Esee RB3 Camp Lore Bushcraft Knife Review 2018/09/29
The most robust designs are the simplest, as lower complexity in a
system means there is less to fail. When you have to depend on kit it
is vital to have something lacking in superfluous attributes. These
soon break when you need them most leaving you short. This is a full
review and field test on the Esee RB3 Camp Lore Bushcraft Knife.
Esee have used some of the most tried and tested designs in the world
to produce the Camp-Lore line of outdoor knives. The Esee RB3 is one
of the most competent all round items of this line up. Let's take a
The Esee RB3 is a Scandinavian ground full tang bushcraft knife of
discreet proportions. Firstly it has a comfortable micarta handle that
possesses smooth contours. These make it useful in situations where the
knife will be held for longer periods of time. Secondly Esee’s tumbled
oxide finish that covers the blade make in all for a very impressive
The RB3 is an all round bushcraft knife with the ability to produce some
lovely carving projects with its Scandi grind and comfortable handle. At
the same time its 1095 High Carbon steel is suitably hard and a good
steel choice. The blade is protected by a tumbled oxide finish which
helps protect against rust. However the blade grind, spine and logo are
not covered by this finish and therefore will rust if left untreated. A
suitable oil or rust inhibitor should be used to protect the knife. The
spine is ridge ground and can strike a firesteel, which is one of my
favourite ways to use a knife in firelighting.
However it should be stressed that
using the RB3 for rougher tasks such as splitting wood should only be
done as a last resort as the edge of Scandi ground knives are fine and
can be rolled easily if you hit a wood knot.
The interplay between handle and blade is superb and the RB3 feels right
in the hand. The micarta scales are well shaped with an adequate palm
swell and textured feel that really aids in grip. The Esee RB3 works
very well in the forehand and backhand grip. The chest lever style of
grip works great on the RB3 too, I shift my hand ever so slightly
further down the handle to accommodate the finger guard but this doesn't
negatively impact performance of my favourite grip.
The whole knife geometry is slightly
curved. This slight curvature allows the user to exert more pressure on
the material being cut through due to the mechanical assistance of this
curve. Above all this helps a lot with making feather sticks.
The blade is made from 1095 High Carbon steel and is 8.9cm in length
(3.5 inches). This more discreet size enables the user to be far more
precise in directing power in tasks than with larger blades. Moreover
the Scandinavian grind is very fine which goes hand in hand with this
smaller blade size.
The RB3’s dimensions make it excellent
at skinning and game preparation. For example you can cover the blade
tip and also maintain a good purchase on the handle. The frees you up to
use the belly to prepare game. Above all just make sure you sterilise
the blade and handle afterwards.
The micarta scales are dry to the touch and offer excellent absorbency
properties. For instance sweat is drawn into the handle and prevents you
slipping after prolonged use. Oils are also taken into the micarta and
so washing with warm water and soap resets the handle material back to
clean and new. The Esee RB3 comes with a sturdy leather sheath that is
thick, it has a basic belt loop and solid stitching. I would have loved
to see a Kydex sheath option but you can always make one yourself.
Above all the Esee RB3 is a fantastic knife and offers the user a great
package. The knife is very well designed. I would however have liked to
have seen a Kydex sheath. Wet forming the sheath for a better fit as I
found out the box the sheath was too grippy on the knife. I really
appreciate what Esee have done by letting a smaller knife go onto the
market. Normally dominated by larger 6 inch blades the RB3 instead is
refined yet strong. This gives the user an experience tailored to
bushcraft use. A fantastic companion to have in the woods with you.
A complete lifetime warranty backs up all Esee knives. From Esee’s
Warranty Page: “This means if you break it, we will repair or replace
it. We will not question the validity of your warranty claim for a
broken knife. Warranty is lifetime and transferable. In other words, we
warranty the knife no matter how many times it’s been traded, sold or
given away – no sales receipt or proof of purchase required. We must
have the knife returned to validate a warranty claim.” For one of the
most comprehensive and multi disciplined outdoor training schools one
can visit Randall’s Adventure & Training School. More
information HERE Esee
RB3 More information HERE