Now, let's circle back as promised to talk about the grip slabs and the storage within. I think it's a fantastic idea to have storage within the grips. I like that they can be removed easily with a slotted (regular) screw driver. If you keep a relatively small length of strong fishing line inside that space then you also have what you need to tie the knife into a spear handle - and if you have the handle prepared properly you can minimize the chance of losing the blade as discussed above. So, the only thing you need that isn't provided in this kit / system is a slotted screw driver.
Sure, plenty of folks have a multi-tool with them when they're out in the field, but I'm going to try to find a way to attach a piece of a properly sized screw driver to this sheath kit, even if I have to duct tape it on. I'd prefer for the kit to be independent of the need for a non-attached tool to take full advantage of the benefits it offers.
That out of the way, let's look at performance. Out back I went... string, twine, fishing line, 1/2" cotton rope, 1/2" ugly yellow nylon rope, pieces of an old 5-gallon plastic construction bucket, some nylong webbing and more. The H.E.S.T.'s edge was delivered sharp and it held the edge well. Because of the 3" length of the blade there's not as much room to "pull through" a cut as you have with longer blades, so the edge itself has to do the cutting work with more pull, less slice. The H.E.S.T. performed well, cutting through everything with a single pull (the ugly yellow nylon rope took a HARD pull, but it still did it).
Because of the size and balance of the knife it's not a good tool for chopping but I had no issues shaving off decent size chunks of the plastic bucket. Just as a matter of curiosity fulfilled by doing, I used the knife to prep some branches and limbs that had fallen off my trees in recent storms. I shaved some tinder and cut some smaller kindling to build a fire. No problems there at all. After cleaning the knife I used it to cut up my lunch (leftover turkey from Thanksgiving) and to butter my biscuits. After that I washed it again and it's tucked safely back into its sheath.
Overall, out of ten, I'd give it a rating of 8.5. It's at a disadvantage where survival tools are concerned because of its size. That said, it's smaller size and lighter weight are also strengths because a person would be more likely to carry it constantly and have it with them than a comparable knife with a 6" or 7" blade. For design, finish and utility I give it high marks. For sheath versatility more high marks. In all, it's a knife I'm glad to be adding to my kit.
Pricetag on the DPx Gear website is $139.98 and it shows the knives SOLD OUT. A quick Google search found me the knife elsewhere for $88.50. As always, search around and you can find a good deal. The knife is worth it's retail price of about $140, but save the few bucks if you can.