Ratnik 6E6, the “Russian style” multitool

Ratnik 6E6 pliers
The Ratnik 6E6 pliers with the handle ready for use.

Comparing the Ratnik 6E6 with other armies' tactical knives underlines the abyssal distance that separates them. A folding knife is included with every soldier's equipment and is used for all small tasks that may arise while in the field. 

However, what can be ok for life in the barracks or in the encampment just because there's nothing better, no longer suits the needs of a modern army. That's why, within the framework of the Ratnik program, the Russian army equips its elite soldiers – and soon all soldiers – with a modern multitool , which is no longer to be carried in a pocket but attached to a belt or backpack. Partly for weight reasons, partly for its size.

Ratnik 6E6:   details and features

Liner lock system of the Ratnik 6E6
The extremely robust liner lock system that locks the blade and saw in place when opened.

The Ratnik 6E6 is in fact built "Russian style", massive and very robust , suitable for all weather conditions and phosphated to protect it from oxidation. Both because knives become dull over time, and for small adjustments, a diamond file is inserted in the side pocket of the camouflaged sheath. The pliers feature a sturdy flat spring, which in carry position pushes the handle against its lock. The pliers include a wire cutter ; jaws are small but can exert a very strong grip. The 6E6 features a sturdy blade with chisel tip and a sharp 90 mm long cutting edge – as demonstrated by the paper sheet slicing test – and a multiple tool with double saw – a wood saw and a thinner one suitable for fibrous materials and also for light metals –, a can opener and a millimeter ruler . All these tools are one-hand operable and have a liner lock.

On the back of the handle, for those who have “tungsten nails” to deal with extra-hard extractions (do not despair, there is always the bayonet tip), there are a Philips screwdriver and a sort of square-section awl with a hole . At the base of the handle there is a stumpy and massive screwdriver that looks to fit the Nikitin-Solokov machine gun, but I saw it up close only once and I could be wrong. A sturdy clip and a lanyard complete the whole thing.

The 6E6 can be found on the net at prices ranging between 60 and 80 euro , and comes covered by a very persistent arsenal grease. There is no detailed information on the Ratnik program that allows to define any special military role for it, but for the local camper or ungulate hunter this is a very useful tool.

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