ESEE 4 Mystery Steel Pass Around----all spots taken

Discussion in 'ESEE® Knives and Gear' started by shaneadams90, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Not Sure

    Not Sure Member

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    Final Thoughts.....
    A week is a pretty short time to really know a knife, but I will say this,
    I felt #2 was my favorite, then #3 and #1
    I used them all for the same basic chores and felt #2 was the easiest to maintain.
    I was at 4200 feet and mornings and evenings were cold and windy,
    I built many fires, many ways, with each of them. Sun breaks mid afternoon I was on
    Scavenging hikes. The knives were in hand continually.
    It was a short but fun time. Knives will ship out today.
    FYI on the swag..........all the ESEE leather coats in my size were already taken.
    I took the ESEE chainsaw and the ESEE Golf Clubs..............
    That is all carry on.
     
  2. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    The blades are now safely in Wisconsin.....more to come :)
     
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  3. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Ok sorry I went dark for a bit. I took the the knives to Brunet Island state park camping with the family. I don't have a lot of pictures of the testing process but you've guys have seen them enough to know what they look like. I wanted to test the knives in everyday camping/hunting situations. How I did my testing is I carried each knife one day each and did the same chores with them. I carry a 4 with me every time that I'm camping so the blades all felt very familiar but are a bit heavier than my 1095.
    Knife #1: Morning I batoned firewood for breakfast. I really like the uncoated tumbled finish. Knife was really sharp and made easy work of one year old dried pine. I made a feather stick, which the knife bit nicely. Sliced up some butter and bacon. I cleaned up the blade, I might add pine pitch was a chore to get off the knife.
    Fresh fish for lunch, this knife was a bit big for trout and bluegill but always fun playing around with different knives. I touched up the #1 on a strop and the edge came back to hair poppin. After lunch I just sat around the campfire and carved on a stick, knife preformed excellent. This carving turned into a spear for my son that I barbed and everything ha ha camping fun with the kiddos.
    Evening brought more wood processing and cooking. After dinner I showed my son and daughter how to make a dead fall trap. We made a small shelter from all the storm fallout from last week.
    Knife #2: Morning I batoned firewood for breakfast. Knife #2 was also really sharp and made easy work of one year old dried pine. I made a feather stick, which the knife bit nicely. More bacon ha ha and some fruit which did not mush it up at all. For a thick blade I was impressed. I cleaned up the blade and I can't explain why but it cleaned up A LOT easier than #1.
    Afternoon was hiking to my favorite fishing hole and making a small fire. Just made a hobo stew and enjoyed an afternoon of fishing. As for the knife it sliced the steak for the stew meat and veggies very well.
    Evening was craft night and lots of paracord cutting and stick caving, at one point we were thinking of weaving a hammock. #2 kept its edge all day and a small touch up and back to scary sharp.
    Finally #3: Batoning pine for breakfast firewood. #3 performed great like the other two. You guy might be seeing a common theme here :). Croissant were sliced nicely, with cheese of course. As luck would have it my son reels up not one but two walleyes. So #3 was up for filleting, a bit combersome but I was able to filet them up.
    Afternoon was shore lunch literally on shore. Small fire, cast iron, and fresh fish the things dreams are made of.
    Evening brought my son and I down below the local dam. He really wants to catch a sturgeon. As the night went on and the smallmouth decide they were more hungry than the sturgeon. We carved another spear lol and made blow guns from reed grass. I did have to cut some fishing line from one nasty bird nest we had..
    Conclusion: If anybody made it this far you can see I'm not a professional writer or knife tester. Honestly all three blades performed up to every task. I feel I did very real world testing, I'm not going to the Amazon any time soon so I did what I think most of you guys would be doing. I want to thank Esee for letting me test the blades and reminding me how fun it is to teach my little ones about the woods. We had so much fun this extended weekend camping, they want me to test knives and quit my job. :D. I'm available just saying..... All three steels are winners in my book. The uncoated tumbled finish was amazing. The blades did not rust and all sharpened great. I will also say that for being tested super hard they are holding up STRONG. I hope one of these make it to market. Next time I test I will bring a back up charger for more pictures, my phone didn’t make it to knife #3.
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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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  4. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Thanks @Rook52, the blades arrived today and we're clean, sharp, and ready for action out of the box. No promises folks, but I may be able to squeeze in a kayaking trip across the salt marsh this weekend with the blades.
     
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  5. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Alright gang, just checking in with a quick teaser pic after my time with the three mystery steel blades. I think I got my money's worth out of them. I have some pics to sift through and would like to have my thoughts posted up here sometime this weekend, maybe Saturday at the earliest.

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  6. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    They are getting more and more beautiful each time they pass to another user.
     
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  7. OutdoorsFamilyMan

    OutdoorsFamilyMan Member

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    I agree. The handles look so much better now.
     
