If you could only own one ESEE knife?

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September 24, 2020, 10:49 AM
If you could only own one ESEE knife?
Hello Everyone,

If you could only own one knife from ESEE's lineup, which would it be and why?
September 24, 2020, 11:23 AM
Of all the Esee Knives I have handled, and the one I own (to help a friend out I bought his Esee 6) I think for my needs the Esee-3 fits the bill the best.

There are a few different flavors of the ESEE-3 but I like the ESEE-3 HM the best out of all of choices.

My reasons for choosing the Esee-3:

1.) It is a full tang
2.) It is easy to maintain in the field. (Blade material)

3.) It is comfortable for long term use and able to withstand harsh environments.

4.) I am an armor guy, and I do a lot of work in and around MRAPS, or up armored humvees. Right now I am trying to decide on either an intel or engineering MOS to re-class into. If I choose Engineering I will be back to doing route Clearance specifically in an MRAP and/or Husky. Those are very tight and controlled spaces so I wand and need a blade that is easy to manipulate and control in these less than ideal conditions.
September 24, 2020, 03:56 PM
Pale Horse
I’d pick the ESEE-3. But I’m your case perhaps the Izula or Izula II with some handles from The Knife Connection might work best.

Georgia Carry MemberNRA Lifetime Member

“With no police to protect you, did you own a gun? Did your neighbor?” - The Division 2

“Everybody wants a Sig in the sheets but a Glock on the streets.” -bionic218 04-02-2014
September 25, 2020, 01:09 PM
It depends what you want to do with it. I've got an Izula, a 3, 4, 5 and a 6.

If you want a general-purpose slicer, go with the ESEE-3, and if you do, take a look at the S35VN version of the knife. It's stainless and therefore has no textured paint coating that the carbon steel version of the ESEE-3 has. I have the S35VN version and it's scalpel-sharp. It tasted my blood about the third day I had it, opened up my finger with just a touch. If you want a general bushcrafting knife, the ESEE-4 would be the choice. If you want a wilderness blade, go with the ESEE-6 and pair it up with a smaller fixed blade such as the ESEE-3 or perhaps an Izula. If you want a balls-out, can't-break-it survival knife, the ESEE-5 is a beast.

If I could have only one? It would be the ESEE-6. You look at pictures of the knife and you say "just another big chopper", but it's not. It's not a quarter of an inch thick. It's surprisingly lively in the hand. I installed G-10 scales on mine. I love it. I've actually owned two. I was playing with my first ESEE-6 in the yard one day, batoning wood off my woodpile. The guy who details my wife's car saw me with it and convinced me to sell it to him. He paid me what I paid for it, about a hundred bucks. I told him he could get a new one for the same price, whereas mine showed some wear and had been sharpened a couple of times, but he wanted mine. He's from Honduras, I think, and he was saying the spirt of my knife was strong. That made me smile and I handed it over to him. That's when I invested in the G-10 scales, on the second one.

If you were putting together a survival kit/INCH bag to stash away, the ESEE-4 would be a great choice. Not too big, not too small, and you're not going to break it. Oh, it's possible to do so, but you have to try real hard. If I found myself in a tight spot and opened up a kit to find an ESEE-4 in it, man, that would be a great comfort.

For the large ESEE knives, the 5 and 6, having an Izula or other small fixed blade companion blade makes sense. Once you get into these long and/or thick blades, a small fixed blade knife really rounds things out. The Izula is hard to beat in that respect. Add an SAK and/or a good multitool like a Leatherman and you'd be all set.

The ESEE-5, though, now that's a TEOWAWKI blade. If you're never going home, the ESEE-5 is the way to go.


"I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment." - Ludwig Wittgenstein
September 25, 2020, 01:50 PM
Way to put it in perspective, Para! I currently own a USMC Ka-Bar, Kershaw Blur (S30V) and an ESEE Izula. I bought the Izula with the intention of carrying it, but knife laws in CA suck. The Blur will have to remain my EDC companion, which I don't mind one bit. I'd like to keep a nice fixed blade in my truck in case SHTF, but my Ka-Bar was a gift and I'd hate for anything to happen to it. I've owned an ESEE 4 in the past and liked it a lot, but want something a little more substantial. I'm currently leaning towards the ESEE 6. It seems like "The One" to have.

Funny thing: One of the guys at the car wash I go to is from Honduras and offered to buy my truck!
September 25, 2020, 03:21 PM
I think Para just sold me on a ESEE 5, not a 4. Waiting for the next payday to place the order.
September 25, 2020, 03:58 PM
The 5 is a BEAST! I just like the aesthetics of the 6 more. It reminds me of the original Predator movie. "Stick around!" Wink
September 25, 2020, 05:57 PM
The ESEE-5 is 16 ounces. That's just the knife and its scales. That's 4 ounces heavier than the ESEE-6, which has a longer blade.

I bought an orange-coated ESEE-5 and installed black G-10 scales and it looks so cool.

This is what that combo looks like, At the 8 minute mark.

I bought an orange-coated Izula (that's a knifeworks exclusive) and put black G-10 scales on it, too. Great-looking combination.


"I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment." - Ludwig Wittgenstein
September 28, 2020, 01:23 PM
The nearby Cabela's had several Ontario RAT 5s (NOS, judging by the price and the blister packaging) this weekend. Unless ESEE's newest offerings are a bit smaller than the old Ontarios, I'm going to think ESEE 4 instead. In no rush for another hernia. The 5 is a beast, indeed!
November 05, 2020, 11:24 AM
I have a bunch of ESEE's and like them all, but if I had to choose just one, I think it might be the DPx HEST. In between an Izula-II and an ESEE-3 in size, with a few additional features. Cool knife, and very EDC-capable.
November 05, 2020, 12:31 PM
For EDC it would be my Xancudo. It has a 3" blade so legal for carry and the S35V stainless stays razor sharp and wont mind being sweated on.

For hunting and basic camping stuff I'd take the ESSE-3. It's big enough to process game and basic camp chores while being small and light enough to forget you're carrying it.

For survival, shtf, or serious off grid work the ESSE-6 is perfect.

I'd make my choice based on the above needs and which is most important to me.
For me personally I'd take the ESSE-6 since I carry a folder to do any more delicate work anyway.
November 05, 2020, 07:54 PM
David W
I have an Izula and a 4, I would take the 4. I have baton'd/split large wood with that knife and it will still shave you.

David W.

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. -Sophocles
November 20, 2020, 03:32 PM
Not an ESEE, but yesterday a trip to Cabela's was empty handed (sorry, but I don't have a .38-55 or .280 Ackley Improved; no cartridges for me this trip) until I picked up an Ontario RAT-3. Companion piece to my ESEE 4.