I didn’t realize I was a knife guy until people pointed out I have a whole mess load of blades. Turns out I like knives quite a bit, and while I may have dozens I only really use/carry a few. One of my regular carry blades is from Tuhon Harley Elmore of Headhunter Blades. I wrote about one of Harley’s creations before here. This knife is known as “the Rat”, sometimes colloquially referred to as the “rat knife”.
Harley got in the knifemaking business by accident when he started making blades for his friends. His knives proved popular enough that demand kept rising. The Rat is by far his most favored model. I asked Harley about the Rat and he had this to say about its success,
“I think it’s become so popular because it fits the needs of Lo Vis Operators, who it’s designed for, but also police officers and civilians. They’re all looking for the same qualities in a concealment blade.”
While I am no Lo Vis Operator, I do enjoy the ease of concealability the Rat offers. Most days I carry my trusty Spyderco folder but sometimes, when I’m feeling fancy or have to go somewhere where guns may be frowned on, I throw on the Rat and no one’s the wiser. The Rat’s size and shape make it a strong choice for everyday carry.
The blade is 3.5 inches long and ¾ inch wide, making it ideal for shanking folks who might get in your business. The overall length is seven inches. The shape of the blade is ideal for thrusting and working your way through tough materials like nylon, denim, man dresses, etc. Like so many of my blades, my Rat is really not living up to its potential.
The steel is AUS8, highly regarded for its ability to take and maintain a very sharp edge.
The handle of the Rat is made of G-10 for extra grippyness and sex appeal. And what I refer to as the “hook thing on the end” is purpose built to aid in consistent and positive draws, with either hand.
Harley, the Rat’s creator, is an instructor for Sayoc Kali, a form of Filipino martial arts heavily revolving around edged weapons. Much of his designs come from his own experiences as well as other instructors’ and students’. The training portion is very important to him and that is why the Rat comes with a specially designed trainer blade. The trainer blade is aluminum and anodized bright blue for easy identification. The trainer is identical in every way to the live blade, with the exception of the tip being blunt. This actually shortens the trainer blade by about half an inch, forcing the trainee to touch the tip of the trainer to the intended target. When using the live blade they are now instinctively getting a half inch of penetration, and who doesn’t want a little extra penetration?
The Rat sheath is a simple and effective kydex design. The blade and trainer can be inserted in either direction, making the sheath completely ambidextrous. Small rivets are used to help keep the sheath as narrow as possible.
Harley’s blade carries no markings or numbers for obvious reasons. While I’m definitely not as cool as many of his customers, I thoroughly enjoy owning and carrying the Rat knife and supporting a great small American business.
[You can visit Head Hunter Blades online here]