I'd like to start off by saying I've been partial to Spyderco, CRKT, Emerson, and Benchmade, and I didn't know what to expect from the ESEE Avispa.
I bought this based on impulse coupled with a $10 credit that MD gave me, making this a super cheap D2 blade to buy. I have to say, this is not the best knife I've ever owned, and that's taking gas station knives under consideration above this one as well. My knife arrived yesterday and the first thing I noticed upon taking it out of the box was the great build quality...that is until you start using it.
First issue- the frame lock. As sturdy as the frame lock may be, it constantly stays STUCK with the blade open. I love that it's sturdy and has amazing blade retention, but it's near a PITA to unlock the blade. The tolerance between the blade tang and lock is much too tight by about .001" which is causing the sticking issue. Yes, the tight tolerance helps with eliminating blade play, but at the expense of disengaging the lock. This is not a one handed blade when it comes to unlocking to close the blade. The lock is also hardly higher than the grip which makes it very difficult for me to get a grip with my huge callused thumb which slips off the lock every time.
Second issue- the pocket clip. The design and placement of the pocket clip for right hand tip up is abysmal. The clip springs back onto the frame lock which further exacerbates the issue of my lock getting forced in and stuck. I don't see any other work around for this besides carrying it differently which I am not willing to do.
Third issue- the pivot. I'm assuming it's a bearing pivot and not a sleeve, but it was the grittiest, roughest first opening of a knife I've experienced. It could be that it needs to be cleaned out and oiled, or loosened up, or something, but it's not smooth. This also lends to the one-handed opening difficulty, paired with the poorly placed thumb stud. I've yet to open up and clean this because it will be returned if possible.
Fourth issue- the thumb stud. The distance between the thumb stud and the pivot is roughly .750" eyeballing it. It's much too close to the pivot so it requires more force to open than it really requires, again lending to the two-handed operation. The thumb stud is effectively useless
I don't see myself owning this knife much longer, and would rather not even carry it or use it for box cutting duties. It would be a great beater knife if it wasn't for my issues with the knife. Out of all my current folders, this one is definitely a regrettable purchase. I currently own a Spyderco Paramilitary 2, Spyderco Delica 4, Spyderco Ladybug, Spyderco Tenacious, Benchmade MiniGrip, Benchmade Grip, CRKT M16, Emerson CQC7, and now this. My cheapest Spyderco is the Tenacious and I would rather carry that over this, despite the Tenacious being an 8cr blade; at least it's functional without issues.