Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

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Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:47 pm

A friend of mine talked to me recently that he will be a official TOPS KNIVES dealer for my area.

I heard of them before, and i already saw 2 models made by them that i absolutely love already

The famous tracker

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and the PUNISHER

Image


yes i know, they are not the most practical model around, but they are awesome and made with quality material (1095 and micarta) and selective temper.

but i don't know about the others, i saw the video where they show the shop and some models but that it.



i'm not looking for a specific style of knife or for a specific task. just a overall review and recommendation of them

what did people who used them liked or didn't liked.

which model are better and which one aren't as good .
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Zerve » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:29 pm

I have the punisher, awesome knife. Pretty heavy though and the handles abit big for my puny tiny hands. Spose theirs a few who would say it's impractical but I think it would make a good cross of camp knife and small machete. I haven't really done any cutting with it yet so can't comment on that. The fit and finish is spot on but you'd expect that for the price. If I had to bug out my home and didn't expect to be coming back it would defiantly be coming with me. I'd defiantly get more tops there's a few more normalish models I'm eyeing up and will get at some point. If there's anything specific you want to ask fire away and I'll try and answer.

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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:56 pm

thanks a lot for the opinion on the punisher !!!! i love that knife :)

and as for the handle............i have gorilla hand, it will be a good fit for me then hahaha. :clap:
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by woodsghost » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:26 pm

The pieces I have examined and used are basically 6.35 mm thick pieces of Fuck You Kill Dragons awesomeness. The fit and finish is amazing. They are basically indestructible. I would pass on most of them.

Seriously.

The grind angles are all wrong on most of the ones I see. They are perfectly executed, but I really don't care for them. Many of their models have a bunch of curves in there that make sharpening with a stone or plate very difficult, though a ceramic or diamond rod are just fine. I really don't care for a few other common features either.

There are a few they make that I think are amazing and I would buy in a heartbeat.

Now, if 6.35 mm pieces of indestructible monster steel fit your needs, then cool.

Personally, I see the Mora as the pinnacle of knife design. If a blade is more than 2.5 mm thick, it needs a full flat grind IMO, and the models by TOPS I really like are in fact all full flat ground. I also think hollow ground knives work nicely.

So, from what I have seen, their heat treats are all good and their designs are perfectly executed. I just don't agree with all their designs. But anybody who buys one of their knives is getting a lot of bang for the buck, IMO. Everything I have seen has been very high quality and terrific craftsmanship.

Also, the more high-end knives I see, the more I feel TOPS gives good value for the money (at least, the examples I have seen). Especially as I just perused their site tonight. I feel like 7 years ago their prices were higher and maybe there is more competition out there and their prices have come down a bit. Or maybe my frame of reference has just changed.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:53 pm

thanks a lot for the opinion

i agree there is a few model that made me ask myself ''what did they smoke to imagine that ?'' but a lot give me a strong feeling of ''i think i gonna go open that tank like a can of soup because i can with this knife''
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by woodsghost » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:28 pm

And when you say "gonna open a tank" you mean:

Image

Yeah. Let me restate a little. I don't care for the geometry on many of their designs, but their designs are executed flawlessly. And yeah, my opinion of their geometry is an opinion. :)
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:51 pm

hey !! i made that topic to heard about others opinion. i would be a hypocrite if i said i don'T want to hear your
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:04 pm

THIS one WILL be mine one day

Wild pig hunter

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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:43 pm

Lots of bushcrafters really like the Tracker. These people tend not to pick knives that don't actually work in the field. Maybe one day I will try one.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by woodsghost » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:05 am

azrael99 wrote:THIS one WILL be mine one day

Wild pig hunter

Image
That does look absolutely beautiful.


And Woods Walker, I do hope to try a tracker too some day.
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*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by maine1 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:07 pm

Tops knives are well constructed knives of good materials and heat treat ( though not differential, IIRC) with a lack of edge geometry on some models.I am the original railroad engineer, and most are overweight.

I had a Tops tracker I got in a trade. as delivered, useless, and NOT true to the original design. If i had kept it, I would have done some pretty extensive regrinding of the edges. Most of the other Tops knives i have seen/used are similarly effected- just a bit too much meat on the edge.

