By Dave Spaulding
I've long said that if you have a reason to carry a gun, you should probably carry a knife. Anyone who needs a gun for personal security will likely face challenges requiring a blade, either as a cutting or extrication tool or as a secondary weapon. Law enforcement personnel certainly fall within this category of highrisk persons. During the last 30 years, I’ve used my folding knife far more often than my sidearm. During those times when I wasn’t able to carry my gun and knife, I missed the knife more than I missed the gun because of all the practical, everyday chores requiring a knife—everything from opening ammo boxes to cutting seat belts—which I never give thought to until I need the knife and don’t have it.
PHOTO DAVE SPAULDING
Today’s market offers a large number of “tactical folders.” Some cost only a few bucks, while others cost as much as a quality firearm. Let’s be honest: The low-end knives are a waste—they don’t offer the quality and durability you need in a good patrol knife. And it will hurt if you leave a high-end knife behind on a call or lose it in the woods while searching for a missing child. Finally, many of the “man-killer” knives are just not necessary for the street cop. After all, how many of you are really trained to use a knife offensively? If not, having an edged weapon made for slicing flesh may not be what you need to extricate a child trapped inside a burning automobile. It seems every knife on the market today is a Recon, Delta, SEAL, Special Ops, Covert Ops, Ninja,SWAT-approved blade intended for death, mayhem and destruction. Is this what you really need on the beat?
As a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy, I’m always looking for gear that will get the intended task accomplished without a lot of excessive flash and panache. I want simple, easy-to-use and reasonably priced, and I’ve found just that in the Ritter Survival Knife (RSK) Mk1. Designed by wilderness-survival expert Doug Ritter, and manufactured exclusively for him by Benchmade, the RSK Mk1 is intended for harsh-environment survival, not slicing-and-dicing an opponent. Not that the knife couldn’t be used for defense— it certainly could. But the RSK Mk1 is designed to be a tool of self-sufficiency, a knife for practical everyday carry with everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The 3.4"-long, 2.92mm-wide drop-point blade is made from Crucible CPM S30V stainless steel, the material Ritter feels is the best-performing steel for general cutlery use available today. This deep-belly blade will stand up to a wide variety of environmental factors while holding a very sharp edge. If it becomes dull, a few strokes across a quality stone will make it like new. The blade’s spine incorporates an aggressive ramped, serrated thumb rest for enhanced control and security when you’re holding and using the knife. The grip is made from lightweight glassfilled black Noryl GTX with 410 stainless-steel liners. A black pocket clip carries the knife tipup, and it’s reversible from side to side.Weighing only 3.82 oz., the RSK Mk1 is easy to carry in your waistband or pants pocket. You can also get the Mini-RSK Mk1, weighing only 2.68 oz., with a 2.88-inch blade.
The knife incorporates Benchmade’s extremely strong Axis Lock system, which essentially, once opened, makes the folder a fixed-blade knife. The lock-release mechanism is located on the handles and is totally ambidextrous. I’ve tried to close this knife without releasing the lock mechanism by banging the blade’s spine against different hard objects without success. You can count on this knife not to close until you want it to.
The RSK Mk1 is also available with black and partially serrated blades, but I admit to liking the standard straight edge. But then again, I’m that nuts-and-bolts, simple-is-good kind of guy.
The DR RSK Mk1 Knife is available exclusively from Aeromedix
8982 West Broadway
Jackson Hole, WY 83002