First off - Happy Birthday Hillbilly!
Okay, the Chris Reeve is a very, VERY nice knife. I have pawed that a couple of times but haven't been able to justify the price to pull the trigger. It's got a great handle, fits the hand well and has a nice thick spine that will do double duty should you need it too. Side note, only the members of the military actually get the "Yarborough" named ones ( with the serial number ), the rest of us get the "Green Beret Knife" ( with no serial number ).
Now, I have a Chris Reeve pocket knife called a Sebenza ( I think that's the spelling ) and it's a nice knife, but it has a flaw ( my opinion ) and that is the blade steel itself. It came moderately sharp out of the box, and I like my blades to shave hair, so I worked it with my sharpening system. And I mean I had to WORK it to get a good edge on there - then about two months of semi daily use later, the edge was gone and I had to do it again. I like the knife, but I would have prefered a different blade steel that held a good edge.
The Yarborough has the same blade steel, but a different heat treatment, so I don't know if the edge retention would be the same, or different.
I have no experience with the RAT - so I will have to defer to the forum for that review.
As for the Strider - I will never buy a Strider product as long as I live. Mick Strider built his company on this myth that he was a former special ops guy, he used to wear this shirt that said "Been there and Done That" with a picture of a skull and crossbones on it with a Ranger Tab at all the knife shows and gun shows. The guy is actually a convited felon & a few years ago he was exposed for being a total and complete fake. The guy is a fraud and a wannabe and made a mint off claiming to be one of the Elite trigger pullers out there.
Back in 2007 Cold Steel ran an informational campaign on their home page, here is an exerpt:
"After release from prison in 1998, Mick Strider started Strider Knives.
Following Mick Striderís release from prison, he builds a reputation that his products are based on Special Operations and combat experience. Numerous magazine articles are written alleging to this experience and how it makes his product a better choice.
Mick Strider makes numerous statements online that his is a combat veteran, and makes references to carrying and using firearms, despite revelations that he is, in fact a convicted felon.
Current collaborations with other businesses list Mick Strider as former Special Operations personnel.
I leave it up to the individual reading this to draw their own conclusions about this matter, and the inconsistencies between Mick Striders self related history, what has been published, and what is listed in court documents. "
Eventually they were sued and forced to remove it from their home page, but Lynn Thompson, who also has some pretty lofty opinions of his own career as a knife fighter and uber innovator, has made it his personal mission to get the truth about this fraud out there.
As for his products, I would categorize them as bar stock, of a good heat treatment, sharpened on one edge, trimmed down for a handle and wrapped in 550 paracord. Hardly in the same category as someone like Chris Reeve.
As an option, one to consider. I have this
field knife from Mission Knives and it is awesome. The blade and full tang are 100% Titanium, so no rusting, no breaking no nada to worry about, plus it's non magnetic. The handle fits me perfectly and has a positive grip with a forward thumb and forefinger position depending on your prefered hold. It took me the better part of a weekend to put a hair shaving edge on the thing, but that was back in 2003 and it still shaves hair today - though admittedly I am not digging foxholes or chopping trees with it on anything resembling regular basis.
Just my opinions there - YMMV