I know there have been several threads on this knife. I simply wanted to do a simple review for you guys who have not tried it or maybe considering it. I had read about it at various places, but when I was at the Hardwoodsman meet I got to handle one. Thanks One Legged Josh, you cost me $111.90. After playing with it I definitely wanted to add it to my collection of blades.
First off I searched around for the best price on this knife and found it to be here. $103.95 + $7.95 for shipping
I ordered it on a Wednesday night and it was at my door on Saturday morning. This was the first time I have ordered from them and I can definitely say I will shop there again.
The blade is very sharp right out of the box. I am pleased with the quality, but I am not surprised as every TOPS product I have has been of great quality. The notch that is cut into the pommel for the fire steel works pretty well. It does not work as well as a awl on the Swiss Farmer, but much better than the scrapers that come on most steels. The fire-steel that comes with it I do not like as well as my "Lite My Fire- Army" steel. This is not a deal breaker as my LMF steel fits the sheath just fine, so no biggie.
This weekend I did a quick over night campout at our family farm. I used the knife for making split wood prep for my Emberlit stove, as well as feather sticks. After doing the prep to boil tea, and make bannock, it was still sharp enough to slice paper and shave the hair on my arm.
I haven't had a chance to try out the bow drill socket on the handle, but will give that a try soon. I will report back on its success or failure.
Here are a few pics from today:
My verdict so far is that for under $125, I don't think you can go wrong. Don't get me wrong it is no handcrafted custom knife, but it is a great knife for the money. If you are on a budget, I think that you would be happy with this knife. It will not be replacing my Tracker, but it definitely has its place in my kit!
I will report back on edge retention, ease of sharpening, and how the bow drill socket works! Thanks for reading!