Tops knives are great if want a bombproof tool to hack, slash, open barrels, stab the enemy with, ect but are not worried about working a little harder due to edge geometry. And for some they are perfect.

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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Sworbeyegib » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:45 pm

My one problem with he tracker (besides the fanboys who've never used one) is that "notch" that is supposed o be for carving arrows and whatnot is located right where the "sweet spot" for chopping is or should be. That means whenever your hacking or trying to do any chopping with it, your just whacking that corner and not getting a very solid bite with a full length of edge. Just sort of chipping little bits out. I would much like it better if it were a recurved edge that followed the whole length of blade, rather than two separate grinds that meet in the middle.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by woodsghost » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:54 pm

I re-did a friend's folder once. Took out the serrations and made a folding Tracker. That little notch is so cool and really useful! I sharpened it and everything, and that little sucker was just handy! The feather stick curls were so cool! And the notch was useful for a lot of different tasks. I liked it a lot.

I would sure like to use a real one someday.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:49 pm

about the tracker sweet spot thing, i'm working on a project to make a tracker knife with a longer ''axe blade section'' to move the sweet spot forward of the notch, the original blade is 4 1/4 , mine will be 5 inch, so by adding 3/4 more i hope to move the sweet spot enough, and give more straight edge. maybe i will go 5 1/4 though to add a whole inch to it,
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Sworbeyegib » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:28 pm

Even if the notch was just moved back to bout 1/4-1/3 of the blade rather than directly in the middle it would help a lot IMO. And then converting that smaller section to a scandi grind for better control while carving, and having the larger chopping section as a flat or saber convex grind for maximum edge retention thru harder material would really up the versatility I think.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by woodsghost » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:32 pm

azrael99 wrote:about the tracker sweet spot thing, i'm working on a project to make a tracker knife with a longer ''axe blade section'' to move the sweet spot forward of the notch, the original blade is 4 1/4 , mine will be 5 inch, so by adding 3/4 more i hope to move the sweet spot enough, and give more straight edge. maybe i will go 5 1/4 though to add a whole inch to it,
Nice!

I'm dying for a 7 inch version. Seems t me they made a 7 incher maybe 5 years ago? I might be making that up. I sure hope not. But still wanting one!

Great to hear you are pushing the blade out and re-configuring the sweet spot. That will be handy.

EDIT: Not seeing any 7 inchers on google search :gonk:
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:58 pm

maine1 wrote:Tops knives are well constructed knives of good materials and heat treat ( though not differential, IIRC) with a lack of edge geometry on some models.I am the original railroad engineer, and most are overweight.

I had a Tops tracker I got in a trade. as delivered, useless, and NOT true to the original design. If i had kept it, I would have done some pretty extensive regrinding of the edges. Most of the other Tops knives i have seen/used are similarly effected- just a bit too much meat on the edge.

Tops knives are great if want a bombproof tool to hack, slash, open barrels, stab the enemy with, ect but are not worried about working a little harder due to edge geometry. And for some they are perfect.
Many of the trackers I see have been reground and stripped.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:01 pm

if the grinding of the edge is the only problem with the tracker, it ain't a big deal then. for the amount of times i had to re-grind a brand new knife because the edge is not sharp enough

but on the custom one i want to make, i ain't gonna have that prob hahaha.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:58 pm

woodsghost wrote:The pieces I have examined and used are basically 6.35 mm thick pieces of Fuck You Kill Dragons awesomeness. The fit and finish is amazing. They are basically indestructible. I would pass on most of them.

Seriously.

The grind angles are all wrong on most of the ones I see. They are perfectly executed, but I really don't care for them. Many of their models have a bunch of curves in there that make sharpening with a stone or plate very difficult, though a ceramic or diamond rod are just fine. I really don't care for a few other common features either.

There are a few they make that I think are amazing and I would buy in a heartbeat.

Now, if 6.35 mm pieces of indestructible monster steel fit your needs, then cool.

Personally, I see the Mora as the pinnacle of knife design. If a blade is more than 2.5 mm thick, it needs a full flat grind IMO, and the models by TOPS I really like are in fact all full flat ground. I also think hollow ground knives work nicely.

So, from what I have seen, their heat treats are all good and their designs are perfectly executed. I just don't agree with all their designs. But anybody who buys one of their knives is getting a lot of bang for the buck, IMO. Everything I have seen has been very high quality and terrific craftsmanship.

