ESEE Junglas Survival Knife Review: Our Thoughts
Randall’s Adventure Training was established in 1997 by Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin as an outdoor survival training agency providing global training, gear, and logistical solutions to military and law enforcement agencies as well as civilians in remote environments.
Unlike many knife companies, ESEE does not release a new knife simply because it looks good on paper. Every knife they produce undergoes a series of intricate phases before reaching the racks of outdoor supplies shops.
There are a few points worth noting with ESEE’s quality testing and the rigors they go through.
Here are some important facts:
- ESEE personally field test each new knife prototype
- Feedback will be gathered and taken into account to tweak the design of the knife
- The new knife with its current design is placed into production. But the process does not end here.
- Every finished knife is field tested again in the following settings:
- during jungle survival outings in the Peruvian Amazon; and
- all around the world by numerous users who will get back to ESEE with their views, reviews and feedback regarding the knife.
So when you buy an ESEE knife, you know that you are getting a knife that is specifically designed by experienced experts in outdoor survival as approved by real people who are actually into such outdoor activities.
Such is the case with the ESSE-5 which is specifically designed to be a downed pilot’s survival knife. However, it would obviously work very well for most anyone in a survival situation.
ESEE Junglas Knife Features:
The ESEE Junglas survival knife features an 16 1/2″ inch overall length with a drop point blade that measures 10 3/8″ in length and is constructed using 3/8″ 1095 high carbon steel hardened to 55-57 Rockwell with a flat grind (their web site says it’s a saber grind but that is incorrect,) and a textured black or olive drab powder coat finish.
In addition, it also features a very ergonomic, full-tang grip shape with handle slabs made from canvas Micarta (also known as Rucarta) and it includes a Kydex sheath.
Personally, when it comes to outdoor survival, I have a distinct and very strong preference for a LARGE knife and the ESSE Junglas certainly fits that bill.
Also, although I personally prefer a clip point over a drop point, I have to admit that the drop point is a stronger point design and thus, in that respect, it is better suited for a large outdoor survival knife than a clip point.
However, regardless of the merits of either tip shape, the designers of the ESEE Junglas survival knife have designed one of the best, really large, outdoor survival knives I have seen yet because it will perform so many different tasks and do them all well.
For instance, the long, straight edge combined with the miniature ricasso enables the user to either carve or chop with equal ease. And while the blade might be a little long for proper control when removing the hide from harvested game animals, that minor drawback can easily be negated by carrying a smaller fixed blade or folding knife as a companion to the Junglas.
In addition, the handle of this knife is both large enough to fill a man-sized hand and is also very ergonomically designed. Plus, the back of the handle is designed in such a way that it forms a sort of hook that allows the user to retain a positive grip on the knife when performing light chopping tasks in the event that it inadvertently slips in the user’s hand.
Also the choice to make the handle slabs from Rucarta (canvas Micarta as opposed to linen Micarta) is an excellent idea because not only is it an extremely tough material, it is impervious to absorbing moisture so it will now swell and it is also impervious to changes in temperature. Plus, it will not chip, crack or split due to its laminated composite construction.
Last, while 1095 high carbon steel is both a good choice and a common choice of steel for outdoor knives intended for hard use because it is good compromise between a hard steel and a tough steel, it’s not a stainless steel (contains 0% Chromium) and is therefore subject to corrosion.
Consequently, the blade is coated with a baked-on powder coat in your choice of black or olive drab green which prevents corrosion on all but the edge of the knife. Also, the Rockwell hardness of 55-57 is an excellent hardness point for this steel and for survival knives in general because it is hard enough to hold and edge and yet, it is not so hard that it is brittle.
So while I would prefer it if the blade on this knife were made from a stainless steel such as AUS-8, the powder coating does reduce maintenance to a minimum.
Consequently, in my opinion, the ESEE Junglas survival knife is an excellent choice for a large outdoor survival knife because it is large enough to handle most any light chopping task and yet, it is also controllable enough to serve as a hunting knife in a pinch. Thus, if the user were to combine it with a smaller fixed blade or folding survival knife, they would have what is quite possibly the ultimate combination for outdoor survival situations. For additional survival knife options, check our list here.
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