I got my new camping & hiking knife today

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AccountDeletedUserRequest
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I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:27 pm

A while back I made a thread asking for suggestions on a new camp knife. This is the knife I ended up choosing:

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This is the ESEE 6 HM.

I've owned a RAT6, RAT7 and RAT9 in the past, but they've all been sold off, traded, or gifted to friends. While I liked their blade shape and the materials they were constructed out of, I never warmed up to the handle shape. The only ESEE/RAT knife I've kept in my collection are a pair of Izula 2's.

When I first saw ESEE's HM series, I knew the handle would work much better for me before I even held it. Its a versatile handle shape that is large enough to allow multiple hand positions. I can choke up for carving wood or using a pinch grip for food prep:

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Grip it in the middle for general cutting:

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Or hook my pinky around the pommel and grip further back for chopping.

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You folks are familiar with my issues regarding knives with small handles, so its nice having a knife with room to spare.

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The rounded micarta scales are very comfortable, are finished with a rough, grippy texture. There are some sharp edges on the front of the scales that were slightly uncomfortable when carving. I plan to knock the edge off of that area with some sandpaper.


The knife is a little stouter and heavier than I wanted. I would have preferred a more trim 1/8th" blade stock, especially if I take the knife hiking where I'm more weight conscious. However, the added heft gives it greater chopping capabilities, and the thick blade stock lets it split wood with ease. Those extra ounces give it added versatility that will come in handy at times. When weight is of greater concern, I always have my trusty Aqua Salt.

Unlike my Izula 2, there is no jimping on the spine. I prefer knives with no thump ramp or jimping, so this was something that stood out to me when I was browsing different models. I also prefer knives with no sharpening notch and no index choil, and a handle that lets me grip right next to the cutting edge. The 6HM looked like it would handle exactly how I wanted a knife to.

I took the knife out to a camp site today and gave it a quick test. I chopped through some thin branches on a fallen tree to use for firewood, split some logs I had leftover from earlier in the year, carved fatwood shavings and did some minor food prep.

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The factory edge was too thick for the knife to shine during chopping or carving, but it did great splitting wood with a baton. The extra blade length lets it process good sized logs compared to the majority of my fixed blades, which are 4" blades or shorter. Prepping food it diced an onion better than I expected. Once I thin out the edge and remove the coating, it will be a very capable camp food prep knife. The low cutting edge and lack of a protruding guard will make it work nicely in that respect.

The sheath is very nicely made.

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It is true kydex, very thin, has a drainage hole, a detatchable clip plate, multiple lashing points, and one of my favorite features is the screw at the top corner of the sheath lets you adjust tension. I can adjust it tight enough that I have to use two hands to unsheath it. That level of tension may be desirable if you want to carry it inverted on your packs strap. Or I can loosen it to where it easily slides in and out with one hand. I set it in the middle, so it requires a good amount of force to remove from the sheath, but not so much I need to use two hands or risk pulling the entire setup off my belt when I retrieve the knife.

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With the clip installed, the knife rides fairly high. This helps keep it from getting in the way when sitting down, entering and exiting a vehicle, etc. With a long sleeve flannel on, only the last 1" of the sheath is visible. Pretty discreet.

I paid about $120 including shipping for the knife + sheath. They're a bit cheaper if you go with the leather sheath.

I plan to strip the coating, sharpen the spine, and thin out the cutting edge. The coating prevents the spine from being used to strike a ferro rod, and it also increases friction during cuts. It's going to get worn off from splitting wood anyways, and I like how ESEE's knives look with a nice patina.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezDV6pS3qIM

I'm very happy with this knife. It should see a lot of use over the next few months.

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Last edited by AccountDeletedUserRequest on Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

The Meat man
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby The Meat man » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:04 pm

Nice write up Vivi.

What is the coating and how do you plan to strip it?
- Connor

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

AccountDeletedUserRequest
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:06 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:04 pm
Nice write up Vivi.

What is the coating and how do you plan to strip it?
The coating is a roughly textured baked on Epoxy finish. I use a spray on chemical stripper called Citri-Strip to remove coatings on my knives, then polish to 400-600 grit. Cans of Citri-Strip run about $8 at local hardware stores.

I plan to make a video showing the process.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby The Meat man » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:10 pm

Vivi wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:06 pm
The Meat man wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:04 pm
Nice write up Vivi.

What is the coating and how do you plan to strip it?
The coating is a roughly textured baked on Epoxy finish. I use a spray on chemical stripper called Citri-Strip to remove coatings on my knives, then polish to 400-600 grit. Cans of Citri-Strip run about $8 at local hardware stores.

I plan to make a video showing the process.

Thanks.

I look forward to seeing that. :)
- Connor

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

murphjd25
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby murphjd25 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:41 pm

Looks nice! Like that handle, looks comfortable in the hand. You still thinking about trying the Junction?
Josh

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby benben » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:46 am

Thanks Vivi, great review! I thought you were going to get the 4HM, nope you went straight to the big boy! Looking forward to the video.

