ESEE 6 Knife Review

esee-6-review

ESEE can’t help but pump out quality blade after quality blade. The ESEE 6 is another premium blade I absolutely love to take into the bush. You might have read my review on the ESEE-5. It’s very much on the weighty side and almost too big to be comfortable. The ESSE-6 is everything I love about the ESEE-5 but in a lighter profile. I can get a handle on the ESSE-6 without feeling like I’m wielding a small hatchet. The ESEE-6  is finding its way onto my belt with increased frequency these days.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length6.5 inches
Total Length11.75 inches
Blade Thickness0.188 inches
Blade Material1095 steel / Flat grind
Weight20 oz
TangFull
Sheath IncludedYes

The blade

esee-6-blade
1095 carbon steel blade with a flat grind and drop point.

The handle

esee-6-handle
Grey Micarta handle with scales and lanyard

 

The sheath

ESEE-6-sheath
Black molded polymer sheath. Not as impressive as the ESEE-5 sheath but it will do.

 

First impressions

I picked up the blade and immediately could feel the agility. I could tell chopping was going to be an absolute breeze. The thinner blade compared to ESSE’s previous model was a welcome change. I found I left the 5 at home more often because of the weight. It’s a shame because it’s a super high quality blade but too damn difficult to maneuver (for me.) The ESSE 6 has a longer and thinner blade and I was excited to get out into the bush to give it a proper test.

As you know with all my knife reviews I like to take the blade out into the bush and test the upper limits. This usually involves me exhausting myself in a few rounds of heavy batoning. I also test the blades ability to carve and make feathersticks.

Making feathersticks – Making feathersticks was an absolute piece of cake. I barely needed to exert any pressure for the blade to dig in to the wood and create a bundle of super fine feathers. The blade thickness is a perfect. Even on really hard wood the ESEE-6 continued to prove its functionality. With a longer blade it will be difficult to carve anything really fine, but making feathersticks won’t be a problem. I don’t do a lot of real carving in the bush so the ESEE-6 works well for my purposes.

esee-6-feathersticks

Batoning wood – The long blade makes batoning wood a dream job. The knife slices right through even the toughest knots:

esee-6-batoning
Slicing straight through with the ESSE 6

 

Final thoughts

The ESSE-6 is a blade worthy of your belt in the bush. It’s on the pricey side but with ESEE knives you get what you pay for.  The ESSE-6 is hands down one of the best survival knives out there. You also get the benefits of ESEE’s signature no questions asked repair and return policy. They do a great job making making customer support a top priority when you purchase their knives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ESEE 5 Knife Review

Are you ready to go full beast mode? Do want a blade that can bust through the thickest of the thick? The ESEE 5 is the knife reserved for the bushman who’s serious about getting stuff done in the bush. I’m talking about falling branches with only a few strokes. I’m talking about a knife capable of prying the door off a TANK.  The ESEE 5 is an absolute BRUTE of a knife.

Real talk – the ESEE-5 was designed as a downed pilots survival knife. Everything from the thick blade to the glass breaker is designed to get you out of a downed aircraft and assist your journey out from behind enemy lines. Escape and evasion is the name of the game. The ESEE-5 is not a carvers knife. It is not an everyday carry knife. It’s a full blown survival knife.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length5.25 inches
Total Length10.88 inches
Blade Thickness0.25 inches
Blade Material1095 steel / Sabre grind
Weight16 oz
TangFull
Sheath IncludedYes

The blade

esse-5-blade
1095 carbon steel blade with a sabre grind and textured with a black powder coating. This type of steel is slightly prone to rust. No big deal if you keep up on the maintenance. The blade is nice and thick – quite shockingly thick actually.

The handle

esse-5-handle
Canvas Micarta with glass breaker pommel and pre-drilled bow drill.

The sheath

esse-5-sheath
The best in the business. One of the few sheaths that actually lock the blade in place. The sheath comes with a tech lock that secures and releases the blade. Very nice stuff.

First impressions

now-thats-a-knife

Seriously, when I pulled it out of the box I could tell right away the ESEE 5 wasn’t messing around. It’s weightiness communicated that I was about to do some serious damage in the woods. My first instinct was to bushwhack through the bamboo separator barricading my girlfriends kitchen from her living room – but I restrained myself. Instead, I took the knife out into the bush – the only place I can cut stuff up while looking like a complete lunatic.

Enough with the waffling. How does the ESSE-5 really stack up in the woods?

