Doug Ritter's RSK Mk5™ (Ritter Survival Knife) is not a knife you would use all day for normal work tasks. But, based on Doug's philosophy that "if it isn't with you, it can't save you™," it is compact and light enough to fit in almost any small personal survival kit or stash-away location, yet robust enough that it's a knife you can bet your life on™.
Doug is the founder of the Equipped To Survive™ web site www.equipped.org and an international authority on survival equipment. The RSK Mk5 is a collaborative effort based on Georgia knifemaker David White's custom Shrewd Survival Knife, itself the result of collaboration with Dr. Andrew Osbourne.
Weighing in at less than an ounce, the skeletonized fixed blade sports a 1.75" wide-chord drop-point blade with a high flat grind. The high-carbon steel blade has Doug's preferred stonewashed finish for improved corrosion resistance.
The ergonomic curved handle provides a secure and comfortable two-finger grip while a nylon lanyard with cord-lock adds additional length which adjusts to fit your hand.
Use it to make fuzz sticks, construct shelter, gut a fish, dress game or for self-defense. Whether it is wilderness or urban survival, the Mk5 will do its part to keep you alive and kicking.
Includes a custom-fitted glass filled nylon sheath and a mint-size carrying tin along with Doug's suggestions for building up your own personal survival kit.
Tiny knife, 1.5 fingers and most and I have a small hand. The shape encourages you to pinch the blade between your thumb and index fingers - and the holes along the spline help during that grip style. Jimping is functional.
Tiny & concealable. Easy to wrap cordage around the skeletonized handle. Sheath is very thin / minimal. Grommet in the sheath allows it to be hung point-up.
Knife came dull - could not cut through 550 cord! Rattles a little in the sheath, but won't slide out. I 'personally' would have liked a slim clip on the sheath.
Overall I'm pretty happy with this the Ritter RSK. It's not perfect nor will it replace your primary knife. It wasn't designed to do that, it's a last ditch knife so small that you will always be able to have it on you. On that count it succeeds. It comes packed in a green CRKT-branded tin that appears to be the ubiquitous Altoin's container with a different paint job. That tells you what the intended use of this knife is- to fill out a very small survival kit.
The RSK is very well designed. It's easy to grip and use despite being extremely small. All the non-cutting edges of the knife is eased/rounded to prevent it from cutting your hand or creating hot spots. The downside of this is that it will barely get sparks if used to strike a fire steel. This is probably not a big deal but in a very small kit it would be nice to be able to use the RSK instead of needing another striker since a striker is a uni-tasker with no other real purposed. Still, it makes the knife more comfortable in the grip. It ships with a very good sheath. The hard plastic is similar to kydex and retains the knife very firmly with no rattle. That's very important especially if you want to carry it as a neck knife (a role this would be great for given the very small size). It also comes with some good instructions for assembling a survival it around the RSK.
On the down side it doesn't come very sharp out of the box. In a sense that isn't the biggest issue but it's kind of annoying since the typical user of this knife will probably buy it and chuck it in their survival kit without much thought. I can't comment on the steel too much since I haven't sharpened it or used it hard enough to say. My initial use leads to be feel confident that it will hold up fine to the kind of use it's intended for.
If you compare it other knives in the same size range there's suddenly not much competition.