ESEE 3 MIL Review – How Does it Stack Up?

Today we’ll cover our review of two great ESEE 3 knives. We’ve got the ESEE-3 MIL and the ESEE-3 Regular and we’re going to take a good look at them so you can decide which one is right for you.

1. Standard ESEE 3 Review

This is a basic model that has a powder coat finish to the blade to protect it from water damage and also a serrated edge alongside the blade. It comes with a high-visibility G10 handle, which is perfect for hunting and ensuring you don’t lose your trusted blade. The pro for this model is the really simple design and an optional belt clip which means this can either be a neck knife or a belt knife.

The standard model uses the same plastic sheath that you have on the upgraded ESEE3-MIL and they come in OD Green or Black color.

The belt clip can be attached right onto your belt to make the knife easy to get to and when drawing the knife out when you need it, it’s also pretty damn robust and stays easily on the belt when the knife comes out.

When you need to re-stow the knife, everything goes back together rather easily and it is a pretty stable platform. You can also use the belt clip to clip into a molle system.

Overall, the ESEE III is a real productive little knife that fits well on the belt and in the hand. Whilst it’s not a huge workhorse, it will do a lot of small tasks around the camp, such as preparing feather sticks or any type of whittling and things of that nature where you’re going to make a lot of small cuts.

Specs:

  • Total Length: 8.31 inches
  • Cutting Edge Length: 3.38 inches
  • Blade Thickness: .125 inches
  • Material: 1095 Carbon Steel
  • Weight: Knife (5.2 oz) with Sheath (9.3 oz)

2. ESEE 3 MIL Review

What makes the 3-MIL different is that it comes with OD green handles, along with a razor sharp edge running along the top. In addition to the standard blade, which makes this a great knife for skinning game. There is also the serrated edge along the bottom just behind the main edge.

The ESEE 3 MIL comes with a robust sheath that has a rigid plastic backing attached to a Molle system, which is backed with a ballistic nylon material.

Specs:

  • Total Length: 8.31 inches
  • Cutting Edge Length: 3.38 inches
  • Blade Thickness: .125 inches
  • Material: 1095 Carbon Steel
  • Weight: Knife (5.2 oz) with Sheath (9.3 oz)

Comparison and Conclusion

Depending on your requirements, if you intend to make use of the Molle system, then I would personally go with the ESEE-3 MIL since the sheath caters to your needs and comes with the additional cutting edge along the top of the knife.

With that being said, the standard ESEE-3 is more than adequate and is the knife that made me fall in love with this brand. The high-visibility of the handles make them perfect for hunting and especially when you’re preparing your kill, as it’s very easy to lose a knife that has green handles.

Both knives do come with the option to attach paracord to the handle via the lanyard hole in the tang.

I’ve used both the ESEE III and the ESEE III Mil to successfully make bow drill sets and feather sticks, so it’s a fantastic little tool.

You can also hit these knives pretty hard when battening firewood since they are pretty hardy and whilst some of you might prefer a little bit of a bigger knife, one of these ESEE-3’s are up to the task.

We’ve even tried to break one of these knives but just can’t seem to do it no matter what we throw at it. Bottom line is that they come sharp enough right out of the box, they work so well I own 3 of them myself and my son has his own.

That concludes the ESEE-3 Review, you really can’t go wrong with this small, lightweight and super-durable knife.

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John is the founder of OutMag and loves nothing more than some downhill mountain biking, river kayaking, and just the challenge of the great outdoors. He is at home on both land and water and is massively into survival and preparedness, hiking and camping.

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