Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ESEE RC-5 Fixed Blade Knife Review


The designers of ESEE Knives, Mike Perrin and Jeff Randall, who are also the owners of ESEE Knives, weren't happy with the knives they were purchasing and taking on Jungle tours in South America so they set out to build their own knives that could stand up to almost any challenge. ESEE is pronounced "S" "E" wich stands for Escuela de Supervivencia (School of Survival), Escape and Evasion.

Although their current knife catalog is relatively small (but growing) compared to the larger knife companies, they more than make up for it in quality, function, and customer service on their knives.

Because of a rare trait among some people today, that trait being honesty, the ESEE 5 no longer carries the SERE name on it. After assuming that SERE was in the public domain and marketing their RC-5 with the SERE acronym, ESEE Knives (formerly RAT Cutlery) did some digging and discovered that the SERE mark was actually owned by someone. As it turns out it was a friend of theirs in the knife industry.

ESEE has been having legal issues with a company they did business with previously over the use of RAT for their knives (which ultimately lead to their own name change), so they were extremely sensitive to the issues of intellectual property.

Randall's Adventure Training - ESEE LOGO

Although this knife was designed by SERE instructors it will not carry the SERE mark. The logo has been changed, on the ESEE Knives site the ESEE 5 Knife logo is shown with a skull that has two knives crossed behind it and the letters ES EE. This stands for Escuela de Supervivencia - Evasion Escape, as mentioned above.

This knife has a couple of nice features, it has a bow drill divot on the handle for using a bow drill for starting a fire, and it has a point on the end of the pommel that can be used for breaking glass.

The ESEE RC-5 is an extremely solid survival knife and is a top pick for many folks in the field. The Esse is 10.88 inches overall with a 1/4 inch thick 1095 carbon steel blade at 5 1/4 inches long. The Blade is powder coated for finish and durability and has a saber grind which keeps the blade thickness all the way out to the point.

The handle of the Esee RC5 is canvas micarta and also features a lanyard / glass breaking pommel at the butt of the knife.

The sheath is kydex and relatively basic. The great thing about the sheaths on the ESSE knives is that they have a sliding bolt at the top of the sheath that helps to lock the knife in place while you are in the woods.

Without a doubt, if I was out there in the wilds and could only have one knife, the ESEE RC-5 would be at the top of the list. I simply wouldn't have to worry what I had to use it for it ain't gonna fail.


In the woods the knife preformed well on basic tasks, shaving fuzz sticks for a fire, then batoning logs, and it would still shave hair on my arm. One interesting feature of the ESEE-5 is a small depression in the handle that can be used for a spindle if one is attempting a bow drill fire. I did not have the opportunity to test this feature, but I do plan to give it a try shortly. The high carbon steel of the blade will throw an excellent shower of sparks from flint or a metal match only from the cutting edge as the rest of the blade is coated!

Overall, I rate this knife a nine out of ten. This knife is like a Becker BK2 or a RAT 5 on steroids. It is extremely well thought out and is a serious workhorse.


To buy or get more information on the ESEE Knives ESEE-5 Fixed 5.25" Black Combo Blade with Black Kydex Sheath, click the link below.

ESEE Knives ESEE-5 Fixed 5.25" Black Combo Blade, Black Kydex Sheath





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