ESEE Junglas Survival Knife Review: Our Thoughts


In the realm of outdoor survival and adventure, having a reliable and versatile knife is often the difference between triumph and struggle. One such contender in the world of survival knives is the ESEE Junglas. Renowned for its robust construction and impressive performance, the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife has caught the attention of outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists alike. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the key features, functionality, and real-world experiences to present our thoughts on this remarkable tool.

With its rugged build and formidable reputation, the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife has become a go-to choice for those seeking a dependable companion in the wilderness. Its name, inspired by the vast Junglas region of Colombia, sets the stage for its resilience and adaptability in harsh environments. But does it truly live up to its acclaim? Join us as we explore the intricacies of this survival knife and share our insights.

Through thorough research, hands-on testing, and feedback from experienced users, we aim to provide an unbiased and informed evaluation of the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife. From its construction and features to its performance and limitations, our review aims to assist you in making an educated decision about whether this knife is the right fit for your outdoor adventures and survival needs.

ESEE Junglas Survival Knife


Primary Purpose of ESEE Junglas Knife

The ESEE Junglas Survival Knife is purpose-built for outdoor survival and wilderness adventures. Its primary intended purpose is to serve as a reliable tool in demanding situations where durability and versatility are essential. While it excels in outdoor survival scenarios, the ESEE Junglas is also well-suited for camping, bushcraft, and other rugged activities. From shelter construction and fire preparation to game processing and general campsite tasks, the ESEE Junglas is designed to be a dependable companion. However, due to its larger size and weight, it may be less suitable for ultralight backpacking or everyday carry purposes. Nonetheless, for those seeking a robust and capable knife for outdoor pursuits, the ESEE Junglas is purposefully crafted to meet the challenges of the wilderness and be a valuable asset in any adventure.

Notable Accessories 

  1. Sheaths: ESEE offers a range of sheaths designed specifically for the ESEE Junglas. These sheaths come in different materials, such as Kydex or leather, and offer various carrying options, including belt loops or MOLLE-compatible attachments. Upgrading to a different sheath can provide improved retention, ease of access, and additional carrying versatility.

  2. MOLLE Gear: The ESEE Junglas is compatible with MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) systems, allowing you to attach it to MOLLE-compatible backpacks, vests, or belts. This compatibility enables you to integrate the knife seamlessly into your existing gear setup, ensuring easy access and convenience during outdoor activities.

  3. Paracord Wraps: Paracord wraps or handle scales can be added to the ESEE Junglas handle to provide a more secure and comfortable grip. Paracord can also be unraveled and used in emergency situations for various purposes like lashing, securing, or creating makeshift shelters.

  4. Fire Starter: Carrying a fire starter or a ferrocerium rod as part of your ESEE Junglas kit can be a valuable addition. This tool allows you to easily ignite fires, ensuring you have a reliable means of starting a fire for warmth, cooking, and signaling purposes.

  5. Sharpening Tools: Investing in a quality sharpening stone, diamond sharpener, or sharpening system is essential to keep the ESEE Junglas blade in optimal condition. These tools will allow you to maintain a sharp edge, ensuring the knife’s cutting performance remains top-notch during your outdoor adventures.

  6. Lanyards: Attaching a lanyard to the handle of the ESEE Junglas can provide an additional level of security and ease of handling. A lanyard can be useful for preventing accidental drops or loss of the knife and can also aid in retrieving the knife from the sheath.

ESEE Manufacturer

The ESEE Junglas Survival Knife is manufactured by ESEE Knives, a renowned company with a solid reputation in the knife industry. ESEE Knives has established itself as a trusted brand, known for producing high-quality and durable knives designed for outdoor and survival applications.

Formerly known as RAT Cutlery, ESEE Knives was founded by Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin, who have extensive experience in wilderness survival and training. Their expertise in the field has greatly influenced the design and functionality of their knives, including the ESEE Junglas.

