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Spotlight: ESEE 4

The ESEE 4 is one of ESEE's most popular knives. This knife is the larger version of the ESEE 3, the knife that started it all for ESEE. For years, the ESEE 4 has been the standard by which other brands measure their survival knives. ESEE knives were originally designed as survival knives for use in the Amazon jungle. Years later, these knives are still being used in both the Peruvian jungle and the urban jungle. The knife's no-nonsense design is simple and effective, allowing you to fully focus on survival tasks instead of worrying whether your knife will be able to handle it.

Unique features of the ESEE 4

Its design

The blade of the ESEE 4 is made from 4.6-mm thick 1095 carbon steel, with a full-tang construction. The ESEE 4 features a 4.1-inch blade, which is what the 4 in the name stands for. The blade has a large recess, so you can position your index finger close to the sharp edge. Initially, the handle scales were flat to make the knife easy to carry. The knife comes with a plastic sheath. When it turned out that this knife was a fan favourite, ESEE back to the drawing board to make it even better. Following user feedback on the handle and steel grade, ESEE developed 3D handles and an ESEE 4 in S35VN steel.

Some people were a huge fan of the finger choil, others were not and even ground it off. And that's why ESEE released the ESEE 4 HM: Handle Modified. They later applied this same principle to the ESEE 3 and the ESEE 6.

Reliable steel types

ESEE uses a variety of steel types but most commonly applies 1095 steel. This steel is hardened to 57 HRC, making it tough and less prone to breakage. And since it's not incredibly hard, you could even sharpen it with a rock you found in the river, if your resources are limited. 1095 steel is a type of carbon steel that is tough and easy to sharpen in the field. This ensures that you can trust the knife to keep functioning until you are out of the high-stakes situation.

Besides the usual 1095 steel, the ESEE 4 is also available in S35VN steel. This is a stainless steel type with an even better sharpness retention. ESEE listened to their fanbase and thus included S35VN steel in their range. ESEE states that this steel type is a great, with properties that make it very suitable for general and everyday use, but perhaps less so for survival situations. For that, it just lacks that toughness of 1095-carbon steel, a factor that ESEE itself values highly when choosing a steel to rely on. It largely depends, then, on what you are going to use the knife for, which type of steel suits you. The version with S35VN steel is hardened to 60 HRC, allowing you to sharpen it to higher levels of sharpness than 1095 steel. It retains its sharpness well and is very corrosion resistant. The higher HRC means the steel is slightly less tough and more susceptible to breaking than the 1095-steel version.

Reliable handle materials

When you're in a survival situation, your knife needs to be comfortable to use. That's why ESEE only uses high-quality, reliable materials that feel great in hand. Like G10, a composite material made from synthetic resin and glass fibres. Or choose micarta, a composite made from linen or canvas and synthetic resin. Both of these materials are resistant to wear and tear, as well as moisture and impact.

The original ESEE 4 is equipped with flat handle scales that might not be very comfortable with prolonged use, but that are fine for short-term use for survival tasks. For those who prefer more comfort during prolonged use, ESEE released a line of ESEE 4 knives with rounded, 3D-milled handles. Feels great and looks amazing.

Reliable sheaths

When you're in a survival situation the best knife to carry is the knife you have on you. That's why a robust sheath is essential. You'll need a sheath that holds up under pressure, that you can carry in different ways. . That's why the ESEE 4 includes a simple, plastic sheath that can be attached to your gear in different ways. For example, with a belt clip to your belt or with a piece of paracord to MOLLE webbing. Another reason why plastic was chosen is that it is reliable and dries quickly, which prevents your knife from rusting.

Does that mean that every ESEE knife comes with a plastic sheath? Absolutely not! The ESEE 4 HM, for example, comes with a leather sheath, making it suitable for everyday use and adding a luxurious touch. Our range includes different versions of this knife; will you choose the original ESEE 4 or the ESEE 4 HM?