Esee 5 or KaBar Becker Campanion

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September 01, 2017, 09:49 PM
Esee 5 or KaBar Becker Campanion
I'm looking for a good camping/survival knife, and am wondering what you all think of these two models? It will most likely just sit in my dresser until I die, and then be given away by my wife, but I've got $100 at Cabelas and I'm looking for a way to spend it Big Grin

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice - pull down your pants and slide on the ice.
ʘ ͜ʖ ʘ
September 01, 2017, 10:14 PM
If you get the ESEE, do not go to Cabelas. I bought mine at Knifeworks. Save the Cabelas $100 for something else.

I want to say Cabelas has them for $150 and they were $90 at Knifeworks.
September 03, 2017, 10:06 AM
get the ESEE

Keep Americans working, buy American made!
September 03, 2017, 12:46 PM
The Esee 5 is 16ozs of awesome knife.
September 17, 2017, 08:21 AM
Get a smaller knife and actually use it Cool


September 18, 2017, 11:42 AM
Esee is awesome!
June 02, 2018, 01:16 PM
I have an ESEE 3 and an Isula 2 for 5 years now, love them both, used on a ranch everyday, easy to sharpen, damn near indestructable, got both at knifeworks. Can’t go wrong with an ESEE.

"Hold my beer.....Watch this".
June 02, 2018, 01:36 PM
I personally think the ESEE5 is too big and heavy for an all around camp/survival knife.
I'd go with an ESEE4 or even the LaserStrike over the 5 any day.

"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
June 02, 2018, 01:50 PM
I have an ESEE 6 on a MOLLE attached to my pack. I use it for a lot of hacking.
June 03, 2018, 12:27 PM
my dad gave me a 5, it's a big knife! I EDC an Izula
August 13, 2018, 03:57 PM
another vote for Esee 4. I have 2 of them...

You can only control what you can control. Nothing more. Nothing less.
August 14, 2018, 04:31 PM
I would pass on both.

There are better ways to blow 100 at cabelas.

If its a good outdoors knife you want, there are better options then both of those, especially if you add a few more dollars.

First In Last Out
August 19, 2018, 06:06 PM
FN in MT
Nickelsig229....elaborate Please.

I'm in the same boat at the OP....Looking for a knife for hiking, camp use, etc.

The Rat3/ESEE 3 caught my eye as a real possibility.
August 19, 2018, 08:54 PM
This is obviously all my opinion and we know what those are worth...

I'm not a fan of 1095. It's not horrible steel, but it's not corrosion resistant at all. I have a bk 7 which remained in the safe with humidity control and the edge had pitted slightly where the oil wasn't covering it. It was easily repaired with a sharpening session, 1095 is soft and easy to sharpen, another reason why some people like it, but if I'm stranded, surviving, or camping near salt water or humid climate, I don't think I'd want to regrind an edge, assuming I had the tools and time. That same ease of sharpening is also proof the edge wont last as long, the two go hand in hand.

For a few dollars more you can get fixed blades in A2, D2, or 3v, still not stainless, but much more durable edges and offer higher resistance and strength. You could also get most of the stainless super steels for a few more dollars. Their edge retention and corrosion resistance would extend maintenance time significantly.

If I use my junglas to chop for a weekend camping when I come home the edge is hammered. When I us my d2 carnera I don't have to sharpen every time I take it out. Also the patina on d2 allows me to just make sure it's dry and put it in the safe. The ESSE has to be oiled and I have to make sure nothing is touching the safe carpeting just in case I don't use it for a few months then turn it over and find pitting.

Besides the steel, the handles on bk's, regardless of the size, are hit or miss for people. My bk5 handle is the same design as the bk 7 and 9 but it's smaller. The bigger knives using that handle are ok but on a smaller thinner knife the design is horrible. I can't do any intricate work with it. But with the thicker blade on my ratmandu I can do a lot more detail work and with ease due to the handle. That should be the other way around because of the blade profiles, but the difference in grip allows me to do more with the ratmandu then the bk5 regardless of the blade profile.

As for the larger bk's, while I like it for chopping because you can grip the back end of the handle, in other use it doesn't allow me to utilize the knife with a lot of different grip methods. You basically have to hold it like a short sword and make due.

The esse grip lets me use more grip styles, it is much more manageable but it's unforgiving. There is something about the feel in the hand, regardless of the 3 4 or 6 that just doesn't fill my hand. The falkniven f1 doesn't fill my hand either, but it's a joy to use and I almost always take it out with me. Again, a thicker blade but with the comfort and grip of the handle, it becomes a superior performer then the esse knives. It's not a problem if your cutting your steak and splicing some 550 cord, but when you start making kindling, whittling, traps, making fishing spears or just messing around with outdoors projects, the esse handle gets old fast.

