Before the dawn of time, while the world was still young, Odin All-Father wandered upon the land and saw that it was good. He looked out at the world and asked Brokkr to forge a mighty hammer for his son Thor. While staring into the embers of the forge as they danced to and fro, he contemplated upon man and the riddle of steel.

I was able to spend some time with the ESEE 4 and put this knife through its paces during a weekend camping trip on the Olympic Peninsula. I think Brokkr might appreciate the solid construction and craftsmanship of this solid instrument of steel.

ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
The ESEE 4 at work.

I pounded, chopped and smashed with and at the ESEE 4.  The 1095 Carbon Steel blade took all the abuse I could dish out in stride.

ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
Cutting some Kindling

I attached it to my pack and did a little hiking.  The kydex sheath is solid.

ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
Out for the day.


ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
Basking on a Pacific Beach

I have to say that I was impressed with this knife.  I am familiar with ESEE knives and have the smaller Izula, but I have never used their larger knives.  At 9 total inches,the ESEE 4 is not so large that it is going to replace your machete.  On the flip side, it isn’t so small that it can’t tackle the majority of camp tasks with aplomb.

Even the packaging is made to enhance your survival knowledge. The back of the box has all sorts of nice survival tidbits.  There is also a small pocket survival card, and a couple of swag stickers. To fit your attachment needs there is a kydex belt clip that can be snapped onto the sheath.  You can also order a  Cordura MOLLE backing. This backing attaches to the kydex sheath and makes it easier to attach to MOLLE platforms like a vest, plate carrier or battle belt.

ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
Box and accoutrement. Back of box, and back of MOLLE attachment.


ESEE 4 Blade | The Riddle of Steel
Top of box and MOLLE attachment.

The other cool thing about the ESEE line of knives is customization. The handles can be taken off and swapped for various colors. There are third party vendors online that also sell different handles. Don’t like Micarta, ESEE has you covered with G10 plastic.

You can check out the ESEE 4 and the complete catalog here:

You can pick up an ESEE 4 on Amazon for a little over $100.

(featured image courtesy of