View Full Version : Would like a new companion knife

06-26-2013, 11:28 AM
So right now I have an Izula and a CS Bushman. They are both serving well for their purposes, but I would like a "matching set".

Which knife ESEE would be a "perfect companion" for my Izula? The ESEE3 or the ESEE4 or the ESEE5?

And WHY?

I understand that some may post with a bias result & that is fine, I would like to hear from all sides of the spectrum. I am not in the need for a "big knife". If I wanted that I would go back to my Camillus or K-Bar USMC fighting knife. I want a lightweight, nice looking workable tool. The bushman is mainly used for batoning, which I really don't do much of, and for "light machete" work, as well as camp chores and fish spearing. So replacing it wouldn't break my heart.

06-26-2013, 01:28 PM
What do you consider a "Big Knife"? Personally, I feel that we're getting there with a 5 inch blade, but that's based purely on personal aesthetics. I'm a smaller framed individual, so something that seems BIG hanging on my hip may not seem too bad on one of a more robust build. Still, I've been known to carry bolo knives and short swords in the field.

What color is your Izula? I would assume, matching colors to make a "set?"

Also, what else will be in your kit as far as edged tools? Knowing if you have a machete, saw, axe, etc., may help support or detract from a recommendation, especially if it is to fill the gap between the Izula and another (set of?) tool(s).

What will you use it for primarily? You mentioned you don't baton much with your CS Bushman. So this goes to the above, as to what you use to process firewood, etc. I'm imagining a saw or small axe?

Based almost completely on personal aesthetics, I'm very much drawn to the "Laser Strike" offering by ESEE. It may be out of your standards with a drop point as opposed to the Izula's almost flat back/very slight drop. If I were to pair an Izula with a larger knife, I would prefer a drop point, or at least, a different blade shape than the Izula's. For finer carving bushcraft, you have the Izula's straight back and defined point. For larger bushcraft, I prefer the drop point, especially if I see myself handling the blade end for leverage, etc. You can really get up to the tip with a drop point, for shavings/feathers for firestarting.

The versatility of the Laser Strike's handle is also intriguing. It holds a ferrocerium/magnesium rod and tinder and on one side of the handle there is a bow drill divot. I've never messed with bow drill fire starting, but I might mess around with it if I had this knife... maybe, maybe not.

As to size, since you have a small knife in the izula's 2.6 inch blade, I prefer the 2 inch jump in size to the Laser Strike's 4.75 inch blade (4.5 inch effective cutting surface). It's a good middle ground between the ESEE 4 and 5. I also am drawn to the deeper 'finger groove' closest the blade edge. It's deeper in comparison to the ESEE numbered series (4,5,6, etc.). The potential for a more solid grip during bushcrafting would be appreciated.

*If you could get a custom sheath that held the izula on the front of the Laser Strike's sheath, that would be a sweet little set, imho.*

I might could justify recommending an ESEE 5 if you don't have a larger firewood processor.


Some potential drawbacks to this decision are:
-Knife is a fairly new pattern (I think, haven't seen it before) from ESEE, so that means buying New (leaving little flexibility with the wallet).
-not same blade shapes, so really "matching" set?
-Also as to shape, you may not prefer the drop point
-doesn't really completely replace your CS Bushman in terms of both length of blade and point, as to use for a spear. Perhaps the Izula could replace the need for "Spear Head?" The skeletonized handle would, if I kennit right, serve as a better lashing end than the smooth handle of the Bushman (Though, the taper of the Bushman may serve the purpose just as well; I've never handled the bushman).

Hope that helps, and sorry in advance to your wallet for encouraging the buying of more gear :)


06-26-2013, 01:56 PM
As far as other edged items I carry:

CS Trail Hawk and a CS Special Forces Shovel. Though, I am leaving the shovel behind more & more often. That is it. I have a pocket chain saw, Gerber folding saw & a Mora Classic #1. But I don't carry those other than sometimes the Mora???

The Izula is black with grey scales.

I collect my firewood and usually place it in the crotch of two trees and pull till it snaps and throw it on the fire. Or use the tomahawk for smaller stuff. I only really baton or feather to get the fire started. Otherwise, wood doesn't care if it is split... It all burns.

Yea, 5" is getting up there for a "big knife". I am trying to cut weight and gear down by rebuilding dual and multi purpose tools & equipment.


06-26-2013, 02:47 PM
As an authorized reseller I have all of them in my office. I have spent a fair amount of time with the Izula, ESSE 3 and ESSE 4. I have used them all for pretty much all purposes and would probably go with the 4 since I find the Izula and the 3 to not be significantly different enough in term of cutting surface.

