- Category: Reviews
- Published on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 22:51
The RJ P3 takes its designed from the traditional Japanese hatchet like the Nata, but what caught my eye is how the design looked more like a Parang (or reverse Parang would be a more expressive wording) and I thought this would make a great chopper.
I took the Raging Jap Project-3 on a trip and used it to clear brush and cut wood. It makes an ideal chopper with its blade being weighted towards the end, similar to the way a prang is. This gives you far more power in a chop, but also places more strain on the middle of the blade so if a knife is in any way low quality it will fail.
The RJ P3 works remarkably well for a great number of tasks like chopping, carving and general tasks. The blade is made of SK85 High Carbon Steel and is very strong. But it will rust if you don't maintain it. I noticed this when I put it away forgetting to wipe down the blade and some rust accumulated on the blade edge. The rest of the blade was fine as it's been coated with a Hard Chrome Plating which is not shiny but dull with an almost bead blasted finish to it.
This Raging Jap Project-3 has a over all length of 12.79 inches which makes it a midsize blade while still being compact enough to carry or long trips. For weight you're looking at 10.93 oz. which works out to almost an oz. per inch of the tool. The weight and size of the blade are almost perfect, I would like to see the knife a little wider near the hilt, but with its plain edge and flat grind it's a real joy to use. The added weight towards the tip helps with a lot of different tasks and the added weight works with you, whereas a lighter blade would require more work to do the same tasks.
I like the two large finger grooves, they allow you to choke back on the blade for chopping or up on it for doing carving tasks. This helps more than I thought it would and is something I feel needs to be pointed out. Even when you're using the back groove the blade is still large enough that your hand is still fully on the handle, which is nice, and this still gives you total control over the blade even when choking down on the blade for chopping.
The sheath of the Project-3 is good but not great. It's made of ballistic nylon with MOLLE down the front and back, and on the back you have a full-length strap that can secure the blade to any MOLLE or Pal compatible webbing. It also eliminates the need for any MOLLE clips and can be used as a belt loop if you want to belt-mount your knife. This sheath also has two button straps that secure the blade very well!
Why I say the sheath is good and not great is that it feels a little on the cheap side, and the insert that protects the sheath from the blade is just plastic not kydex, so in my experience this type of plastic degrades over time and the blade will cut through the sheath. I think a great improvement would be to have a Kydex sheath which would hold the blade much better and be far more viable over time.
Two other small improvements I think could be made are, the knife has some sharp edges like at the pummel where the steel was not buffed enough and these edges are a little sharp. The other is, handle slabs don't marry to the blade perfectly; they're a little larger than the steel of the blade and tend to stick out over the knife body. These are easy production fixes and I'm sure they will be sorted.
The handle material is G10 but a very smooth almost plastic feeling G10, it's easy on the hand, but as most companies make a textured G10 it does feel a little too smooth to me, maybe some stippling would help to give it a little more grip.
Now let's talk price. The Raging Jap Project-3 will run you around $160 Canadian which is pretty reasonable for a large blade like this, and I think if you were to put in a few tweaks on the design like fixing the edges and adding a kydex sheath it wouldn't be unrealistic to see this knife going for around $200. Al in all I really enjoyed using this tool, the design is sound and even with the small flaws the handle was comfortable to use all day!
To Check Out Raging Jap Products Go To ragingjap.com