The Izula II from ESEE has become my new favorite EDC (every day carry), and I think it might become yours too, depending on your needs and the laws and regulations of where you live. There are many dangers of carrying a knife for self-defense, which is one of the reasons I’m referring to this knife as an EDC blade as opposed to a self-defense weapon. For self-defense purposes, I prefer a palm stick, like those I describe in my Palm Stick Self-Defense Guide. In my experience, true self-defense situations rarely provide sufficient time actually to pull a weapon to use as a defensive instrument, which is one reason improvised weapons at hand are sometimes more useful than weapons you carry [for more on such improvised weapons, see my A Cup of Coffee: And Other Improvised Weapons of Self-Defense].
Knives are tools, and often come in handy throughout the day for the sort of things they are designed for, namely, cutting, like: cutting rope, opening packages, preparing food, cutting cloth, cutting wood, opening letters, etc. They also can be used to cut people in defensive situations—-they can also be used to cut and scare people in illegal offensive situations, in robberies, assaults, rape, and murder, hence there are sometimes strict laws (depending on country and state) regulating their sale and use.
One of the beauties of the Izula II is that it is NOT designed as a fighting or self-defense knife, but could serve that purpose better than many blades that I see pitched as self-defense or fighting knives. The Izula II is primarily a knife that is intended for ordinary, legal, everyday purposes. WIth that in mind, it is very small. The blade is under three inches, which means that it is large enough to be useful for the sort of everyday tasks an EDC knife is needed for, and yet it is small enough that it is legal to carry in most states in the U.S. (though check your local state and city laws). It’s a fixed blade and actually is legal to carry in some parts of the U.S. where larger folders are not permitted. But, it has all the strengths that come with fixed blade knives, and many of the strengths of EDC folders–even though it is not a folder (and thus it does not have the weaknesses that many folders have).
The Izula II has all the great qualities as its predecessor, the Izula (named after the fire ant), but has a larger handle, and is all around superior. This blade can take a beating, and would be great in the outdoors. I imagine that it would rust, so you’ll have to take care of it, but it is fairly easy and simple to sharpen. In well-trained hands this could serve as a fine instrument of self-defense, but I would only recommend that (or any knife for that matter) for those who are skilled with blades. I’ll write more (both on this blog and in the form of a forthcoming book) on knife fighting and knife self-defense, since this is such a popular but dangerously misunderstood topic. If you’re looking for a compact fixed blade knife that will last you for generations (your kids could inherit this knife), and be useful for just about any task you’d put a small bladed knife to—and even some you’d put a larger bladed knife to—then the Izula II might just be for you. ESEE specializes in knives made for the rough jungles of Central and South America, but the Izula II, unlike it’s larger (but heftier and superior, for their tasks) ESEE counterparts, would work very well in the urban, rural, and suburban jungles we may tread (just make sure to check your local laws).
Stay tuned for more to come on this topic……