ESSE-5 performance

The ESSE-5 slices through just about anything you want. It sinks deep into wood with very little effort on your part. This is largely due to the sheer weight of the ESSE-5. Despite the thick blade I found the ESSE-5 sharpened up quite nicely – sharp enough to even create fine feather sticks. Granted, you won’t be doing any fine carving with this knife. It’s very much a Rambo type blade designed for brute force work in the bush. I noticed with little effort you can get a lot of work done in terms of processing firewood.

Making feathersticks – Can the ESEE-5 make a proper feather stick? The carbon steel blade does allow for a sharp edge – and yes, you can make feather sticks. The thing is, it’s not going to be as easy as with a Mora knife or a thinner blade – the ESEE-5 is a raw survival knife. It excels in doing a lot of things with decent competency.

esse-5-feather-sticks

Batoning wood – Can the ESEE-5 baton wood? Does Bigfoot shit in the woods? You can beat the crap out of this thing all you want and its still going to come back for more. I came down hard over the top spine with a force that would shatter a lesser blade. You couldn’t damage this blade if you wanted to. The thickness allows for easy prying. I’m too scared to pry with other blades. Not with the ESEE-5. It batons through wood like nobody’s business.

Notable considerations

  • This is a big knife.
  • Think survival or bush knife. This is not an everyday use-around-the-house knife.
  • The handle is big. I have medium sized hands and while I can swing it, it’s certainly a lot to handle.
  • You’re going to have trouble manipulating the ESEE-5 if you have smaller hands.
  • The sheath is the best sheath to ever come stock with a knife
  • The glass breaker on the pommel is awesome. One day I will test it out.

Final thoughts

I can’t say I recommend the ESEE-5 to everyone. If you spend a lot of time in the bush, have large hands, and process a lot of firewood the ESEE-5 will make a great companion. The weight and size of this knife is something to consider especially if you value lightweight gear. I mean, the knife is a whole pound. The sheath is second to none. Hands down the best sheath that has ever came with a knife. I would buy this knife just for the sheath.

Look, if you’re going into the bush to kick some ass and take some names purchase this knife right now. This is an indestructible knife and will serve your journey well.

 

 

Fallkniven F1 Knife Review

fallkniven-F1-review

I’m excited to talk about one of my favorite knives today – The Fallkniven F1. I first heard about this in passing while browsing a survivalist forum. Over time there seemed to be more chatter going on and on about this knife until I had to check it out for myself. I was not let down. The Fallkniven F1 is a sturdy as hell blade and a true work horse. It’s the blade issued to the Swedish Army – and if you don’t think Sweden knows a thing or two about blades think again. Sweden is the same country who brought us the infamous Mora knives. Following this same trend of excellence, the Fallkniven F1 is more than capable of going into the bush and tackling whatever you throw at it.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length3.8 inches
Total Length8.3 inches
Blade Thickness4.5 mm
Blade MaterialVg-10 Stainless Steel
Weight6 oz
TangFull
Sheath IncludedYes - Zytel plastic or leather

First impressions

The blade feels comfortable and agile in hand. My hands are medium sized and the Fallkniven F1 feels like it was injection molded to fit my mitts. I’m not the only who thinks that either – many survivalists have had the same experience with this blade. Did those Swedes cast some magical elven spell during the molding process? I don’t know, but I like it.

The blade

fallkniven-F1-blade

The blade itself was forged with VG-10 stainless steel. Stainless steel is well known for being absolutely bomproof. While you typically can’t put an edge on a stainless steel blade like you can on a carbon steel blade, I found the Fallkniven F1 sharpened up quite nicely – sharp enough to take the hairs straight off my forearm. The blade features a convex grind so the technique to put an edge on it is slightly different than, lets say, a scandinavian grind blade such as the Moraknive Bushcraft Black (another fine knife from our fellow Swedish brethrens.)

I’m going to get into why I love the convex grind in a minute.

The handle

Fallkniven-F1-Handle-With-Lanyard
Fallkniven F1 handle with lanyard

The handle fits my hand like a glove. I think there is something truly magical about tool and hand. You can feel when something is right. I get a good feeling when I pick up this blade. I get the feeling that whatever the bush throws at me I will be prepared. The thing I hate about most knives is how “fancy” they make the handles. I don’t need a special spot for each finger or weird curves that promise to deliver a perfect fit. Give me something basic. Give me something I can grab without thinking twice. The Fallkniven F1 delivers.

