Rat-5 vs Esee 5 vs Survive Knives GSO 5.1

This is a discussion on Rat-5 vs Esee 5 vs Survive Knives GSO 5.1 within the Bushcraft - Primitive Skills - Survival Skills - Camping forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am going to be getting a new fixed blade knife soon. I am thinking about getting something in the 5 inch blade size. The ...

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Thread: Rat-5 vs Esee 5 vs Survive Knives GSO 5.1

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Rat-5 vs Esee 5 vs Survive Knives GSO 5.1

    I am going to be getting a new fixed blade knife soon. I am thinking about getting something in the 5 inch blade size.

    The Rat-5 is 1095 steel and I can get it for $75.

    The Esee 5 is also 1095 steel, but is about $175. I don't know a lot about what they do to the knife as far as heat treat, etc.

    The GSO 5.1 is CPM 3V steel, is custom made, and has a lifetime warranty. The owner has done several videos chopping bricks, hammering the knife into 2x4s and then doing pull-ups on the knife. The problem is, it costs $239.

    Any thoughts or advice?


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    Last edited by Badey; December 28th, 2013 at 08:20 PM.
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Just to add, this is going to be used mainly for bushcraft.


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    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    Member Array DrDP6's Avatar
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    Can't speak directly to your specific three choices because of no personal experience with those specific brands. It's just my opinion that unless your need is really for one knife that your survival actually depends on or that you can't sharpen for some reason the really $$$$$$ super steel type knives make little practical sense . Mostly they're bought for the bling/ bragging factor, not function.But if money's no object, feel free to splurge !


    I prefer high value production knives from Cold Steel , Kershaw and similar . At least my very old CS carbonV SRK has been thru pretty abusive misuse and only damage is the black coating scratched up !


    But I've never personally seen the need for beating on a knife with a club or hammering it into steel or using as a pry bar . I have other tools for those jobs and I'm not a wilderness survival guy !
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Since you mentioned bushcraft, will the CPM steel throw sparks (from a ferro rod)? I'm sure at least the Rat and Esse have great reputations, 1st I've heard of GOS - but that's not saying anything. 2 things I noticed btwn the Esee/Rat vs GOS are 1) different types of points and 2) different shapes of handles. What do you like better for what you're doing? Before dropping over $100 on a knife, I'd spend some time figuring out what I liked better on something cheaper. It would suck to spend $200+ on a knife whose design I didn't like b/c of the handle or point. Most of the "bushcraft" knives I've seen don't have a spear point.
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  6. #5
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    You could also look at:

    Swamp Rat Knife Works - Great ergonomics!
    Rodent 5 - SR101
    Rodent 5 - Swamp Rat Knife Works Store

    SYKCO 511 - SR101
    SYKCO 511 - Scrap Yard Knife Company

    Two incredibly tough knives that you will also be able to torture the Hell out of if absolutely necessary and also with a great guarantee.
    I believe it was the Swamp Rat that went further than any other knife except one BUSSE in the now defunct NOSS destructive knife testing Vids.

    These are both BUSSE family knives (called Bussekin) and both would be equal as far as blade toughness but, I am best guessing that the handle configurations are what account for the price differences.

    Really though you would be fine with any of your initial possible choices.
    luvmy40 likes this.
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    But...........then again Badey...........you only live once....and that GSO 5.1 is an awesome bushcraft knife.

    Here is the way you justify buying the knife that you want.

    If...the economy collapses then your paper money will be basically worthless.

    So....while your paper money is still NOT worthless you might as well trade it for something that you really want.

    A tangible object that will always be worth something because it is not constructed of valueless paper.

    Makes some logical sense doesn't it?
    Badey, rocky, Aceoky and 1 others like this.

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.

    Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.

    Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

    Bonus points to the first who can name the movie.
    DrDP6 likes this.

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    I thought that my TGLB would be a bit long in the blade at 7 3/4" for a bushcraft knife but, I am actually surprised at how well it handles pretty much everything.
    It was such a nice day today for a late December afternoon.
    I was out doing some notching on some cut Maple saplings and just cranking out some test tent stakes and some assorted Miscellaneous other wood related tasks and it is beautifully balanced and handles really well.
    It has got a nice large choil that really works out well (for me personally) since I tend to choke up on any knife a lot for most semi-precision cutting such as constructing a "4" ~ I know that I sort of always preferred a larger knife than most "normal" folks for all general knife work.
    I do almost all cutting tasks with my index finger wrapped in the choil.
    The bottom line is that it is always whatever works best for each individual person. I have always got the Leatherman should I ever need it and the Leatherman saw is fantastic and that comes in real handy at times.
    The price on the BUSSE TGLB will scare most folks away and that is fine since there are so many really great knives out there these days.
    Nobody needs to spend a ton of money to get a great, serviceable, workable knife that will keep a good edge and withstand reasonable very hard use.

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    Personally, I use less expensive knives in the bush. Think Buck and Mora. Both are great quality and don't cost a fortune.

    I prefer smaller blades, 3 - 4 inches mostly. I use mine for skinning, crafts, fuzz sticks and the like. For anything tougher a hatchet or axe is better.

  11. #10
    Member Array RockingGlock32's Avatar
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    I believe rat and esee are essentially the same company. Rat had to change their name becaise it stands for Randal Adventure Training and randal knives wasn't too happy about that so they changed it to esee.

  12. #11
    Member Array RockingGlock32's Avatar
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    I personally own a rat 3 and carry it everyday its a grwat knife.

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