Modified bush beast: ESEE delights the bushcraft and survival crowd with the new 4HM.
The original ESEE 4 was released in 2006 and was rapidly embraced by the bushcraft crowd and it's been a staple for years. Although it's a very functional fixed-blade, its somewhat flat scales were not specifically designed to address the needs of the bushcraft and survival movements. ESEE's Craft Lore line was designed specifically for this crowd, but the powers that be also saw an opportunity to make their standard 4 model more outdoors friendly as well. The new 4HM (Handle Modified) was born.
The new ESEE 4HM is a simple, straightforward fixed-blade. There's a lot to be said for cutting to the chase in a knife design and some just like it this way. To streamline the knife ESEE designers got rid of the guard on the old 4 and replaced it with a simple, crescent-shaped choil just below the blade edge. The new HM scales are much rounder and deeper, ideally suited for extended use in the field. While the canvas micarta topped handle is virtually the same size as its predecessor, it feels more substantial because the guard negated a good 1/2-inch of the grip. Overall length is 8.88 inches, 4.38 of this in the blade. Steel is ESEE's standard 1095 high carbon with a black powder coat. A nice leather sheath with a belt loop comes standard with the knife.
At the same time ESEE was retooling the 4HM model they also did the same mods to their model 3, giving customers a shorter model HM series option. Like all ESEE's the 4HM comes with a lifetime guarantee--a nice bit of lagniappe for the typical abuse the company's knives are renown for taking. Suggested retail is $174, a bargain for a well-made fixer built to last a lifetime.
MAKER: ESEE Knives, P.0. Box 99, Gallant, AL 35972,  613-0372, www.eseeknives.com
STEEL TYPE: 1095 high carbon steel, BLADE LENGTH: 4.38 inches, OVERALL LENGTH: 8.88 inches, WEIGHT: 7.7 ounces, HANDLE: Canvas micarta scales, CARRY: Leather belt sheath, PRICE: $174