The handle material is known as thermorun – a hardened rubber/plastic combo with checkered imprints. It’s super grippy even with sweaty palms. Really, you got to feel how well this knife fits in your hand.

The sheath

You have a choice between two sheaths when purchasing the Fallkniven F1. The first sheath is leather. Very hard leather with a belt loop and a snap flap. It’s the one I ordered and it does the job:

fallkniven-F1-Leather-Sheath

Your second option is the Zytel sheath. From what I can tell it’s a hardened plastic with nylon strap ins. Looks good. Looks modern. The Zytel sheath has a thinner profile than the leather sheath. I prefer leather but your style might lend itself to something more modern and slim.

fallkniven-F1-Zytel-Sheath
The fallkniven F1 next to the Zytel sheath

The fallkniven F1 in action

I take every blade I review out into the bush for a proper pounding. Here’s how it stacked up:

Feathersticks – as you can see it makes feather sticks perfectly:

Fallkniven-F1-Featherstick
Making a feather stick with the Fallkniven F1

I will say though, it’s more difficult with this blade because of the convex grind. It’s definitely sharp enough but the slight convex makes it easy for the blade to slip off its edge. It takes a different technique but you get used to it.

Batoning – This blade batoned through wood like a hot knife through butter. This is where the convex grind comes into full advantage. Because of the slight curvature you are actually splitting the wood as opposed to slicing it. This makes it extremely effective for batoning firewood. The blade is thicker than most. I batoned down over the top of this thing like a raving beast and it took the punishment. Believe me, I smacked the crap out of this blade and it held up perfectly.

Fallkniven-F1-Batoning
Batoning wood

Another advantage to this blade is the tang runs the full length of the handle.

You could theoretically hammer it into something if you needed to. While this isn’t the best use of a knife, in a survival situation you never what you’re going to need to do. I call this a bonus.

Final thoughts

I give the Fallkniven F1 the DSK seal of approval. It’s a worthy companion for your belt if you’re going out into the bush – or whatever you want to use it for. It’s sturdy, takes an edge, and doesn’t mess around when it comes to using it for real world work. 9 stars out of 10.

 

 

 

 

Condor Bushlore Knife Review

condor-bushlore-review-featured-image

I’m always on the look out for inexpensive knives worthy of my belt in the bush. I kept hearing about the Condor in survival forums. People were raving about the blade while others had some reservations about its utility as a true bushcraft knife. Needless to say I checked it out. There are certainly pros and cons to consider. Let’s crack into the review.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length4 5/16 inches
Total Length9 5/16 inches
Blade Thickness3 mm
Blade MaterialCarbon steel with Scandinavian grind
Weight10 oz
TangFull
Sheath IncludedRoger

First impressions

condore-bushlore-side-profile

I ordered the blade from Amazon. It arrived promptly and I immediately began the procedural unboxing ceremony. I love this part of the process. I don’t know why but I thought it would have been heavier than it actually was. It’s a very lightweight blade. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a lightweight knife – but you will be limited with what you can do. Processing thick firewood will be very difficult. Many survivalists will interject at this point and tell me that knives aren’t meant for wood batoning. I don’t believe this, my bk2 has served me quite well in this department and it’s lighter than a hatchet.

There was one aestetic feature I had a good laugh at. The knife looks like a steak knife. This is largely due to the Condor Bushlores hardwood handle. You wouldn’t give it a second look if it came out of your knife block in the kitchen. I actually love the utilitarian look. It’s refreshing to see something unique and different.

The handle is made of hardwood and would be easy to sand down to create a more ergonomic fit for your mitts (there’s also a micarta version available.) On the end you have a lanyard which I personally never use, but I respect the function. The sheath is simple, functional, and bears the logo of the Condor right on the leather – a nice finishing touch.

Now, were talking about carbon steel with a Scandinavian grind. Carbon steel requires a bit of maintenance to keep the rust away and scandi grinds tend to be fragile – but just because I say fragile doesn’t mean you have to treat it like the worlds finest china. Take care of the blade and you will have a trusty companion for years.

Performance

Time to dive deep into the nitty gritty. How does the Condor Bushlore stack up in the bush? I like to take every blade I review straight out into the bush for a proper pounding. I see how well it performs in a variety of tasks:

Making feather sticks – A knife should be sharp enough to feather a piece of kindling using the tip portion of the blade. I found the blade was not all that sharp straight out of the box. Feathering a piece of kindling required me to choke up on the handle and use the thicker parts of the blade for leverage. As you can see, it still got the job done:

making-feathersticks-condor-bushlore

I have no doubt the blade will sharpen right up with some leather. I wouldn’t take a stone to it this early in the game.

