ESEE’s Expat Cleaver gets some love from Outside Magazine

Wes Siler, brought his Indefinitely Wild  blog from Gawker over to the Outside umbrella.While he sometimes ventures into the realm of partisan politics or takes a cheap shot at a Presidential candidate, his gear and travel stuff is well written and researched. His “Knife Nerd’s Guide to Pocketknives for Regular People” is a fantastic read and among the most thorough posts of its kind I have seen.

He recently published a piece which elaborates on a trend that David has been on top of for some time now, the increasing development of innovative kitchen knife designs across the industry.

Wes’s piece, “You’ll find your next survival knife in the kitchen” highlights ESEE’s new Expat Cleaver.

I talked to the guy behind Expat Knives, who’d prefer to keep his identity private, because “Uncle Sam used to pay for me to work in sketchy places.” Today, he lives in the Caribbean and enjoys a life of catching fish, sipping from coconuts, and sleeping on the beach. His company’s motto: “Tools for fine dining…outdoors.”

He creates his blades in collaboration with my personal favorite survival knife brand, ESEE. Expat’s first knife is a meat cleaver, constructed using the same big, comfortable, indestructible linen Micarta handle as ESEE’s largest survival knife, the Junglas. The stout 3/16-inch-thick blade is made from the same 1095 carbon steel that ESEE uses and is forged by the same company—Rowen—in Idaho. Where it differs is in the blade shape and the anti-rust coating. Where ESEE’s knives are protected by a thick layer of textured powder coat, the Expat cleaver uses a black oxide treatment that’s designed to help it better slide through what you’re cutting.

“It just seemed to be the one thing to take with you if you were going to cook on the beach,” describes Expat. “Yeah, your [chef’s knives] work great on slicing something, but what if you need to split some firewood? Or an elk’s pelvis? I wanted a tool that can make you feel invincible.”

I had the opportunity to visit to the Rowen Manufacturing facility last month. If you missed it, you can see it here.



  1. stuartb says:

    Thanks for the link and tracking down Wes, I wondered where he got to. His knife nerds guide is on point.

  2. Herb K says:

    I got a carbon steel Tramontina cleaver for about $4, 20 years ago. Its great as a trail blade or for rough wood working. Too many people need a “name brand” knife with a price tag to boot. Use some creativity and look for good tools that are inexpensive. You can save a ton of cash for other things in life. Being debt free is the mark of a free man. Own your tools, don’t let them own you.

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ESEE’s Expat Cleaver gets some love from Outside Magazine

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