About ESEE Knives
Randall's Adventure & Training® has been in business since 1997, training military, law enforcement, and civilians in the art of jungle survival. During our survival training ventures, we recognized the need for a better knife for our jungle school. Machete's were too thin and flexible and sheath knives were too small and lacked cutting efficiency. Our problem was solved when we designed the RTAK, a large sheath knife that offered the cutting efficiency of a machete with the hard work features of a sheath knife. We commissioned Newt Livesay of Wicked Knife Co. to build the first models of this knife. To our surprise, the RTAK became very popular and we soon had more orders than Newt had shop time.
In 2002 Randall's Adventure & Training (RAT) licensed Ontario Knife Co to build the RTAK on a 5-year contract term. During that time frame, Randall's Adventure & Training designed additional knives that were also built by Ontario, and secured government NSN numbers on two of the designs.
After our Ontario contract ended in April, 2007, Randall's Adventure & Training decided to produce a higher quality line of knives outside of the mass production capabilities of Ontario. The new ESEE Line (Formerly RAT Cutlery) is considered "mid-tech" in the sense of quality and manufacturing procedures. This means you will notice upgrades to sheathing, fit, finish and detail on ESEE knives. Most important, ESEE is now in a position to respond quickly to new product development and upgrades to existing lines. All of our designs fit the bill of desirable field cutlery when it comes to toughness, comfort, and cutting efficiency.
Throughout our time in the cutlery industry, our philosophy has always been geared towards customer service and having our product perform to the user's expectations. Whether you're a one-time knife buyer or a purchasing manager for a large distributor, we want EVERY customer to have a satisfying experience - all the way from the initial order to the use of our knives. If you experience any problems, we want to know about it. We also appreciate any positive feedback you may have to offer. Feel free to contact us about any issue, negative or positive.
Randall's Adventure & Training® Knife Design History
Randall's Adventure & Training ® has been designing, marketing and selling survival and military styled knives since 1997. One of their first designs was the RTAK which was built for them by Newt Livesay's Wicked Knife Company long before Ontario Knife Company produced the design. In fact, Ontario Knife Company used a Newt Livesay knife to build the first Ontario prototype. Read about the RTAK here: Page 1 and page 2. We also produced and sold the RAT skinning / survival knife made by John Greco (read TK article), and the RAT Laser Strike knife made by TOPS (Photo left of US Army SERE class using the Laser Strike knife). The RAT Laser Strike was the cover story of the September 2001 issue of Tactical Knives magazine. You can also read about the initial design phases and see a prototype of the RAT Laser Strike project in the October 2000 issue of American Survival Guide magazine.
Randall's Adventure & Training designed the following knives: RAT skinner, RAT Laser Strike, RTAK, RTAK II, TAK, RAT-7, RAT-5, RAT-3, Model 1 (Folder), RC-3, RC-4, RC-5, RC-6, Izula, Junglas, Lite Machete and the sheath systems for the RC-3, RC-4 and RC-6.
Randall's Adventure & Training ® designs and the manufacturers who built them (Historical Information Only):
Knives & Gear Manufactured For Randall's Adventure & Training ® Prior To 2002:
RTAK: Newt Livesay, Wicked Knife Company, Ontario Knife Co. (After April, 2002)
RAT Knife: Randall's Adventure & Training
RAT Knife: Greco Knives
RAT Laser Strike: TOPS Knives
Jungle Kit (Survival Kit): Randall's Adventure & Training
Mini Jungle Kit (Survival kit): Randall's Adventure & Training
Jungle Charger (Solar Charger): Randall's Adventure & Training
Knives Manufactured By Ontario Knife Company Beginning April 2002:
(These Knives Are Still Being Built And Sold By Ontario Knife Company)
TAK: Ontario Knife Company
RAT-7: Ontario Knife Company
RAT-3: Ontario Knife Company
RTAK: Ontario Knife Company
RTAK-II: Ontario Knife Company
Model 1 Folder: Paul Lin (Ontario Knife Co. - Knife made in Taiwan)
Knives / Gear Manufactured After April 2007 By Randall's Adventure & Training And Rowen Manufacturing. These Knives Are Not Manufactured By Ontario Knife Company:
RC-3 (Now ESEE-3) : ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
RC-4: (Now ESEE-4) ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
RC-5 (Now ESEE-5): ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
RC-6: (Now ESEE-6) ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
Izula: ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
ESEE Fire Kit (Formerly RAT Fire Kit): Randall's Adventure and Training / ESEE Knives
ESEE Survival / E&E Kit: Randall's Adventure and Training / ESEE Knives
DPX HEST: ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company (Knife designed by Robert Young Pelton)
Junglas: ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
Lite Machete: ESEE Knives, formerly RAT Cutlery Company
Randall's Adventure & Training® only guarantees and offers customer service on knives built by ESEE Knives (Formerly RAT Cutlery Company) and any knife manufactured by RAT Cutlery Company before the name changed to ESEE Knives. Randall's Adventure & Training does not guarantee or offer any customer service for knives that are manufactured by any other company. Randall's Adventure & Training does not guarantee or offer a warranty on any knife manufactured by Ontario Knife Company.
