ESEE 4 | Survival Knife | Field Review

Krik of Black Owl Outdoors reviews the ESEE 4 full tang survival knife. ESEE, formerly RAT Cutlery, is the knife manufacturing wing of Randall’s Adventure and Training. The ESEE 4 features a full tang, 1095 carbon steel blade with linen micarta handles. The blade is coated to prevent rust and wear due to use and is the perfect length for small camp chores, or larger camp chores like batoning wood. Whether you are a hiker, backpacker, camper, hunter or fisherman, you can be confident that the ESEE 4 will perform to expectation.

ESEE 4 Knife –


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Emory Bragg says:

at 1 minute and 24 seconds did you say “i’m pretty poor”?

Paul'ie 4X says:

Say Heah Krik, Yeah I like a 4 1/2″ blade, I generally attach that size blade to my pack, and I on person carry a big brother blade around 7″+, I consider that a lite carry. With a Saw and a Hatchet I can accomplish just about everything I need to do, short of building a cabin. I really like choil’s on my knives, and both my go to knives have them. If I go with a 1knife carry then I like to go with atleast a 5 1/2″-6″ blade. with my Saw and Hatchet, usually I use this trio when I’m scouting an area out or just looking for fatwood. I spent a little more, but not that much more for my Rodent 4, I seem to like the SR101 Steel a little bit better, it’s a 52100 Ballbearing Steel with the Busse Technology Temporing. Either way Yeah I think a 4 1/2″ blade is a great size for camp work especially with a choil for making traps and other wood tool’s in camp like even making forks, spoons and spatchula’s. The larger knife is on my Survival Belt just incase I get lost or seperated from camp. But Yeah, for that kind of quality $100.00 isn’t really that expensive, considering the way Essee tempers their blades. My friend got a less expensive knife and a chunk broke off on the blade with just simple batoning on a piece of wood. Horace Kephart once said, “Buy the best you can afford, because one day your life might depend on it”. That made alot of sence to me. Good review and Thanx Krik.

Black Owl Outdoors says:

No, I don’t. I heard good things about them, but have never used one. There are SO many knives I want to test/use. -Krik

segaprophet says:

Good to know Krik is still fighting the good fight against those pesky rock monsters!

Whiskey River says:

If I were a military helicopter or fighter jet pilot, or any MOS that finds itself in possible jeopardy during conflict, this or the ESEE 5 would be strapped to my vest or belt at all times. But my days in uniform are over now, and this is most definitely a purpose-driven design; which is why we have 1095 steel that lends to the abilities and features of this blade. That means “not as brittle as some of the currently popular tool steels”, which is a very good thing. It is, in the true sense of the words, a “survival knife”, and a pretty damn good one. The drawbacks are; the black coating, which is necessary, but makes it nearly impossible to strike a ferro rod unless you use your cutting edge; it’s a bit heavy, which means a lot if you have to carry in excess of 80 to 100 pounds on your back all the time; and it is a bit awkward when attempting to tackle fine woodcrafting tasks. If you make sure you have a good sharpening system to accompany this tool, you’ll be fine through any S.E.* E. scenario. One of the best. But don’t fool yourself; there is no such thing as one knife that does everything well. A Mora, or any other specific blade on the market may outcut this ESEE, depending on the task; but I would never trust my life on a Mora if I were to be in an actual survival situation, especially if it’s a dire situation. Happy shopping! If this is what you need, it’s a good one.    

Reese Camp says:

Fell in love with the 4 in this video

Celtic Iron says:

lol u like like Castro…..

Charlie Schneider says:

Nothing bad but you kinda look like Elvis

TJack Survival says:

This is a great knife. It literally is my favorite knife because of the size fit and robustness. Great knife!

Black Owl Outdoors says:

do you mean without a sheath? there is a little fold of cardboard/paper around the blade that protects the blade edge.

Phill Swanson says:

Subbed because off this video. Will definitely be watching more!

Married2Nature says:

Great review of a great knife. Do you have any first hand experience with the Fallkniven F1? Which some people tend to compare with the ESEE 4.

segaprophet says:

Subbed, I love your production values!

Daniel Galvez says:

which one is sharper, the mora or the esee? If you had to pick one which would you have?

