Today’s mail call brings us the ESEE Izula-II fixed blade. If you spend much time following EDC or bushcraft gear, you’re probably somewhat familiar the ESEE name. They are part knife company, and part jungle survival school (operating as Randall’s Adventure Training). This puts them in a unique position for designing and testing their products.
The ESEE Izula-II is the latest version of the Izula, a small knife crafted of 1095 carbon steel, designed for everyday duties and survival tasks. This second offering features a slightly longer handle (by 1/2 inch) over the original, and includes Micarta scales, a sheath, and a removable belt clip attachment. The knife itself is made in the U.S.A. by Rowen Manufacturing, located in Idaho Falls, ID.
Upon taking the Izula-II out of the box, you realize what a high quality knife it is, not just a trusty workhorse. A lot of thought went into the design and implementation. The scales are smooth and flush, the blade is finished in a black powder coating, and there is just enough spine jimping up top. The knife itself clicks positively into the molded sheath, with no looseness or play. It is definitely a winning package.
One of the biggest competitors to the Izula-II, if you want to call it that (more like companion), is the BK11 “Becker Necker” from Becker Knife & Tool / Ka-Bar. Both seem to be designed as small go-anywhere knives, with the Izula-II having a blade length of 2.63″ versus the 3.25″ length of the BK11. With the BK11, you have to purchase the Micarta scales and a metal belt clip as an accessory, but with the Izula-II they are included. At the end of the day, by the time you equip the BK11 with scales and a clip, you are very near the price point of the Izula-II. Instead of cost, comfort should probably be the deciding factor here.
Or, you could forego the tough choice altogether and just pick up the Becker / Ka-Bar / ESEE collaboration knife, called the BK14 “Eskabar”. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with one of these great little knives!
Below is a quick comparison photo of the Izula-II (top) and the Becker BK11 (bottom):