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ESEE X, where X < 5

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by AStone, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    As some of you know, I've got a thread going about the Kabar EsKabar. We've been exploring that fine little blade in some detail for a few weeks now. Interesting discussions have ensued. I was fairly sure an EsKabar was my next blade. I'm still pretty sure I'll own one.

    But over the last few days - for almost a week, now - I've been running a low-grade fever
    accompanied by a bit of ... anxiousness for ... something ... different. :uhoh:

    After some research on the Interweb, I've learned that what I have is a jungle-based disease called "ESEE fever".

    It was so bad last night that - on the cusp of my birthday, after receiving some unexpectedly generous cash gifts from some friends and colleagues, who knew I was mostly broke (pending the next big 'step up' in my professional life, in the works), and that I prefer cash for gifts rather than ... other stuff (because they know I have a long wish list of tools for the wilds that I want to buy, but that I prefer to acquire them myself) - I bought an ESEE knife online.

    Amazingly, the fever abated almost instantly upon receiving email confirmation of the purchase. This morning, my temperature decreased to normal upon receipt of an email saying that my ESEE had shipped via USPS Priority Mail, which means I could have it by week's end.

    Which ESEE? I'm not going to tell you yet :neener: other that that the blade is less than 4". I'll post picks when it arrives.

    So, why this thread? Because I'm reading that it's impossible to purchase only one ESEE (here is one among several examples of that principle), and I thought this would be an informative - and fun - way to discuss which other ESEE of that blade length (< 5") I might want to acquire. That includes the Izula (1 and 2), ESEE 3 and 4, and some others. I'll be posting links here to various pages about ESEE blades - sources, reviews, videos, etc.

    Back ground: My goal is to meet town and wild EDC blade needs with two ends of the spectrum : ~3" (town and wild) and ~9" (wild). After decades of experience, experiments, trial and error, I think I can do tha. I've got the longer blade chopper covered with my Ontario SP53. The new ESEE - and perhaps others - will be my EDC for both town and the wilds.

    {PS: I'm likely to be selling some other knives soon, including a 7" Kabar, a SOG Seal Pup Elite, a SOG paratool (which I use extremely rarely), and a Spyderco Manix 2 (though I haven't decided about the latter yet; it could stay in the kit as a back-up short blade; don't know).}

    So, what say you?

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  2. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    I say keep the Spyderco because a high quality, one hand opening, locking folder is essential to any town and wilderness tool kit. Small and light as the EsKabar and Izula I/II are that little 2.85 ounce folder is even smaller and lighter. That size and clip on functionality lends the knife to carry in so many ways and locations.

    After that, I think the 4.85" SPE and the 7" Kabar are overlapping in the size category in and of themselves. With an SP53 on the big end and a 2.85"-4.5" ESEE X on the small end I'm not seeing much need of either the SPE or the 7" KaBar now.

    Realistically, is there that much that would even require a blade between a roughly 3" fixed blade and the big SP53? Or, wouldn't just keeping the Spyderco TM2 and adding an ESEE 4 or Becker BK15/16/17 or BK2 handle darn near anything you could use a knife a knife for?
  3. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

  4. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    That's what I've come to understand.

    John S pointed out recently in one of my other threads
    that one can do everything with a 3" and 9".

    That's when it really 'clicked' for me.
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

  6. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member


    At least no more than DA,
    because you both keep
    making me buy more steel.


    Which is why I'm thinking I'll keep the Manix 2.

    {Sound track for this thread;
    good headphones strongly suggested.}
  7. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    But to get back on topic ...

    { ESEE X, X < 5 }

    ... just look at the non-linear curve
    along the top of this knife.
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    I've handled the ESSEs and they're great knives, but they're not any "better" than the Blind Horse or Beckers or Tops or ...

    It really comes down to a matter of taste and how it fits. That's more of an issue with their knives below the ESSE 3 so it is important to handle them and best if you can get with people with a variety at camp to use a little.

