New ESEE-designed Folder is the Tiny, Affordable Churp

ESEE has just rolled out one of their rare folding knife releases. The Churp is a discrete little knife that passes on the frills in favor of an affordable, work-ready ruggedness.

If you’ve been in the knife world for a while, you’ll be familiar with the rest of the spare ESEE folder designs: the Zancudo, Avispa, and, of course, the legendary RAT-1 (the latter was designed for Ontario Knife Company, and indeed the Churp is being released under the aegis of knife distributor Blue Ridge Knives).

Even within this small family circle, the Churp sticks out. For starters, it’s a two-hand opener, unfolded with a simple nail nick. Its 2.75-inch blade is a leaf-like spear point shape, ideal for daily tasks of the small to medium variety. And don’t let the traditional-style opening method fool you: the Churp is indeed a locking knife, with a steel liner lock in place to make things safer during those medium chores. Visually, this is a bit of an usual liner lock, in that it has a protruding leaf to help with disengagement rather than a cutout on the handle; but it works like any other liner lock on the market. The blade steel is D2, which brings the Churp in line with not only the general budget knife realm, but also the upgraded versions of its well-loved folding ESEE brethren.

The liner lock on the Churp is unusual looking

The ovoid handle echoes the simplicity of the blade. Without any fins, grooves, or other falallery, pretty much any grip is feasible on the Churp within the confines of its diminutive overall size. In its standard configuration, the Churp’s scales come in either brown or green Micarta, but if you feel like plumping for an upscale (although still sub-$50) model, you can get scales made from carbon fiber. The weight of the CF and Micarta models is nearly identical: 2.18 for the CF, and 2.15 for the Micarta versions. The pocket clip, which is tip-up and not reversible, should look familiar to you if you’ve ever carried a Zancudo or Avispa.

Mike Perrin and Jeff Randall, the co-founders of ESEE, are the design team behind the Churp. Indeed, the dynamic duo is responsible for all of the aforementioned ESEE-branded and RAT folders. There are more collaborations in ESEE’s own fixed blade lineup, with releases like the Cody Rowan-designed CR-3.0 from last year, and multiple knives from ESEE forum member Expat.

Knife in Featured Image: ESEE Churp