Hello AD Blog readers,
today I would like to review one of the most interesting new entry on the vast and variegated world of multi-functional knives: the RUIKE LD43FIRST IMPRESSIONS
First things first: what's RUIKE? RUIKE KNIVES is a China based brand - part of the well-known FENIXLIGHT Company - providing outdoors knives in a variety of designs, including folders, fixed blades and multi-functional knives (or multitools, as you like). I want to be clear just from the start: sometimes "China made" means cheap, low quality products. I tried a few China made multitools, years ago, bought for few bucks, and they were terrible, really.
However, it is rather different, this case. Actually, the high quality of the RUIKE LD43 it's clear starting just from the package, which is simple and elegant, made by solid black cardboard with (basic) informations written in silver color
Inside the case, we find the LD43 multifunctional knife, well packed and protected in heavy foam. There are also a cardboard RUIKE tag (linked to the pocket clip), and the warranty card (both in Chinese and English language). The package is for sure well designed and well made, you may present the RUIKE LD43 to everyone, being sure your gift will not looks cheap or poor
Ok, let's scan now the hero of this review, the RUIKE LD43. The first thing to note is the presence of a pocket clip, something not so usual in a multifunctional knife. The pocket clip is placed on the right side of the knife (blade tip-down when the knife is in the pocket) and only this position is allowed to the owner
The handles are made by G10, in a nice yellow color (anyway, depending of the environmental light, the handles color may turn to green, see pics), with a fine texture on the surface that improve the grip
Another peculiarity of the LD43 is the one-handed operated blade, which can be opened quickly by the thumb stud. Bad news for the left-handed peoples, the thumb stud is - for reason of space - just for righty peoples. The blade is 85mm long, and it's made of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel
The RUIKE LD43 weights 204.4 grams, it is not a lightweight knife, for sure
I usually carry in my pocket a Victorinox multitool 91mm (Ranger model, this time), here below you may see a pic to compare dimension of the two knives
As you may see, the RUIKE LD43 it's not a small multifunctional knife, the total lenght is 199 mm. Here below you may see other comparative pics with some Victorinox and Leatherman multitools
Let's continue now our examination of the RUIKE LD43. This knife has 13 different functions, here below you may see them in details
01 - large blade
02 - belt cutter
03 - wood saw
04 - large screwdriver (6.5 mm)
05 - bottle opener
06 - wire stripper
07 - reamer (with sewing eye)
08 - drill
09 - facer
10 - Philips screwdriver
11 - glass breaker
12 - key ring
13 - tweezers
Note: the LD43 User's Manual report just 13 functions, but actually there are also the wire bender (two holes, different in diameter, placed between bottle opener and wire stripper), so the LD43 has 14 functions, in fact.
Large blade: when RUIKE peoples wrote "large" blade on the User's Manual they caught the point. This is a really large blade (speaking about multitools, of course). It's also scary sharp straight out of the box. You may open it with just one hand using the thumb stud (just for righty peoples), and has a liner-lock to lock the blade in open position. Not any blade play, both horizontally and vertically. The thumb stud is correctly placed and big enough, so opening the blade is smooth, quick and easy. Good job RUIKE.
Belt cutter: the LD43 was clearly designed to help peoples in emergency situations, for example a car accident where you need to cut safely and fast a seat belt, or similar tasks. The belt cutter is in practice a curved, fully serrated blade without a point. It's scary sharp, and seems able to cut seat belt or ropes without problems (more to come in the field test)
Wood saw: same geometry and shape of the well-proven Victorinox wood saw, I'm sure will works fine, we'll see anyway...
Large screwdriver (6.5 mm), bottle opener, wire stripper, wire bender: again, very very similar, to not to say vitually identical, to the same tool of the Victorinox multitools. The only significant difference is the double-holes wire bender (not mentioned in the User's Manual, as I wrote before)
Reamer (with sewing eye), drill, facer: another usefull tool, again almost identical to the "brother" you may find in the Victorinox multitools
Philips screwdriver: placed next to the reamer, it's large and robust...no more to say at the moment
Glass breaker: a tool that I never saw in other multi-functional knives. RUIKE claims the glass breaker is made by tungsteen steel; should be super practical for emergency situations, as per the belt cutter
Key ring: it's more like a carabiner. Large and solid, is usefull to link the knife at your backpack or belt loop
Tweezers: placed in the right handle of the knife, this tool it's easy to be extracted and very well made, it's big enough to be easily handled and smartly shaped. Very usefull to handle small objects...
All in all, my first impressions about the RUIKE LD43 multifunctional knife are really positive. This multitool is very well made, solid and robust. Again, there are some interesting features, like the pocket clip, the belt cutter, the glass breaker. Overall, I like it a lot. We'll see how the LD43 will works on the field...