AccountDeletedUserRequest
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:15 am

murphjd25 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:41 pm
Looks nice! Like that handle, looks comfortable in the hand. You still thinking about trying the Junction?
If they're still around after Christmas I may pick one up.
benben wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:46 am
Thanks Vivi, great review! I thought you were going to get the 4HM, nope you went straight to the big boy! Looking forward to the video.
After giving it some thought I didn't think a 4" blade knife would do things a whole lot different than what I've already got (Landi EDC, Aqua Salt, and a bunch of small knives like the Izula 2). I could see the 3HM being a nice EDC though.

Just added the video.

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Doc Dan
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:18 am

Thanks for the review. It should be durable. At 10.5 oz for the knife alone, it seems a bit heavy. However, you are a big guy so the weight may not be an issue. I had looked long and hard at the same knife in the 4. The 3 is pretty nice, too.
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cbrstar
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby cbrstar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:43 pm

Nice pics, makes me want to get an ESEE.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby ShaneInDenver » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:12 pm

I too would like to see the video on stripping the coating. I have an Izula that I'd like to take the coating off of.

TkoK83Spy
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:38 pm

ShaneInDenver wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:12 pm
I too would like to see the video on stripping the coating. I have an Izula that I'd like to take the coating off of.
Same here, very interested in that process. I'd like to strip the rest of the coating off of this blade as well.
Resized_20181104_091727.jpeg
Hey Vivi, what's your impression of that 1095 steel? This Kershaw Camp 10 has 1077 carbon steel. I imagine they have some similarities. I personally love this stuff. Holds a decent edge and is very easy to get back to shaving sharp...on a machete! This was only $40-50, but it's been great to me since I've bought it. Use it while camping as well.
Currently have 20 :spyder: 's in 14 different steels.

-Rick

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:06 pm

I've been a big fan of 1095 for over 20 years, longer than I've known about Spyderco.

It's very inexpensive, very tough, sharpens fast, takes a blistering sharp edge, works well at thin angles and rolls instead of chips. At one point while filming I accidentally stabbed that ESEE into some rocky ground and the only damage was to the coating, not the edge. I've used many knives in 1095 from keychain sized Opinels to RAT9's and other choppers. Wouldn't be my first choice for a folder but I'd love to see Spyderco make some 1095 fixed blades heat treated to the low 60's RC.

I'll put together the video on removing the coating sometime this week.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby gac » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:46 pm

Cool. I was researching getting a new camp knife but backed off from the higher cost of the ESEE knives. I ended p buying a couple Mora knives, the Kansbol and the standard Companion.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:41 pm

Hard to go wrong with a Mora. I keep a 511 in my trunk and a second in my pack full of spare camping gear for when a friend with no equipment wants to come along.

I got the ESEE stripped, I'll post the video tomorrow probably. Going to sand out the rough spots then I'll post pictures. The finish was pretty pitted and rough under the coating, hitting it with some 120 grit later tonight.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby knivesandbooks » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:49 pm

Vivi wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:06 pm
I've been a big fan of 1095 for over 20 years, longer than I've known about Spyderco.

It's very inexpensive, very tough, sharpens fast, takes a blistering sharp edge, works well at thin angles and rolls instead of chips. At one point while filming I accidentally stabbed that ESEE into some rocky ground and the only damage was to the coating, not the edge. I've used many knives in 1095 from keychain sized Opinels to RAT9's and other choppers. Wouldn't be my first choice for a folder but I'd love to see Spyderco make some 1095 fixed blades heat treated to the low 60's RC.

I'll put together the video on removing the coating sometime this week.
You said it. 1095 is one of my favorite steels. Very user friendly and performs well. Not too bad for folders. My GEC's take very lean edges (edges that Case's CV doesn't do well in, in my experience). With a thin edge, I get a good life out of it before sharpening. Only had one chip ever too and that was becuase I wasn't paying attention to a steel pole. Of course, traditional by and large have better geometry than moderns. Doubt a pm2 would do great in 1095.
I own an assisted knife and am embarrassed to admit I enjoy it.

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby Evil D » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:16 am

I like ESEE knives but I feel like some of them are a little over priced for what they are. Still, they do 1095 pretty well and make very nice/practically indestructible knives. Some of their grinds could stand to be a bit thinner though. Their coating is so-so effective, I'd like it more if it wasn't so dang rough.
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby knivesandbooks » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:53 pm

The camp lore model interests me
I own an assisted knife and am embarrassed to admit I enjoy it.

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Water Bug
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby Water Bug » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:13 pm

Congratulations! That's a nice, beautiful, and practically built knife. Nice, simple design.
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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:30 am

Almost ready to step up from 120 grit to 400 grit, then put the handle back on. Been busy at work this weekend but I still have the video loaded in my editor once I find the time...

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Re: I got my new camping & hiking knife today

Postby Mom3ntuM » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:28 pm

Looking forward to the video, not my cup of tea knivewise, but i do enjoy a Good knife mod video. It already looks much better without that coating. I dont mind a coated blade but that stuff looks like skateboardtape.
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