problems here.  it is excellent.  the tolerances are tight there is no gap or play between the scales and steel.
note: the scales are non removable but you can send it in to the shop and get them to change the scales if you want

warranty: 10
on print the warranty is excellent.  and from what i have gathered it is very good in practice as well.
on par with ESEE's no questions ask and maybe even a bit better then bark river's (note i have only used esee's warranty personalty)

Price to performance:7
while this blade is not cheap at 172 shipped without the sheath in my opinion the ergos and the steel makes the knife well worth it.
but that goes without saying that there are other knives out there that would do the job just as well for a little less money. EX. ESEE 6,ESEE 5,multiple TOPS knives,ect.

camping: ESEE 5; the thickness makes the esee an excellent spliter and since the weight is not a major concern i would take the esee 5
hiking: RMD; i would take the RMD on a hiking trip over esee because of the weight.

RMD vs Bravo 1.5
camping:Bravo 1.5: the bravo 1.5's thickness and extra blade length helps with camp chores i would take either or.
hiking:Tie: the weight on the 1.5 is very close to the RMD and is not a major concern.  the real deciding factor would be situation/environmental; in a wetter climate the coating of the RMD helps keep rust at bay while the bare finish of the 1.5 might develop some rust.

camping:RMD; i would take the RMD over the 6 because of the ergos.  the handle of the 6 are not nearly as ergonomic as the RMD.
hiking:RMD;  the weight on these two knives are very similar and not a major concern.  But once again the RMD trumps the esee 6 in this sector because of the ergos.  Im not saying the 6 is a bad knife but it is a bit too boxy of a handle.  still comfy but not as comfortable as the RMD

Sheathing recommendations:
kydex: Godspeedtatical and Glockcrazz and buy brown; all of these guys make excellent sheaths and have very good customer service
also there is the spec. ops brand sheaths.

here are some pics:

if you have any questions or concerns please email me or comment down below


  1. Thanks for the review. I'd suggest you try the Ratmandu in INFI. It just cuts better than the the SR101 RTMD because it has a different grind. I believe it's a 0 degree convex and the SR101 has a saber grind. I think the edge on the INFI RTMD is called a zero edge, regardless the INFI edge cuts very well for camping, whittling and survival chores. I also love the G10 scales on the INFI RTMD. They are even better than the micarta scales on the SR101 RTMD. The INFI with G10 scales is a real step up from the standard RTMD, it's also very expensive at $300 to $350 if you can find one. Hopefully Jerry and crew will make more of these.

  2. you forgot to mention that the handle on the Ratmandu is thin and flat. Just because it works for you doesn't mean it's going to work in someone else's hand.