onsdag 8 november 2017

Knife Review Ruike P128SF

-  a candidate for EDC of the year in its class?

Chinese Ruike is a relative newcomer to the knifemarket. The company behind the brand is all the more established. It is Fenix Lights that decided to expand their business to include knives as well. They are otherwise known for their wide selection of lights with focus on head- and flashlights together with bicycle lighting. 

This knife is my first experience with them and their knives and the model is called P128-SF.

Ruike P128 SF

The concept is well known by know and a friend therefore ironically suggested that "Deja Vú" would have been a more suitable name for the knife when I presented the first pictures on Facebook. Well, he is not wrong in that both the construction and the overall lines feels somewhat familiar.

The reason is not that hard to find. The P128 is a full metal knife with a distinct modern appearance based on a flipper-opening accompanied by a framelock with a rather trendy harpoon blade. Combinations which have been seen before.

Not entirely innovative but well made

But the concept can be implemented with different degrees of skill and enthusiasm and in this case it's very well done. This knife offers good performance and a contemporary design and do so at an competetive price level.

Let's therefore take a closer look at what Ruike offers in the 50$ realm!


The rather generous blade of the P128 measures over three and a half inch in length and is basically a droppint. It is modified with what is commonly referred to as a harpoon tip. The looks are a pronounced with a swedge on top.

The blade is close to being full flat ground. The small flat areas that remains makes the lives for everyone using fixed angle sharpening systems a little easier. The thickness of the blade is 0.14" or 3,5 mm. Sturdy but yet not overbuilt.

  A rather substantial blade with a distinct harpoon tip

The edge itself measuring 97 mm are actually longer than the specified length of the blade. The reason why is that the shape of the handle intrudes a bit on the blade and that the entire edge constitutes a long continuous belly. It meets the harpoon and together they form a very nice tip, both strong and precise. Exactly the way I like it.

The factory edge was more than decent - even, symmetrical and sharp enough to shave armhair with only the slightest of pressure. The only objection I have is that there could be a little less steel behind the edge. Especially on this particular knife, somehing I will come back to. 

In this version the 14C28N-steel has bead blasted finish

The finish is a good looking bead blast and the knife can also be had in an all black version if you so prefer. For my liking there is a tad bit too much writing on the blade. But it's tastefully done since the font and size of the text are rather discrete. There you can find Ruikes logotype which is admirably small and on the ricasso there are numbers which might be "month of birth". On the opposite side you find the name or rather designation of the knife and also what seems to be a serial number. What is it doing there? It isn' exactly a limited edition we are talking about so I think it's a bit redundant.

To be honest I would have preferred a satin finish instead. This bead blast have a tendency to show snail trails after some cutting.

Type of steel is also stated on the blade and it's 14C28N from Sandvik. An excellent budgetsteel in my book. 

The steel is a favourite not only for patriotic reasons but also for being rather stain resistant and that it takes a fine edge which it holds for a decent amount of time. I also appreciate that it tends to roll rather than chip if damaged which in turn makes it easier to repair. It's certainly not the most extreme steel with todays standard but it is very well chosen for the price class and intended use. 

In this kind of tasks this knife excels

After working with this knife for a while doing various tasks it stands clear that the handle is the limiting factor and not the blade. Somehow it's appropriate and in line with the knife aiming at being a somewhat large EDC-knife. It's however not suited for heavier tasks in my mind. What I am referring to is working in materials such as woven nylon, rubber, carpets and the like but most of all wood in different shapes. Then it's obvious that this handles strength is to be found elsewhere. 

But as long as the tasks are focused around materials like paper, paperboard and the occational massacre of cardboard the knife is not only good but excellent. The same goes for penetrating thicker plastic and various packages, open boxes, cutting rope and fabric etcetera. The blade shape and competent tip shines in this areas.

Light kitchen duties causes no problems either due to an almost totally flat ground, a nice edge curvature and a somewhat small flippertab. But like all flippers it sticks out and gets in the way against cutting boards or any flat surface for that matter. That's one of the reasons why flippers ain't  my preferred mechanism for opening a knife. 


Since I already revealed that this is an all metal knife the handle material comes as no surprise. It's steel and lots of it. With size in mind this knife could have been used for a boat anchor if it wasn't for the amount of work done on the inside.

Here the handle looks more like a framework. It gives a very strong knife that despite being over 8.5" in length, with a substantial blade, full handle and an all steel construction weighs in at 5.6 oz. Not too bad given the circumstances.

No, not as heavy as the all steel handle may imply. Note the clean presentationside

The weight is obviously there but isn't too bothering and that is much due to the knife being well balanced. The balancepoint of the P128 can be found exactly in the fingerchoil. It doesn't magically makes the ounces go away but it for sure makes them less noticeable in hand. 

