ESEE 6 survival knife Review

ESEE 6 Survival Knife Review

ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE 6P Fixed Blade Knife

Features

Nothing fancy here but the Micarta handle and thick 1095 carbon steel blade are pretty nice

Ease of Use

The ESEE 6 does what it should and doesn't complain about it. Unlike Cathy...

Price

It ain't cheap. But if you plan to play rough with it, you'll save money in the long run

  • Tough
  • Well made
  • Keeps a good edge
  • Pricier than other survival knives
  • Sheath not made out of Kydex

The Only Survival Knife You Need?

If you’re like me, you may have spent money on cheap knives in the past. A blade is a blade, right? A cutting edge made out of metal.

Oh no they aren’t. A cheap blade is a danger to you and everyone around you.

Thankfully I never had any ‘fun’ mishaps, but I have bent a blade a week after buying it, and multiple others have been very disappointing yet educational exercises in keeping a knife sharp.

Good practice with the whetstone, though.

I do not mess around with those cheap knives any more. I’ve learned my lesson.

Any blades I handle will be tough and able to take on any job necessary. It will hold a good edge, and work as hard as I need it to in order to survive in the woods.

The ESEE 6 Fixed Blade is such a knife.

History of ESEE

ESEE knives came about because of Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin. They formed Randall’s Adventure Training Company in 1997, which specialized in outdoor survival training.ESEE 6 Survival knife review

They started to produce survival gear as well and, unlike some people in the outdoor survival field who slap their name on silly products (I think his name is Boar Stoves?), they were determined to produce the highest quality gear possible without introducing too many frills.

Every knife they produce has spent more time in the field than the drawing table before ever reaching production. Field test upon field test is performed, and user feedback is incorporated, to try to make the best outdoor knives possible.

This has the side effect of creating knives which believe in function over form, except where form impacts ergonomics. ESEE produces knives that are beautiful in their utility. Do not expect fancy finishes here.

Who This Knife is For

The ESEE 6 Fixed Blade Survival Knife would be excellent for anyone who takes a blade into the woods and uses it.

I’m not just talking about cutting open the occasional package or through some twine, I mean people who baton through small logs, fashion hunting spears, and push their knives to their limits.

ESEE designed the 6 to take that abuse and return for more, after years upon years.

Who This Knife is Not For

This is not a tactical knife. If you are a mall ninja or high-speed low-drag operator, this may not be the knife for you.

If you are looking for a fancy and beautiful knife, the form-follows-function lines of this one may not be for you either. There are prettier knives out there.

It’s also not for the more “budget-minded” folks. If you are practicing survival skills on a budget, the ESEE 6 is rather expensive.

Saving up the money to buy one may be a good idea, but there are other good survival knives for cheaper.

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Product Features

Blade

The blade is 6.5″ long and 3/16″ thick. The cutting edge is 5.75″ with a flat ground bevel and it has a longer-than-average drop point. This makes it easy to sharpen, and it cuts well.ESEE 6 Fixed Blade

It is made from 1095 carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness of 55-57, excellent for a survival knife. The blade is also powder coated to protect the metal.

As it is 1095 carbon steel, the exposed metal areas may be prone to rust. Keep the edge clean and oiled else corrosion will begin to eat at your knife.

The ESEE logo is laser engraved on the blade, so if you ever get bored on those long nights in the woods, you can admire the tiny text.

The knife has a full tang, so it can withstand batoning and other such intense tasks. You can get the blade in either serrated or straight, depending on which side of that never ending debate you stand.

Handle

The handle is made of Micarta and is connected at three places through the tang. Several different colors are available, including grey, green canvas, and black.ESEE 6 micarta handle

Being made of Micarta, the handle will survive the worst the elements can throw at it.

If you throw the knife at the elements, you will probably damage the blade before the handle.

The contours of the handle fit the hand very well, so it is a comfortable knife to hold.

It does have some texture; while this will make it easier to hold than a smooth handle, some people may not like the roughness.

The bottom of the handle ends before the tang and thus exposes a portion of the metal, which sports a lanyard hole. This is very helpful to keep your knife from flying 30 feet into the woods when chopping branches.

Sheath

Unfortunately, the sheath is perhaps the low point of the ESEE 6. It is made of molded polymer plastic, not Kydex.ESEE 6 polymer sheath

It can be slippery and does not have adequate drainage if water gets in the sheath.

On the plus side, the sheath holds the knife securely and is ambidextrous.

There are slots around the outside to lash the knife anywhere you need to place it. The sheath is also available in a variety of colors!

Still, your knife may be better served by purchasing an aftermarket sheath, or making your own out of Kydex.

Product Specs

• Overall Length: 11.75″
• Blade Length: 6.5″
• Cutting Edge: 5.75″
• Weight: 12 oz
• Blade Material: 1095 Carbon Steel
• Handle Material: Micarta, Colors Vary
• Sheath: Molded Polymer, Colors Vary

Full Specs List

What I Like About the Knife

If you take the idea of a survival knife and distill it into a single blade, you will get something remarkably like the ESEE 6.

This knife is hefty without being too heavy, the blade can be used for chopping wood or skinning anything smaller than an elephant, and it is tougher than nails.

I would have no qualms trusting my life to this knife. It’s still a good idea to have a backup, but the ESEE 6 is designed to be a no-frills, serious survival knife, and has been proven in the wild to succeed at that goal.

What I Did Not Like About the Knife

There are only two things about the knife I dislike. Aesthetically, the ESEE logo on the blade is a bit large and I could do with a bit less in-your-face branding.

esee 6p b knives review

My other complaint is the price. The cost varies from color to color for some reason, but you will always be spending more than $100 for a new ESEE 6.

While it is a seriously good outdoors knife, and I understand that a lot of thought and design went into the knife, you can find almost as good knives for a third that price.

Buying Advice

ESEE has a strong reputation as creators of high quality yet not-inexpensive knives, so cheap imitations have been created and try to pass themselves off as the real thing. When buying an ESEE 6, make sure you are buying from a reputable site or dealer.

Other than that, the difference between the various flavors of the ESEE 6 are just that, flavors. Do you want a straight edge or serrated edge? What colors would you like?

Whichever you get, it will serve you well.

Conclusion

The ESEE 6 is a very well designed survival knife. It can do almost anything you could want it to do in the woods. I would recommend it to anyone. Anyone who can comfortably spend $130 or so on a knife, that is.

If dropping that much money on a knife would strain your budget, there are cheaper options out there which are also very good survival knives.

Morakniv makes a variety of excellent outdoor knives in the $20-80 range that have a reputation of punching outside their price class (I have two of them and they are MUCH better than you would expect).

Still, if I had the budget and could only buy one survival knife, I would get the ESEE 6 before considering most competitors.

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3 Comments on "ESEE 6 Survival Knife Review"

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Aram Flores
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The sheath is NOT kydex, it is injected molded plastic. I recently upgraded from an esee 4 to a 6. I love the knife hated the sheath, so I ordered a custom kydex sheath from YellowHawk and now it’s an amazing survival tool.

Richard
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You really provided great information to us. This is really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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