It’s a good time to be a knife fan. Production knives are becoming so well designed and produced that it is almost hard to get your hands on a sub-par one from a reputable manufacturer. Rike Knife is indeed one of the reputable manufacturing companies, and also the main focus of our review. We had a chance to enjoy the Rike Knife Thor2 in all the glory that is an incredibly well executed integral designed (one piece handle titanium construction) Chinese produced knife.
Buy It: BladeHQ
Rike Knife Co. has now become a major player in the production knife arena. We have previously reviewed the Rike 1507S limited edition model… results were extremely positive. It is still one of our EDCs in our regular carry rotation. As a Chinese manufacturer, Rike Knife needed to prove that they are not a low level brand – and they already have done this with many resellers clamoring at the chance to offer products of Rike Knife to their customers.
That said, the biggest impact that Rike has been able to have continues to be the ability to create integral folding knives with incredible design, and almost incomparable pricing. The Rike Knife Thor2 is no different; in fact it may set the bar in affordable high end quality production integral design flippers. Advancing on the original Rike Thor, the Thor2 is available in several model variants allowing for a slew of color and finishing types.
Key Specs: Rike Thor 2
The Thor2 from Rike Knife is very impressive on paper. With a 3.75 inch modified tanto design, this integral design titanium frame lock flipper has the looks to go with the paperwork.
This Thor2 was handed to us from a dear friend to review. We were given complete freedom to really test the knife and put it to the task. In truth, we asked to borrow it because we became so enamored with it once it was first shown to us.
Our version was a blue/purple anodized version and sported a very attractive matte grey blast finish on the CTS-204P modified tanto blade. Truth be told, the color scheme on the titanium was not our cup of tea at first. But as we continued to look at it we noticed green anodized accents on the pivot screw hardware on both sides of the knife handle. It started to grow on us as the look seemed to fit a “Joker” type style that perhaps might be the type of colors that the evil Batman villain would sport in his pocket.
One thing that Rike Thor2 has is great design elements. Plus it has the best pocket clip style we have ever used in a production knife. Like the Rike 1507S, the clip is both attractive with a 3d sculpted style titanium, but also a string clip usage that allows for incredible usage, as well as looks.
As for overall quality, oh my!! It is almost impossible to explain in words how impressed we were that a 500 dollar knife (currently on sale at several resellers for $399) can be this good. The design is very well detailed, and the knife feels so good in the hand.
In terms of blade markings there’s no logo to be found and only a very discreet “CTS-204P” steel identifier on the rear side behind the thumb stud.
Speaking of CTS-204P steel, for the uninitiated this is US based Carpenter’s clone of the popular M390 steel made by Bohler which was also cloned by Crucible in CPM-20CV. They are essentially all the same alloy. Sure you’ll find some differences among the performance of blades from these different steels but that’s largely down to the manufacturer and heat treating of the blade. All in all these are top class knife steels with formidable edge retention combined with surprisingly good corrosion resistance. Our knife steel guide will give you more information if you’re into that sort of thing.
Let’s talk more about the knife feel – it is great. The flipper is a true smooth operator. It is not an extremely fast opener, but it is still rather quick. The knife feels very solid even when opening the knife hard using the flipper. Most flipper knives tend to feel a bit wonky when you thrash open the knife using the flipper. Sometimes it might give a bit of a vibration, and other times it feels as though the knife was almost angry, with loud sounds and potential issues with framelock disengagement. But this is not at all the case with the Thor2. It is so solid that it barely feels as though it was opened. No real vibration feedback even when opened strong.
The frame-lock was well situated at about 30 percent. A pronounced stainless steel lock-bar insert is proudly displayed, and works without fault. The lock is very easy to disengage even when opened in a hard fashion as we mentioned.
The integral construction is from a single piece of TC4 titanium. What’s TC4 you ask? Well, it’s essentially the Chinese equivalent of the popular 6Al-4V Grade 5 alloy found in the USA. Either way it’s a work of art. Everything on the knife felt smooth, and well put together. It was as if the people manufacturing the knife actually handled the knife for days in hand to make sure that everything was smooth and chamfered where needed.
The handle style is rather straight. Most repeat knife review readers of ours should know by now that we like this design most. It is very versatile in the hand for most every position. We should also mention that the jimping is nicely done, and looks well suited for both the naked hand and gloves. You’ll also notice the carbide-tipped glass breaker which is a love/hate thing really…I don’t care for it much personally on a knife like this but your mileage may vary.
The only item that can be mentioned that is not of the most stellar of statements is the weight which is just over 6.1 oz. Though by no means is this an extremely heavy 3.75 inch medium large flipper, it is certainly not light. However, for an integral of this size and solidity, it is not a relatively heavy weight. Regardless, those who desire light weight carry knives, or those who count every gram might not be completely interested. Also lefties might feel shafted again; the Thor2 is not lefty friendly.
Real World Use
We carried this knife as the primary large EDC in our right pocket pants for about 10 days. First, let’s talk pocket clip. We can’t state this enough. The clip is amazing and can be found on most of the Rike model line-up (which is a very good thing). It is so easy to get into the pocket with one hand, yet stays put in the pocket. It is also very easy to pullout of the pocket. This is our favorite clip and looks great as well with the signature Rike Knife designed holes which help the weight and aesthetic.
