Esee Stainless and Esee Folder Update

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Hale Storm, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    Anyone heard the latest from Esee on that magical, mystical folder that we're all waiting for? I also heard at a local gun show here in Houston from some guys in my blade circle that Esee is coming out with some stainless blades. I know someone here will have the latest news. Is Esee going to offer some stainless versions? If Esee does add stainless, what will it be? M390? CPM variant? 154CM? Will the real Esee folder ever make it to market (not the BRK Zancudo)?
  2. Presumed_Lost


    Oct 27, 2003
    I just noticed a stone-washed stainless Izula on one of the on-line dealer sites a couple of days ago, "out of stock", "coming soon", and "2013". No such version of the Izula II, apparently.

    I saw somewhere that it was listed as 440C, which I think is a mistake- it's not that it can't be done right, it can, and can make a very fine knife, it's just that the whole 440 series is pretty firmly associated with junk knives in a lot of minds.

    I was always intrigued by the Izula design, but the first one was too small (I'm a big guy with pretty big hands) and I never cared for the whole inland-only-steel-with-coating thing, so I don't own one.

    As always, the market abhors a vacuum, and while Esee is fooling around promising someday, someday, the familiar-looking Enzo neck knife is the larger size (7" overall), is in a nice stainless, can be bought either flat or Scandi grind for less than $30. There are supposed to be models with scales, though nobody seems to have them, but the real interest seems to be in buying one naked and doing your own, not difficult. My first two are supposed to get here tomorrow.

    Esee is apparently splitting off a whole line of camping and "woodland" knives, all in carbon steel. More marketing mistakes IMHO, I think they'll mostly be ignored. Give people what they want to buy, not what you think they should want. If you don't someone else will.
  3. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    Well said Lost. Great info. I totally agree about the 440. As I've gotten older and more educated about steels, I don't think I would ever buy another 440 blade.

    Now I need to go look up the stainless Izula and see those Enzo's too.

    If I buy either of those, I'm telling the wife it's your fault. :D
  4. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    pretty sure im gonna be completely bald before the Izula folder hits the market. theres no connection between the two, just me trying to establish a realistic time frame....something ESEE seems to have problems with
  5. Bugout Bill

    Bugout Bill

    Jan 2, 2013
    I don't think an Esee folder is ever going to be seen in the wild. As for stainless steel, I'd rather see Esee do something that they can justify rather than cave to market demand and use a steel that doesn't make sense for the application (like M390, D2, or S30V).
  6. Gadfly22


    Mar 3, 2011
    I've lost hope for the Izula stainless, but the Enzo neckers were a nice consolation prize. Got the naked versions of the Scandi grind and flat grind first and then found the same with scales (polished micarta and curly birch). But I did hear that the Izula folder is being featured on the new season of Mythbusters.
  7. Presumed_Lost


    Oct 27, 2003
    Not a problem, I'm used to it. I've been known to get younger guys riding motorcycles- I get blamed by wives for a WHOLE LOT. ;)
  8. trevytrev


    May 4, 2010
    I doubt we see an Izula Folder anytime soon if ever. The stainless Esee's seem more likely to come out, when is the question. I did hear the rumor that the heat treating for the stainless will be done by someone in Idaho known for heat treating, sounds like Paul Bos heat treat to me which would be a good thing.
  9. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Enlightened Rogue Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Ray Ennis of Entrek USA has been making knives from 440C since 1973. His blades are heat treated, sub-zero stabilized and double drawn to 57-58 RC. I don't think ESEE is going to have any problem making quality knife out of 440C.
  10. Franciscomv


    Feb 7, 2005
    ESEE is not good at sticking to deadlines. We should all know that by now. I enjoy their knives but I don't even bother to look at the upcoming releases on their website, I focus on what's available at stores.

    Mossyhorn, Entrek was the first thing that came to mind when there was talk of 440C ESEE knives. I've got a couple of Ennis' knives and they are excellent, the first one I got came unmarked for testing (so that I wouldn't know the maker, although it was fairly obvious) and I liked it a lot.

    Since the Ontario days, RAT/ESEE has focused on good performing steel with a proven track record. Classics like D2 and 1095, so 440C makes sense. ESEE is not the company to look at for the newest super steel. I'm sure they'll make something good, although I kind of wish they'd tried some higher end steels on the Izula, it's a great platform for premium stainless.
  11. dkb45


    Dec 16, 2012
    You guys must be suffering from severe mental illness. 440C is a great steel, and is a good stainless partner to the carbon steel that ESEE uses. Saying properly heat treated 440C is just a 440 series steel (like 440A which kind of is junk) is like saying the new Mustang is just a junky 4 cylinder... The damn thing has 300 horsepower! Consider proper HT on a not so premium steel like a turbocharger on a 4 cylinder, without it the knife (car) sucks, but with it you can beat out knives (cars) with a "better" steel (engine).

    If that analogy was hard to follow, this should be better. ESEE does not use a premium steel. 1095 is not a superb steel, but if you heat treat it right that knife will please everybody but steel snobs. 440C is the same way, not many people do it right so it isn't considered good, but I would take an ideally treated 440C over a poorly treated super steel any day.
  12. Jeru


    Mar 19, 2011
    What dkb45 is saying. It is completely in line with Rowen's 1095 to use 440C for the stainless versions.
    It's all about the heat treat. Therefore Buck's Paul Bos 420HC is also hard to compare with other 420's.
  13. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    I agree on what everyone says about 440 HERE. You guys (not me :eek:) are EDUCATED about steels, heat treating, and metallurgy. The point is more of the stereotype of 440 in the mainstream and what it takes for a big company like RAT/ESEE to successfully launch a new line of knives.
    Buck, Gerber, et. al. have started using higher end steels in their lines. As they continue, the reputation of inferior 440 falls farther behind the premium steels.
    Why would Esee move forward with a 440 line when most companies are leaving it behind?
    As someone already stated, 440 has the import voodoo put on it already and is a turn off for the average guy who loves knives but is uneducated about the steels involved. I know, I was one of them once. I still prefer to stay away from it now that I know that better steels are out there

    There are better steels out there at a just a fraction more cost. Plus, you have to ask yourself what the price point will be for the 440 Esee's. Will the average blade customer buy a 440 Esee at the premium price when the competition is 30-50 bucks cheaper. Don't get me wrong, I love Esee knives and own, or owned every one they make except the Laser Strike, but I moved up to BM, Emies, ZT, Barkies, etc. because I was getting better steels for my money.

    Lastly, by the time Esee gets around to making stainless and a folder, we will have evolved into an animal that can cut things without using steel and won't need knives any longer anyway.

  14. mtangent


    Dec 6, 2011
    440a isn't such a dog either. I have a couple of European made knives that are perfectly good. I have heard the HT is very finicky though & hard to get right.
    Having said that, I wonder why any manufacturer would plan on starting out that way now. The companies that use 440 well have been doing so for decades.
    On a knife the size of an Izula, the cost difference between 440c & more modern steels is not much.
  15. Brian.Evans

    Brian.Evans Registered Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Exactly. Steel cost is such a small part of the overall cost of a knife, a few dollars difference per knife wouldn't be worth it.

    440c is a quality steel, but I think it would be a mistake for them to use it on a new knife. I think the guys that would buy a premium knife, like a stainless Izula, would demand CPM-154 or "better".

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