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Archive | Knives

New from TOPS Knives: Bull Trout and Nata

TOPS Knives just released two new designs. The Bull Trout and Nata are both knives that we’ve seen before at trade shows but they are finally available for purchase.

Bull Trout

The Bull Trout is a result of TOPS 3rd annual contest where employees are encouraged to design a knife that will be put into production if chosen. This year the winner was Martin Murillo for his EDC fixed-blade design. Martin is an avid fisherman, so the Bull Trout had to excel at that. It’s got comfortable burlap Micarta handles with a stainless 154cm blade and a simple, classic chocolate leather sheath. But you don’t have to be a fisherman to enjoy this knife. It’s just a great all-around EDC blade.

Pick up the Bull Trout from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at https://www.topsknives.com/bull-trout

Nata

Many useful tools have come from the Japanese over the years. The Nata (hatchet) is one that hasn’t received as much attention as some others, but is an excellent tool nonetheless. The TOPS Nata is Leo Espinoza’s take on a very old gardening tool. The handle and grind have been changed from traditional designs to fit TOPS/Leo’s style. It’s also full tang with grippy burlap Micarta handles and a nice leather belt sheath. Have brush that needs cleared, branches that need pruned, or are you just in the market for a small chopper with an interesting design? The Nata might just be your next tool.

Pick up the TOPS Nata from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at https://www.topsknives.com/tops-nata

New from TOPS Knives: Fieldcraft 3.5

For years, the Fieldcraft by Brothers of Bushcraft (aka BOB, aka BROS) has been a top selling model for TOPS. It’s a great all-around mid-sized knife for bushcrafting, survival, and more. Of course, many people have asked for larger and smaller versions of the knife for different reasons. This was the driving force behind the Fieldcraft 3.5. Its blade length is slightly over 3.5”, which is the sweet spot for many people in small camp knives, EDC fixed blades, and hunting knives for small game, fish, and fowl. You’ll be glad you picked this one up.

Pick up the Fieldcraft 3.5 from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at https://www.topsknives.com/fieldcraft-3-5

Fieldcraft 3.5

  • Overall Length: 8.25”
  • Blade Length: 3.75”
  • Cutting Edge: 3.63”
  • Blade Thickness: 0.16”
  • Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
  • Blade Finish: Black Traction
  • Handle Material: Tan Canvas Micarta
  • Knife Weight: 5.5oz
  • Weight w/ Sheath: 7.7oz
  • Sheath Material: Black Kydex
  • Sheath Clip: Rotating Spring Steel
  • Designer: TOPS Team
  • MSRP: $145.00

New from TOPS: SXS and HAKET Lumberjack

TOPS Knives just rolled out two new designs. The first is the EJ Snyder designed SXS and the second is a new version of the HAKET called the HAKET Lumberjack.

SXS

Whether you’re looking for a knife to complement the SXB or for a solid all-around 5” blade, Skullcrusher’s Xtreme Sidekick (SXS) has your back. This is the slimmed down version of the SXB that many have been asking for. It’s got the same blade shape as the SXB, which is proven useful for a variety of tasks, with some modifications to the handle that make it perfect in the mid-sized knife category. Add in a Kydex sheath that gives the user multiple mounting options right out of the box, and you have a knife that stands out by itself just as much as it complements the SXB.

Pick up the SXS from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at https://www.topsknives.com/sxs

HAKET Lumberjack

The HAKET was debuted at SHOT Show in 2010. Both of the blades currently available for it are very small, and while they’re great for survival situations, TOPS wanted to make an option that had more real estate for chopping wood. Enter the Lumberjack. It’s got a 4.5” cutting edge on the ax portion and is upgraded with Kydex blade covers and the deluxe carrying pouch to fit all of your extra survival goodies. The blade attachment can be used with or without being attached to the handle and can be mounted in a couple of different ways making the HAKET an excellent choice as a survival tool.

Pick up the HAKET from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at https://www.topsknives.com/haket-lumberjack

Empire Outfitters Naga

The Empire Outfitters Naga Knife is now available. It is a compact defensive knife that ticks all the right boxes.

The Naga is 5.75″ long and has a 2.5″ blade which keeps it legal in most jurisdictions. It is ground from AEB-L stainless steel. It has somewhat Persian style blade with a sweeping edge and a wicked point.

The handle offers a thin but aggressive grip thanks to the handle treatment. It wrapped with cord and then soaked in resin. The result is a handle that is grippy, resilient, and lightweight.

The Naga comes with a great sheath and is ready to carry right out of the box. It it well suited to a variety of center-line carry methods like inside the waist band or running it horizontally in the belt loops.

The entire package weighs just 2.2 ounces including the sheath! For shooters who are looking for a defensive knife to complement their carry gun without weighing them down, this may be just the ticket. It is also relatively affordable for a knife with these features.

EmpireOutfitters.com

Bargain or Just Cheap? – Steel Will Modus F25

Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series will review budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.


There was a time when Chinese made knives were mostly junk – at least those that were imported and sold very inexpensively. That is changing thanks to a wave of manufacturers like Steel Wil and othersl that are offering some really excellent knives that are often priced very competitively. That is certainly the case with the subject of today’s installment of Bargain or Just Cheap? – the Steel Will Modus F25.

Steel Will often offers two versions of the same design, one with more premium materials and one with more working class materials like FRN handle slabs and D2 steel. I often tend toward to working class model because they are very affordable and I actually happen to like D2 steel and FRN (plastic) as a handle material from all my years carrying Spyderco knives. The particular version of the Modus that I purchased is the F25-12 model. It features a 3.25″ D2 steel blade with green FRN handles.