    Would I carry an ESSE? Without reservation, but I can say the same about a bunch of knives out there.
  9. JimStC

    JimStC Well-Known Member

    Blind Horse makes some very nice knives and are reasonably priced for the quality. Thanks for the reference.
    Where are they located? Couldn't find that on their web site.

  10. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    For the record, I'm emphatically and certainly not claiming that ESEE's are "better" than others. That's not the point of this thread.

    The point is to provide some info about their sub-five inch blade-lengths,
    especially those in that 3" neighborhood, about design, pro's, con's, etc.

    I wish I had an opportunity to handle them before buying, but that option
    simply doesn't exist for me for a variety of reasons, so discussion will have to suffice.
  11. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Nem has a Manix 2, not a TM2.

    Both terrific knives, but the standard Manix 2 is heavier. I would NOT sell it.

    Hso is on the money. I prefer a big knife that can chop, and a small task knife. There are any number of fine tools for the jobs at hand.

    I think my "1 and 1" would be a sturdy 7mm Magnum rifle and a Glock 23. I'd also be perfectly happy with a 1903 Springfield and an STI Trojan .45, but I wouldn't fault anyone who chose a .270 Winchester Model 70 and a .45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk.

    Same thing with knives...

  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Then you're going to have to tell us whether you've ordered the Candiru, Izula, Izula II, ESSE 3 or 4 because the neck knives are fundamentally different than the 3 and 4.

    The 3 and 4 are pretty much the same knife with different blade lengths. Plenty of reviews on them out there. They'd be fine knives in any trip to forrest or field.

    The Izulas are like the EsKaBar as far as handle with there being just a little more on the Izula II. We've discussed the blade shape differences in the Eskabar thread a bit as well as that entire genre of knifes. I've handled to Candiru and all I can say is that it is smaller than the Izula and feels ok. It is for folks that want an even lighter/smaller knife than the Izula and the handle reflects the needs for the smaller knife.
  13. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    In good time, compadre; in good time. ;)

    Now, we're getting somewhere. :cool:
  14. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    I agree with ugaarguy, keep the Spyderco. For when you don't want to or can't carry a fixed blade, the Manix is a great EDC.

    As far as your "fever" I think repeated doses of the cure is the only answer! Personally, I think the sub 5 inch ESEEs (Izula, 3 and 4) are some of the most generally useful outdoors and utility fixed blades around and you can't go wrong with adding any or all of them to your personal "tool kit". ;)
  15. RatDrall

    RatDrall Well-Known Member

    I've owned an Izula, four ESEE-3's, an ESEE-4, two ESEE-5's, an ESEE-6, two Laserstrikes, and a Junglas.

    I currently own three ESEE-3s, an ESEE-5, and a Laserstrike, and I'm very happy with my very useful battery of ESEEs, I have all my bases covered.

    The best EDC fixed blade I've ever used is the ESEE-3. When I was in sales, I wore one under my suitcoat and never had an issue. It's flat, light, and just big enough in the handle and blade to be useful for whatever comes along. There's a reason I have three of these, because if I ever lost one I wouldn't know what to do while the replacement was in the mail.


    The best ESEE belt knife is the Laserstrike, by far. It has perfect balance, a handle that works in any grip, a design that really allows one to choke up on the blade for fine work, and a leaf shaped blade that couldn't be more useful. It also comes with a sheath that would cost $50+ to have made by a pro. When I'm in the woods, the LS is on my hip.


    I like my ESEE-5 because it is a badass prybar, with a razor sharp edge on it. I would use it if I was running out the door into the unknown, where I may need to break through something, as opposed to cutting it, but also want a fixed blade knife handy.