The handle slabs are held together with two screws besides the adjustable pivot screw. They are attached to a backspacer in G10. The screws are of Chicago type which together with the decorative pivot makes for a nice touch resulting in a cleaner presentationside while still enables the knife to be taken apart without special tools. The knife has a small lanyardhole for the ones who like their cords. It's a bit tight for a 550 cord but since I rarely use lanyards thats of no concern for me personally. 

The sides are slightly vaulted because of the wide chamfering round the edges of the handle. It looks good and makes the knife feels more elaborated and more svelte in pocket. But one thing they do not. And that is helping with my biggest gripe about this handle. Which leads us to talk ergonomics. 

Several things about this handle are well thought through

The most important mission for a knife is to cut well. But to be able to do so it must feel comfortable in hand too. Preferable for the time required to finish whatever task is at hand. It's here you separate the wheat from the chaff.

All in all the P128 is good in hand for most tasks. The fingerchoil is correctly shaped and actually fits a human finger which isn't something to take for granted nowadays strangely enough. The handle has a nice palm swell which fills the hand and the handlesides are as mentioned, chamfered. The clip can be felt but is no direct hotspot even if you whiteknuckle the knife.

The handle is relatively neutral in shape and therefore most grips works just fine. Except pinchgrips that is, it's an Achilles heel for almost all flippers. But hammergrip, sabregrip, and grips with fingers on the spine works just fine. So does reversed grips, both for drawcuts and with the thumb on the butt end of the handle.

So far so good and this is what I referred to before saying that the handles strength could be found elsewhere. It's primarely in pocket, looking good and in every day chores it performs well. It also has its shortcommings.

They look so distinct those crisp lines, unfortenately they feel so too

I want to inform you that it isn't possible to carve or whittle with this knife. Not without thick gloves anyway. That despite the size of the knife and its sturdy construction with a steelhandle, double locks and a serious blade that invites to heavier chores. The reason is simply that the handle is way too angular. The chamfering makes it look more rounded than it actually is. If you really bear down on the knife the handle first bites into your little finger that resists the twisting motion that occurs while working. But foremost it chews on the soft skin of the thumb web like an squirrel with rabies.

All force put into the knife ends up in the meeting between your hand and the only marginally rounded ninety degree spine of the handle. That quickly becomes a true hotspot.

It just hurts using this knife on dried hardwood and after a while I gave up. Either Ruike or rather their designers missed that this part of a handle needs to be more rounded or they put looks before function in this particular area.

By all means, the way of shaping the handle gives plenty of space for the finger to land on when flicking the knife. It also gives the knife clean crisp lines in order to look good. But it also makes it less allround and more focused on pure EDC-tasks. On the other hand it does that with honour. It's just something to be aware of and this model is definetely not the only one on the market with this characteristics.

Opening and Lock

The fact that  the P128 is a flipper only knife is hard to miss. The blade runs on bearings and is relatively heavy so once in motion it opens swiftly and securely with a slight wheezing. The flippertab itself is almost top notch. It's small and therefore not obtrusive, correctly angled and the geometry is well thought out which gives a knife that's easy to open. But there is a one thing that could be improved. The flippertab is too slick. It is possible to miss it alltogether or slip off during opening which happens every now and then. Especially if you have cold or wet hands which is quite common in these parts of the world. Some mild jimping on the front of the flippertab would make the opening much more intuitive and reliable under all circumstances.

One nice detail is that they put some thougt in where the finger ends up after the opening motion. The back of the handle makes for a soft and smooth landing. No disturbing trenches or barb wires in the shape of misplaced jimpings to be seen around this area. Thanks for that Ruike!

A nice flippertab 

As stated earlier this is a knife that follows the crowd and as a result it's of course a framelock that provides security. This version from Ruike is a really good one. The function is excellent. It locks one hundred percent of the time and does so without the slightest bladeplay of any kind.

Besides a correct lockgeometry some of the explanation can be found in the material itself. It's simply put easier to manufacture framelocks in steel than titanium once you got the angles right. You don't need any steelinserts or overtravelstops and the risk of getting lockstick or slip drastically decreases even if it's not totally out of the question. None of these problems could be found on this knife by the way.

Another thing that's positive is that the lock is easy to get to and realese. I'm personally not a fan of locks that want to wrestle with me in order to function. 

Framelock/Reeve Integral Lock in steel

And the secondary "Beta Plus" lock

Besides the framelock several of Ruikes models are equipped with a secondary lock called "Beta Plus". It's one of the reasons which causes me to think these knives are made by Real Steel since it's their system. Even the name remains the same. What it does is to prevent the lockbar from travel sideways while engaged. Imagine a sliding version of Lionsteels Rotoblock and you get the picture.

