Rat Worx has been making innovative firearms accessories since being founded in 2002. Headquartered in Mt. Morris, IL they are known for high quality accessories for firearms ranging from Microtech MSAR’s to M3 Grease Guns, and now they’ve teamed up with Guardian Tactical and turned their engineering genius and penchant for quality towards knives.
While perusing the booths at this years Bullpup Shoot held in Park City, KY I took notice of a very unique looking knife laying on the Rax Worx table. The feature that jumped out and grabbed me was what appeared to be a miniature motorcycle chain integrated into the otherwise conventional looking knife. I knew from a glance the knife laying before me was an automatic and the presence of the chain prompted an involuntary movement; it leaped into my hands.
My first task was to figure out how the chain was used to open the blade. To begin my investigation I first had to press the release button. Upon doing so, the hearty 3.5″ blade flung open with more authority than other side-opening automatics I’ve used in the past. It was obvious to me that the chain was pulling the blade from its perch and continued to apply spring tension throughout its movement. What wasn’t obvious from examining the knife is how it all worked internally, so I asked.
Hidden inside the knife there are two nested right and left hand wound extension springs. These work in concert to pull the miniature roller chain which in turn applies ample force for a positive blade opening. The blade pivots on a permanently lubricated ceramic ball bearing washer system which contributes to the smooth operation and durability of the design.
The blade is .155″ thick, is made from 154 CM steel with a RC hardness of 58 and is machine hollow ground. 154 CM is an American made high carbon stainless steel that provides for good edge retention and is a good choice for heavier cutting applications. It was originally designed for jet engine fan blades and was a precursor to the Japanese made ATS-34, another popular blade material.
Folded the knife is almost exactly 5″ in length and opened it is 8.5″. The handle is .5″ wide and the release/lock button is recessed yet allows for easy indexing and opening of the blade. To open the blade you simply push the release button. To fold the blade, you again depress the button and fold the blade back into the handle. The pocket clip is located on the right side of the handle and the button is on the left side, so it’s safe to say the knife favors right hand use.
The handle is made from 6061 aluminum that is class III hard coat anodized leaving it with a tough black finish that seems to hold up well. I find that the knife fits well into my large hands and is comfortable to hold and use. Another interesting feature is that all markings are tucked nicely away inside the knife handle and are only visible with the blade in the open position. This leaves the knife looking very clean.
The MRX can be had with either a drop point blade or a Tanto style blade. There are currently three different blade finishes available as well; black, bead blasted and two-tone. I opted for the all black drop point knife, however if they would have had a bead blasted drop point on the table I would have likely taken it home with me.
When you pick up the MRX and fiddle with it, you’ll find that the knife has zero play anywhere. With the blade extended you can apply ample pressure side-to-side and you’ll discover there is absolutely no discernible wiggle. Despite being a production knife, it feels extremely solid and it gives you the impression of being a custom made blade. The MRX is 100% American made and features a lifetime warranty.
I asked about the durability of the knife and was told that in testing it had handled 418,000 cycles without a failure. Wow, that is impressive. However, in looking at the knife and playing with it endlessly for the last two days I can believe it.
So, what do I think of it? I freaking LOVE this knife. It stands out. It makes a bold statement. It’s ergonomic and seems to be built like a tank. There’s nothing else like it on the market.
My state (Indiana) legalized automatic knives this past July, so I’ve been kicking the tires of many different makes and models. I tend to gravitate towards “out the front” (OTF) knives, at least initially, because of the fun factor. I realize they’re not nearly as robust as a good side folder like the MRX, but I still have a thing for them. The unconventional design of the MRX changed that, I couldn’t get the credit card out fast enough after having an opportunity to play with it at the Rat Worx booth. It really is that cool, at least for me.
The MRX is currently available on the Rat Worx website and retails for $325.
If your state allows for legal ownership of automatic knifes and you’re looking for something different, I recommend you check out the Rat Worx MRX. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The MRX has moved up to my daily carry blade so I will keep you guys posted how the knife holds up.