The ESSE RC-5, made by R.A.T. Cutlery, is one of my favoritesurvival knives. Weightier than some knives, the blade is 1/4 inch thick, which some people don’t like but I love. If you do a lot of chopping it is perfect, because a heavier knife chops quicker and easier than a light one. Another thing that makes it great for chopping is the bevel, which is gradual enough to allow for chopping through thick wood without getting stuck.
This knife has a 5 1/4 inch blade, which is perfect for keeping out of the way when not in use. The 1095 carbon steel is also top notch. The handle is very comfortable, made from canvas micarta. This knife is also called the SERE, which stands for Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, an Air Force elite survival school. This tells you that this knife does not mess around, as it was designed by the best of the best. It is also incredibly rugged, and the blade coating didn’t chip even after I put it to the test. The bow drill divot on the handle is a neat idea, but be careful when holding a knife and making a fire.
One of the downsides to this knife is the sheath. Designed by Eagle Industries which usually creates quality products, the sheath has a very small pocket in front for carrying items such as your compass, snare wire, and other small items. The pocket is much too small and stuff falls out without you being aware of it. This isn’t that big a problem because R.A.T. says they will soon be offering a Kydex sheath.
Overall this is an awesome knife, especially for those who like them heavy. Weighing in at an even pound without the sheath, the ESSE RC-5 is not for the survivalist who goes for the lightest gear, but it really packs a punch.