The Modus features a modified sheepsfoot shape. Most sheepsfoot knives have a completely straight edge but the Modus’ edge sweeps gently up toward the tip giving it some belly. The blade is quite tall for a folder and the primary flat grind is nearly full height which does a very good job of thinning the edge. It cuts and slices very well.

The handle feels great in the handle and the texture provided by the patterned FRN scales is great. The full steel liners under the FRN have been skeletonized to reduce weight.

The lock up on these Steel Will liner locks is excellent. They typically exhibit early lock up with full engagement. The lock up on my Modus is among the best I have seen on a liner lock.

The Modus weighs in at under 3.4 ounces and it its FRN handle makes it very easy on pockets. The pocket clip is quite good with tip down left or right side carry, solid tension, and no sharp edges. I find these knives to be a joy to carry.

I think my favorite thing about these knives is how well they deploy. They are opened via a flipper and Steel Will has absolutely mastered the art of the flipper even without the use of ball bearing pivots which is mildly mind blowing. This knife is buttery smooth and has a perfect detent. It fires open easily and locks up with a satisfying snick.

NOTE: I have seen one Steel Will flipper that didn’t deploy well. It turns out the phosphor bronze washers were installed backwards (the smoother, more rounded side should be against the blade). Once they were corrected, the knife fired like a champ. It’s an easy fix.

Bargain or Just Cheap?

The Steel Will Modus is an EDC gem. It isn’t just a good knife, it is one of my favorite knives!

At around $40, it is definitely a bargain. It is light weight, deploys smoother than many flippers costing significantly more, and offers a lot of cutting performance in a sensibly sized package.

I am using Amazon as the price base line for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon: Steel Will Modus F25-12 (there are other colors available)


Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!

The above article contains affiliate links.

Hill People Gear Coyote Knife

Hill People Gear is now offering their first knife – the Coyote Knife. The knife is modeled after a custom knife that the Hill brothers’ father had made in the 1960s and they refer to the design as a “generalist”, suited to a variety of outdoor tasks.

It is produced for Hill People Gear by LT Wright Knives. The A2 tool steel blade 5/32″ thick and 3.5″ long. It has a spear point shape with a saber grind, false swedge, and 90 degree spine for scraping/sparking a ferro rod. The micarta hidden tang handle construction is topped off with a brass guard and pins.

The knife ships with a bushcraft style leather dangler sheath. It will be available to order very soon.

HillPeopleGear.com

Sicario II Knife from RE Factor Tactical and Toor Knives

The original Sicario collaboration knife from Toor Knives and RE Factor Tactical was popular but it was a straight up fighter. The new Sicario II builds on the original concept by adding some utility to create a knife that is still obviously slanted toward a compact fighter but can also be used for regular knife tasks.

The new Sicario II still has the slim, 5/32″ thick, Persian style blade with a piercing point but more height has been added to the blade to better support the edge and point. This design change adds little in terms of weight or size but makes it much more robust for utility tasks while still maintaining its overall stabbyness.

The handle features sculpted layered walnut scales. The pommel and thumb ramp are heavily textured for backing up your cuts/stabs without fear of slipping.

The Sicario II comes with a kydex sheath that is suitable for a number of carry and concealment methods.

  • Blade Length- 4.25″
  • Blade Width- 1″  
  • Handle Material- Layered Walnut
  • Length overall- 8.5″
  • Weight- 3.8 oz
  • Country of origin- USA 
  • Steele- CPM 154
  • Blade Thickness- 5/32″
  • Blade Rockwell Hardness- 60

REFactorTactical.com

Heavy Cover Mini Mess Kit Knives

The Mini Mess Kit Knives that Heavy Cover has been teasing us with for months are now available. These knives are draw inspiration from the iconic US Military Mess Kit Knife, a design more than 100 years old.

The knife features a 2.5″ D2 tool steel blade with a nitride finish. It comes with a kydex sheath complete with deep carry clip.

This first run of knives is available with your choice of Ti or OD Green micarta scales is extremely limited. Only 20 of each scale option were produced. They likely will not last long.

HeavyCoverInc.com

TOPS Knives Launches Dicer Kitchen Knives: Dicer 3 and 8

The 2nd knife to be designed through TOPS’ employee design contest is also TOPS’ first official kitchen knife. The 8” chef’s knife was designed by TOPS’ photographer and graphics manager Jesus Arellano. It has more belly than you might normally expect from a chef’s knife, which makes a unique and functional kitchen tool. Of course, since you can’t have only one knife in the kitchen, the Dicer will eventually be offered with many different knives to make it a complete set. Right now, the 2 most essential knives are available, the Dicer 8 Chef and the Dicer 3 Paring. Premium steel – CPM S35VN – and handles – blue and black G10 – provide a kitchen tool that will be passed down from generation to generation much like hunting knives are passed from father to son.

Pick up the Dicers from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at TOPSKnives.com

Jones Brothers Low-Key

The Jones Brothers make great knives but some of their best known designs are their “Party Favors”. These items are often innocuous looking self defense tools. The Low-Key is one such item.

It looks very much like a car key at first glance but a closer inspection reveals that it is a functional thumb dagger! The black micarta handle gives the user a solid grip. The blade is sharpened at the end for piercing. It is sharp enough to be pressed into soft targets but not so sharp as to cut up your pockets.

As with many of the items that the Jones Brothers create, these are sold on a first come, first serve basis. If you want a chance at one, I suggest following them on their social media and/or the Jones Brothers sub-forum on the Usual Suspects Network.

Jones Brothers on Instagram (@pbj_handmade_knives)

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