When it comes to survival knife we expect a lot. And if you are looking for a good survival knife, you have probably heard of Esse knives by now. Esse knives is most well regarded knife company in USA. Founded by Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin, this knife company has been maintaining a strong reputation in the industry. They make excellent outdoor knives, survival knives, hunting knives. There’s no one single Esse knife that I don’t like. The make the best survival wilderness knives. The best thing about this survival knives are, they are backed with no questions asked warranty that is transferable from owner to owner. The warranty is written in such a way that they are all but begging you to use your knife to the full potential. Cause the survival equipment that they are making is military grade and that’s why they have a strong reputation and they are a highly respected brand.
While they manufacture a lot of different model knives, Esse 5 and Esse 6 are the most popular model. They are mainly high quality wilderness survival knives. Designed specifically keeping durability in mind. Both the knives have simple designs. No cool features or extra tools. They are made to do what a knife is supposed to do – To CUT! But if you are looking for any cool feature in these knives, then I’d say the quality of both the knives is the fancy thing about them.
Both the knives blades are full tang that is the blade of the knife extends fully through the handle. The blade is a solid strong piece of steel from the top point to the end.
All these knives are full tang, meaning the blade extends as a broad, solid and strong piece of steel from point to end. This is a good thing as it means less risk of breaking at the tang. In this case, and as is most common, the tang is visible all the way. However in cold climates this is less suitable as naked steel against exposed skin is not so good. A hidden tang is better for such climates. Still, as these aren’t originally designed for Nordic climates, this comes as no surprise. And for most of the year it is of no concern, especially those parts where people tend to stay outdoors. Also, there is an advantage in having the grip designed like this, in that you can actually carefully baton the handle if it gets stuck in a log.
What’s the difference between the Esee 5 and Esee 6?
The hand-to-hand comparison comes down to the basics- the overall length of the esse 5 is 11 inches and weighs 16 oz, with 5.25 inches blade length which is made of 1095 Carbon steel, and blade style is Saber. And the overall length of Esse 6 is 11.75 inches and weight 12 oz with 6.50 inches blade length made of1095 Carbon steel and the blade style is full flat grind for maximizing performance.
Esee 5 vs Esee 6 – Key Comparisons
Initially, these two knives look very similar. In untrained eyes, these knives may look the same. However, if you look deep into both of these knives’ specifications, then you will understand they are made for totally different purposes.
Right off the bat, when you unbox the Esee 5, you will see a strong Kydex sheath, which it comes in. It has a large drainage port at the bottom. One of the nicest things Esee does with their Kydex sheath which I absolutely like is when you put the knife back in the sheath, you can slide up the screw that is on the side and that will retain the knife solid. It’s kind of a locking sheath. Esee Junglas also comes in this sheath. The Esee 5 is a pretty big knife with an overall 11 inches length. 5.25 inches blade. The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel with a quarter-inch thickness. That is the knife blade is super thick made for super heavy duty but it also adds up to the weight which is 16 oz. The Esee 5 is clearly designed as a hard-use downed pilot’s essential survival knife. It’s perfect for chopping wood, baton through trees, in short, any heavy-duty task that you expect your survival knife to do.
With the Esee 6 when you first bust it out, you will see instead of a Kydex sheath, it comes in the molded plastic sheath. It also has a drainage point port. But no retention locker. Now this one is a little bit longer – 11.75 inches and 6.50 inches blade length. The knife is lighter only about 12oz, opposed to 16oz for the Esee 5. The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel with only 0.188 inches thickness. When you hold this knife you can feel the weight very light. This knife is more maneuverable. The blade style is a full flat grind.
The Esee 6 is a perfect outdoor knife. It’s more suited for camping, or any task that need more detailing work, like chopping meats or whittling. On the other hand the esee 5 is more tactical and more utilitarian. I’d say both the knives are the very best. But it depends on what do you expect from your survival knives and buy accordingly. If you are stuck in a situation where shit hit the fan, the Esee 5 will be your best friend. And if you are in laid-back camping, and you need to perform some regular outdoor tasks, the Esee 6 is perfect for that.
Side-By-Side Specs – ESEE-5 vs ESEE-6
|Specs||ESEE 5||ESEE 6|
|Overall Length||11.0″ / 28cm||11.75″ / 29.8cm|
|Cutting Edge Length||4.1″ / 10.4cm||5.75″ / 14.6cm|
|Overall Blade Length||5.25″ / 13.3cm||:6.50″ / 16.5cm|
|Maximum Thickness||.25″ / 6.3mm||.188″ / 4.8mm|
|Weight||16 Ounces / 454g||12 Ounces / 340g|
|Steel & Hardening||1095 Carbon Steel, 55-57 Rc||1095 Carbon Steel, 55-57 Rc.|
|Finish||Textured Powder Coat||Textured Powder Coat|
|Grind||Saber||Full Flat Grind|
|Spine||Thumb Jimping||Thumb Jimping|
|Handles||Removable Canvas Micarta||Removable Linen Micarta Handles|
|Sheathing||Ambidextrous Molded Kydex Sheath W/ Clip Plate||Ambidextrous Molded Plastic Sheath W/ Clip Plate|
|Features||Glass Breaker, Bow Drill Divot|
|Drop Point Blade, Rounded Pommel w/ Lanyard Hole|
Esee 5 vs Esee 6 – Some Key Similarities
- Steel: Both the knife have carbon 1095 stainless Steel. This steel blade offers good edge retention, great wear resistance, and toughness.
- Design: Bot the knives have finger choil and thumb spine.
- Contoured Handle: Both the knives handles are made of non-slippery Micarta and the handles are contoured on the shoulder.
