ESEE 5 Knife Review – Tactical Survival Knife

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Today we’ll review the ESEE 5; a fixed tactical/survival knife that was designed in cooperation with a couple of experienced SERE operators from a US airbase. They were looking for a solid survival knife for downed pilots that should be able to manage on their own for a while.

The company ESEE Randall’s Adventure Training was founded in 1997. It was an outdoor survival training agency that helped to provide equipment to military and law enforcement agencies and civilians all over the world. They noticed that there was a lack of quality survival knives. With this in mind, Randall’s Adventure Training decided to design and produce its own line of knives-ESEE.

This means that when you buy an ESEE knife, you know that it has been specifically designed for real-life survival circumstances. Your knife is going to be trustworthy and last you through the toughest experiences. ESEE makes sure their knives have been tested in the field extensively.

ESEE 5 Specs

ESEE 5P Black Tactical Survival Knife w/ Sheath
Total length: 11"
Blade length: 5.25"
Blade thickness: 0.25"
Weight: 16 ounces
Point: drop point
Blade material: 1095 high carbon steel
ESEE 5P Black Tactical Survival Knife w/ Sheath
Total length: 11"
Blade length: 5.25"
Blade thickness: 0.25"
Weight: 16 ounces
Point: drop point
Blade material: 1095 high carbon steel


  • Super sharp
  • Full extended tang
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Jack of all trades knife
  • Holds it’s edge really well


  • Weight can be too much for some
  • Black powder coating wears off the edge of the blade

Size and Weigth

The Esee 5 is 11.0 inches long and features a sturdy extended tang build. The knife weighs about 16 ounces. The 5 is huge and heavy but not too big for this type of heavy-duty knife. The knife is well balanced and comes out of the package sharp and I’ve come to expect that from Esee. 


The handle of the Esee 5 has a smooth, slick look and compliments the blade nicely. The plates of the handle in micarta are literally perfect, symmetrical, and have no gap in the approach to the back of the blade. It is comfortable to hold and keeps a good grip, also in cold and wet environments.

The handle is made of Canvas Micarta. Micarta is a brand name for fiber-reinforced plastic. Micarta is made by soaking thin layers of linen and cloth/canvas in a phenolic resin then compressing them under heat and pressure. It is lightweight and tough. The material holds up to the elements extremely well.

The only downside is that the material grazes the skin with prolonged use on the first few survival, camping, or hunting trips when you are used using the handle it stops becoming a problem after a while.

The handle has a bearing block built-in for a spindle. It also features a bow drill pivot point, which can be used to start a fire and a solid glass breaker type pommel, so it can be used to smash through windows or in a combat situation, but not to hammer with.


The Esee 5 features a 5.25″ long and 0.25″ thick flat ground blade with a plain edge and a saber grind. The blade features jimping on the spine for increased thumb grip, this helps you to control the knife better when you have to make difficult cuts. The blade edge is sharpened to approximately 20 degrees.

The steel used for the blade is 55-57 Rc 1095 high carbon steel. This steel is one of the most common carbon steels used for knife blades with a  55-57HRC. It is incredibly strong, durable steel but its downside is that it will rust and stain if not properly cared for. However, the rust will disappear quickly as you use or sharpen your knife. Another advantage of 1095 steel is that it has great edge retention so you don’t have to sharpen it that often.

To help prevent rusting, the blade has a textured black powder-coated finish. The black powder coating on the edge of the blade will fade after a period of extensive use and sharpening.


The Esee 5 comes with a black taco style sheath made of Kydex, which is a thermoplastic material that has extreme durability. 

The sheath screws are made from stainless steel. The sheath is lightweight and quite well designed. It holds the knife comfortably and securely and it does not make too many rattling sounds, which is a big plus.

The sheath is equipped with a tension screw that you can adjust as to how the knife is retracted from the sheath. If you should desire, you can set the tension screw to where it will lock the knife in the sheath safely. The sheath comes with a clip for belt mounting.


The Esee 5 is a large, heavy-duty survival knife, which will give you the strength to survive almost any situation. It gives a great balance between slicing and splitting. It is one of the best bushcraft knives out there. Its thick strong indestructible blade is good for all kinds of cutting and chopping tasks.

Due to its enormous size, the Esee 5 is less suitable for finer precision tasks. For hunting, it is a solid knife but for finer tasks like skinning and whittling, you might want to use a smaller knife. It does not excel at one particular thing but the knife is capable of tackling any task.

The Esee 5 comes with a lifetime warranty that you probably never have to use.

note: the warranty does not cover rust damage.


The ESEE 5 is a beast of a survival knife that is fit for any outdoor heavy-duty task. Build in the U.SA. The craftsmanship of the Esee 5P is outstanding! ESEE has an excellent reputation and this knife definitely lives up to that. I could not recommend it more!

In this article you’ll find some other suggestions of hunting knives to buy in 2020.

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Bryan Taylor is the co-founder and CEO of He’s a hunter and fisherman who loves the outdoors. He wants to share his adventures, knowledge, experience, and expertise with you through this blog.

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