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reswright
2226
Nov 22, 2019
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Real Steel Knives

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Real Steel Knives (or RSK) has had a couple Drops since I've been here. Before then, I had very little info about them -- I had a Black Cat II and had heard that the Blue Sheep was a helluva knife, but that was about it. The short version is they were started by the same folks that did San Ren Mu, and in addition to their house line of RSK they do a lot of OEM work and there's a decent chance you've already handled some of it unknowningly. OEMs are usually not allowed to advertise to consumers that they made such and such a knife as the original equipment manufacturer for Company X. But after buying many, taking them apart and learning about them I can tell you a few things about RSK. The short version is that RSK is the real deal. Build quality starts off strong with the budget tier knives like the Blue Sheep and the Gerfalcon and the Horus -- all very high for budget work, I'd say on a par with the Spyderco work done in Seki City in Japan -- and then progresses up the ladder to a modest number of $150-300 knives that are all put together extremely well. Their best knife is arguably the Harrier, with bank vault bearings and a tandem detent system that throws a lot of people who aren't used to it off -- it feels less like a detent catch and more like machinery engaging, and is legitimate midtech. Their latest high end offering is a M390 and pull and peel CF with titanium fittings version of the Metamorph by Ostap Hel, which is quite a bit like an Aston Martin in that it's beautiful, high performance, with a top notch design but if you aren't careful behind the wheel it'll bite you. Wicked, wicked front flipper, not for beginners or or fidgeters. If that sounds alarming to you, they've even got a new slip joint for you folks who hanker for the 19th century way of doing stuff, I think it's called the Luna. Not really my thing but it looks well made. The knife community is already catching on to this build quality -- anyone who tried to pick up a Pelican or a Sidus with copper shred CF last month can tell you that much. Bearing knives are getting common but RSK brings a whole new level to it to it -- they don't just have the standard ceramic bearings, they have thrust bearings, needle bearings, really cool tech. The Griffin is seriously about the baddest ass $50 plunge lock in existence. Real Steel is giving the likes of Reate and even WE some competition in the quality department. The export manager for RSK has been known to hang out on this forum on occasion as @Realsteel12. If he's listening, I think a conventional flipping version of the CF and M390 Metamorph, like the variant they put out on the S class in Ti and S35VN, would sell like gangbusters as a Drop exclusive. I know I'd buy it. :)
Nov 22, 2019
Realsteel12
8
Nov 22, 2019
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Listening, and paying avid attention. I have to agree with you on the Harrier, structurally and technically speaking it is our best knife, in the price range however - this is not a cheap knife, and because of this not a lot of people are willing to fork out the money for it. If you were to ask me what our best knife is I would say the S5 Metamorph standard flipper version. I do really enjoy the front flipper as you can see from my own green 'limited' edition (that I have not taken the best care of). But the feel and action of this knife is priceless. That being said I do also carry a Mora Eldris ;)
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As for OEM work, we do do a lot, yet we like to keep this quiet unlike other Chinese OEM manufacturers, this is mainly so we can focus on the Real Steel brand, however OEM work is something that we very much enjoy doing, and as you rightly mentioned, a lot of people have most likely handled a Real Steel manufactured knife without even knowing it. There is one important point I would like to clear up regarding Sanrenmu. Sanrenmu and Real Steel are two entities, and not connected. We indeed know the guys over at Sanrenmu, but have no other affiliation with them other than they are a Chinese company, and we are also a Chinese company. This misinterpretation was a problem of some poor brand marketing when we first started out - the message back in 2013 was 'we are the overseas version of Sanrenmu'. The main reason behind this was to give Real Steel a name for itself as quickly as possible. As the brand developed this marketing mistake followed us everywhere - even today ;) Our brand mission now is to provide the knife market with the most flexible custom service, in terms of MOQ and choices. We have a large number of custom Real Steel 'custom' knives on going for dealers throughout the globe. One of them you have in the G5 M390. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg however. 
Nov 22, 2019
reswright
2226
Nov 22, 2019
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" This misinterpretation was a problem of some poor brand marketing when we first started out - the message back in 2013 was 'we are the overseas version of Sanrenmu'. The main reason behind this was to give Real Steel a name for itself as quickly as possible. As the brand developed this marketing mistake followed us everywhere - even today ;) " Ok, that explains it. I knew I had read something along the lines of 'we are the overseas version of SRM' and heard it too many places to think it was just a spontaneous association between two similar brands. To be fair there's more to the comparison, like the commonality of beta-plus framelocks, and the E77 vis a vis the SRM 9054 and accompanying Land model being close variations of the same knife, that probably lead people to associate the two brands. For what it's worth, your work even looks very similar under the microscope, down to the engravature. But that sort of convergent activity happens in Western knife brands too. Ah, well, you know how it is -- Chinese companies keep their details largely to themselves, a circumspection that naturally engenders Western speculation.
Nov 22, 2019
reswright
2226
Dec 20, 2019
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I took you at your word, @Realsteel12. Well, that and one of the usual suspects had a bigass RSK sale .
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I love it. It's just like the front flipping version which is to say excellent but I don't need to concentrate on it like I'm holding a live cobra whilst opening it. Fit and finish are excellent, as usual for RSK.
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The blade profile on the Metamorph is just something else. You almost have to turn your head a bit to appreciate the line of the edge. It's gorgeous. Don't pull it out in front of your girlfriend's family, though. Because it most definitely doesn't look like it's meant for opening letters. Just look at it.
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Well done. 5/5 knife -- I thought it might be a little boring once it became safe to open, but instead I just keep flipping it open and closed. As usual the build tolerances are excellent. Thin and light, but absolutely wicked in the hand. I figured I'd give it a little lanyard.
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The lanyard came out fine. I've had that bead for a while. Maybe I'll put something similar on my CF Metamorph. Keep up the good work!
Dec 20, 2019
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