ESEE laser Strike Review

ESEE laser Strike ReviewThe ESEE laser Strike started out as a TOPS Brand knife many years ago then ESEE started to produce them. I will admit right off the bat, I'm a huge fan of ESEE and they make some of the best survival knives on the market at a reasonable price! The ESEE Laser Strike is one that is a true survival knife through and through, and even has some hidden features that are just for survival!

I have to say when it comes to any survival knife that has stuff in the handle - such as the common knife everyone has seen, the RAMBO-style knife - I'm not a fan, and for years I have strongly discouraged anyone from such a knife as there are only a few on the market that have hollow handles that are any good. I say this as hollow handled knives are in most part weak near the hilt and tend to break very easily, and the cheaper the knife the faster it breaks!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewThe ESEE laser Strike is one of the first knives I would recommend that has a hollow handle. With most hollow handle knives there are two classes. One where the blade is bolted to the handle near the hilt; this is the weakest version of knife. The other is where the whole knife is cast from one piece of steel; these knives tend to be stronger, but they are only as strong as the quality of steel so the cheaper the knife the more likely it will fail. The ESEE Laser Strike is in a class all to its own as this knife is a full tang knife with a small slot cut into the handle. Most knives are made this way anyway; many have slots under the handle slabs to cut down on weight, and in most cases this will not affect the durability or quality of the knife in any way!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewWhat they have done with the knife is they created a slot in the blade handle that runs the length of the handle under the slabs. Then they have cut slots into the underside of the slabs as well, so that when the knife is assembled with the slabs it creates a small cavity that allows for some hidden tools.


ESEE has included what I think are some of the core must-have items for survival: a Ferro rod with magnesium and two Tinder-Quik fire tabs. Ferro rods and magnesium are very useful for making fire, a Ferro rod will throw a very hot spark and the magnesium is used to help to catch the spark and ignite your fire bundle ablaze. What you do is you shave some small pieces off the magnesium, then add that to your bundle of materials often called a nest, then when the spark for the Ferro rod is thrown into the nest it ignites and burns almost right away if done correctly! Ferro rods are not as good as a lighter when it comes to speed of making a fire, but Ferro rods don't have any of the down sides of a lighter. Lighters can break, run out of fuel, explode and don't work if you should get them wet, but a Ferro rod will work even if soaked in water and will work every time, which is why they are so prized by survival and outdoor people!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewNow if you don't want to take the Ferro rod out, the laser Strike has a divot in the Micarta that can be used for a fire bow drill. Rather than using a rock or piece of wood and carving a divot in them, you can use the weight of the handle and the supplied divot to allow you to apply weight to a fire bow drill and start a fire, so this little knife has two means of helping with fire making!

The slabs of the ESEE laser Strike are held on with flat screws. Normally I would not recommend flat screws, as they suck, but in this configuration they are ideal and hold very well. You will need to get to your survival supplies in the knife so you don't want any weird screw stopping you, this way you can open the knife handle with just about anything even a rock, Canadian dime or even what ESEE has included on your lanyard - a small washer! This is something that is really smart, it's something that anyone can pick up anywhere but its also has a hole in the middle so you can thread 550 cord right through it and works very much like a dime to loosen the screws of the Laser Strike so you can get at your fire-starting kit!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewWhen it comes to a true survival knife this ESEE laser Strike has a lot going for it. The blade is a spear point 4.5 inch blade with a high saber grind and it's close to a flat grind, which is important as I've found that the higher the saber grind the harder it can be to do fine work with at knife since it tends to get caught on wood when you're doing finer cuts. The blade itself is virtually flawless – it's full tang and 10 inches in total length. It's a Rowen blade steel, which is basically the same blade steel and coating as all the ESEE knives and I've never had any problems with these knives in any way, other than if they're not taken care of, then they will rust as they are high carbon steel. But that's a maintenance issue, not a blade issue and happens to all high carbon knives.

Carbon steel knives are the blades to beat when it comes to survival knives. You want carbon steel because this blade steel is hard and holds up to heavy use very well. It also holds an edge far better than any stainless steel I've ever used and when it comes to survival your knife is going to get a lot of work making shelters, weapons, catching and preparing food and much more so you don't want to have your blade become dull on you!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewThis brings me to one point I like to make with all survival knives, that you should always carry a means of sharpening. If you have ever done any survival training you will find using a knife a lot will dull it over time and when it comes to true survival you don't know how long you will be out there, so it's best not just to have a fire steel, but another means of keeping your knife sharp so you can build anything you will need!

There are techniques for sharpening knives with rocks and stuff like that but not everyone knows how or what rocks to use so it's far easier for some to just carry a small diamond sharpening steel. But I would recommend learning how to do it in the field without a steel, if you have the time, because let's face it you can always lose a steel but rocks are everywhere if you know what to look for!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewThe sheath of the Laser Strike is perfect, simple as that! All ESEE knives come with the same style of sheath and they hold their knives very well and even have a locking slide bolt that will lock the knife in place. I've never had one slip, and this is one of the points that makes me a big ESEE fan - they make as good a sheath as they do a knife and that's a big deal, because not everyone does! You also get a clip style belt clip, this has some added benefits as the knife can be put on and taken off the belt very easily and you don't have to take your belt off to remove the knife. I haven't had a lot of experience with this style of belt clip as all my other ESEE knives have MOLLE style clips, but I do like it.

Only one thing I will point out about the sheath is if you want to paracord wrap the handle of the knife and take the slabs off, the knife will not hold in the sheath, as the sheath is molded over the hilt part of the handle and needs to grip this part to lock into the sheath! So make sure if you do take the slabs off in the woods to use the fire steel you don't lose them or you will not be able to retain the knife in the sheath!

ESEE laser Strike ReviewThe ESEE laser Strike is a great option for a survival knife if you're in the market for one. I would recommend any ESEE knife, but the ESEE laser Strike has some features not found with any other ESEE knives. When it comes to battoning, chopping, and fine cutting, the Laser Strike is up to all tasks, then you add the bonus of the fire starting kit, and it's a very affordable cost. They can be found for as low as $110 to $170 and in my book that's just in the realm I would pay for a top quality knife. I know you can pay more for a knife, but when it comes to ESEE knives and guarantee, you will seldom get more than what ESEE offers even if you spend more money!


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