In this review I’m taking you up close to one of my favorite survival and bush knives. The ESEE Laser Strike is a knife that’s been around the block and time tested by many people. The Laser Strike simply gets a lot of things right while other knives fall short in either quality or functionality. Previously designed and made by TOPS knives, ESEE now manufactures the knife and reforged the knife with their own time tested qualities.
Let’s take a look at the specs…
- Overall Length: 10.00″
- Blade Length: 4.75″
- Blade Weight: 9.5 oz
- Blade Thickness:
- Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
- Spear Point
- Powdered coating to protect blade
- Handle Material: Micarta
- Sheath: Kydex
When I choose a knife I need it to do a number of things. I first want the blade to come out of the box sharp as a razors edge. Looking at the thickness of the blade before hand I was concerned about how well the ESEE Laser Strike would take an edge. Out of the box I can say this blade came out dangerously sharp and cleaned the hairs straight off my arm. Smoothing the blade across your arm you can see the hair build up into a nice nest leaving a trail of bareness in its path. Even MORE importantly than the out of box sharpness is how long it retains and edge and easy it is to sharpen back to former glory. I can tell you the Laser Strike blade will hold an edge for a considerable amount of time before it requires a resharpening. I spent weeks batoning wood and abusing this knife like a red headed step child before it required edge work.
And when I say I abuse my knives I truly do. I want a knife that can take the abuse and keep doing good work. When I baton wood I come down hard over the spine with a sizable log hammer. My intentions are to break the knife and test its fortitude and reliability. I found myself exhausted from hours of batoning while the ESEE Laser Strike stood its ground and came back for more. I quickly surrendered and offered a deep bow of respect to my new companion and life long bush friend. There’s something about this knife that looks damn good in the bush and fits comfortably on your belt. Almost like years of ape tool making coming to a concentrated LASER focus in the best blade possible.
There’s also something about this knife that’s just downright comfortable in your hand. The handle is of course made of ESEE’s signature Micarta material. Micarta has an interesting rugged grip that feels natural and earthy unlike rubber or hard plastic materials that feel fake and manufactured. The jimping on the ESEE laser strike is a welcome friend allowing you to get a good grip and leverage for a variety of cuts and styles. The Choil sinks deep into your fingers for a powerful grip. Grip the Laser Strike and then grip any other knife and you’ll quickly feel the difference in comfort. Other knives? Awkward as you stumble and bumble your way to a clean grip. The ESEE Laser Strike? A perfect match made in the woodland heavens.
The tang is full and you wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t know understand how you could ever purchase a knife without a full tang. If anything ever happens to the handle you still have a usable knife because the metal runs all the way through to the blade. Also notice on the handle there are screws that secure the blade to tang. Unfastening these screws reveals a hidden treasure trove consisting of a ferrocerium rod with tinder tabs. In all honesty it’s a strange thing to include because it’s impossible to strike the rod with the knife due to the powdered coating protecting the carbon steel. You can use the knifes edge to make a strike but this compromises the blade and rounds the edge. Some people grind down a portion of the spine in order to use the knife with a ferro rod. This is my recommendation as well.
The ESEE Laser Strike also comes with one of the best sheaths in the business. The Sheath is Kydex and the blade is happy to snap right into place. There’s no fear of the knife ever slipping out of the sheath. There’s a sliding retention screw letting you adjust how tight of a grip the sheath puts on the knife. Even at its loosest its got a solid hold on the blade. The more I use Kydex the more I enjoy the material and functionality.
For $100 bucks this is one of the best knives you can get. Most people will look at this knife and then go and cheap out on something that’s 20 or 30 bucks. There’s a good reason those knives are cheap. They quickly discover why when they take the knife out into the bush and attempt to do any real work. The ESEE Laser Strike is a serious knife for those who demand quality and performance over all else.