The Emerson Seax — Viking Blade Design

Emerson Seax with Sig Sauer pistol for EDC

The designs coming out of the Emerson Knives, Inc. shop are ever-evolving, and Mr. Emerson never lets any grass grow under his feet. He has maintained the original designs that launched the company (if it’s not broken, don’t fix it), to his credit. That said, he steadily releases fresh material, which is a boon for those who enjoy new things.

Enter, stage left, the “new” Emerson Seax (it is pronounced “Sax”, as in short for saxophone), introduced in 2018.

Emerson Seax folding knife.

While this design is new for Emerson, as Ernie points out, it is not a new concept, having been used back in Viking times. Ernie has been a fan of Viking weapons and tools for many years, and this prompted him to pay homage to this blade design, which was originally used by Vikings in a fixed blade configuration.

Emerson Seax Specs and Features

The Emerson version is a folding knife with an overall length of nine inches. To be clear, this is not a small knife, and when the user holds it, he knows that he’s holding a serious blade.

The blade length is 3.9 inches and features a V Ground chisel edge that is obscenely sharp. The first time I used it to cut some heavy plastic, it glided through the material as if it weren’t even touching it. I’m accustomed to very sharp knives, but this one deserves mention as being one of the sharpest. The style of the blade might be referred to as a Wharncliffe, and it has a swedge on the spine near the tip. The finish is stonewashed.

Despite its substantial size, the knife only weighs five ounces, which is less than many knives in the Emerson line that are not as large as this one. It has a sort of streamlined feel to it; the size is there, but it’s not bulky.

A comparison shot to show the size of the Seax versus the Emerson Commander. The Seax is not a small knife!
A comparison shot to show the size of the Seax versus the Emerson Commander. The Seax is not a small knife!

The materials used to build this knife are standards that Emerson often adheres to in their line of folders. Blade material is 154 CM at an RC hardness of 57-59, making sharpening a breeze. Blade thickness is .125 inches; stout, but not overly so. The locking liner is Titanium, with the off side being stainless steel. Standoffs hold this knife together, and do a great job of it, being both strong and allowing the knife to be cleaned quickly and easily. There is a clip for attaching the knife inside the user’s rocket, and it works very well, as expected.


Some attributes from a user’s perspective are the thumb ramp that also serves as the Wave feature. The Emerson Wave will have this knife opening as it comes out of your pocket should you decide to open it in that fashion, and is probably the fastest way to open any knife on the market at this time.

Emerson Seax folding knife.
The large Seax folds into a small package for the pocket. It’s like having a straight razor in your pocket.

Unless someone comes up with an engineering miracle, it will likely remain so. If the user does not want the knife to deploy as soon as it exits the pocket, there is a thumb disc that works very well for opening the blade.

Toward the forward end of the handle, there is a choil/guard that prevents the user’s hand from slipping onto the blade. Combined with the thumb ramp and rough-textured G-10 of the handle, the knife is locked nicely into the user’s grip. The handle also has some nice architecture, which helps it to mate with the user’s hand comfortably and securely. The butt of the handle features a lanyard hole for folks who are so inclined, and it also comes to a sort of point in the event that one wishes to strike with this area.

Emerson Seax folding knife in hand.
The Seax feels lively and comfortable in the hand.

My impression?

Most of the Emerson knives that I’ve reviewed so far have been ones that I’ve carried for years, and so I’m intimately familiar with them, their strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics. Not so with the Seax — Emerson was kind enough to send this knife for a review (thank you, EKI!), and so I’ve only had this one for a short time.

Despite that, it’s plain to see that the quality of this knife is in keeping with the Emerson tradition, so no surprises there. The materials are among the best available, and the action of this knife is seriously nice! It’s extremely smooth on opening and closing, with an extraordinarily solid lockup. There is zero side to side wobble of the blade.

Also, Emerson uses a regular head screw for the pivot screws of his knives, so the user can adjust the pivot to his or her preference since some people like their knives to open faster or slower. As a bonus, the slot in the head of the screw is extra wide, so if your pivot needs adjusting and all you have is a coin or similar object, you can complete the task with something that is typically available. These are small touches, but they’re well thought out and mean a lot when you’re in the field without a toolbox.

The knife feels lively in the hand, probably due to its modest weight and streamlined design. I’d even say that elegant would be appropriate for this design. The long, straight edge reminds me of a straight razor, and for slicing, this knife is stellar!

Emerson touts this design as being useful for combat or utility, and I’m already confident that it is great for large cutting tasks, as it’s very efficient at slicing. For combat, I’d prefer to have something that is a bit more “stabby” because stab wounds are vital for putting down an attacker. That’s just my non-objective opinion. Still, this knife would fill the role of a combat knife well, and quite a few others have expressed similar opinions of its effectiveness.

Overall, the Emerson Seax has a lot to offer in a lightweight, sleek package that many people will undoubtedly appreciate. I have a number of friends who have owned this model from the time of its release, and they have been singing its praises from the gate. You should check one out.


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Survival Knives: Check Out the Ontario RTAK II Field Knife

RTAK II field knife review

The Ontario RTAK II is an impressive field knife, to say the least. It’s not something that I carry around with me, but there are occasions where it comes in so very handy. From time to time, I have to clean up fallen trees from the back yard, and this knife will take the limbs off in a most handy manner. Limbs up to an inch in diameter usually come off with one swing.