About the Owners of ESEE Knives
Mike Perrin and Jeff Randall have spent years tromping through the jungles of Central and South America and other locations around the world. During that time, they've met some interesting characters and been involved in dozens of survival training and jungle expeditions. Together, they own Randall's Adventure and Training ® (RAT), which originally started as a "tour" agency for the jungles of Peru. Since then, it has expanded into a gear development think tank and a professional training course in conjunction with Peruvian Air Force Special Forces. RAT is also noted for organizing Latin American logistics for film crews such as the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and Robert Young Pelton's "World's Most Dangerous Places." Mike and Jeff are also authors of the book "Adventure Travel In The Third World."
Their knife research and design abilities were truly born in the jungles of South America, after realizing that most of the knives on the production market did not fit the niche of affordable, hard working "user" knives. Since developing the original and popular RTAK (Built by Newt Livesay and Ontario Knife Company), Randall's Adventure & Training has expanded their product line into other lines.
ESEE Knives Manufacturers
Except for our partnership with Imacasa on the Lite Machete and the HEST folder with Lion Steel, All ESEE Knives are manufactured in Idaho Falls, ID by Rowen Manufacturing (Owned by Shon and Becky Rowen - photo above). With our absolute attention to quality, detail and customer service, ESEE/Rowen provides high-quality production knives to worldwide markets. We also have the capability to do OEM work and small-lot special runs / private label projects.
Engineering & Design
Tom Novak is from Slovenia and works on a contract basis with ESEE Knives designing and engineering some of our upcoming new projects, including the HEST Folder and the Izula Folder. His work with cad, solid modeling and 3D renderings is the best in the business. If you would like to contact him drop an email to [email protected]
How ESEE Knives Are Built
ESEE knives are not considered "high production" due to the care that is taken during the manufacturing process. After the steel is laser cut to size, the knives are heat treated (**see note at the bottom of this page). The Micarta handle slabs are profiled and radiused on a CNC milling machine, and each set of handles are matched and fitted to a corresponding knife blank. The reason for this is during the laser cutting process there is a certain amount of tolerance, so one knife may be a few thousandths of an inch bigger (or smaller) than the next. By marrying a set of handles to a blank throughout the manufacturing process, the user ends up with a finely fitted knife. The handles slabs are held in place with three screws fastened with Loctite into a barrel nut. When the handles are assembled, a fiber liner is placed between the Micarta slab and tang of the knife. The partially serrated knives are made by milling each serration individually with a 3/8" end mill. Unlike a lot of serrations, these are designed to easily cut through fabrics, rope and other flexible materials. They are easily sharpened by honing with a flat hone across them in the same manner as you would hone the plain edge. The textured powder coat we use on ESEE knives is a special powder that has an increased amount of resistance to wear and corrosion, while maintaining a smoother feel than oxide or phosphate coatings.
**All ESEE knives feature a proprietary heat treat procedure. Rowen Manufacturing has developed this recipe that allows for hardening the blade completely to 57 Rc. while still maintaining flexibility.
No Questions Asked Warranty. If you break it, we will replace it. Warranty is transferable. In other words, we warranty the knife no matter how many times it's been traded, sold or given away.
You MUST complete this form and return it with your knife. You must Email Us at [email protected] with a tracking number and the reason you are returning the knife for warranty repair. We suggest you email us before you ship the knife to make sure the knife is covered since we do not warranty normal wear and tear. The knife MUST BE returned using a Priority Mail box.
We do not warranty against rust or normal wear and tear. Note: Our knives are made from high carbon 1095 steel. And while 1095 is a top choice for professional cutlery designed for hard use, it will rust and stain if not properly cared for - especially on the cutting edge and around the laser engraving. It is the user's responsibility to keep the blades properly lubricated and cleaned. We suggest using a dry film rust inhibitor such as TUF-GLIDE or TUF-CLOTH.
This warranty does not apply to the new Lite Machete or our soft goods line. Please view this page for warranty information on the Lite Machete.
A lot of folks have asked us how we can stay in business offering such great customer service and warranty protection. The answer is simple; we believe that American consumers, as a whole, are honest people. The occasional customers who are dishonest are few and far between, so even if we lose every once in a while due to dishonesty, our reputation of great customer service, regardless of the situation, brings us more good customers.
Randall's Adventure & Training only guarantees and offers customer service on knives built by ESEE Knives (Formerly RAT Cutlery Company) and any knife manufactured by RAT Cutlery Company before the name changed to ESEE Knives. Randall's Adventure & Training does not guarantee or offer any customer service for knives that are manufactured by any other company. Randall's Adventure & Training does not guarantee or offer a warranty on any knife manufactured by Ontario Knife Company.