I'm not a fan of these secondary locks no matter if they are called "Beta Plus", "Roto Block" or "LAWKS". Personally I don't have a need for them but for those who prefer both belt and braces I guess it's a good thing. Anyway, this version works without remarks and above all - it's quiet even if not activated. I really dislikes knives that sounds like a wrought up rattlesnake.

Considering the double locks and how this knife is constructed over all it seems plenty strong. I wouldn't go as far as calling it "fixedblade" which is a popular epithet in connection to stout folders but the knife is no doubt solidly built.

To Carry

Ruike P128 is actually pretty good in pocket given its size. The weight is obviously there but are evenly distributed if you see what I mean. The knife is well balanced also in the closed position. Besides that the knife rides deep in pocket due to the shape of the pocket clip. I prefer that over "ballerinas", that is knives that almost tiptoeing on the edge of your pockets.

The risk of loosing your precious cutting tool also decreases with a low carry clip and with this rather stout knife its definitely what I prefer.  

Given it's size not too bad in pocket at all

The clip is made out of steel and looks fairly neutral which suites the overall appearance of the knife well. On its own I think it's too stiff and could have been more springy. But despite that the function is good due to a well executed lip on the clip and foremost that the steel in the handle provides almost no additional friction at all. Another good thing is that the edges of the cutout made for the lockbar are rounded. That prevents the knife from snagging. A detail that otherwise can drive me half crazy. 

Another good thing is that the smooth back and the tiny flipper don't attack the hand when it searches for your housekeys which most often houses on the bottom of the right front pocket.

P128 is a rather slim knife that don't occupy uneccessary space in the pocket with it's under half an inch width and chamfered sides. The height isn't too bad either but you can't deny that this is a sizeable knife so completely anonymous it is not. 

To Conclude

There are different takes on the number of "framelock flippers on bearings" on the market for the time being. But it could be said that it can be done with more or less finesse. Ruike P128 is an example of when it is done really well and the icing on the cake is a competitive price tag to go with it.

I might even go as far as say that is one of the candidates to "budget knife of the year" in it's class.

A knife with a distinct look

However, there is an objection or rather a reservation attached to that candidacy and it has to do with area of use. This is a modern flipperknife made for various lighter EDC-related tasks regardless of its rather stout appearance. If you stay within the limits this knife is definitely worth considering.

What you get for your invested monetary means is a very well built knife with good bladesteel and a strong lock. In addition this knife gives you a tasteful design with several modern attributes. What you think about looks is always subjective but the knife offers a couple of interesting details both practical and appearancewise.

From a bold looking blade via a lot of internal milling to bearings, decorative screwheads and pivot to a secondary lock.

Ruike P128 SF, maybe in a pocket near you?

What a splendid introduction for a new brand! I really like this knife for what it is but not entirely without reservation. There are some improvements I would like to propose. The first is a general one aimed towards almost the entire industry, not only Ruike. Dare to grind your blades thinner! They won't fail I promise. For sure there will be some Youtuber who eventually will destroy the blades. There always are. But meanwhile the rest of us would be getting better knives and later some videos to make fun of.

More specific suggestions for this particular model concerns ergonomics. Therefore I say to the designer/designteam "please make the edges of the handle rounder on the next knife". It's not a good  thing if the hand hurts while using a tool of any kind. Especially not on this kind of knife which is big and sturdy and therefore lends itself to heavier work. And while you're at it give the flippertab a couple of  cross-lines as well for increased friction. After these small changes the knife would be up for most tasks comming it's way, even the tougher ones.

But already as is this knife has a lot going for it as a modern EDC-knife in the slightly bigger format. Therefore I recommend this knife. That is IF you like the style in question. Because we have seen it before havent't we? The recipe have all the ingredients expected including a flipper, bearings and a harpoon tip on the blade. I can possible feel that there are one too many framelockflippers in the world but the majority of the market doesn't agree so it's probably me.

Anyway, this is a good representative for the type and for the price you can't go wrong. And the P128 offers a very consistent designlanguage with harmonic lines. A good looking knife for short.

Try it out!

Product page can be found here!


Overall Length: 8.54"
Folded Length: 4.88"
Weight: 5.61 oz
Blade Length: 3.66"
Blade Thickness: 0.14"
Bladesteel: Sandvik 14C28N, 58-60 HRC
Handle Material: Steel, 3Cr14N
Lock: Framelock with an extra lock, "Beta Plus"

Produced by: Ruike, made in China

/ J 

#knivesandbikes #aliaspostmortem #knivigtvarre 

1 kommentar:

  1. Thanks for the rewiew, this is an impressive knife for this price. I myself have the Ruike P108-SF Blue. 40.00 usd. this has everything from a high end knife,the steel is good
    / good ball bearings / over travel / lock, in short, everything from a 200, usd price class knife. for a low price, is not less, just top class