We found ourselves using the Rike more because we were able to easily and discreetly take out and put back the knife… well as discrete as a purple and blue 3.75” knife can be anyway. But this is a really big deal. In addition, we can state that this knife would make for a very good defensive carry. Easy to access and deploy with a good grip and 3.75” modified tanto blade is a perfect equation for a folding defensive solution. Of course we did not use ours in any defensive manner; however we did find ourselves carving some Christmas Turkey with our Rike Thor2.
In the kitchen the Rike is something of a bull in a China shop. It is not that the knife can’t cut or is overbuilt, but it is not exactly a carving knife or slicer. Even still, it had a wicked sharp edge that lasted for the duration of the testing.
As for general tasks perform during our 10 days with the Thor2, we handled items around the house during the holiday season, cut open boxes, used it for opening gifts from a party, and the standard daily tasks one would use a pocket knife for.
No real serious cutting action or tasks were done with this knife – Not because we find it incapable for the task, but rather because we let our secondary carry EDC try to play first string on the tougher items. We will perhaps talk about that other knife soon in an upcoming review. Regardless, this knife was not ours, and even though we were given permission to beat the hay out of it, we just did not feel right doing that.
Though we did not put the Thor2 through the rigors of knife cutting shenanigans, we did however conclude our time with the Thor2 with the belief that it is a completely qualified hard use folder, capable of handling any task that a mid-size folding knife could.
The Rike Knife Thor2 is a very well designed and incredibly well priced product for an integral knife. It is one of the best deals on a full size pocket knife that we’ve seen in a long time. We have observed a trend of production manufacturers beginning to embrace the integral once piece handle construction of late, and hope that the price for these incredible marvels of achievement continue to fall to ever lower affordable levels.
Some comparisons when cross shopping the Rike Thor2 include:
Custom Knife Factory (CKF) Tegral – Though now sold-out at most retailers, this integral knife from CKF offered an extremely affordable entry into the world of production integral knives. We wrote an in-depth review here. At 475 dollars the Tegral provided a 3.6” modified drop point blade and 5 oz. carry weight. Finishing with blue and silver anodization on the slightly fluted titanium handle made for a slightly dainty and elegant integral. Some points taken off though for the slick feel in hand. Up until the Rike Thor2 came about, this was the best budget integral around. Sadly, at this point in time it is all sold out and unlikely CKF will introduce more. Interested buyers need to check the secondary market if your cup of tea is Russian in origin.
Spyderco Nirvana (Amazon) (BladeHQ) – Ah yes, the Nirvana… the attainable everyday man’s Peter Rassenti collaboration model for the masses. Okay maybe not super attainable at around 450 dollars, but also not close the potential thousands Peter’s custom Nirvana model sells for on the secondary market. This large integral thumb hole opening knife is a nice sized 3.76 inches of S90V super steel. Come in for the integral design, and leave for the the S90V. At this price point, you might either consider this the pick of the production bunch when it comes to integrals as it offers the steel to entice stainless steel snobs, or consider it a joke of a knife as most have not been used to paying 400 plus bucks on a Spyderco. Either way, it is an available offering that is decisive competition for the Thor2. As for which is better, we could not say. One thing is for sure though, the Thor2 is definitely more solid a feel in hand, but also about an ounce and a half heavier.
Reate Future – Seems we have been comparing lots of knives of late to the Reate Future. Seeing as how we still don’t have one in hand to truly compare, consider our statements merely academic in nature. The Future by Reate is perhaps the most ambitious production manufactured integral knife to date. Well, that and the upcoming limited production-custom Zero Tolerance 0999. Variations on the Future model will be offered starting at about 480 and working up to about 780 dollars, sporting some models equipped with Mokuti inlays, and Damasteel on the blade. Designed by Tashi Bharucha and sporting a 3.75 inch M390 blade for standard models with a weight near 5.3 oz., this is going to be a solid knife. Rumors continue that it will become available in limited supply in early 2017.
The Rike Thor2 is another in a string of knives of late that are just freaking awesome. Production manufacturing performance, especially from quality Chinese manufacturers has really been hitting it out of the park. The Thor2 is a special knife though. It looks special, and a bit different from other folders out there. Perhaps blue-purple is not your thing, consider one of several different model variation colors and finishes to make it suit your specific taste or style.
So many knives are good now. The Rike Knife Co. Thor2 exceeds such good knives because it has a ‘special’ factor that is without description. It feels great in hand, and it looks great too. The Thor2 is a homerun for Rike. It stands apart from the crowd in the right way, especially during a time when integral models are becoming more commonplace. It is getting a bit crazy that Rike can pull off such a great production knife and offer it at such a competitive price.
Anyone still reading this should know one thing. If you are a knife nut like we are, this is a must buy in our opinion. The Thor2 is going back to its rightful owner at the end of the week, and we have just ordered our very own version to add to our collection because it is that good. Can’t wait to see if they come out with a Thor3!
Buy It: BladeHQ
- Superb design, very well made and tremendous value
- At over 6.1 oz it’s on the heavy side.