Big changes coming to ESEE Knives

Discussion in 'ESEE® Knives and Gear' started by shaneadams90, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. JollyRoger523

    JollyRoger523 Member

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    I have similar thoughts on a lot of the "super steels". Not that they are bad by any means, but the added cost (not just material costs, but the increased manufacturing costs) don't really justify the premium cost over other proven steels. I suspect most knife companies utilize the premium steels more for marketing than any other reason. I once read a quote somewhere where an old time custom knife maker said if it were up to him, he would make all his knives in 440C and the only reason he didn't was because customers want the latest and greatest steel.

    That said, I think it's a good move to offer the ESEE line in premium steels since there seems to be a fair amount of requests for it. That's why I like this company. I would steer anyone looking to buy a good field knife towards ESEE. In all honesty there are plenty of companies that make good knives and you couldn't go wrong buying one of theirs. However, I know ESEE is ran by solid people with real world experience. That means a lot.
     
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  2. Chris Talley

    Chris Talley Member

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    Contoured or thinner scales for the 4HM would be nice. I love mine but wish it fit a bit better in my hand.
     
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  3. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Member

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    I am tentatively excited to hear about different steels as possibilities.

    In my opinion, a small fixed blade doesn’t need much toughness. You can’t really chop with them, and the only wood you can split is small kindling. However, due to the fact that they have less cutting edge to distribute wear, higher edge retention is very fitting. I also think that stainless is best for smaller knives being carried close to the body. I especially prefer stainless for fishing and food prep, two things I am likely to do with a smaller knife.

    I’m not saying I need S35VN, but it would be nice to at least have something like BD1N (has impressed me a lot so far), N690, VG-10, or 154CM at least. These perform better than 440 series from all the data I’ve seen.

    I think the aversion to 440 comes from the fact that no-name spring assisted gas station knives with glass breakers and seatbelt cutters awkwardly designed into the handles often have “440 stainless steel” stamped on the blade. We have all used cheaply made knives made from 400 series stainless. My thought, be it right or wrong, is that a manufacturer who is selling a decent amount of knives to enthusiasts would often do well to offer a more modern stainless steel that isn’t associated with cheap knives of the past. It just seems to communicate that they care about progress and improvement in the industry. That’s just my 2 cents.

    I think it’s good that our conversation is factoring in the price increase. I suspected that S35VN would raise the price a bit, but not sure how much. I wouldn’t pay twice the price of a 1095 Izula for and S35VN Izula, but I would consider paying a bit more.

    I have a Kabar Snake charmer that is the same overall length as my Izula 2. It is a USA made fixed blade made from S35VN with no scales. It originally sold for about $75, but you can buy it for around $60 from some dealers now. In contrast, Kabar offers small 1095CV fixed blades (BK11, BK14) with no scales for $45. That seams like a reasonable difference in price. It’s not insignificant. The a similarly-sized S35VN model is 30%-67% more expensive. That’s substantial, but somewhere in that range is still justifiable for me sometimes.

    Just rambling by thoughts as an enthusiast and user. All that to say: if an ESEE 3 (approx $100) gets a steel upgrade and jumps in price to $140, I’ll think seriously about it. If it jumps to $160, then I’m probably not as eager. If it jumps to $185, I’m out. I have to imagine that other buyers are in a similar spot. So maybe the % price increase, stain resistance increase, and edge retention increase can be balanced to find the right steel upgrade for the customer base.
     
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  4. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    Completely agree with the above. I did a quick comparison of steel prices on Jantz just to give an idea since it will be relative even though we buy steel at a lot cheaper prices than Jantz sells it: 1/8" x 2" x 18" S35VN price was $60.27, in 440C it was $43.98 and in 1095 it was $10.81. Of course steel cost is only a portion of our overall costs so you can't use those percentage difference to figure an overall cost difference on a knife. We do have to send out our heat treating on any of the stainless steels so that figures into the price increase over 1095 also. Not sure what these will come in at yet since we do not have pricing from Rowen on them, but I'm pretty sure it will be enough difference to not justify the performance increase for what I do with a knife. With that said, some folks want it so we're doing it.
     
  5. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Member

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    All makes perfect sense to me. My post was just a really long way to say that I'm undecided until I see price, but I'm into the idea of trying new steels (especially on the smaller knives). I really like my Izula II. I have no real complaints with it and the fact that it is 1095 doesn't bother me. However, if I had the option, I would consider getting it in an alternative steel.

    I'm just glad that you all like to interact and listen.
     
  6. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    Interacting with the user is way more important to us than just being a knife company. People that use and build stuff is where our heart has always been. And while I could care less about S35V steel for what I do, there are other users out there doing something a different way than I do it, so it may be important to them. Our users impress me with their skill level and interest level when it comes to going out and doing things. I think that is what sets our users apart from a lot of knife customers. To not interact with that would be to our own demise as a company.
     
  7. Eric Kendrick

    Eric Kendrick Member

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    Very well said Jeff. On a separate note, I know you said the new knife line-up will be available for pre-order at Shot Show but do you have an estimated "target" date of when they will be available through your retailers?
     
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  8. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    We are really shooting for right after SHOT delivery to dealers
     
  9. Eric Kendrick

    Eric Kendrick Member

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    Sounds great!!!
     
  10. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Moderator Staff Member

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    1095 from ESEE and 440C from Entrek have always been GTG for me. I would be lying though if I said I wasn’t excited about the new offerings from ESEE.
     
  11. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Moderator Staff Member

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    It's worth noting that one of the largest costs of high-alloy steels is the machine hours and consumables used in grinding them. They're slower to grind and churn through more abrasives in the process.

    A lot of high alloy steels will actually be more brittle if run at lower than a certain hardness, which is an interesting dynamic. So sometimes running them harder gives both improved edge retention and improved toughness. Wild.
     
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  12. kculbert

    kculbert Member

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    Scales for sure! I would love a set of those brown, contoured micarta.
     
  13. kculbert

    kculbert Member

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    Scales for sure! I would LOVE a set of those brown, contoured micarta. I was just about to buy some tkc G10 but i may hold off for a little while now.
     
  14. 87Burban

    87Burban Member

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    How about offering liners for factory scales through one of your vendors ?

    Those of us with larger hands would appreciate having that option...
     
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  15. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent idea!!!! As long as the hardware would still have enough thread left over too.
     
  16. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    It would require a sheath mold change to go with thick liners.
     
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  17. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. Youre right. Dern.
     
  18. defnaru

    defnaru Member

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    Dang, I've been wishing for a 3V 4 and 6 for years
     
  19. eero

    eero Member

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    a version in s30v of the cr2.5 and AGK would be a great start to the new year for me. The larger blades 6" + I prefer in 1095
     
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  20. Getnlwr

    Getnlwr Member

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    I haven't been around much. Life has gotten in the way.

    Jeff and Shane, I am happy to see that you are making some changes. I'd like a S35V in a LS or a 6. If I could have anything from you guys a redneck oyster knife would be my dream. ( Esee 6 handle with an 4 blade thickness with a 3 length blade out of S35V would be my daily user) but I'll settle for 1095 if you just make the dimensions I wanted...

    Most of my knives from you have had the TKC handles put on. I'm excited to see new handle profiles and new steel options.
     
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