I got the Laguile at a gun hunting shop in salt France. I had never herd of them till then. They had a good selection of knifes this one was the last one in carbon steel. It very well built and takes a very sharp edge and if you push down on the bee it is a lock, sort of.
I got an ESEE 4 and a Mora HD Clipper Companion for my wife (gotta love a woman who thinks that's a good gift). I figured she'd love one of them and I'd eventually reclaim the other. Nope. She immediately had plans for each of them.
I was most interested in seeing the ESEE. Nothing wrong with it in the least, but it just doesn't feel right in my hand. The choil definitely isn't right for me and the handle just isn't what I'd like. I'd like to put my hands on more of their models.
@Mace I don't know if your down with building your own knife but you can get Helle blades from https://www.ragweedforge.com/. You can buy the whole knife, but you can also get just the blades and make your own handles and what not. Helle makes excellent blades btw. I bought one of the Wind blades and fashioned it with deer antler handle a few years back. I will see if I can get a pick.
9 Month ESEE Avispa Update: I opened up the pocket clip a little bit to alleviate the pressure on the lock bar for right hand tip-up carry. It worked out well, and now it unlocks much easier than it did. I also took this knife with me to the Virgin Islands for 10 days where it saw daily use in saltwater and sand (lots of time spent submerged). I rinsed it in fresh water once or twice a day and rubbed a little olive oil (it was available) on the blade to keep the rust at bay after running it through my little Chef's Choice sharpener. It sharpens very easily and holds it well.
This has turned out to be a great, affordable knife that has all four pocket clip mounting options. The black blade coating wears off easily, but I didn't expect it to last at this price point. Maybe the other coating options they offer are better (I have the smaller brother model to this one with a tan coating but I haven't carried it or used it yet). Either way, the AUS-8 steel held up well. The handle fits my hand well and is comfortable for all types of cuts. The two handle slabs are separated by 5 spacers, making the knife easy to blow or wash out. There is enough blade that I can also choke up to grasp just the blade when needed, and the handle is light enough as to not throw off the balance too much when doing this.
9 months of use... There are 2 small dots where rust crept in at the center of the blade. I've done nothing other than to lightly oil them.
Good eye, Drew. I was rushed when I posted this and forgot to include the "after" pic. The above was after about 6 weeks of hard use around the house, plus the ocean trip, with no sharpening except for the quickie pocket sharpener. Kinda had a little serration thing going. I was pleased that it was easy enough to stay on top of the saltwater damage even with the chewed up edge.
The below pic is after a session with medium and fine diamond stones. I really like this Taiwanese knife and think that ESEE has chosen an offshore manufacturer wisely. It's definitely not as stout or quality as the Benchmade Rift I've carried for about 6 years but sometimes it's just not in my best interest to carry a $200+ knife.