Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by DPris, Oct 20, 2018.
What's wrong with 'em?
I have several, not a thing wrong with mine.
My main user is made by tops the tops BOB It has yet to fail. They make a good usable product.
I have never heard or read a complaint.
I have a BOB that I love & use it as a loaner (a lot). It's like the old Timex watches, Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin.
+1 on the TOPS BoB, I have beat the heck out of it, it takes a good edge and is comfortable in my hand. I keep it in my truck all the time.
Why would there be anything wrong with them?
Not sure what prompted the query.
Usually the question is geared towards listing the desirable attributes instead of negatives.
Nothing, I have Trackers, BOB's and have used several others over the years.
My only issue is they are a little thick. For some people this a good thing, though. I have the Quick skin but I have contemplated getting the bird and trout knife.
I like Tops, I have a Silent Hero which has been great for me. My main complaint with Tops is that I think they tend towards funky shaped handles. Note: the BOB is super popular and has a normal handle.
nothing wrong with them... people all have their preferences... some will tell you all you *need* is a mora and nothing else .... others prefer other knives. Find what you like and use it!
I own at least a dozen TOPS knives. Admittedly though, most of mine might be considered a little 'quirky' to others...Trackers, ATAX, Black Rhino, Smoke Jumper, TFK, D.A.R.T, MSK's...yep, I like 'em different!
All built like tanks and tough as all get out!
Edit: I left out another one of 'quirky' blades...the Defender Stryker. Honestly, this one kicks backside as a defensive tool!
Quirky is great. I like that they have reached out to relative unknowns for a quirky design. I'll probably never own an ATAX but, I will always admire Ron Hood and his designs that were picked up by Tops and Buck. The Tops BOB is also a knife that I highly admire but cannot justify the funds for a knife in that size.
I won a HOG 4.5 on here last year. I haven't gotten to use it a lot due to life getting in the way/ health issues but with that being stated it it a wonderful knife. The craftsmanship is excellent along with the fit and finish. No complaints here.
They're deliberately over-engineered. Some people like that, some do not. The biggest complaint I hear about the knives themselves is they tend to be too thick, which is an example of that over-engineering. While on the flip side they get criticism for their sheaths, that they're not up to the same standard.
Personally I like them but recognize the criticisms. I have three at the moment, on two of them I notice the thickness but it doesn't really get in my way. The sheaths were bad; for my BoB I got their upgraded leather dangler and it's been great and then I had a custom leather sheath made for another one. But the knives are very well constructed and durable, they're something you can rely on when things get more demanding.
So again, I like them, but I'm not sold on them fanatically. I likely will buy more TOPS. But I for sure will also buy more knives from other makers, too.
I've owned a couple of BOB's and a Dragonfly. They're good knives - nothing at all "wrong" with them, except that they are horribly overpriced for what they are imo. I will say that as my skills have progressed, my taste in knives has changed along the way as well. I prefer thinner blades now....
Having said all of that, everyone has to find what works for them. That's a trial and error process that everyone has to figure out on their own. All the rest of us can do is share our experiences and opinions as a potential guide, but ultimately we all have to figure it out for ourselves.
So.....biggest criticism is price, looks like.
I started appreciating individually crafted knives awhile ago.
The first one I got my hands on was my @S.Gossman tusker companion. I just don't see myself spending $100+ on a machine made mass produced knife when I can get an individually crafted knife with "soul" from a great American and fellow outdoorsman for 1-2x more.
So, nothing wrong with Tops knives, they're just not for me.
Tops makes excellent knives. My ONLY complaint is their giant painful jimping on their spines. Seriously has to go!!
If you haven't seen this already, here's a factory tour / marketing video for TOPS. Granted there's a lot of CNC there but there's also a lot of hands-on steps, made in USA.
I've looked at a BOB and the grind was simply too thick for me. No reason to have a grind that thick on a bushcraft knife. Others may be okay with that but I am not. Same issue as with the Jaakaripuukko 110. I don't enjoy pushing a 30+ angle through wood.
usually such threads are to inspire bashing.
personally, have never experienced one, aside from photos of most the "quirky" knives geared to Rambo wannabeez, which is a huge turn off to me, especially all the stenciling of skulls, death's heads, pointy doo-dads for crushing various bones and etc...
BUT, that goes for me across the board, no matter who the maker...
For this one constant knife buyer, all they have done is make sure that I never tried a blessed one, with that marketing approach.
I could list at least a doz more makers, and of knives going for $500-$2000, who will never see a dime of my business with such marketing "military/hard core (sorta)" to the those who never saw the elephant and have no plans to, either...they sell Walter Mitty to the masses...