Esee 5 vs Esee 6 – Some Key Differences
- Blade Length: The Esse 5 is 11 inches and weighs 16 oz, with 5.25 inches blade length. And the Esse 6 is 11.75 inches and weight 12 oz with 6.50 inches blade length.
- Sheath: The ESEE 5 comes in Kydex sheath that has a Clip Plate. The ESEE 6 comes in a Black Plastic Sheath.
- Thickness: ESEE 5 Has a 0.25” thickness which makes it a hard-use downed pilot’s essential survival knife. The ESEE 6 0.1875” thickness. It’s great for butchering and prepping food.
Esee 5 – Detailed Review
The Esse 5 is the bruiser of the Esee line up. At quarter inches thick blade this knife is really built to take tons of abuse. If your day consists of batoning, prying, and chopping with your knife the esse 5 is the one you want. Specs wise- the overall length of the esse 5 is 11 inches with 5.25 inches blade length which is made of 1095 Carbon stainless steel, and blade style is Saber. The knife weighs 16 oz. Like most of the Esee line up this knife features a powder coating which is designed to increase the corrosion resistance of the blade steel. Carbon steel 1095 will rust if you don’t take care of it but on this knife you only have to worry about that on the edge retention as well as the areas that are lasered for their logo marks. Another nice feature integral to esse 5 is there is a bow drill divot in micarta handle scales. It can be held in any grip, as it provides comfortable grip. The kydex sheath that it comes in has plenty of attachment options as well as a slide lock here designed to increase retention. Once the knife is in your sheath you can hold it and use the divot to bear down on your bow drill when you are making a friction fire.
Esee 6 – Detailed Review
The Esee 6 has been a long-term favorite for those who want a no-nonsense fixed blade that can take a ton of abuse when you really need it to. It has got a blade made from 1095 high carbon steel with a five and three-quarter-inch cutting edge. The blade is about 0.18 inches thick but it features a full flat grind and that’s a good compromise between strength and slicing efficiency on a knife this size. It also comes with a powder coating on the blade which is going to help it to resist corrosion which is important on blade steel like this. It also held great edge retention. The handle of the knife is a Removable Linen Micarta. It’s bolt-on style construction and features a red liner with a nice linen micarta material for the outside. The contoured handle is flat on the hand but fairly contoured on the shoulder. What makes it a great survival kit is the glass breaker protruding pommel at the end. Even though this isn’t pointed it creates a nice apex and that’s gonna come in handy when you need to use it to break open things in the wild. So as far as larger knives go this definitely is a heavy-duty option but it’s not a chopper. The knife comes in a nice black plastic sheath. It offers really nice retention and it carries really easily. What I like about the knife is how it balances that large blade and the handle to create something that’s still pretty agile in the hand. The knife performs well at heavier tasks like batoning but it also has the type of geometry which makes it work well at butchering and food prepping
Still Can’t Decide? Here’s an Alternative – ESEE Authentic JUNGLAS-II
Both the Esse 5 and 6 are great but what if you want to get some really big work done? In that case you wanna take a look at the ESEE Authentic JUNGLAS-II. It’s a heavy chopper with a long blade. The overall length is 14.5 inches and the cutting edge length is 7.75 and overall blade length is 8.38 inches. The blade width is 2 inches and the knife is 19.8 oz. It’s made with 1095 carbon steel and the maximum thickness is 1.88 inches. The knife has a micarta handle and it also has a hammer pommel at the end. You can get a tons of stuffs done with this blade. The handle has a comfortable grip. It allows for a couple of different hand position. You can choke back for added leverage. You can do some very aggressive chopping as well as you can get right up close to an edge and do some really fine work despite of the size of the blade. The sheath that it comes in is another shinning star. It is a mix of Kydex and ballistic nylon with a clip plate. It also has a drain hole on the end to keep moisture from getting trapped inside.
Conclusion – Esee 5 vs Esee 6
Both the Esee 5 and Esee 6 knives are top-notch high quality knives. It really comes down to individual needs and what you expect from your survival knife. Both the knife gives a similar look at first glance but when you compare the blade thickness and weight of these two, you will know what suits you better. Also, they perform differently. If you are looking for a knife that can perform heavy-duty tasks, batoning through trees, pummeling through rock, and chopping woods, the Esse 5 is the one for you. This beast of a knife can literally handle anything. And if you are looking for a light weight , more versatile and useable knife that can be used both for delicate tasks and as well as batoning and cutting woods the Esse 6 is would be a good option for you.
Is The ESEE 5 a Good Knife?
The ESEE 5 is a different beast of a knife designed to survive any harsh situation. With 0.25 inches thick blade made of 1095 carbon steel, this knife can be your best friend when you are in the wilderness- chopping wood or batoning. The ESEE 5 is one of the best survival knife out there.
What Is The Best Esee Knife For Bushcraft?
ESEE JG3 is a great knife for Bushcrafting. Designed by ESEE instructor James Gibson this knife was actually introduced for hunting and bushcraft purposes.
Are Esee Knives Good?
Esee knives are known for their high-quality military-grade survival knives. They are incredibly durable and functional made with a 1095 carbon steel blade and a micarta handle with powder coat fiish.
How Good Is The Esee 6?
The Esee 6 was designed as a survival tactical knife. It is the prettiest survival knife out there. It’s both excellent and functional. It’s a light weight , more versatile and useable knife that can be used both for delicate tasks and as well as batoning and cutting woods the Esse 6 is would be a good option for you.
Is Esee Made in USA?
All knives that feature the ESEE logo are proudly manufactured in the U.S.A. by Rowen Manufacturing in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Hi, my name is Taras Kulakov and I’m a knife enthusiast. I have been collecting knives for over 30 years and I’ve owned literally thousands of different models over that time. My goal with this site is to share some of what I’ve learned about knives. You can find more info about Taras Kulakov here.