What do you get when two of the great survival minds in the knife industry join forces to produce a purpose-designed survival knife? Well, when those two people happen to be Doug Ritter of Equipped To Survive, the man who brought us the RSK line of knives, and Ethan Becker of Becker Knife & Tool, the man who brought us the Machaxe, then one could not be faulted for expecting the end result to be a well-designed knife that covers all the bases. Nearly eight years in the making, the aptly named RSK Mk2 Perseverance is the product of blending two knife-design philosophies—two philosophies that are often seen as being very different.
In order to accommodate the different thoughts of the designers, and to make the knife adjustable to the needs of the user, Ritter designed an ingenious balance adjustment system. With all of the weights in place, the knife has a neutral balance. Each weight removed shifts the balance point forward 2mm. The only required tools are a 5/32-inch hex wrench for the handle bolts, and a quarter-inch hex wrench for the weights.
The reality is that these two schools of thoughts are not quite as different as many of us may have believed. Their joint creation is a well-balanced combination of Ritter’s thoughts on portability, balance and control, and Becker’s beliefs on power, strength and durability to withstand the abuse knives often suffer in extreme situations in the bush.
Being familiar with earlier knives by both men, and owning a few of them myself, the first thing I did was just handle the knife. I spent a few minutes turning it over in my hands and looking at the different aspects of the design.
The knife is actually quite nimble for its size. The hand-filling grip, neutral balance, and high saber grind all work together to offer good comfort and control, and make precision cutting easy. I had no trouble at all whittling off fine curls in well seasoned sycamore, a wood known for its hardness.