Following Blade show there are a number of new knives and even companies we will be reviewing here at GnZ. One of those new companies is “Raging Jap” – new to us anyway. Now I have to say the company name raised some eyebrows and smiles in the office for two reasons.. A couple of colleagues felt it sounded like a mildly unpleasant racial slur while others tittered at a phalic connotation! It certainly is a little different from the norm but it doesn’t really bother me either way. Raging Jap are a Japanese company but the knives are assembled in Taiwan. They started trading in 2013 and aim to produce affordable pieces which take influence from classic Japanese designs.
We got our hands on their RJ5 model recently and have been putting it to use to see how it holds up. For an affordable EDC blade I have to say it seriously impressed.
The RJ5 is a compact and lightweight EDC folder. The frame and framelock are made from Stainless Steel which has been nicely polished. The framelock itself is really smooth and snicks nicely into place. The blade deployment can be actuated easily with one hand thanks to the thumbstuds and good detent. The blade is held back with just enough force to deploy and lock out without wearing a hole in your thumb. Many times I have received knives which give the impression they can open with one flick of the thumb. Often the blade is retained so solidly that deployment is very difficult. The RJ5 has it just right and was a joy to use.
The pocket clip on the RJ5 is made of Titanium and can be mounted for tip up or tip down carry. RJ have got the clip just right and it slides easily from the pocket without being sloppy. The clip and blade have some cool laser etching featuring the RJ name and logo. The logo is a Samurai helmet/mask which looks great.
The handle is made from a solid piece of G10 which keeps things nice and light – 3.88oz to be exact. That makes it the lightest knife I have reviewed thus far. It hangs effortlessly in the pocket making it a fantastic EDC choice (check laws in your country before carrying). The G10 feels very solid and exhibits no flex during use thanks to the well placed spacers. This knife came in Grey which makes a nice change. It can also be found in OD Green.
The best bit is yet to come.. blade material.. VG10. There was a time when only very expensive knives came with VG10 blades. Now it is becoming more affordable which is great news for the consumer. This particular blade has a two tone satin/polish finish. RJ also offer the blade in black. The blade has a cutting section 3.16″ long in a clip point style. Despite the knifes light weight the blade has a surprisingly thick spine. Well done RJ this is exactly where the weight is needed.
The cutting edge is hollow ground and came quite sharp in the box. I gave it a 5 minute touch up with a fine stone and it was hair shavingly sharp.
The Jimping on the top section of spine is comfortable and mates nicely with the jimping on the frame and G10 scale. It really gave good traction in use.
The knife has been performing the usual EDC tasks as well as being tested out in the field for light wood processing. Kindling split easily and although that wouldn’t be the RJ5s primary use it was nice to know it was up to the job if required. Finer work such as creating feathersticks and tinder was also no problem.
Edge retention was excellent as one would expect from VG10. I have sharpened it once after the intnial polish and it still cuts like a champ. Unlike some steels this was fairly easy to sharpen which gets a thumbs up from me. Blunt knives are useless and in my experience blades that are tough to sharpen are often left blunt.
The RJ5 has been used hard and has not yet shown any signs of damage other than a little bit of scuffing on the blade which is inevitable. It has been hit across the spine with some think pieces of firewood when making kindling without incident. The blade still sits central between frame and scale and I have not experienced any wobble or slop.
I really rate the little RJ5. A great pocket carry whose ability far exceeds its weight. I would not hestitate to recommend this knife and I commend Raging Jap on a great job. Check out their website below for availability and pricing.