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Tag Archives | ESEE

ESEE Knives JG5

ESEE has already taken on the iconic Kephart design last year with the introduction of their PR4 design. Now they are taking on another classic outdoor knife design, the Nessmuk, with the introduction of the JG5.

The JG5 is based on the iconic bull nose skinner style knife preferred by adventurer George Washington Sears who wrote under the pen name “Nessmuk”. The knife features 1/8th inch thick 1095 steel with a 4.875″ long blade and a black wash finish. The JG5 features sculpted micarta scales and weighs in at 5.3 ounces.

The JG5 is available exclusively from Smoky Mountain Knife Works. It is available to pre-order now: JG5 at SMKW

ESEE HM Series Kydex Sheaths

The HM series of knives from ESEE are similar to their staples like the ESEE3, 4, and 6 but with modified handles that allow greater control while using the knives. Previously, these knives were available only with leather pouch sheaths but ESEE has now introduced a kydex sheath option.

The new HM series kydex sheaths are currently available with the HM series knives. They may be available for purchase separately at a later date.

ESEEKnives.com

Bargain or Just Cheap? – ESEE Avispa and Zancudo

Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series reviews budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.


If you are a manufacturer planning to create a budget knife, pay careful attention to what ESEE has done with the Avispa and Zancudo. They’ve kept cost down by getting the important things right and careful material selection. I’ll let the cat out of the bag right up front. These knives are great.

ESEE Avispa D2

Avispa Specs:

Lock: Steel frame lock

Pocket Clip: Left or right, tip up or down

Steel: AUS 8 or D2

Handle: Textured FRN front, steel back

Blade length: 3.5 in.

Blade thickness: .11 in.

Open length: 8.5 in.

Weight: 4.51 oz.

Zancudo Specs:

Lock: Steel frame lock

Pocket Clip: Right pocket only, tip up or down

Steel: AUS 8 or D2

Handle: Textured FRN front, steel back

Blade length: 2.94 in.

Blade thickness: .09 in.

Open length: 7 in.

Weight: 3.06 oz

Observations from Use

Both of these knives do a great job of getting the important things right which leads to knives with great performance and high perceived quality. It is obvious that care goes into ensuring that things like the frame lock, detent, grinds, and ergonomics are dialed in on these knives.

Both knives flick open with ease. They have positive detents and smooth bronze phosphor washers paired with thumb studs that are well placed and easy to find with your thumb. My examples were smooth right out of the box and became even smoother with some use and the tiniest drop of oil on each washer.

I’ve been able to handle several of these knives over the years and they all have incredibly consistent lock up. The frame lock contacts the blade tang at about 75-80% lock up. There is no blade play and plenty of room left to wear in with use. These are well executed frame locks.

These knives cut extremely well! The blades on both knives feature a similar profile. They are drop points with full height flat grinds. The point drops to the center of the blade so much that this is nearly a spear point shape. They cut aggressively thanks to their thinner blade stock and excellent geometry.

Both knives are offered with two steel options: D2 and AUS 8. Flip a coin. They are both good. The AUS 8 is stainless and very easy to sharpen at the cost of some edge holding performance. D2 is a carbon steel (very rust resistant compared to most carbon steels). It offers great edge holding but can be tricky for some people to sharpen. The knives are a good value with AUS 8 steel and an incredible value with D2. It is hard to find other knives with similarly high performance steels at this price.

The FRN scales offers good texture without being tough on your pockets and they are available in about a million color options. Both knives have full steel liners under the FRN scale. The liner is drilled with a series of holes to reduce weight on the Avispa. I wish the same steps were taken with the Zancudo. It could have been a truly lightweight knife.

The ergonomics on both knives are great. The Avispa feels large and hand filling even though it is actually quite slim. The Zancudo is actually smaller than a Spyderco Delica in nearly every dimension yet it still manages to offer a grip that all four fingers will fit and a longer cutting edge. That is truly incredible as someone who has been carrying a Delica for more than 15 years. They fit your hand, are slim in the pocket, and are large enough to do real work.

They’re good but not perfect. The FRN scales can tend to flex away from the steel liner a bit which is a little annoying. The pocket clips will ride directly on the frame lock bar if you switch them around for right pocket tip up carry which can make one handed closing difficult (though still doable). Those are pretty minor gripes considering that even the D2 version of this knife comes in at well under $40.

ESEE Zancudo D2

Bargain or Just Cheap?

The ESEE Avispa and Zancudo may lack gimmicks, flash, and pretense. However, they more than make up for it with cutting performance, ergonomics, and value. There is no doubt. These knives are BARGAINS.