ESEE Manufacturing Philosophy and Capability
The world has become a ‘global’ marketplace and it is said that companies that do not participate in using off shore labor will not survive in the market. Many believe skilled trades no longer have a place here in the USA; that we are to be a service oriented country having most of its goods produced in countries where the greatest advantages lie in government protected trade practices and a very large , very cheap labor force. We take exception to that view.
We believe the men and women of the USA can still make the best product at a competitive price. A product designed and made in the USA for a price the average person can afford. We believe that an objective, intelligent person can design a product that is reliable, practical and affordable and that it can be produced through skill and hard work on our own shores and then sold to the user. ESEE Knives believes we can do this and succeed despite the biased and skewed trading practices of some foreign countries who rely on government incentives, sweat shop labor forces, corporate welfare, and other unfair trade practices in order to thwart the true free market of Capitalism. We believe that the market (and ultimately the end user) will be the final say in whose product has worth and integrity, thus staying power in the market even as other products that have no merit or quality disappear. We stake our hearts, minds and livelihood on this premise. We are free market Capitalists and in the true sense of the term, we do not ask for any advantage in the marketplace. Our product and company will succeed or fail on its own merits.
We also believe that what happens after the sale is as important as the product. Great customer service has become an even rarer commodity than a good quality product at an affordable price. The buyer has every right to be treated fairly and with respect when addressing any issues concerning a product they have purchased. Quite simply, we are practicing the best customer service in the knife industry and in this respect, we are second to none. (Which is saying, we are not the only ones with great customer service but no one is better.)
With the exception of our Ontario/RAT Model 1 folder, our designs have always been manufactured in the United States. Shortly before Randall's Adventure & Training announced our decision to start a new line away from Ontario Knife Co., we notified our customer base that we were discontinuing the Model 1 due to it being manufactured overseas (it is still being produced overseas against our desires for Ontario Knife Company). With most all of the American made knife companies going overseas with part of their product line, we decided overseas manufacturing, at the expense of the American worker, did not follow our business philosophy. Except for soft goods and collaborations not designed by Randall's Adventure & Training, you will never see another one of our designs manufactured outside the United States. This decision will take some money out of our pockets due to smaller profit margins, but we'll live with it. Hopefully, other knife companies will follow our lead and realize that in the long run, business ethics far outweigh the high profit margins on Chinese imports. Even if you don't buy an ESEE Knife, we urge everyone to buy from American made knife companies and put your faith and money towards the American worker and citizen. There are many American made companies out there that produce excellent knives. Spend your knife money with companies who build their lines in the good ol' USA, even if none is spent with Randall's Adventure & Training.
Since our "all USA made" decision, we have partnered with Rowen Manufacturing to produce part of our new knife line. All Rowen manufactured knives are MADE IN THE USA.
Since our beginning, we have always practiced the best customer service in the marketplace - and we have pages of testimonials and emails from customers to back up this statement. We make no claims about our knives being the best in the industry, however, we know our knives can compete with anyone's product when it comes to field use. They may not slay dragons efficiently or chop through rebar and concrete blocks in one whack, but they are a dependable tool for those who truly go and do. To put it bluntly, the knife industry is full of BS and claims that don't hold water in the real world. What's worse is many of the claims are not backed by true customer service. The folks behind ESEE Knives are realists that have used knives in just about every environment all around the world. Our philosophy is pretty simple: knives are tools made to cut efficiently.
During our years with Ontario Knife Co., we received many letters from soldiers that used our knives to save and take lives, law enforcement officers and rescue workers who used our knives to free crash victims, and even individuals that used our knives to save their own lives. We rarely publish these stories, simply because we don't like the keyboard commandos hyping or exaggerating a true story into "this is the best knife if _______ happens to you." Our knives stand on their own merit. They are not the "best" knife for anything and are not advertised as such.
In the end, there is no "perfect knife" for every application, and no company will ever be able to build such a tool. At ESEE Knives, our goal is to build a product that a soldier, cop, or outdoorsman feels confident carrying, and make that product available at an affordable price. If our product doesn't work for a particular customer's use, then we want to know about it, and we'll do everything in our power to make the customer happy. We invite you to contact us with any issue concerning an ESEE Knife (Formerly RAT Cutlery) product. We also invite you to make your views, negative or positive, publicly known. Feedback from customers helps us to design a better knife.
In closing, Mike Perrin and Jeff Randall want to personally thank each and every user of Randall's Adventure & Training knives for trusting us in a market that has many designs and differing tools. Each customer and user is valuable to ESEE Knives, and our customer service will always reflect this. It's time more businesses realize that good products backed by great customer service is the American way.
If you have any questions regarding our products or services, please contact us by calling or e-mailing us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you. Please use the correct email address below in order to have your questions answered in a timely manner.
General Inquiries, Technical Questions and End-User Customer Service:
TransEquatorial Solutions, Inc.
8:00 AM CST - 4:00 PM CST
PHONE: (256) 613-0372
FAX: (256) 570-0175
Email Mike Perrin / Jeff Randall: [email protected]