CRKT/Ruger – RTD, by Pat Cascio

Two iconic companies– Ruger Firearms and Columbia River Knife & Tool– come together to produce some outstanding knives at very affordable prices. We’re checking out the collaboration between these two companies in the form of the RTD (Ruger Take Down) folder.

A Huge Fan of Ruger Firearms and CRKT Knives

Anyone who has followed my writings for the past 25 or 26 years in the knife and firearms industry will no doubt know that I’m a huge fan of Ruger firearms and CRKT knives. Truth be told, I have probably written more words/articles than any other writer on products from both of these companies. I love a great deal, and I love companies that produce “Blue Collar” products, meaning for the working stiff. These are affordable products that are extremely well-made and priced oh-so-right as well.

Began My Writing Career With Ruger and CRKT

The very first gun company to send me a gun sample, when I began my writing career, was Ruger. It was Bill Ruger, himself who made sure I got some firearms to write about, thanks in no small part to the late Col. Rex Applegate making a call on my behalf. I worked for Applegate back then, and he and Bill Ruger were the best of friends. At about the same time, CRKT was an up and coming small knife company, and they readily supplied me with their then new Apache folder. I’ve been writing about their products ever since. Disclaimer: CRKT produces my OC3 double-edge fixed blade fighting knife design– a collaboration between myself and custom knife maker, Brian Wagner.

A Sucker For A Great Deal on Guns and Knives

As I’ve said many times, I’m a real sucker for a great deal on guns and knives. I don’t care what the product is, if I can’t get a deal on it I’ll pass. I have to make sure my dollars are spent carefully, especially now that I’m on a fixed income. I just can’t afford to purchase all the “toys” I’d like to get, as I did in the past. So, whatever it is I’m looking at has be a real value for my hard-earned money, or I’ll just have to live without it, sad to say!

My OC3 Design

Several years ago, Ruger got together with CRKT on a few knife collaborations, not many, just a few. And my OC3 design just barely missed the cut, or it would have been marked with the Ruger/CRKT logo on it. A large sporting goods chain also passed on my OC3, saying it was just “too dangerous” looking of a knife. Well, it is. It was designed from the ground up to be a hard-core double-edge fighting knife. My feelings really weren’t hurt when my OC3 was passed over though.

RTD Designed By Custom Knife Maker Matthew Lerch

The CRKT and Ruger collaboration of knives have really grown over the past several years, so much so that there is now a separate catalog for the Ruger line of CRKT knives. That’s excellent. The latest is the RTD, which was designed by custom knife maker, Matthew Lerch from Sussex, WI. He’s a very talented designer and maker in his own right.

The Purpose of Knife You Can Take Apart

The RTD is no ordinary folder. It is designed to be taken apart without tools, mind you, just like the Ruger 10/22 Take Down rifle is. One might wonder the purpose of designing a knife that you can take apart. Well, I use my folding knives all the time, and they get dirty and need cleaning. It only takes a minute to tear apart the RTD folder, so you can run some water over the parts to clean it out and put it back together again, good as new and clean.

Tight Tolerances Stayed Tight

Folding knives have very tight tolerances to be sure. Without ‘em, a folder won’t lock open properly and you’ll have a very loose blade at the very least, which is not good and not safe. So, I was more than a little curious about the Take Down folders that CRKT is producing. I’ve repeatedly taken these knives apart and put them back together in no time at all. The tolerances stayed the same– tight! And, when you take one of these knives apart, you’ll be like me and say, “Why didn’t I think of that” because it is sooooo simple to do.

To be sure, it was custom knife maker, Ken Onion, who came up with the field strip technology, and it was applied to the Lerch RTD folder. I didn’t want anyone getting confused on this aspect of thing. CRKT is doing numerous collaborations between custom knife makers, incorporating one maker’s design into another maker’s design and doing it successfully too.

Handle and Blade

The RTD has textured glass-reinforced nylon handle scales, with a locking liner. It also has the Flipper technology for rapid opening of the blade. The blade is make out of 1.4116ss stainless steel. I have no idea what that is, but it works great. I never needed to touch-up the blade during my several weeks of testing the RTD. The blade is 3.665 inches long with a plain edge. Lerch did a great job designing this folder. It just fits my hand perfectly. Though I like a blade that is a little bit longer, like the 3.75-inch and 4.0-inch long folders I love, this one is a tad shorter but works just great.

RTD Performance Workout

I gave the RTD my usual workout, which consists of cutting open cardboard boxes that UPS/FedEx brings me. It was also used around the kitchen and at the kitchen table for cutting food. Around my small homestead, I’m always cutting down blackberry vines, and these hummers are really tough to slice through with one swing of a knife blade. The RTD didn’t fail me. Any other cutting tasks you can think of, the RTD did it. Once again, it did a lot of cutting over a two-week period, and the knife didn’t need to be re-sharpened.

Pocket Clip

There is a pocket clip for easy pocket carry, and this is almost the norm any more, when it comes to folding knives. It is a lot better than fishing around in the bottom of your pocket for your knife, or getting it out of a sheath on your belt, too. The clip is a great invention, if you ask me, though I’m not sure who invented the pocket clip on a folder. However, one of the first ones I owned was from Spyderco.

Retail Price

I like to save the best for last in my articles, and that is the full retail price on products. The RTD retails for $89.99. However, CRKT has it discounted on their website these days for $67.49, which is a heck of a deal. When it comes to CRKT products, it pays to check out the ‘net. Their knives can usually be found deeply discounted, and we are talking blue collar prices, even if you pay full retail.

I sincerely look forward to testing more collaborations between CRKT and Ruger. It seems like a great team, if you ask me. If you’re in the market for a new folder for yourself or as a gift, give the RTD a close look.


  1. Looks like a really cool knife. I’m partial to the 10/22 takedown and the takedown concept in general is excellent but still short of peak stupidity. I too, likes me some Ruger and CRKT. I wants me one of these.

    “saying it was just “too dangerous” looking of a knife.”
    This simple statement speaks volumes and whole libraries and server farms full about the decay and decline of American. I pray it wasn’t their only reason. Ugh.

  2. I can’t tell you the number of knives I’ve had to get rid of over the years because they got too contaminated for me to feel safe, especially if someone might want/need to borrow it. I love this new take-apart tech.

  3. Pat, sorry but once again I have to say that it appears another knife made in China-correct me if I’m wrong. Again why not review knives made in USA. Also the blackberry vine test could be improved. Suggestion- compare one of these Chinese knives to a USA knife (Buck-USA, Kershaw-USA, Benchmade, etc) by cutting rope until dull, cutting cardboard until dull, and counting the cuts of each knife. This would be a great test and maybe these chinese knives will show us something-maybe not.

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