Amazingly, the D2 version of these knives tends to cost only $4-5 more than the AUS 8 version and they are still less than $40. If you are feeling flushed with cash, there are D2 and Carbon Fiber options that still come in under $50!

I am using Amazon as the price base line for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon:

ESEE Avispa on Amazon

ESEE Zancudo on Amazon


Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!

ESEE-6HM at SHOT Show

ESEE will begin taking orders for their new ESEE-6HM at SHOT Show in early 2017. This new ESEE-6 variant features similar modifications as those found on the other HM, or Handle Modification, knives that have already been released (ESEE-3HM and ESEE-4HM).

The deep finger choil found on the original versions of these knives has been removed in favor of a longer, more rounded handle. This design incorporates a self-guard and places the user’s hand very close to the cutting edge which is preferable for power and precision cuts at the base of the blade.

In all other aspects, this is an ESEE-6 and that is a good thing. The 6.5″ long, .188″ thick, 1095 steel blade with ESEE’s excellent heat treat is still there and if this release is anything like the ESEE-3HM and ESEE-4HM before it, the original ESEE-6 won’t go anywhere. The HM version will be offered in addition to the original.

ESEEKnives.com

ESEE Izula Tertiary Knife

What if the ESEE Izula and a push dagger had a baby? Well, you would have something like the upcoming ESEE Tertiary Knife.

esee tertiary with g10

ESEE designed the Tertiary with SWAT officer Lee Smith to serve as a defensive tool for military and police (it will work just fine for prepared citizens too where legal). Push knives are easy to carry at the belt line, easy to access, promote solid retention, and are general intuitive to use so this form factor makes good sense for the intended purpose of this knife.

ESEE cleverly worked in the Izula branding all over this knife. The blade is unmistakably derived from the Izula with the addition of a sharpened swedge. The handle even features the large loop that Izula users will immediately recognize.

esee tertiary

The Izula Tertiary will be available with or without bolt-on G-10 handle scales. The provided sheath is the standard Izula sheath that may be a touch bulky but it works better than most factory sheaths. It should work well with belt carry or on a static line.

Hopefully there will be a single edge version available to accommodate jurisdictions with preclusions for double edge blades.

Keep an eye on the ESEE website for details.

Specs:

  • Includes Ambidextrous Sheath & Clip Plate
  • Overall Length: 5.0″
  • Overall Width: 4.25″
  • Cutting Edge Length: 2.5″
  • Thickness: 3/32″
  • Weight (With Handles & Sheath): 5.7 Ounces
  • Black Powder Coat Finish
  • Sharpened Top Edge

New ESEE Candiru Sheath

The ESEE Candiru is about to get a new pair of pants. ESEE has designed a new molded sheath for it that is similar to those that currently ship with the Izula and Izula II. The new sheath will be on display at Blade Show and available shortly there after.

Check out ESEE Knives.

new-candiru-sheath

The Hoffman ESEE-CM6

I am a sucker for stout, 5-6″ field knives with carbon steel and micarta slab handles which is exactly why I won’t be able to resist the new Hoffman ESEE-CM6. This new offering from ESEE has been in the works for some time now and is the result of a collaboration with knife photographer, knife designer, founder of PWYP, and all around great guy Terrill Hoffman.

ESEE-CM6

The Hoffman ESEE-CM6 is 11 1/8″ overall with a 5 7/8″ blade. It is ground from 3/16″ thick 1095 steel. The saber-ground spear point blade features a sharpened clip at the point. Like other ESEE knives, it features a black coating to prevent corrosion and canvas micarta slab handles.

Check out ESEE Knives.

ESEE AH-1 Belt Buckle Sheath from Godspeed Tactical

How cool is this!?!?! Godspeed Tactical is now making a belt buckle sheath for the ESEE AH-1 survival arrow heads. You read that right right. It’s a belt buckle with an integral sheath or maybe it’s a sheath with an integral belt buckle. Either way, it’s awesome.

Check out Godspeed Tactical.

Godspeed Tactical ESEE AH1 Belt Buckle Sheath

See the Belt Buckle Sheath at 4:56 in the video below…

Custom ESEE Laser Strike Handle Slabs

laser-strike-custom-handles-3

The-Knife-Connection has expanded their line of custom machined G-10 handles to include the ESEE Laser Strike. The new handles retain the bow drill pivot functionality of the original handles. They are also relieved at the blade end of the grip to aid in various techniques that require a pinch grip. Like the other grips in this line, these have curves and swells in all the right places.

Check out the Laser Strike Custom Handles at The-Knife-Connection.

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