The ESEE 3 is over 2" longer, but the cutting surface is less than 1" longer.
The ESEE 4 is less then 3" longer, but the cutting surface is almost 1.5" longer.

06-26-2013, 07:13 PM
I have the Izula and the ESEE 4. If I was to do it again (after using my son's ESEE 6) I would pick the 6. The 6 is more capable for battoning larger rounds of wood, over the 4 and the 5, thinner flat grind, it also has a finger choil so you can choke up on it for the fine detail work (so does the 4), but not the 5. It is 12 oz. vs 16 oz for the 5. The 5 is a beast, try to get ahold of one to hold in your hand. The 5 does have the bow drill divot, but that can easily be duplicated with a bit and a drill press. If you decide to go for a 4 let me know, I will sell you mine and I will use the money for a 6.

Here is a link that covers the 5 vs 6.




07-03-2013, 01:03 PM
having a difficult time understanding this. longer than what?

"The ESEE 3 is over 2" longer, but the cutting surface is less than 1" longer.
The ESEE 4 is less then 3" longer, but the cutting surface is almost 1.5" longer. "

i have been thinking of getting a ESEE 4. reading the reviews on amazon is confusing as all get out. some folks are all over the place. i would love to see them all next to each other at a store so i could get a good sized one (for me)..on paper the 3 or 4 would be great for the backpacker in me. the 4 might fit better as a hunter knife.

07-03-2013, 04:10 PM
I own an Izula, 3, 4 and 5; so I feel qualified to comment.

I've increasingly grown to dislike knives with choils, so I think the best single knife of the lot is the ESEE5. BUT it is a very substantial knife. It is thick and heavy. It fits the bill of a sharpened pry bar. I like it a lot (stripped and with better handles), but you should know what you are getting into if you get one.

The Izula and 3 are too close in size to make a good match IMO. I wouldn't go that route. The 4 is the most versatile knife in the lineup. It makes a great pair with the Izula. Its tough but still nimble. That would make the best combo overall IMO. (Again providing that you don't mind a knife with a choil).

07-03-2013, 09:18 PM
An interesting thread! I have had my Izula II for a while now, and the thought of pairing up with another larger ESEE knife is intriguing.

07-23-2013, 01:43 PM
Thinking very seriously about going with the ESEE4!! Just waiting on RandallH to reply to my PM's about what he would like for his...

09-03-2013, 07:11 AM
So my girlfriend said she ordered my ESEE4 with M.O.L.L.E. back sheath system!! What a great woman!!! (My wife would never do that as it doesn't affect "her" happiness directly.).

Does anyone know if the accessory pouch for the ESEE5 & ESEE6 will fit on the ESEE4? If not, where could I find something that will?

Thanks all, in advance!

RandallH - I tried to contact you several times about buying your ESEE4??? You still have it? May have a buyer for you still.....????

09-03-2013, 09:22 PM
I have all of the above. I would say the 4; which I consider to be the perfect size survival knife. Yep, there are things you can do with the 5 & the 6, both of which I like, that you can't do with a 3 or 4. You can say the same thing about the Junglus or an axe too. However the 5 is a beast and the 6 is no slouch in the heft arena either. I think, in my opinion, the 4 is the best. The 4 is my survival knife. The three is always in my EDC backpack, the Izula II always seems to find its way with me one way or another. The 5 is always in my truck.

05-05-2015, 06:10 AM
So almost two years later I have pulled the trigger on an ESEE Laser Strike!!! It will be here Thursday!!!!! Just in time for my weekly 4 day venture in the woods!!! :)

$99.95 + FREE s&h from Knife works... :) :)

Gonna be going thru my gear to see what I can do without to restock my funds

05-05-2015, 04:11 PM
I'm rockin' an Izula 2 and E-6

Love ESEE knives.

05-12-2015, 12:13 PM

Already got a good use out of it last weekend... Me likey!

10-30-2015, 11:57 AM




10-30-2015, 01:22 PM
Nice looking kit Pathfinder! I'm an ESEE fan as well, own most of the models except the Junglas & machete...ESEE knives are built to last and if they don't then they're covered for the most part by a great warranty! [emoji2]

10-31-2015, 08:21 PM
Pathfinder, have you seen the new Camp-Lore Series ESEE-RB3? I know, I have a "knife problem", but man that's a nice ESEE knife! I absolutely love both my Izula II and my ESEE-3. Looks like the RB3 is next!

11-02-2015, 06:23 AM
Yes! I have a store that is a licensed dealer for ESEE about 1 mile form my home.... I keep picking up the Junglas, but come to reality that I have no practical use for it and keep putting it back down. I am controlling myself on blades, selling/swapping & trading off gear and keeping it simple again... LOL!