    The '4 I sold and never have I regretted it. It had horrible balance and felt aweful in the hand. The handle is too small for the blade thickness and length, nothing about it made sense. If you want to know what a '4 feels like, imagine an ESEE-3, but thicker and with 1/2" more blade. For an analogy, imagine a fit, healthy woman, about 5'8" tall and 130 lbs. Now take the same girl, only 5'9" tall, and 200 lbs. That is what the ESE-4 is like :barf:

    Same with the Izula, I don't miss it a bit. For the same space in my pocket, I can carry a Spyderco Endura with a 4" blade. I cannot see the point of a small fixed blade, except for the Tops IRAQ-JAC, which for some reason I can't put down:


    I loved my '6, it had great balance and was a good knife, but the LS is similar in length and blade thickness, with a more functional handle and a better blade shape for bushcraft or....darker things ;)


    I really liked the idea of the Junglas, but where I live (Northwoods) a knife that long doesn't do much, you need an axe.
  16. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    ^ Nominated for most informative post in thread to date.

    Very interesting reading. Thanks.

    Was expecting my ESEE in the (priority) mail today,
    so I sat on the front porch with coffee and laptop until the mail came. :scrutiny:

    But the postman didn't stop at my house. :(

    I'm holding onto a slim, but unreasonable hope that priority mail
    is delivered by a separate courier that will come later today. :D
  17. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    RatDrall, you raised my curiosity about the Laser Strike, so I searched for reviews.

    While eating lunch, I read this set of pages about it, including one of your posts.
    I'm including it here for any who are interested since
    this thread is about X < 5", and the LS fits that criterion.

    Interesting knife. Not sure if it appeals to me or not. Maybe eventually.

    OK, time to check my mailbox again.

    (Yes, I feel like a kid waiting for this knife. :rolleyes: )
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  18. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    Checked my tracking information this morning.

    I've been sitting by the front porch with coffee for hours. :scrutiny:

    No postman yet; he's usually here well before now. :uhoh:

    A FedX truck stopped next door earlier - but mine is coming Priority Mail.

    Come on, USPS. Don't make me wait until Monday. :banghead:
  19. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    I would offer input but I'm on a different wavelength with my knife purchasing.

    I was very excited when my ZDP 189 ladybug arrived the other day. FFG, man is that thing a slicer :). I've got some camo paracord on it and have attached a "covert nose" red Photon brand LED. The red lets me minimize exposure to blue light which is best for my circadian rhythms and lets me also preserve night vision where relevant (whereas, with my Klarus that puts out 470-500 lumens... that is not the case).

    Nem how do you sharpen your knives? I ask because all this money could be well spent on the basic Sharpmaker...it's pretty unbelievably efficient and that's multiplied if you have many knives, of course.

    Final thought - if you can get in on some "passarounds" over on Bladeforums or Knifeforums, you can scratch some of these itches without forking over the cash. You might even make knife buddies you can temporarily trade off blades with. Lots of people there have the same interests you do, enjoying knives as users and objets d'art at the same time, on an experimental basis.

    Heck you could even set up your own passarounds considering the type of collection you are getting, for people who just want to play with and use a knife then let the next guy try it.
  20. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    Conwict, it's great to see you here in this thread. I always value your input. Thanks much.

    Yes, excellent ideas and suggestions. I've never heard of a passaround, but love the concept.

    RE sharpening, check out a thread on this board that I started last night called Sandpaper Sharp.
    I hope you'll come by; would enjoy reading your opinions.

    My intention is to get something like a Sharpmaker soon -
    (it's a cash flow issue, but that's starting to turn around with a better prognosis for fall.)
    I've actually got a different favorite ceramic rod set up that I think I'd like more than the Sharpmaker, but I'd love your input.

    On the west coast, I have in storage two larger stones, but I never had much luck with them.

    For two years, which has involved travels and a lot of moving, so I've had to pare down my tools, I've had only a tiny (3" x 1") backpacking drystone, very, very fine grit. It does a passable job for maintenance, but I need a system with multiple grits - and want a V-stick system (because I'm just not very effective with a horizontal stone; I just can't keep the angle, and don't want to deal with all the clamp on angle brace thingees).

    Right now, I'm exploring sandpaper as a cheap alternative until I can get a better set up.
    You'll see my drift in that sandpaper thread.

    PS: still sitting by the front door while waiting on a postman carrying a package.
    Doing pre-late lunch exercises to abate my anxious energy ...

    This just in : the postman just pulled up across the street!

    <.... drum roll ....>
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012

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