I've owned a number of Tops knives over the years. I think the HOG is best knife Tops makes in it's class and one of the best production general purpose knives you can buy.
The Brakimo is my second favorite knife. Never had an issue with it. I'd love to try out a tracker one day but I'm scared to drop the coin on something I may not like.
OK, so nobody likes the brand.
Tops is my favorite brand, hands down.
Here's one on eBay for $100 not sure if it is the T1 or T2
The TOPS knives I have that I can think of off the top of my head are as follows.
3 Brothers of Bushcraft (BOB) One is heavily modded., removed the Shango notch and exposed pommel, created a finger choil, reshaped the blade to be a drop point, and thinned the edge so it slices better.
The Dragonfly, Scandi Trekker, MSK 2.5, Pasayton Lite Traveler, and Tanimboca Puukko.
The spine thickness on the BOB knives is roughly 3/16" All others the spine thickness is around 1/8" All the knives are made out of 1095 except for the Pasayton which is 154cm.
I don't view any of them as being overbuilt. All of the TOPS knives I own are very capable bushcraft knives and wouldn't hesitate recommending any one of them.
My first bushcrafty type knife was the TOPS BOB.I beat it,I put it to the test and hadn't had any problems with it.I like it,it's a decent knife.The part at the top of the handle that's supposedly meant to strike a ferro rod is the only drawback,it's too thick.Not much more I can say.
FRom left to right 1.J Marttiini puukko,2 the Condor Norse Dragon,3.TOPS BOB,4 and Cudeman MT5(which is next to my TOPS BOB,my most two carried knives)
for me mostly price but also i think they have too many models most of which i find unattractive but they are said to be good blades i want a couple mostly first a mohawk hunter
I dont think there is anything wrong with them. I do think they have alot of gimmicks in names for knives but hey what do I know lol!
I've had a Bob, and a couple others that I found to be a little thick but decently well made.
Been looking at the Tops Viper Scout again lately.
Thinking of removing the coating on blade, leaving it on under scales, and using it as a general utility / camp knife. Looks like a good slicer + thin stock as well.
I have several. Very good quality and fit & finish. A tad overpriced IMO but arguably worth it.
As the designer of the HOG I appreciate your comment, thank you.
I have and had a bunch of Tops knives over the years. They never let me down and trust my life to them as one is kept on my work vest.
@Norseman That HOG looks very useful and most likely will be added for an EDC for me. Great design!
“HOG, short for Hunter of Gunmen, is a name earned by a certified US Marine Scout Sniper and HOG's are force multipliers. The TOPS Knives HOG 4.5 is a design from GySgt Dave (Norseman) Williams that was years in the making. It features a number of important details that make it an impressive field knife. Starting with the most obvious, there's an over-sized lanyard hole that was created to fit a standard issue carabiner, which allows the user to attach to gear instead of putting the knife on the ground while preparing game or anything else. The hole has since been shown to be useful in many unforeseen activities like adding leverage, breaking bones, and as a handle extension. The HOG handle is contoured in a way to minimize hot spots and ensure proper grip. Additionally, the blade tip lines up with the center of the handle to optimize awareness while otherwise cutting blind. You'll find the HOG is neither unwieldy, nor petite. It is an excellent all-around knife for the field and comes with a sheath”
I like the looks of it. Doesn't appear to be stupid thick right behind the edge like the BOB.
It is a good compromise, that's the best you can hope for when designing a knife. Gotta think about the primary use and where you are willing to compromise. It is all a balancing act. I would like the fieldcraft (BOB) a lot more if it didn't have the chango notch or whatever it's called, and if it were 1/8 in with that grind. I think that would make it a lot more functional for it's intended purpose....maybe I'll build myself one and test the theory.
The BOB ended up with effectively a near 45° edge angle. If they just took the faux scandi a bit further so that the width behind the edge was around 0.030" thick it would be a whole lot better knife. Convex the secondary bevel and you are golden.
Right now, I kind of have the Hots for the Tanimboca.
Looks like it would ring a lot of bells.
Tops and ESEE have pretty much been my go to brands for the last few years.
I’ll admit that I kind of like the TB Tracker 3. I might also prefer it in 1095 - which a lot of guys in the Tracker discussions would like to see. I have a Benchmade folder in 154CM and it’s been a great, durable steel - but I don’t know how well it does on chopping type use.
If you have Instagram then you should give the designer a follow. The knives he makes in the jungle look amazing.