If you’ve ever needed a simple 3 or 4-inch fixed blade that can stand up to any outdoor setting, you may already own an ESEE-3 or ESEE-4. Arriving now at dealers are the ESEE-3HM and ESEE-4HM, bringing noticeable changes to these ESEE mainstays. Outdoor enthusiasts have been waiting to get their hands on one ever since they were announced earlier this year. Now that they’re here, we spoke with ESEE co-owner Mike Perrin about reworking a classic formula and ESEE’s plans for the future.
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The new knives are set apart from the original versions by the designation ‘HM,’ an acronym for ‘Handle Modification’. “The blades are unchanged. What we did is modify the handle – we made it rounder, fatter, and got rid of the forward choil,” says Perrin. The HM knives have the same specifications as the original ESEE-3 and ESEE-4: the same powder-coated 1095 blade steel, the same stock thickness, the same blade length and shape. “It’s the same knife, only simpler: just a handle and a blade,” Perrin insists.
It may be the same knife, but the new versions of the ESEE-3 and 4 also abandon the customary kydex in favor of attractive, dark brown leather sheaths. Supporters who’ve developed an affinity to the brand will be pleased with the large ‘ESEE’ name stitch-embossed vertically down the front of the leather. The new sheaths, like virtually everything that comes from ESEE, are made in the USA and Perrin wouldn’t have it any other way. “Making everything here is very important to us,” he says. The knives have always been made stateside, but over the last year the company has worked to make or source every last fastener, stitch, and component from within the USA.
These knives are not intended to replace the ESEE-3 and ESEE-4, but were designed with different tastes in mind. The changes were inspired by customer feedback from hunters and people who prefer a more traditional blade. “Hunters found that the choil would get hung up in long cuts,” explains Perrin. “Some folks found the original handles felt flat. The new handle is considerably wider and rounder.”
What’s next from ESEE? Perrin tells us to expect more survival kits and new classes from Randall’s Adventure and Training, the survival school that ESEE Knives are made to withstand. “We want to provide both the skills and the gear needed to save lives.”
Knife featured in image: ESEE-3HM