China has long-been the powerhouse for the manufacture of all manner of goods. Outdoor gear being no exception, with many of the largest outdoor brands sourcing the majority of their production from China. It therefore does not come as much surprise that eventually Chinese businesses would start to produce their own products under their own brand names. Quality (real or perceived) has traditionally been the barrier for these Chinese brands breaking into western markets. However, we’re increasingly realising that many brands (Eastern and Western) are actually all produced in the same factories.
Earlier this year, we tested a range of headlamps, including Chinese brand Fenix, and found that the Chinese brand was comparable to many of their established North American and European counterparts.
Fenix have recently launched another Chinese owned brand into the Australian market: Ruike knives. www.ruikeknives.com
I’m not a knife guy and when adventuring generally only ever carry a small folding knife as a sort-of all-purpose knife. Aside from cutting a roll of salami for a sandwich or cutting off a loose strap, I rarely ever use the knife. So it’s difficult for me to compare these knives to what else is on the market.
However, it appears the design team at Ruike know what they’re doing. And they should. Established in 1998, Ruike spent the first 18 years of their existence making knives for other companies. In 2016, with almost twenty years of experience, they launched their own brand and now offer dozens of different outdoor knife configurations for different uses.
The manufacturing process and components used are comparable with those employed by more established brands, including cryogenic treatment and 12C27 steel, which for those that don’t know (like me) is designed for maximum strength and durability.
I’m sure the designers at Ruike adopted the ‘best’ design elements from the brands they had been working on when designing their own knives. For example, the P843-W folding knife uses two-mechanisms to lock the blade, ensuring no accidental closing, and finger guard to avoid accidental cutting. The LD43 likewise includes all the blades you’d expect and is easy to use.
I’ve had limited opportunity to test either of the knives outdoors – how much salami can I really eat – although for my intended use, I have no doubt they’ll be more than adequate.
Ruike is currently available online or through select retailers, however it’ll be interesting to see how much they (and other Chinese brands) start to permeate into mainstream outdoor retail.
Ruike is available online at: