Esee RC6 Survival Knife Review & Field Test 2014/12/27

The ESEE RC6 goes hand in hand with a smaller neck knife. On its own it’s a very large knife with certain problems related to its large 6inch size. Above all when used in conjunction with a smaller knife it’s a winning combination that is very hard to beat. Let's check out this popular survival knife from ESEE.


The ESEE RC6 is a true workhorse of a knife. It functions as a bushcraft instructors knife flawlessly. Getting the job done quickly and consistently. Importantly it can be sharpened easily making it ready for the next expedition or session. This feature of rapid maintenance along with an excellent design makes the ESEE RC6 a knife worthy of serious consideration.


The sheath is made from Kydex and is lightweight and on the other hand strong and durable. It holds the knife most excellently with a satisfying click when it’s seated correctly. The draw feels very natural and with just the right resistance to pull the knife out. There’s a drainage hole at the bottom along with holes all the way around the sides. These allow the attachment of add-ons. I went for the small pouch that can hold a firesteel and sharpening stone. Ultimately you could put anything in the pouch but a firesteel is always handy. Coming as standard is a belt clip that screws on very securely. If you get the add-on pouch like I did then the screws hold both the belt clip and pouch to the sheath. Accomplished by running the screws through the holes on the sheath itself. Once everything is attached, which can be a little tricky it all feels very solid.


Using the ESEE RC6 is great. Splitting wood, basic carving and camp tasks are all handled with a feeling of ease and confidence. You don’t get this from using a smaller classic bushcraft knife or any knife of the typical 4inches. In my experience batoning with the ESEE RC6 is the easiest and safest it can get. I use this technique more often because of this. Above all the need for an axe diminishes as with time you will find yourself using the RC6 instead for most chores apart from the heaviest of camp tasks.

Axe Replacement?

This suggests that you could save some weight by not having to carry an axe into the field. However in order to be able to accomplish all our bushcraft tasks well we really need another knife. A small one like a neck knife to do those detailed cuts or jobs. It’s with this combination of the slightly larger ESEE RC6  and a small neck knife to do the super fine tasks that gives the user true versatility.


The handle of the ESEE RC6 is Micarta and feels good in the hand. I would love to see a palm swell as I use the RC6 for long periods of time and do find my hand noticing it after a while. Certainly not to say it's painful but it does enter into my consciousness after using the RC6 for a while.


The blade is a full flat ground 1095 steel with a powder coating. The coating prevents rust in all the areas it covers but it does not cover the blade edge itself or the logos. Have a way of oiling your knives in the field? You will need one with the RC6! I carry some camellia oil and a little rag in a drybag in my pack and after a long session of use I apply some oil and this keeps the knife running rust free. Using a full flat grind knife does take some getting used to. The bevels are way smaller than on Scandi ground knives and so there is a lot less mechanical assistance. Consequently you adjust your technique and change the angle you present the knife to the wood you are cutting and things start to work a lot better.


I would recommend the ESEE RC6 for any practising bushcraft instructor or woodsman as you can count on it to get the task finished not only on the day but for the next session as its so easy to sharpen when you start doing your kit maintenance. This allows for more time relaxing after a job than focussing on admin tasks. Just be aware you need to look after the steel with oil and carry a small knife for those super fine tasks and you have a complete working woodsman knife solution. Highly Recommended


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