Also, the more high-end knives I see, the more I feel TOPS gives good value for the money (at least, the examples I have seen). Especially as I just perused their site tonight. I feel like 7 years ago their prices were higher and maybe there is more competition out there and their prices have come down a bit. Or maybe my frame of reference has just changed.
pretty much sums up my experiences to a "T."

high quality, decent price, stupid thick and grinds that don't do me any good. If I needed a knife to stab big hairy things with teeth, they'd interest me a lot more.

I will say their simpler knives (Like the BOB knife) do interest me more, and I've been looking real hard at the "Key D" knife as an EDC/getoffme knife. many of their designs are unique enough that if you dig 'em you aren't going to find it anywhere else.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by maine1 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:02 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
maine1 wrote:Tops knives are well constructed knives of good materials and heat treat ( though not differential, IIRC) with a lack of edge geometry on some models.I am the original railroad engineer, and most are overweight.

I had a Tops tracker I got in a trade. as delivered, useless, and NOT true to the original design. If i had kept it, I would have done some pretty extensive regrinding of the edges. Most of the other Tops knives i have seen/used are similarly effected- just a bit too much meat on the edge.

Tops knives are great if want a bombproof tool to hack, slash, open barrels, stab the enemy with, ect but are not worried about working a little harder due to edge geometry. And for some they are perfect.
Many of the trackers I see have been reground and stripped.

The Tops knife offers a good platform for it! I have a crush on the Skinat. Reminds me of a weehawk boot knife from back in the day.

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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Sworbeyegib » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:10 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
maine1 wrote:Tops knives are well constructed knives of good materials and heat treat ( though not differential, IIRC) with a lack of edge geometry on some models.I am the original railroad engineer, and most are overweight.

I had a Tops tracker I got in a trade. as delivered, useless, and NOT true to the original design. If i had kept it, I would have done some pretty extensive regrinding of the edges. Most of the other Tops knives i have seen/used are similarly effected- just a bit too much meat on the edge.

Tops knives are great if want a bombproof tool to hack, slash, open barrels, stab the enemy with, ect but are not worried about working a little harder due to edge geometry. And for some they are perfect.
Many of the trackers I see have been reground and stripped.
Most of the Trackers I've seen, don't look like they've been used to cut anything but pieces of paper...

Sad fact is that many Tops knives, including the Tracker, attract a certain breed of buyer that is willing to spend 3 bills on a "bombproof" blade, but cringe at the idea of actually using it.

Only actually ever handled one that had seen use as a field blade. Kudos to anyone who actually willing to thump on their investment.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by azrael99 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:17 pm

trust me, my punisher ain't gonna stay clean and shiny it will be down and dirty quite fast, i intend to use and abuse it. this is a main tank level knife. i intend to give it the respect it deserve by not letting it collect dust on my shelves.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by Sworbeyegib » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:24 pm

That makes me all happy inside. I think tools are meant to be used.

I only have two blades that have never seen any sort of actual use. One is a hissatsu that I bought on a whim, I don't really have any practical use for such a dedicated fighting blade, I just had some money burning a hole in my pocket. The other is a Cold Steel R1 Military Classic (their Randall rip off) that I bought from a friend for (relatively) cheap because he needed cash. He was purely a collector, and never put it to any use. Part of me still thinks that one day he'll ask to buy it back and his heart will be broken when he sees it's been thumped on. It is after all, a very pretty knife, but it doesn't really offer me anything that a dozen or so of different knives I own can do better.

I think Top's designs have "mellowed" off in a good way over the years. Much more utilitarian designs, rather than aggressive styling. I think they've adapted more towards the user.
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Re: Teach me on TOPS KNIVES- review, recommendation etc...

Post by maine1 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:42 pm

Absolutely, Sword! I use all my knives pretty hard, especially the ones i make.

the only knife that i don't use AS hard is my Bagwell Helles Belle- not because it CAN'T, but because i like to preserve it for more refined uses.

I'm pretty suspect of those who say they are doing things with thier gear..yet it all looks brandy new, with no character. IMO, blades in particular, need to be old and trusted freinds that have been with you over hill and dale.

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