The ESEE 4 Review

How would you feel about a brand that is constantly up for modifications and improvements? For one, you would think that this brand is really attentive to what customers want. On the other hand, you would think they just don’t know how to make the right thing, do they?

Our Esee 4 review for today has these mixed findings. Known for exceptional sheaths, blades, and handles in their knives, this one right here has been attempting a go as a survival knife but would be more suitable for a hunting knife. So what makes the knife fall short in some places and ambitious in others? Let’s see!

Esee 4 review (A Survival Knife)

The original Esee 4 is flat-scaled and made of 1095 tool steel. However, if you want modifications, you could go over a hundred dollars to add to it. Larger in size than the Esee 3, this is not a camping knife like the latter. However, it can be an excellent beater knife for wild hunting and smashing.


  • Overall Length: 9.0 inches/22.9 cm
  • Cutting Edge Length: 4.1 inches / 10.4 cm
  • Overall Blade Length: 4.5 inches /11.4 cm
  • Handle Length: 4.5 inches
  • Maximum Thickness: 188 inches / 4.8 mm
  • Knife Weight: 7.5 oz
  • Weight with Sheath: 12.25 oz
  • Knife Steel & Hardening: 1095 Carbon Steel/440C Stainless Steel
  • Grind: Full Flat Grind
  • Spine: Thumb Jimping
  • Style: Drop point
  • Knife Handle Material: Removable Linen Micarta
  • Knife Sheath Material: Polymer with Cordura
  • Retrieval: Ambidextrous


The following include Esee 4’s notable features:

esee 4

Handle Comfort

The comfort of using the handle was judged from four handling styles.

The first style you would see is used for feather sticking and carving, with your index finger sitting at the recess, the thumb at the top of the blunt side of the blade and the rest of the fingers enveloping the handle. The knife performed well!

The second hold that we tried was the reverse grip, and even that felt comfortable and not out of place with the knife.

Thirdly, we did the regular hold, which resulted in a comfortable grip and controlled cuts without any pain!

Our final attempt was doing the side holding, which is used for boning. Even then, the results were comfort, comfort, and comfort!

Sheath Quality

Now there are some sheaths that make your knife blunt. With Esse’s Kydex sheaths, not a chance! No matter how many times you reattach and remove the sheath on your knives, even if it is a hundred times, the sharpness will prevail. And adding to this, you can actually adjust the friction from the sheath on your knife according to your preference.

If you want the sheath to remain tight and grasp the knife well, you can easily do it by mounting a provided screw to the top hole of the sheath. Again if you want to modify it, you can easily add a fire steel holder or a multitool holder to it. If you plan to use it on your belt and carry it with you, you can attach a Tek-Lok belt clip and secure the knife!


You would think that with the low hardness, the knife would be easy to a sharp one. But when we tried sharpening the blade of this knife. We found it to be a little more time-consuming than expected. However, with the right sharpening stone, you will find it easier to use. However, do note that it needs a bigger angle for sharpening. The sharpness then is enough to cut through thick books and magazines in a swift go.

If you planned to use it as a survival knife, you would need to work on this sharpness.

Cutting and Chopping

If you want to cut through wood with this knife, it doesn’t perform so well (unless you change the secondary V-shaped edges to a more convex shape), even with the jimping. The reason behind this is the increased friction between the coarse coating of the blade and the wood.

cutting with esee 4

Cutting wood curls or shavings is also not an easy job with it for the same coating. Again, conveying the blade is your bestie!

When it comes to batoning, this is a winner, though. You can easily stick it into the wood, branches, and small trees and beat it with a heavier stick or wooden slab to split and cut through wood. So if you don’t have or don’t want to get an ax for chopping and splitting during your camping or bushcraft situation, you can get one of these, and you can make small kindlings! This is where the Esee 4 can act as a survival knife.

Steel Properties

The low hardness ensures that the knife does not break or chip easily upon use in heavy and light situations. Although not susceptible to chipping, this knife is prone to roll. Another point you should know is that if you will go camping near water sources and expect to work with a lot of water in your chipping business, you can expect it to rust for its 1095 carbon steel construction.


  • The handle ergonomics is exceptionally comfortable.
  • The unpolished micarta handle results in a good, solid grip.
  • Looks rugged and stylish.
  • Esee is known for producing good quality sheaths that work for ambidextrous users that can be modified too.
  • It has a great sharpening convenience and can be made to further increase its sharpness which can be used in feather sticking, cutting, and batoning purposes.
  • Provides additional control in thumb-supporting cutting.
  • Modifiable sheath and blade make it easy to be converted into a survival knife.
  • Excellent beater and hunting knife.
  • Great carry options through fishing vests.


  • The steel properties need further improvement so that it does not rust so easily.
  • The factory edge is not as good as the rest of the knife components.
  • Sparking can not be done easily for the blade coating.

Final Words

At the end of our Esee 4 review, we would like to say that it works as an excellent field knife that has great modifiability and that can be used for a variety of purposes with very little maintenance.

Whether it is fuzz stick making, timber shaving, batoning, dressing game, and cutting ropes and branches in a plethora of camping situations you may find yourself in, this knife delivers and delivers quite well. So, all in all, we’re absolutely digging it!

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