SpartanJohns says:

if people want to know how that knife batons thru wood you can send them to my videos…
that is a nice knife. what do you think about the thin handle and the steep edge that esee puts on it? did you consider convexing it or changing the edge angle?

spundj mc says:


Metal Tiger Shootist says:

Get an ax already for processing wood. I have the ESEE 4 but use a small hatchet which is better for most camp chores.

Vic G. says:

The high quality videos you guys make, make your channel even more awesome. It’s like watching a movie trailer!

Cancer Llama says:

but how did you get it in the mail?

Black Owl Outdoors says:

The handle is thin. But I don’t have very large hands so it’s not an issue for me. A rounded handle would be nice, though. The edge isn’t an issue for me, as of now. I have other knives with shallower edges. But I know what you mean when it bites really deep into a piece of wood.

Sabatheus says:

Thanks for the review, Generalissimo. It’s either going to be the Esse 4 or the Cold Steel SRK, I think.

Parker says:

I got mine at a local knife store and it came with the sheath for 70$ and it’s a legit Esee

Sandor Bella says:

Great video! No hokus pokus crap. Keep it simple. Thanks.

Reese Camp says:

Lower quality of blade material indeed… Until it is heat treated by rowen to perfection! This is the steel that god uses.

lonewarrior1999 says:

Sorry but if your “pretty poor” then you don’t spend 125 bucks on a knife and sheath as that is not cheap like you said that is expensive.

coryphee07 says:

Where did you get the Green Wool looking radar cap?

Black Owl Outdoors says:

depending where you purchase the knife from, it can come with or without a sheath. the price reflects that as well. -Krik

Chad Cotter says:

I’d like to see what you think about the Condor Garuda. The sheath sucks but from what little I’ve seen on the blade itself, people seem to like it. 
Great vids, by the way. I’m lovin’ em’!

Dutch K says:

You can get it with a sheath. go over to the knife connection and he has pretty much every model of Esee. Esee can be confusing with the all the different options.

Black Owl Outdoors says:

Thanks for subscribing! Stay tuned.. -Krik

sirmiklo says:

i ordered mine with a sheath and molle locks

splooshy beard says:

Krik what do you think os better for survival and bushcraft esse 4 or tops bob

spundj mc says:

esee4 or bk 16 -which do you prefer for ,call it functionality

koolaidnd says:

1095 heat treated by Rowen is no joke. Don’t ever discount its toughness.

T1ntin1010 says:

nice camera and good informative reviews man. subbed. keep up the good work

Joseph Romeo says:

Are those the handles that came with the blade because they look more green than other ones or are they aftermarket micarta? Thanks for the great review.

Paul'ie 4X says:

Say Heah Krik, a new set I’ll be practicing with is my RatWeiler, Rodent Solution, my Hultafors Bruks 17″ Agdor range Hatchet, and my Wicked Tough Saw, I just want to know if I would have to add or subtract to this set, I’m using it as a sort of yard stick, All the tools are proven. So I’m checking out size, to see if I’m over geared etc. Yeah, It’s sort of answering my own question to myself, Should prove interesting, Listening to advice is a very good way of learning, but practicing in live is also a good way of learning, so Yeah, I think this will be a good lesson, The RatWeiler, and the Hultafors Bruks are rather new, Although the Solution and the Wicked Tough Saw I know very well, so let the class begin,

Andi München says:

25 bugs for a sheath?

Black Owl Outdoors says:

thanks sega. stay tuned for more. – stony

Bgvolley says:

Congratulations that you are measuring in milimetres… Only americans are making things difficult with thees inches,feets,fooots,miles … Is it so hard 1 meter 1cm … Come on !!! Its so annoying …just that you want to be different than Europe and the whole other world..

matthew gold says:

+BlackOwlOutdoors If you’re interested in more contoured handles for any ESEE fixed blade (and becker for that matter) The Knife Connection does shaped g10 handles for both. With Esee they even sell the blade along with the g10 handles so you don’t have to pay for a handle that you’re just going to swap out. Haven’t received mine yet but I bought it in anticipation of a backpacking trip, so we’ll see how it works out.

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