The reputation of ESEE Knives in the industry is highly regarded. They have gained a loyal following among outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and military personnel who rely on their knives in demanding situations. ESEE Knives has built a strong reputation for producing dependable tools that excel in wilderness survival, camping, bushcraft, and tactical scenarios.

ESEE Company Testing

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:

  1. ESEE personally field test each new knife prototype
  2. Feedback will be gathered and taken into account to tweak the design of the knife
  3. The new knife, with its current design is placed into production. But the process does not end here.
  4. Every finished knife is field tested again in the following settings:
    • stateside
    • 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 almost anyone in a survival situation.

 ESEE Junglas Knife Features:

The ESEE Junglas survival knife features a 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 website 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.

Type of Steel

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 a good compromise between hard steel and tough steel, it’s not stainless steel (contains 0% Chromium) and is therefore subject to corrosion.


Knife Handle

In addition, the handle of this knife is 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, but 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.

Knife Blade

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 an 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 stainless steel such as AUS-8, the powder coating does reduce maintenance to a minimum.

Knife Maintenance

Like any quality knife, the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife requires regular maintenance to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. Here are some maintenance requirements and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Cleaning: After each use, it’s essential to clean the ESEE Junglas thoroughly. Wipe off any dirt, debris, or moisture from the blade and handle using a damp cloth. Avoid immersing the knife in water for an extended period to prevent potential corrosion.

  2. Drying: After cleaning, ensure the knife is thoroughly dried to prevent moisture buildup. Pay close attention to the handle scales, as they may retain moisture if not dried properly.

  3. Blade Maintenance: The ESEE Junglas features a blade with a protective powder coating, but this coating may wear off over time with heavy use. To maintain the coating’s integrity and prevent corrosion, periodically apply a thin layer of mineral oil or blade oil to the blade, particularly if you live in a humid or corrosive environment.

  4. Sharpening: As with any knife, the ESEE Junglas will require periodic sharpening to maintain its cutting performance. Utilize appropriate sharpening tools, such as a sharpening stone or diamond sharpener, to maintain a sharp and functional edge. Follow proper sharpening techniques and angles as recommended by ESEE Knives or experienced knife sharpeners.

  5. Handle Maintenance: The handle scales of the ESEE Junglas are typically made of Micarta, which is a durable and moisture-resistant material. However, if the handle becomes dirty or stained, you can clean it with mild soap and water, followed by thorough drying. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning agents that may damage the handle material.

  6. Storage: When not in use, store the ESEE Junglas in a dry and secure location. Consider using a protective sheath or blade cover to prevent accidental damage and ensure safety during storage or transportation.

Feedback from use in Real-World Scenarios

The experiences and feedback from users who have utilized the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife in real-world scenarios are overwhelmingly positive. Numerous outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and professionals have shared their firsthand experiences, highlighting the knife’s reliability, durability, and performance in demanding situations.

Many users appreciate the ESEE Junglas for its exceptional chopping ability. The knife’s substantial size and weight, combined with its robust blade, allow for efficient and powerful chopping, making it ideal for tasks such as clearing brush, building shelters, and processing firewood. Users often note that the blade’s shape and weight distribution contribute to its effectiveness in chopping, enabling them to complete tasks more quickly and with less effort.

Personal Review

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 conclusion, the ESEE Junglas Survival Knife proves itself as an exceptional tool that lives up to its reputation in the world of outdoor survival and adventure. With its rugged construction, impressive cutting ability, and durability, it has garnered the trust and admiration of outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and professionals alike. Whether it’s chopping firewood, building shelters, processing game, or tackling various tasks in the wilderness, the ESEE Junglas excels with its robust design and versatile blade.

The positive feedback from users further reinforces its reliability and performance in real-world scenarios. While it may not be the ideal choice for ultralight backpacking, its unmatched strength and functionality make it an indispensable companion for those seeking a dependable and resilient tool in the great outdoors. With the ESEE Junglas by your side, you can venture into the wild with confidence, knowing that you have a capable and trustworthy survival knife at your disposal.

For additional survival knife options, check our list here.

The Out sider

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