ON THE FIELD
I have used the RUIKE LD43 knife for roughly one month, daily, as my main tool both for everyday activities at home/work and several hiking trips.
Carrying the RUIKE LD43 it's easy and safe. Due to the pocket clip and the key ring (carabiner) you may carry the knife in your pocket or attached to a backpack/bag or a belt loop. Both the systems works fine. The pocket clip is well made, safe but unobtrusive, the carabiner works really well too, being easy to open and safe when closed. The only downside is the weight, anyway after some time I didn't mind.
The main blade. I used the main blade hundreds times, as you may imagine. I just have to say it's a pleasure. Opening the blade, with one hand, it's something smooth and quick, the big and well-placed thumb stud make it very easy. The opposite is easy to do too: you may break-off the liner-lock and close the blade still with just one hand (with a little practice). The blade is scary sharp, and the clip-point geometry allows for a variety of tasks, in few words the blade is very effective and versatile. After one month of intensive use, I still don't need to restore the edge. Well done, RUIKE...
Belt cutter. I'm not a firefighter nor a S&R guy, so never had the chance (luckily) to use the belt-cutter in emergency situations. Anyway, I tried this tool both on small and big ropes, and some plastic belt too. The result was great, the belt-cutter cut off ropes and belts as butter, it's easy to handle and, in summary, I have no doubts that will works fine in every emergency situations where you need to cut fast and safely some man-made materials like i.e a seat-belt. Again, well done RUIKE
Now, the wood saw. Well, I have not so much to say, except that is equal, in shape, geometry and, more important, in performance, to the one you may find in every Victorinox multitool. In short, is a top notch tool, that saw branches and every kind of wood, fresh or dry, very well
The glass-breaker. Well, honestly I was skeptical about this tool...not any special reason for that, just I was not sure that it works properly. How wrong I was. I had not any glass to broke, so I used it on a thick tile. The glass breaker worked really well, the tile was broken in few pieces with a few effort, just two or three shots were required to
Anyway, if you want to see the glass-breaker in action on car window, look at this video (from RUIKE)
Phillips screwdriver. I used this tool for several home works, i.e curtains repair, windows regulations, and so on. Again, this tool works as it should. The only downside is his position, I mean could be better if placed in line with the handles and not transverse to them...but you can't have everything, can you? It works, and works fine, period
Reamer (with sewing eye), drill, facer: one of my favorite tools, both at home and in the woods. The reamer of the RUIKE LD43 works so well. It make holes in the wood like a laser ray, quick and neat. In the past, this tool was used often to repair leather saddlery and harness, nowadays you may use it for the same purpose of course, anyway I use the reamer especially to drill wood, plastic and metals, in order to make small improvised artifacts that help my life, i.e. an emergency lamp from an empty beer can (no more mosquitos during my dinner :-), or again to adjust the clasp of my watch
Large screwdriver (6.5 mm), bottle opener, wire stripper, wire bender: another tool I often use. The wire bender it's just made up of two holes (small and large in diameter), and works fine to...bend wires (of course), both thin and thick
The wire stripper works, no doubts. Anyway, it has the same issue of the other wire stripper I tried in every multitool I have faced off: flat surfaces. If you want to strip easily electric wires, a wire stripper with sharp edges should made it a breeze. Not a big issue, but something to highlight. That said, I stripped several wires with the RUIKE LD43 and the tool works properly, for sure not worse than the wire strippers of others multitools
Finally, I used the large (flat) screwdriver to repair some lamps and other things at home. It does solid works, so again well done RUIKE peoples
Note: I have nothing to say about the bottle opener, my apologies. I just drink tap water, nothing bottled, so no caps to lift. I'm sure anyway the bottle opener works really well.
Tweezers: the RUIKE LD43 twezeers are a bit different in shape from the other ones I tried in the past. I need to say they are the best tweezers I ever used, large enough to be handled properly, but with thin and well-shaped points, that allows to grab even tiny objects, like very small screws or small briers.
The RUIKE LD43 is for sure a top notch multi-functional knife. I really enjoied to use it for my daily activities. I honestly can't find any real downside to highlight. I may say that sometimes I missed for a pair of scissors or a metal file, but you may find these tools in some other models of RUIKE multi-functional knives collection (i.e. the LD42 model or the M61 model). That said, I'm very glad I caught a new knives company like RUIKE, making high-end cutting tools. This will make the competition between multitool brands more interesting in the future, and I'm sure we will see new interesting products. At the moment, I may suggest the RUIKE LD43 as a great multi-functional knife for peoples engaged in emergency activities (firefighters, S&R, ecc.) and more generally who is looking for a high quality multitool
(C) Alfredo Doricchi
8/F, 2nd Building
DongFangMing Industrial Center
33rd District, Bao'an