Howdy Ho Fellow Steel aficionado’s
I ordered a ESEE Izula II because I loved my ESEE Candiru so much and I wanted something just a little bigger but exactly the same. Well they are not exactly the same but they are pretty close. The Izula has lived up to its name and has become one of the most iconic small fixed blades of our time. The locals in Peru call the meanest, nastiest, ant in the jungle, The Isula. In the USA we know it as the Bullet Ant. The ant is known for its toughness, independence, aggressiveness and lightness on its feet. The Izula fits all those characteristics and more. The Izula has a simple design that makes it a knife that is very complex and can be used for many different applications. It is the perfect survival knife, it can be worn on your belt, in your pocket, strapped to your pack, or around your neck on a lanyard. The Izula comes as a skeleton knife, but ESEE has recently released the Izula II which is what I purchased and it comes with the Micarta scales already on the blade, and it also has a slightly longer handle for those with bigger hands.
As for its intended use as a survival knife I have not had the chance to take it into the woods on a backpacking adventure or a survival training session, I have used it mostly as my EDC in a suburban environment. I have taken it into the woods behind my house and put it thru a few tests just to simulate what it would be like on a survival training session or backpacking adventure. I personally think that this is a great knife to pair along with a bigger survival knife, usually something along the 7″ blade length. Something that can be used for hunting, chopping, and skinning. The Izula II can be used for skinning though and does a great job with its small blade. The Izula is actually pretty good at chopping for its small size, its good at making curled wood shavings which is great for kindling to start a fire the sparks catch better on the curled wood shavings, cutting rope with ease, slicing filet’s of fish to cook over the open fire, or taking the skin off bigger game, it also is great for trivial things such as opening boxes, opening mail, it cuts right thru an aluminum can with ease, and slices thru paracord to cut off the ends of my bracelets.
Blade Specifics & Dimensions & Handle Ergonomics & Sheath:
The main difference between the Izula and the Izula II it is the handle length, weight, color and that the Izula II comes with micarta handles which are amazing might I add. The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel which holds an edge great and that is why its made for backpack adventures and survival sessions out in the wilderness for long periods of time, the down side is that it isn’t easy to sharpen. When sharpening you have to put some elbow grease into it to put an edge back on this little badass. The Izula is only 2oz and the Izula II comes in at 3.2oz and doesn’t add much to a pack, the pocket, the waist or even the neck which is where I prefer to carry mine which I rotate between the Izula II and my other ESEE my Candiru. A quick specifications run down:
Overall Length: 6.75″
Blade Length: 2.63
Steel: Carbon Steel 1095
Weight: 2oz Izula & Izula II 3.2oz
Finish: Textured Powder Coat
The Izula comes in many different colors so you can accessorize appropriately. It comes in Black, Tan, OD Green, Venom Green, Fire Ant Red, Pink, Gray, Steel, Damascus Steel. It’s like they say an ant can carry almost 50x its weight, the Izula will cut, slice and pry almost 50x its weight and out in the wilderness is almost 50x its weight in gold when it comes to survival. The Izula has a skeleton handle unless you purchase the Izula II which comes with the Micarta handles. You can also buy them separately, one of my favorite ways to make a skeleton handle more comfortable is to wrap it in paracord. The best thing about wrapping in paracord is that you can change it everyday to match the shirt you’re wearing or even your environment, you can wrap it in camo if you’re in the woods, tan if you’re in the desert or if you are going out to the club and you have a fancy purple shirt you can wrap it in purple paracord. Paracord comes in a million and one different colors and is one of my favorite things in the world. The blade has a slight angle in it for better leverage when cutting, it helps so you do not have to apply as much pressure to the knife when cutting hard objects. The Izula comes with an injection molded sheath that is light weight, has a large hole in it for a carabiner so you can wear it around your neck on a paracord lanyard, it also has a long gap that runs the length of the sheath so you can wrap the sheath in paracord to attach to a MOLLE strap or backpack or belt. The sheath holds the knife very snug, it is not going anywhere. When you insert the knife into the sheath it snaps in and you can feel and hear it engage the sheath for the utmost security so you have a piece of mind knowing that it is not going anywhere no matter how much abuse you put it thru. With a little practice you can disengage the knife using your thumb on the sheath and popping it out, this allows quick one-handed draw from your pocket, belt, or neck. Just grab, and pop it out with minimal thumb pressure and you are either good to start cutting or engage an enemy. You can also buy what is called Blade Tech Tec-Lok that makes it easy to wear on your waist band
Blade In Review:
These amazing blades are expertly made in Idaho Falls Idaho by Rowen Manufacturing, keep up the amazing work guys and gals at Rowen. I love your products. After treating the Izula like a 15yr boy does his first girlfriend all soft and gentle. I decided to become a man and take it for a ride like you would a $50.00 day time hooker, i began abusing the wench. Chicken bones, aluminum coke cans, baby back ribs, cardboard, cloth towels, tree branches, hardwood, copper wire, steak, plastic containers, firewood, it all fell before the single pincer of this little Izula menace. It didn’t suffer a single chip or even a scratch in the powder coatin, it was still sharp enough to slice thru a tomato without squashing it but after a few seconds on my Smiths Dual sharpener it was back to the factory 20 degree angle. The Izula comes with a great little instructions manual on how to wrap the handle in paracord which comes in handy if you didn’t by the Micarta handles. I love this knife and i carry it almost everywhere i go around my neck loud and proud, if i don’t have this hanging around my neck its the ESEE Candiru just cause I felt like something different. Now go click on the address bar type in BladeHQ.com or Amazon.com and buy one of these right now you will not regret it at all. You will become a believer and love of all things ESEE. They have a great line-up of all different sizes of knife or all different applications. One day i will own them all in different sizes and colors just cause I think they are fantastic tools and weapons. Now before I leave you I want to drop a little knowledge on you so that your ESEE will last forever, it is carbon steel and the parts that are not coated with a powder coating it will rust so make sure to buy a bottle or a towellete of TUF-cloth and coat the whole blade once every month to keep away any rust and to clean with luke warm water and a mild detergent if needed. Dry as soon as possible and apply TUF-Cloth again.
Thank you and stay tuned for the next post on the best pocket knife I have own in my short knife collecting time…..the Spyderco Paramilitary 2….AMAZING!!!