Ontario Rat 2 Review: How Does it Hold Up?

Having a knife to carry with you can come in handy and can even keep you safe. A knife is an absolute must in a survival situation and should be carefully considered when you are putting together your survival kit.

Ontario Rat 2 review

Although camping and hunting knives can do all sorts of heavy-duty work, sometimes it is not practical to carry a large sized knife. It is also not guaranteed that you will have the time or opportunity to carry your entire kit of gear with you when you need it the most. This is why it might be a good idea to carry a smaller folding knife with you. Even under normal circumstances there are plenty of ways in which a pocketknife can help, let alone in more serious or dire situations.

In this review we will be taking a look at the Ontario Rat II Folding Knife, the knife’s features, some pros and cons, what others think about it, and some Frequently Asked Questions. Let’s start with some features.

  • Made of AUS-8 steel for ease of sharpening and strength
  • Textured ridge on spine for thumb
  • Durable nylon handle
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Ontario Rat 2 Review


The Blade is 3 inches in length, while the entire knife (while closed) is 4 inches in length. This means that the knife is close to 7 inches in length while open. The size of this knife makes it easy to carry while not being so small that the functionality is compromised.


The steel used in the Ontario Rat II is AUS-8 stainless steel with a satin finish. AUS-8 steel is quite similar to 440 steel. AUS-8 steel has Vanadium in it which makes it a harder steel. Vanadium also makes the blade easy to sharpen.


The blade has a classic folding knife shape. The spine of the blade runs the entire length of the blade, making the knife stronger and the tip more difficult to break. This is good because it will allow for the knife to be used confidently for more functions.

Thumb Studs:

There are thumb studs located conveniently on the back of the blade of the Ontario Rat II. These are to be used in order to make opening and closing of the knife easy. It can also reduce the time that it takes to open the knife in the event that you need to use it quickly or in a self-defense situation.

Ridge for Thumb Grip:

There is a textured ridge on the spine of the blade to be used for extra leverage via the thumb.

Handle Construction:

The handle is made of a durable nylon material. The handle is also textured to make sure that the knife does not slip while you are using it. This particular model has a ‘coyote-brown’ color for the nylon handle.

Lanyard Hole:

A hole is located at the base of the knife through which a lanyard can be attached. This will allow the knife to be easily carried around the neck or attached to another convenient place. The lanyard option is good for occasions that require the knife to be secured but also extremely accessible.

Pocket Clip:

The Ontario Rat II has a pocket clip for convenient carrying in the pocket without the risk of losing the knife. The pocket clip is ‘4-way reversible’. This means that the clip can be attached to the knife on either side of the handle or facing upwards or downwards.

Locking Blade:

The blade is fixed into place upon opening with a closed liner lock. This will ensure that the blade does not fall closed or ‘snap’ into an unwanted position.

Pros and Cons of the Ontario Rat 2


  • A good length and small convenient size for functionality and efficiency
  • Made of AUS-8 steel for ease of sharpening and strength
  • Thumb studs for ease and speed of opening
  • Textured ridge on spine for thumb
  • Durable nylon handle
  • Lanyard hole
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Locking blade
  • Inexpensive


  • Steel used is not as strong as carbon steel
  • Blade is just as easily dulled as it is sharpened
  • Not made for extremely heavy-duty applications such as wood batoning
  • Made of AUS-8 steel for ease of sharpening and strength
  • Textured ridge on spine for thumb
  • Durable nylon handle
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Others’ Experience with the Ontario Rat II

The first noteworthy attribute of the Ontario Rat II is the fact that the knife is not so small that it is hard to use. People who have purchased the knife seem to agree that it is the perfect size for a folding knife. People seem to be pleased with the fact that the nylon handle is durable and the grip is sufficient.

The blade locking mechanism is sturdy and does not ‘wiggle’. This is important in maintaining the edge of the blade and ensuring that the blade does not open while being carried. The textured spine and thumb studs are also a key feature that people seem to be pleased about. In my opinion, the thumb studs are extremely important. Without thumb studs, it is difficult to open a folding blade without both hands. The only complaint that some have had that is worth mentioning is that the steel is quick to rust if it is not properly cared for.

This can, however, be avoided by keeping your knife dry and free of excessive debris. People who purchase the Ontario Rat II tend to do so because of the price. Upon receiving it, most are surprised at the quality of the knife despite the price.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Ontario Rat II

Q: What is ‘batoning’ and why can’t the Ontario Rat II do it?

A: The act of batoning wood entails placing the blade of the knife onto the surface of the wood that is meant to be cut and striking the spine of the knife with another object in order to apply the force needed to cut or chop the wood. This is often the technique used to make firewood or cut wood for shelter construction. It is not recommended for the Ontario Rat II due to the fact that it has a folding blade and is not very large.

Q: How heavy is the Ontario Rat II?

A: The knife weighs just under 3 ounces. The shipping weight of the knife is 3.2 ounces.

Q: Is the Ontario Rat II left or right-handed?

A: Since the pocket clip is ambidextrous, the knife is easily used in either hand. The clip can also be attached in an upward or downward fashion.


The Ontario Rat II is a great little knife. The construction is sturdy, it has a stout appearance, and the blade is sharp and easy to maintain. For the price, you will not be disappointed. Like any knife, it is important to keep your knife blade clean and dry. It is best to sharpen the blade with a stone. Avoid sharpening with a grinder unless it is completely necessary.

Even though this knife is small and compact, it is a great knife to carry in case of emergencies or for small tasks. Even if you carry a large knife in your kit or pack, it is always a good idea to carry a small knife in your pocket in the event of loss of gear or another serious incident. Hopefully, this review has helped you to decide whether the Ontario Rat II is the best folding knife to add to your EDC (Every Day Carry) arsenal.

  • Made of AUS-8 steel for ease of sharpening and strength
  • Textured ridge on spine for thumb
  • Durable nylon handle
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Elijah Langford
Written by Elijah Langford

Elijah is proficient in flintknapping, fire-making, fly-fishing, and foraging. After leaving Arkansas, and then Tennessee to chase the trout he dearly loves, the Colorado Rockies have become his permanent home where he resides with his wife and daughter. Read his full interview here. Read more of Elijah's articles.

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