Again, it's a generic design that looks good and the price is great but when I actually used it for a couple of trips outdoors I quickly learned to leave it home.

I don't want to sound like I'm squatting all over these knives. I own a bunch of them, I'm a knife guy and like them. They just aren't the "one good knife" selection I would make. Would I use them in a last ditch survival effort, or on a camping trip. Sure, I have. I used an esse 4 on the AT but I learned that the F1 is a far superior knife on that adventure.

I feel like 1095 survival knives are popular because of their price, not so much their performance. BK and ESEE, and others, I don't mean to single them out, are mass marketed and mass produced. They are what people see first and they are at a price point that is more agreeable to people. They do have tough looking aesthetics which draw people to them but they aren't great knives IMO. If your comparing it to a rambo survival knife, yeah these options are excellent, but if you dig around and see what else is out there, you can better spend that 100 dollars by adding a few more to the budget.

It also depends a lot on what you want the knives to do, there simply isn't a one and done knife out there. Every set of task's changes the utility of a knife.

The 150-200 dollar outdoor/survival/camping knife price point has way to many quality knives to list. I guess it just comes down to how often you'll be using it and if it's value warrants the price, everyone is different.

First In Last Out
August 19, 2018, 09:23 PM
FN in MT
In a 3-4 inch knife under $150 what would You suggest? Similar in design to the ESSE 3 or 4.

Thanks for the informative reply.
August 19, 2018, 09:45 PM
feersum dreadnaught
Fallkniven: F1 Swedish Military Survival Knife - VG-10 - Leather Sheath

On sale right now for $142

NRA Life Member - "Fear God and Dreadnaught"
August 20, 2018, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by feersum dreadnaught:
Fallkniven: F1 Swedish Military Survival Knife - VG-10 - Leather Sheath

On sale right now for $142

FN in MT, I too suggest this knife. I've sharpened several Esee's for friends. Feel the balance on them is clunky. The F1 has a great feel and balance in the hand, knife almost disappears. Easy to sharpen either steel, VG10 has better edge retention I believe.
August 20, 2018, 12:19 PM
FN in MT
Appreciate the input...the F1 may be the choice.

A gun trading/shooting Buddy just bought a Bark River he is going to give me to try, the Gunny model? 4" or slightly under blade, composite grip. Nice to be able to simply TRY one for a few days.

I like the simple lines of the F-1.

Thanks for the input Gentlemen!
August 20, 2018, 12:42 PM
These are just some examples of Production knives.

It's hard not to like the Falkniven F1 for the 3-4 inch psuedo survival/camping knife. $110 on amazon, 120 with leather sheath.

I would got a custom kydex for it. Both sheaths leave a lot to be desired.

The benchmade bushcrafter 162 or EOD version (kydex holster) is a bit bigger and more expensive. But I also recommend this knife to people who want something care free and quality. Benchmade life sharp is nice for people who don't want to deal with sharpening.

Bark River makes some good knives as well. I bit more expensive in the low 200 dollar range but the craftsmanship and materials are much higher. You can even custom order your knife. I have a few of the bravo series knives. You are paying for materials as well as fit and finish. If its too far out of your price range, I'd buy a used one for 125-150

A knife that surprised me was the Kershaw Skyline. It is thinner and lighter and isn't a survival knife. It's a great camping/hiking utility knife though. I was surprised at how much this little knife did with great feel and control. S30v was also a nice surprise. I think for 95 dollars, it's a great value and easily carried outdoors.

Another smaller 3 inch lighter weight knife is the White River M1 backpacker. I got this for my sister and she treat's it like a tire iron. It's easy to sharpen and amazingly hasn't shown any sign of corrosion. She even uses it to dig little clams out of the beach and rocks out of the ground when she sets up tents.


If you don't mind waiting, you could save up for a survive knives 4.1 but that is the next tier price range. Bordering on custom knives which opens a whole new world.

First In Last Out
August 20, 2018, 01:16 PM
FN in MT
Again Thanks for a lot of good information NickleSIG.

Really like the White River model!

I already have a few larger, more "survival" oriented blades that I seldom use. This needs to be a simple, light, but tough blade.

Want a good grip like micarta or rubber too.

And as you mentioned a steel that will not need constant wiping down, for fear of staining or rust would be nice.

I have a NIB Randall Bird & Trout, a 4" model but too nice to actually use. Want to give it to any future male grandkids.

Also have a neat Dan Denenehy (SP?) 4" but again, new and unused and valuable.

Also have my old Army Aviators survival knife, but a keepsake.

So I guess I am going to HAVE to investigate knives; view countless pages on forums , Dealer sites, etc. Woe is me! (insert happy face here)