ESEE Black Izula II w/ Survival Kit & Sheath
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- Overall Length: 6.75 inches
- Blade Length: 2.63 inches
- Blade Material: 1095 Steel
- Blade Finish: Black
- Handle Material: Tan Micarta
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The locals in Peru call the meanest, nastiest ant of the jungle by the name "Isula". We know it as the Bullet Ant. The Bullet Ant is known to be independent, tough, light on its feet, and an aggressive survivor - the IZULA-II knife is built the same way. This knife is a perfect lightweight survival kit or concealed carry knife. This Izula-II measures in at 6.75" of 1095 high carbon steel, the 2.63" blade is flat ground with a black powder coat finish. The handle features a 1/2" long notched section at the spine, for extra thumb grip. The handle of each knife is made out of comfortable Micarta scales, and the bottom of the blade is engraved with name, logo and unique serial number. Includes a durable black injection molded carry sheath. Comes with survival kit that includes: ParaCord, Cord Lock, Large Split Ring, Small Split Ring, Ferro Fire Starting Rod, Emergency Whistle, Plastic Snap Hook, and Clip Plate Kit. Carbon steel knives are preferred by those who want a sharp, long-lasting edge. Our carbon steel knives are made from 1095 steel. And while 1095 is a top choice for professional cutlery designed for hard use, it will rust and stain if not properly cared for - especially on the cutting edge and around the laser engraving. It is the user's responsibility to keep the blades properly lubricated and cleaned. We suggest using a dry film rust inhibitor such as TUF-GLIDE or TUF-CLOTH.
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Legal DisclaimerThis product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
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I bought this knife for use on ultralight and lightweight backpacking trips. I have been using a Gerber Bear Gryll's Ultimate Survival Knife, and even carried a machete on a recent trip. (I was in more of a bushcraft state of mind) I have recently changed to a more lightweight/ultralight approach. I have switched to Alcohol and Iso-pro stoves and have less need for a knife or machete for wood processing.
I purchased this along with the Kabar BK24 for a proper comparison and also to add highly regarded neck knives to my collection.
In my opinion the D'eskabar is the better knife. It is the D2 Steel version of the BK14 Eskabar which combines the BK11 Blade with the Izula Handle, giving you a blade which is 3/4 of an inch longer and still maintains the ergonomic handle shape of the Izula for a mere 2.5 oz total weight of the Skeletonized knife. The Izula 2 comes sharp out of the box, but it does not come as sharp as the BK24 which is so sharp it is actually HAZARDOUS. (Cut my self twice, it cut deep even with the lightest touch of the blade.)
The BK24 which is around $60.00 suffers from a faulty sheath which causes it to dull over time. A sheath I have not and will never use. I purchased a custom kydex by AZwelke which cost $40.00 shipped (and a 14 day waiting period, still waiting on it). I also purchased a $15.00 small Tek Lok which drove the entire package up to $115.00. I did not bother to purchase the optional zytel handles and simply wrapped the handle with 550 paracord.
After receiving the Izula 2 with Kit, I can easily see that this is a much better value, between the two. The textured powder coat is excellent, and did not rub off even after some stick sharpening. I have no doubts regarding the toughness of this knife, as I have watched many videos where they are able to baton piles of kindling with this little giant of a knife.
The included Micarta handles are exquisite and feel good in the hand. Although, I actually prefer the paracord wrapped handle of my D'eskabar, as it provides sufficient comfort without adding too much weight to the knife. 5 feet of 550 cord weighs a mere 0.4 oz. compared to the 1.0 oz of Micarta Scales. Paracord has many uses and always come in handy in an emergency situation. It is one of the 5 C's of survival while Micarta handles are obviously not.
That being said after receiving this package, I believe that if one shares my preference to a paracord wrapped handle, I would seriously consider buying the Izula 1 with kit for around $60.00. Both Izula 1 and 2 kits come with a versatile injection molded plastic sheath and belt clip which is absolutely genius in design. The clip has very positive retention and should stay very secure on any standard sized belt. There is also the included feature of the two split rings for use with a plastic clip which can easily attach to molle webbing or retention loops on any standard hydration compatible backpack. This clip can easily be replaced by a small carabiner for added security.
There is no rattling with this sheath and it seems virtually impossible for this knife to fall out of the sheath, even when carrying it as a neck knife, or clipped upside down to your pack.
The added whistle, is a more than welcome accessory and is loud and very lightweight.
The magnesium and firesteel are a little awkward to use with the heavily powder coated spine, which leads me to believe they'd want you to use the knife blade edge. I am honestly not too happy with this accessory. All in all this a great value and I cannot wait to take the D'eskabar and Izula II out in the woods for adventure and field testing, I have no doubts that this knife will accomplish essential tasks when out camping or backpacking...
Let me preface by saying that I really, really liked the idea of the Izula II and I actually liked it more in person, although I was not terribly impressed with the sharpness (out of the box) of the one which I had received (Amazon fulfillment) Since it would take me a few days to decide as to whether to keep or to return, I do not wish to perform serious sharpening on knives which I am sitting on the fence during the decision making process. I would try some light oiling and stropping and may even use a fine ceramic honing tool, but that would be about it. With my Izula II, I honestly could not get the blade to become uniformly sharp with these simple techniques. The edge of the knife toward the tip just felt duller than the rest of the blade, an issue which I am sure CS either at the seller or the manufacturer (ESEE) would have corrected without hesitation, but as it always goes, fist impressions are very important and for the non-uniform sharpness reason I was not terribly impressed with the one I had received and didn't wish to engage in the back and forth adventure!
I loved the size, the shape, the carbon steel, the Micarta handles and the Kydex sheath. I found the alligator clip to be very "alligatory" because of its hard snap on one's belt so i would not imagine this to be an easy tool to lose out on the field, if it is fastened to one's belt with that alligator clip. I found the survival kit to be useless and not worth the extra $18-$20. Having experienced the Izula II close and personal, I would consider repurchasing it in the future again but in its most simplistic format as a neck knife only. I would perhaps not even bother ordering one with the Micarta handles because to keep it true to its purpose as a neck knife, I think wrapping one's own paracord around the handle would be a better and more cost effective option. In closing if you want the Izula II, get the one without the Micarta handles and without the kit, but with the Kydex sheath, unless you want it as a belt knife and possess none of the items in its survival kit.
I bought the Izula because it's more compact than my ESEE-3 and with the work that I do in the steel trade ends something that won't compromise my moving between the beams.
The Izula II will be worn as a neck-knife ana kept under my shirt and makes it a lot easier than digging into my pocket while I'm working at great heights.