  8. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Alright guys, here's an overview of my time with the blades. My testing was a simple fire lay built from a mix of seasoned oak and hickory kindling, topped with a pile of fatwood curls, and fuel wood stacked around it in a teepee. This is one of my go-to's for building a fire and a duty my own ESEE 4 is likely to get. I chose to use seasoned wood to expedite the testing since I had a ready supply. The wood was good and dry so it didn't take much to bring these blades to a point of needing a bit of maintenance. Unfortunately there's nothing remotely scientific scientific about my process. Just batoning through wood until I had enough for a big fire lay, and cutting fatwood curls until they started to lose their keen edge.

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    Each knife came work-ready with a clean, keen edge. I worked each blade through an endless succession of oak and hickory, taking my time. After all, very few activities are as relaxing and rewarding to a woodsman as firecraft. In the end, my un-gloved hands blistered and tired after a morning of batoning and I could no longer manage to pop hairs with any of the blades. With a knee-high pile of kindling, I turned my attention to a stack of fat lighter. After a quick touch up on my butcher's steel, all three blades regained enough of an edge to process curls for tinder.

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    The pile of curls underneath the No. 1 blade is as far as it got into curling tinder. At this point I started having to "drive" it into the wood rather than focusing on keeping my blade angled correctly for making nice fatwood ribbons. The other two blades fared a little better in terms of longevity but not by much. We ended up getting a nice little afternoon thunderstorm which showered me, the wood, and all three blades. Not the first bit of spotting or surface rust developed on any of the blades and none were oiled by me beforehand. Good to know.

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    Maintenance on the three blades didn't vary by too much. All cleaned up with a little elbow grease and hot, soapy water. I was able to sharpen all three using a medium ceramic rod from a Spyderco Sharpmaker and touching up on a field strop. I chose this because it's one of my favorite set ups to use when I have to pack light. I can freehand sharpen my knives, axes, and machetes with this simple and compact system. Blades No. 2 and 3 both had a couple small chips in their edges. The N0. 3 blade took nearly two hours of sharpening on the Spyderco rod to work the chips out. I have to point out that if it were my own knife, I'd honestly have let these small spots ride and just give the edge a touch up before returning it to use. That's just my philosophy with a working knife. I know folks who can't stand to see an imperfect cutting edge and that's okay. Their knives, their business. With all of this said, the chips on each blade were no match for a coarse DMT bench stone. Both worked out easily and took a keen, toothy edge.

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    Final thoughts....

    If I had to choose one of the three it would be the No. 1 blade. It seemed to dull a little quicker than the other two but showed no signs of chipping. In a knife that I'd be using roughly I prefer ease of maintenance over abrasion resistance. Don't get me wrong, I have some folders with pretty hard steels. Some of my most carried folders have S35VN, ELMAX, 20CV or S90VN. They're great EDC steels that I can touch up from the comfort of my easy chair when needed. But my preference for a field knife steel is usually 1075, 1095, or O1. It's simply a matter of preference and nothing more.

    In all fairness, (A) I didn't inspect the edges of the knives very carefully upon receiving them and didn't notice the chips until I went to sharpen them. I looked at the photos I'd taken just before testing and zoomed in. They had been there all along and I had overlooked them. So I have no idea how they got there or how long they'd been there. (B) I have folding DMT stones that are just as easy to carry as the Spyderco rod and would make sharpening one of these quicker and easier.

    Regardless, No. 1 seemed to respond the fastest to sharpening. Even when striking them on the butcher's steel, No. 2 and No. 3 seemed to slide like glass, and I presumed them to be harder metals than No. 1. I could be wrong, I'm no metallurgist or knife maker, but that's how I perceived it. I hope to find out eventually just for the sake of satisfying my curiosity.
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    A sincere "Thank You" to ESEE for allowing me to borrow these for a week, play around with them, and ask for my thoughts. @shaneadams90 you've been doing some really cool stuff for us here and it is appreciated. I've gotten to see and use some cool stuff at ESEE classes and this experience takes the cake.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  9. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Great write up as well !
     
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  10. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Thanks Andy!
     
  11. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Thanks to all involved.....once I get the knives back we have some in house testing and internal discussions to conduct....

    Thanks again all!!

    Shane
     
  12. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent write up!!!
     
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  13. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Thanks Strig!
     
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  14. Eric Kendrick

    Eric Kendrick Member

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    Loving this thread!!!
     
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  15. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    @shaneadams90 are we ever going to find out what the mystery steel is?
     
  16. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Still have some things to work thru......stay tuned......
     
  17. Jacob Peterson

    Jacob Peterson Member

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    I am staying tuned!

    I am so tuned, you dont even know how tuned i am.

    Lolol
     
  18. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

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    Who currently has them for testing?
     
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  19. Twiztedmind

    Twiztedmind Member

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    They are back at ESEE headquarters for final analysis I believe.
     
  20. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    Yes, this is correct. I was the very last one on the list. I sent them back to Shane when my week was up.
     
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