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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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TOPS Buck 650 Nighthawk Fixed Blade Combat Knife Review


The TOPS/Buck 650 Nighthawk Combat Knife is a rugged fixed blade tactical knife with a nice looking and ergonomically designed handle. The blade is 6.5 inches long and is a modified clip point shape. Made from 420 High Carbon Black Oxide Stainless Steel, Buck uses an excellent heat treatment that maximizes the steel’s hardiness. The blade is on the thicker side so it isn’t the greatest at slicing but it can be used as a pry bar. This blade also isn’t the best at chopping but it stabs with great penetration. It is 11-1/4 inches in overall length and weighs 10 oz.The weight is distributed nicely and it feels comfortable even at 11 plus inches. I think part of the reason it feels comfortable to hold is due to the rubberized grip.


The TOPS Buck Nighthawk has a reinforced molded black nylon handle, with a rubber overlay that is textured. I think this is one of Buck Knives better handles because of the textured rubber. It still provides a good grip even in wet conditions but I am partial to rubberized type of grips for that reason alone. Unless you use your knives in a bubble I think rubberized handles are a serious consideration when looking to purchase a Survival Knife. One thing to be concerned with is how you treat the handle. The handle is somewhat durable but don’t go hammering with it because there is no steel pommel underneath it. I haven’t heard of any problems with the handle but my concern is being an overlay that separation can occur over time.

This knife comes with a black nylon sheath that is better than the normal Buck Knives leather sheaths. It’s not the best sheath out there but it is decent and doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced. This knife is an excellent outdoor utility blade that doubles nicely as a self-defense weapon.


To buy or get more information on the TOPS/Buck 650 Nighthawk Combat Knife Fixed 6-1/2" Plain Blade with Nylon Handles, click the link below.

TOPS/Buck 650 Nighthawk Combat Knife Fixed 6-1/2" Plain Blade, Nylon Handles



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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cold Steel Paradox Knife Review


The Cold Steel Paradox operates smoothly but differently from the traditional balisong or butterfly knife. The modified design was created to put this knife in the same category as folding pocket knives. Any truly one-handed opening knife is subject to legal restrictions, and the Paradox is not a one-handed opener. The Paradox adapts balisong components to fit the needs of modern American users.


Since the Cold Steel Paradox Knife is based upon spring-loaded handle billets that require two hands to open and close, some of the drama of the flashy balisong has gone away here. The compensation for that is a very solid design without any of the slop that goes along with the average butterfly knife. The twin steel springs lock the blade in both closed and open positions.


Cold Steel uses the best construction method -- channeled handles -- to build this knife. Blade grooves in each handle half are accurately machined from polished aircraft aluminum, not cast metal as in cheaper versions of the butterfly knife. A 4-1/2-inch leaf-point hollow ground high carbon AUS 8A stainless steel blade, plus the artistically skeletonized 5-inch handle, unfolds to a full length of 9-1/2 inches. Since that's a little too large to lie comfortably at the bottom of a pocket, owners will find the stainless steel pocket clip very handy. Aluminum components are hard anodized for added luster and durability.

I am very impressed with the quality of the Cold Steel Paradox Knife. The fit and finish is perfect. This knife can serve excellently as an edc or defensive knife. I recommend it.


To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Paradox Butterfly-Style (Two Handed Opener) with 4-1/2" Blade and Aluminum Handles, click the link below.

Cold Steel Paradox Butterfly-Style (Two Handed Opener) 4-1/2" Blade, Aluminum Handles



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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Buck 110fg Folding Knife Review


If you ever need a replacement for the Buck 110, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Buck 110FG Folding Lockback Hunter with Finger Grooves. I hope the Buck Company stops trying to improve this knife beyond that minor change, because it's an idea that doesn't need fixing.


The Buck 110FG lockback is a little heavy for some people, with a single 420HC high carbon stainless steel clip point blade and solid brass liners and bolsters. The handle slabs are genuine rosewood, a material so naturally dense and stable that -- even without an occasional rubdown with oil -- it remains lustrous and smooth. Other hardwoods may become rough and splintery if abused, but rosewood carries on. It seems to become better with use. Those good construction materials add up to a 7.2-ounce folder with a closed length of 4-7/8 inches. Buck makes modernized full tang hunters that weigh about the same as this pocket knife. The 110FG with scalloped finger grooves in the belly of the handle is big enough and strong enough for serious work. Not only is it great for hunting, it's great for those jobs around the campsite or on a hike that require a sharp knife. It's a versatile knife that has many uses from field dressing a buck to cutting small items around the campsite or on the hiking trail. The lockback is solid and trustworthy. I don't run across everyday tasks that are too much for my pocketknife to handle if I carry the 110, and the 110FG matches that standard.

The leather pouch sheath that comes with this knife is very useful, because keeping a knife this big in your pocket will actually wear a hole in your jeans in a surprisingly short time.


Overall the Buck 110fg is a great quality knife. I have no problems recommending this to anyone looking for a quality knife. The balance and design of the knife are nearly perfect.


To buy or get more information on the Buck Folding Hunter Finger Grooved 4-7/8" Closed Wood Handle with Leather Sheath, click the link below.

Buck Folding Hunter Finger Grooved 4-7/8" Closed Wood Handle with Leather Sheath





All Comments are Welcome and Appreciated.


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