ESEE Izula Knife Review

ESEE Izula BladeBarrelBezel.comParaponera Clavata would have made an unfortunate disease-worthy name for a knife.  And it would not have fit along the length of a 2.75″ blade.  But, the Peruvians call this particular genus and species of fierce indigenous ant the isula!  ESEE Knives felt that Izula makes a fine name that can be adequately laser engraved on a diminutive sharpy.

Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin of Randall’s Adventure and Training and ESEE Knives designed the Izula as a small fixed blade jungle survival knife, but I put it to you that it can acquit itself quite well as an urban partner of considerable value.

Ultimately, a knife is for cutting things (duh).  Izula’s modestly-sized full tang blade of 1/8” 1095 high carbon steel, hardened to 55-57 RHC, is a serious tool for parting objects.  Izula’s flat ground, powder coated blade is expertly made by Idaho Falls’ Rowen Manufacturing.  My experience has been that, sans moving a rubber tree plant, the little ESEE Izula will stand up to almost all users’ small knife requirements.

IMG_2652For several weeks, I decided to replace the folder clipped to my jeans pocket with an Izula, which I slid into the same opening.  The Izula comes with a thin injection molded sheath that holds the knife very firmly within.  As knife and sheath total 7″ long and 2.7 oz’s, they are not so much of a burden in your dungarees.  I hardly felt their presence.

With a bit of practice, I discovered that you can apply thumb pressure to the top of the sheath to disengage it from the blade.  To draw the knife from a pocket, you grasp the handle, shed the sheath as the steel’s edge clears the fabric, and come away with your cutting tool.  This can be accomplished in a utilitarian or defensive setting.

As decorum allows, the Izula’s sheath can also be belt-mounted with a Blade-Tech Tec-Lok, secreted IWB with a belt loop, or hung from the neck with ball-chain (never, never a paracord garrote).  ESEE’s sheath has the requisite slot and holes to guarantee that you may achieve the carry method of your choice.  A gear belt clip plate is available as well.  I can legally pocket this fixed blade, but consult your local laws.

After treating the Izula like a supermodel in the photo shoot, I began abusing the steel wench.  Cardboard, hardwood, a raw chicken, vegetables, and copper wire all fell before the single pincher of my little ant.  It suffered nary a chip.  With a quick touch up on a Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker, its 20 degree secondary bevel was brought back into action.

IMG_2626 IMG_2643 IMG_2631Izula literature says the 1/8” 1095 carbon steel blade is hand sharpened at Rowen.  It cautions that a dry film rust inhibitor should be used to keep the oxidation away, though the powder coating mitigates rust and staining from a lack of care.

I prefer knives with a guard or enough material to prevent my hand from sliding up on to the edge.  This knife has a curve to the lower forward section of the handle to accomplish this.  Check that box.  It also has a short section of jimping on the topline for thumb purchase.

Skeletonized, the Izula’s handle can bear either ESEE’s canvas Micarta scales or a wrap of useful cord.  Directions for cord wrapping even come in the instruction sheet with the knife. Did I mention that all the Izula components are Made in the USA?  They are.

IMG_2616 IMG_2594 IMG_2567The basic ESEE Izula knife and sheath can be purchased for less than fifty bucks online.  They come in Black, Desert Tan, or Olive Drab powder coated blades.  As a package, the Izula-2 knife, sheath, sheath kit and scales will set you back around $80.00.  There is a 440C stainless steel Izula available for pre-order at Grand Prairie Knives.

IMG_2591 IMG_2573Only the South American bullet ant’s ejection of formic acid into a cut could make the ESEE Izula fixed blade knife more…formidable.  Oh, I couldn’t resist using that one.  Like the ant, this small knife is mini and mighty.

by Wilson

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4 Responses to ESEE Izula Knife Review

  1. P. says:

    LOVE these little insects. EDC for sure 🙂


    • Wilson says:

      Agreed, P.! I was amazed how keen the 1095 stayed after all that cardboard, wood, and wire. I guess I’ve been using too much stainless and have forgotten how good properly heat-treated high carbon can be…



  2. Pingback: New ESEE Camp-Lore Series |

  3. Pingback: Choosing a Fixed Blade for Day Hiking |

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