Batoning – My favorite part. In my opinion, any good bushcraft knife should baton wood with ease. The Condor Bushlore carries itself well but the blade is too light to go full mad-man-mode. I did not feel like I was going to break the blade but the weight is certainly a disadvantage. The short length of the blade does not lend itself well to batoning – and you’ll notice it curves into a drop point. A proper baton requires a nice straight portion of the blade to really drive deep into the wood.

batoning-with-the-condor-bushlore

Overall this blade did great for smaller pieces of kindling but dropped the ball with the bigger pieces. No big deal in context of the price compared to other knives. Tasks like carving and skinning game would be so smooth with this blade, I have no doubts about that.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot I like about this blade. Is it my favorite? Not by a longshot. But for the price the Condor Bushlore is a strong companion in the bush. With the right care the blade will sharpen to a razors edge and last years.

Thanks for checking out the review of the Condor Busholore. Post up with a comment below and let me know what you think about this knife.

 

 

 

 

Morakniv Bushcraft Black Review

Mora knives have become a mainstay choice for survivalists who note the blades quality and value. Mora knives are inexpensive compared to other knives but still bring a lot to the table. The Morakniv Bushcraft knife is an exceptional blade that stays true to the brands reputation as a quality knife manufacturer. As I’ve tested, the Morakniv Bushcraft black can certainly take a beating in the bush.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length4.3 inches
Total Length9.1 inches
Blade Thickness3.2 mm
Blade MaterialCarbon steel with DLC anti-corrosive coating
Weight5.7 oz (with sheath)
Tang3/4 inches
Sheath IncludedRoger

Pros

Morakniv-bushraft-black-with-sheath

What I really like about all Mora knives is how sharp they are out of the box. The Morakniv Bushcraft Black is no exception. This knife is sharp as hell straight out of the box. I repeat – this knife is dangerously sharp. Most knives do not come this sharp right out of the box. Second, the blade is the thickest blade you can get on a Mora knife. You can really beat the crap out of this thing and it will still come back for more. Taking the Mora out into the bush was a treat and not once did I feel the blade wasn’t up to the job. It handled all the camp tasks with ruthless efficiency.

I have quite a heavy hand when it comes to wood batoning – I can tell you I came down hard over the spine and not a single dent. Carbon steel for the win. Speaking of the spine, it’s got a flat 90 degree ridge – something I always look for  in a survival knife. A flat edge makes it easy to use with your ferrocerium rod. I don’t consider a knife a true survival knife unless it has this feature.

The handle is crafted with a rubbery material. I found it to be super grippy.

Cons

morakniv-bushcraft-black-tang
3/4 tang? Really?

My first big beef with this knife was the 3/4 tang. I always stress the importance of buying knives with full tangs. Using it though, I can’t see how another quarter inch of tang would benefit this knife. It’s already strong as an ox. I think this whole full tang business is psychological down to a certain point. A blade with a half tang is certainly a disadvantage. The tang starts to become a non issue once you hit the 3/4 mark. Still, I wish they would have put a full tang on this thing.

My second beef is with the handle. It’s one of those things where you’re either going to love it or hate it. The Mora Bushcraft Black comes with a curved handle – this seems to be a signature design element in all Moras. I found it to be less than ergonomic in my hand but I’m just use to straight handles. I can see how it would be suited to the grip of some users and perhaps an advantage if you’re carving.

My last beef is the sheath. Overtime the rubber wore off of the blade where it met the sheath casing. Because of this it doesn’t quite snap in securely like it use to. Not really a big deal – I don’t judge a knife by its sheath but its something you might find important.

The Verdict

I stand behind the Morakniv Bushcraft Black. It packs a lot of bang into an inexpensive package. While I still use my Bk2 most of the time, I always have the Mora around close by. In fact, I prefer it for finer tasks like skinning. It’s a hell of a lot sharper than the Bk2.

Great bush knife. I would even say it’s a great general knife to have on hand. Definitely the knife you want if you’re crunched for cash but still want a ridiculously sharp blade that holds an edge. And by the way, the sheath comes with a ferrocerium ride that throws a surprising amount of sparks! BONUS.