With almost no effort, the RTAK II sinks into wood. Seriously, I barely swung the blade and it went in that far!
With almost no effort, the RTAK II sinks into wood. Seriously, I barely swung the blade and it went in that far!

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Surefire Sidekick — A Small, Affordable, High-Lumen, EDC Light

SureFire Sidekick illuminating back yard.

Surefire has been making high-quality flashlights for years and is the choice of professionals the world over, including the highest level military operators and law enforcement professionals, as well as discriminating civilians from all walks of life. They are a solid company that stands behind their products.

The Surefire Sidekick, which is the least expensive light that they offer in their product line, retails for $29.99, which makes it reasonable for just about everyone who needs a quality light. I ordered the pocket clip for the light right away ($10), which I highly recommend.

SureFire Sidekick Clip
The attached clip adds versatility. Clip it to the pocket or the bill of your hat for hands-free operation.

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Loot Vault: Morning Wood Plunder

Tactical equipment contests and giveaways from breachbangclear.

Go straight to the latest contest.

Past giveaways and loot distributed.

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Among the many benefits of backing us on Patreon is access to the loot we hand out to our supporters. We’ve given a lot of swag and plunder away since we first called the banners.  Unfortunately, we’re not terribly bright so we didn’t record it all or post it online.

That’ll change now. As we go forward we’ll update this page with new contests and giveaways (or the big ones, anyway). We’ll also announce on Instagram (@house.morningwood), so be sure to keep an eye on that frequency too.

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Medieval Knights Helmet Decanter

Medieval Knights Helmet Decanter

As far as decanters go unless you are storing your booze in the skulls of your enemies you likely can’t come up with a more classy booze storage device for your war room then the Medieval Knights Helmet Decanter.

If this thing doesn't scream opulence and grandeur I don't know what does!
If this thing doesn’t scream opulence and grandeur I don’t know what does!

Not only does it have a decanter inside the helmet but it has room for 4 shot glasses so you can share a victory drink with your battle buddies.

The metal work on the Medieval Knights Helmet Decanter is also very well done.
The metalwork on the Medieval Knights Helmet Decanter is also very well done.

We never thought it was possible to have a toss-up in our heads on the globe booze storage but now the knights helmet might just be edging it out.

The Emerson Roadhouse — It’s Like a Pocket Samurai Sword

Emerson Roadhouse folding knife on load bearing gear.

One thing to be said about Emerson Knives is that they do love variety! The company makes something for everyone who enjoys edged tools. Large knives, small knives; you name it — they’ve done it, and are doing it as we speak. This article will focus on the Emerson Roadhouse tactical folding knife. Let’s get the obligatory technical specifications out of the way first, then dive into the meat of the matter.

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What the Hell is a Battle Rifle?

What the hell is a battle rifle? Featured image.

The named concept of the battle rifle existed after most battle rifles had fallen out of service. As far as I know, the term is seemingly one made up by firearms enthusiasts to describe rifles that fall outside of the realm of an assault rifle, or sniper rifle. In the firearms industry, we like to make shit up, but occasionally something sticks. Battle rifle was something that stuck. 

When most people say battle rifles, they are talking about semi-automatic rifles that fire a full-powered cartridge like the 308, 7.62x54R, and even the newer 6.5 Creedmoor would qualify. These rifles can be select-fire, but its not a requirement. As you’d expect, this includes guns like the AR-10, the FN FAL, the G3, the M14/M1A, and the most modern model on the market, the SCAR-H. These rifles define the contemporary battle rifle, even if most are not that modern. 

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Changing Stripes: a History of Tiger Stripe Camo

Iconic tiger stripe uniform Martin Sheen in the Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now.

It has been said that just as a leopard can’t change his spots so too a tiger can’t change his stripes. Yet when it comes to military camouflage, the versatile tiger stripe camo pattern has changed and evolved over the years. The fact remains however that unlike the U.S. military’s Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) or Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), the iconic tiger stripe camouflage pattern was never actually an “official” form of camouflage.

Tiger Stripe Camo

While it has been called “tiger stripe camo” unofficially, as the name derives from its resemblance to the stripes on the big cats, it is unique in that the pattern has no name. And unlike OCP, UCP, or the other official camouflage patterns, tigerstripe camouflage is also not really one specific pattern. Some experts have suggested that there were nearly two dozen different variants, so it really is the name of a group of camouflage patterns rather than one particular pattern.

Navy SEALS wearing tigerstrip camouflage in Vietnam.
U.S. Navy SEALs wore locally produced tiger stripe uniforms in Vietnam – and yes, blue jeans were also commonly worn by the frogmen. (Photo: U.S. Navy/Public Domain)

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How Striker-Fired Guns Work

Apex Tactical Heavy-Duty Striker for FN.

Striker-fired guns are the bee’s knees. Rarely do you see a new gun come out in any design besides striker-fired. Hammer fired handguns aren’t dead, but they may be gone as far as armed professionals go. The United States military got rid of the hammer-fired Beretta for the P320. Most police forces have transitioned to these guns in various flavors, and most popular carry guns are striker-fired models. What exactly is a striker-fired handgun? How do they work? Well, let’s find out.

What’s A Striker-Fired gun?

All strikers are firing pins, but not all firing pins are strikers. Striker fired guns can best be described as spring-loaded firing pins. The racking the slide or pulling the trigger, or a combination of both cock the striker and the striker is held in the ready to fire position with potential spring energy behind it. Once the trigger is pulled, the spring energy propels the striker forward.

Image showing the internals of four striker fired handguns.
Strikers galore.

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