Written by Matt
It’s no secret that I am a fan of ESEE. I am a fan of the blades, but perhaps even more, a fan of the people behind the company. They just do business the way it is supposed to be done. They offer killer blade designs, constructed from top-quality materials, at a price that doesn’t break the bank, and they stand behind their products 100%. I have modeled a lot of my business operations practices off of the standard that ESEE has set in the industry. In the past year, ESEE has expanded their knife offerings into a series that they have dubbed, Camp-Lore. The Camp Lore series has been designed for, and have been very popular amongst the survival and bush craft community.
The first three blades released for the Camp Lore Series were the CR2.5, JG3 and RB3 (click the link to see the specs for the original three), and then last summer, ESEE released the PR4, which has been a huge success for them.
The JG5, the newest edition to the ESEE to the Camp Lore series was unveiled at Blade Show 2018, and was announced as a Smokey Mountain Knife Works exclusive offering. ESEE gave official release date for the JG5 as August 31st, but Smokey Mountain knife works has already begun to ship the first preorders that were made, in fact I had the two that I ordered delivered to my doorstep this week,
The JG5 was designed by ESEE survival expert, James Gibson, modeled after the “Nessmuk” knife that was carried by mid-19thcentury adventurer, George Washington Sears, who was known for his writings and early advocacy of conservation.
First of all, let me say that this is not intended to be a full review. That will come down the road, after I get a chance to put the JG5 through it's paces. That being said, my first impression of the JG5 was, it's a BEAST! It is similar in style to the very popular ESEE PR4, with it’s black oxide blade and contoured scales. Upon first handling the knife, you’ll notice two things:
1. How comfortable the grip is in the hand
2. How light the knife is relative to its size.
The handle on the JG5 is incredibly ergonomic, and the thin, 1/8” piece of 1095 steel that the blade it made of, gives it an incredible balance that is unlike anything that ESEE has previously produced.
The Rest of the ESEE Camp Lore Series
Specs for the JG5
When you hold the blade, the quality build of the JG5 is clearly apparent. As is the case with all ESEE products, only top-quality materials are used in the construction of the JG5. The 1095 carbon steel blade, sports a beautifully rugged black oxide finish, and a perfectly contoured micarta handle. When you hold the knife, there will be no questions about the ruggedness and durability of the JG5.
Design and Ergonomics
As mentioned earlier, the JG5 has an incredibly ergonomic handle, with contoured scales for increased comfort and grip. Besides looking really cool, the contoured micarta handle is extremely comfortable in the hand. No matter how you grip the knife, the handle makes it feel comfortable and secure, and the same is true with gloves on. The spine of the high carbon 1095 steel blade is a flat 90 degree angle, with relatively sharp corners, which makes it perfect for throwing sparks off of a ferro rod. My first impression of the edge, is that it looks incredibly long – and it is. The cutting edge on this wide bellied blade is nearly 5” long, and the flat grind will make it extremely versatile in the field.
The JG5 comes with a relatively nice leather sheath. The sheath is set up for vertical carry on the belt and may be sufficient for some people. Armatus Carry Solutions, is now offering a kydex sheath solution for carrying the JG5. The modular Architect Sheath allows you to carry the ESEE JG5 in the setup that is most convenient for you.
I haven’t had a chance to run the JG5 through its paces yet, but I know I am going to like this blade a lot. The versatility of the JG5 will make it one of ESEE’s most popular products. The design just appeals to so many niches in the outdoor community. If you’re a hunter, the wide bellied 5” cutting edge is perfect for field dressing and processing game. If you’re a hiker, the JG5 allows you to carry a large blade that won’t weigh down your kit. If you’re a survivalist, the JG5 will be perfect for everything from batoning and making kindling, to helping construct shelter and set small game traps. If you're an outdoorsman of any kind, the ESEE JG5 should be part of your repertoire.
If you want to purchase the JG5, visit Smokey Mountain Knife Works.
If you own the ESEE JG5, we would love to hear your thoughts about it!
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