Reviewed 07/16/2015 by C.K.
-Price Paid: $28.00
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for 3 months
I have tended in the past to carry very small knives as part of my EDC. The usual suspects in my pockets have been blades such as the SOG Flash I, the Case Sodbuster Jr., and the Byrd Robin. I purchased the ESEE Zancudo to get a slightly larger EDC blade because I was finding that from time-to-time I was running instances when a slightly larger knife would be useful.
I've been very happy with the ESEE Zancudo so far. I've found that while it's AUS 8, and therefore one should expect to have to sharpen it from time-to-time, it takes a much sharper edge than my other AUS 8 knives. And, those other knives take very sharp edges.
I've also found that while the blade stock of the Zancudo is fairly thin, which makes it a terrific slicer, the blade has proven to be pretty durable. I'm a knife user rather than a collector. I'm also forgetful and spend a lot of time in the woods so I find myself needing to improvise quite a bit. So my knives get used for all sorts of things that they shouldn't. That being the case, my Zancudo has held up with very little obvious wear.
I've also found that the Zancudo, given how thin and light it is, is an easy knife to carry. It's really unobtrusive in my pocket, so I can wear it into the office as easily as I can wear it hiking or camping. That alone gets it a fair amount of pocket time.
There are some cons with the Zancudo though. First and foremost, as people have noted elsewhere, the lock is sort of hard to disengage. I think this has less to do with stiffness and more to do with the limited clearance from the scale on the display side and the lock bar of the framelock. Indeed, they are nearly flush. I actually can't unlock my Zancudo when I'm wearing gloves, I just can't get enough purchase on the lock bar. While having a lock bar so flush with the scale limits the risk of a hot spot, which makes the Zancudo comfortable even when you're grasping it with a death grip, it makes it a little hard to close.
The second con, which others have also commented on, is that the FRN scale on the display side is only secured with the pivot screw and three screws on the spine side. This means that edge side of the scale actually has a little play. Now this in general is something that most people probably wouldn't even notice but I do worry sometimes that I might end up breaking the scale because I'm a little hard on equipment.
In summary, I think the Zancudo is a terrific knife with a couple of minor drawbacks. I really do love carrying it and it is really close to being an ideal EDC knife.
Pros - great slicer, really durable, comfortable in pocket (and in hand)
Cons - lock bar on frame lock kind of hard to access (especially with gloves) and FRN scale could be better secured
Comment by Stuart H. 07/30/2015
I also found the liner lock rather hard to disengage on my Zancudo. And as such, I took the knife apart and "opened-up" the scale's finger choil approximately a 1/16 of an inch with some wet 600 grit sand paper. Which worked just fine.