Trying out a SNAP Card from TOPS Knives?

Discussion in '5col Survival Supply' started by andy.t, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I grabbed a SNAP Card (knife) from TOPS Knives. It's a fairly unique design, with maybe a little bit of Ulu or ATAX influence (not sure if ATAX or SNAP came first). One of the original intentions was for this knife to fit in an Altoids-size tin, since those were all the rage for survival kits. The designer--Norseman from Survival Hardware--did a nice job in that regard, absolutely maximizing the amount of cutting edge you get for your money. Thinking outside the box about a tool that goes inside the box, so to speak. It's made from 1095 carbon steel with a cerakote finish. Edge is a sort of double reverse chisel grind with two edges and a 90 degree radius corner.

    So, all that said, what kind of tasks do you think I should use to try this design out? Batoning is probably out unless I get innovative.

    IMG_2579.jpg IMG_2581.jpg
     
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  2. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    I'd like to see it whittle up a handle, then do some typical shelter and fire stuff, like it would be doing with the intended kit in the tin.
     
  3. Huey

    Huey The Lurker Supporter

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  4. Bush Billy

    Bush Billy Supporter Supporter

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    I think the first task would be to see if you can get it through airport security.
     
  5. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    A one stick fire would likely be little challenge. I think making a axe like tool lashing to o a pole would be interesting.
     
  6. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    Looking online Smoky Mountain Knife works has the for half the price of others if anyone is interested.
     
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  7. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Supporter Supporter

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    You could easily baton with it if the wood is 1 - 1.5 inches in diameter. Try a Mors try stick.
     
  8. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Supporter Supporter

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    Seems like it would make a decent hawk head. Shelter, fire prep, maybe clean small fish.
     
  9. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Supporter Supporter

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    Maybe use it like edged brass knuckles and punch a bear to evaluate for animal-defense potential.
     
  10. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Has anyone here seen any handle ideas or suggestions about the holes and notches in the knife? Also... 100 bucks?

    65 on Amazon
     
  11. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Supporter Supporter

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    These might help - https://survivology101.blogspot.com/2014/05/tops-knives-norseman-snap-kit.html . I think Norseman has a video showing how to use it. I contacted him to find out if he does

    Here's a review by someone else -


    Full disclosure - I've known Norseman many years. We were both on the Hoods Woods Forum with Ron Hood.
     
  12. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    This is the first reasonable suggestion in this thread. I'm headed to the zoo. Will let you know how it goes.
     
  13. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Red Hill Sheaths posted a video 5 years ago showing a kydex sheath they made that can also be used as a handle for the SNAP knife:

     
  14. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I decided to dive right into the bushcraft this morning and use the SNAP to break down some boxes. First impression: it is shocking how natural this knife feels in my hand. I can't stress enough how good the ergonomics are. Like maybe this becomes my EDC knife instead of the old RAT 1.

    Second impression: It needs a sheath or cover of some type so that I can easily take it with me. Using the materials at hand (SNAP, cardboard, and 100mph tape), I slapped together a quick cover for it. The factory edge is not so great, so I got out the Worksharp.

    IMG_2583.jpg

    The way the SNAP is designed, it doesn't really lend itself to the angle guides on the Worksharp. I colored the edge with a Sharpie to try and make sure I kept it even.

    IMG_2584.jpg

    You can see here that I'm not hitting the center of the cutting edge.

    IMG_2586.jpg

    And that's because the SNAP came from the factory with a concave cutting edge.

    IMG_2587.jpg

    Both edges came that way, actually.

    IMG_2588.jpg

    I'm not the best knife sharpener in the world, so I'm getting a little bogged down trying to touch up the edge on this guy. I will endeavor to persevere so that I can get on to some fun stuff.

    My first thought was that project #1 would be to put a handle on it, but I like it so much without a handle that I may skip that. Probably project 1 will be to make some feather sticks and start a fire so that I can burn up some scrap wood out back. Maybe later I'll get a chicken for the grill and can use the SNAP for that, as well. Doesn't really seem like the right tool for batoning, but maybe I'll see if I can drive it through one of the little saplings out back.

    Obviously it throws sparks from a ferro rod just fine. I'm using the back corner of the secondary edge for that; the only uncoated part of the SNAP is the actual cutting edge.
     
  15. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Supporter Supporter

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    If you haven't made it to the zoo yet, just an FYI, try not to hit the bear in the teeth. It will just ding the edge up really bad.

    Seriously, I'm not sure why I am so interested, but this seems like a cool little tool. Watching with interest.
     
  16. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Supporter Supporter

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    Norseman's reply to my text -

    "Thanks for letting me know, I read all the posts. I cant reply because my account is not found. Maybe the admins deleted me for some reason, I got a notice about that. If you can let them know it was DEFINATELY influenced by the atax as Ron was a good friend and personal mentor. It takes a little getting used to but it it will provide enough edge tool to keep you productive for a few uncomfortable nights. I designed it have a pocket kit because I'm not a fan of bringing a ton of emergency kit everytime I go to the field but you will rarely catch me in the wilderness without one. If anyone has any specific questions they can always contact me."
     
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  17. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    @Bob_Spr thanks for getting @Norseman to chime in!

    So here's where I'm at so far--after a little inexpert fumbling around, I got a pretty good edge on the SNAP. Yesterday I took it out in the heat and humidity and used it to feather some punky little branches I pulled down. Also found some dry Old Man's Beard and was able to use those with the feather sticks to get my fire going, despite everything being so damp.

    The SNAP is very easy to use. If it was easy to deploy (pocket-wise or sheath-wise), I would use this for everything. Here's the thing--when I'm working, I can hold this on my fingers like brass knuckles. That means I can make a cut, then open my fist and immediately have both hands available to work with. When it's time to make another cut, I just close my fist again. No more setting my knife down somewhere, then picking it up again; no more folding it up and sticking it in my pocket. I just need a better sheath than this cardboard one I improvised, and a better way to carry that sheath. Sure I'm headed down a different path than the original intent, but this is a good tool and I like using it.

    Anyway, that's all the progress I made yesterday. After I got the fire going, I got busy working in the yard and ran out of daylight.

    IMG_2590.jpg
     
  18. beestokk

    beestokk Supporter Supporter

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    Can you describe the modified/asymmetrical chisel grind further? Is it just a larger grind on one side than the other?
     
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  19. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hey @andy.t are you going to carry these?
     
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  20. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    It's possible. I talked with a guy from TOPS about it a few years ago. TOPS sells it as part of a kit, but I'm most interested in the knife itself. I also bought their Hoffman Harpoon to try out. That ...knife... also comes with some knick-knacks attached to it, but I'm really only interested in the knife itself. Also, TOPS makes a knife called the Tom Brown Tracker that no one in the Bushcraft world has ever heard of. So there are some reasons for us to get connected with them.

    @beestokk see attached pic of the grind. Norseman describes it as "modified chisel" and I added in "asymmetrical" because, well, I'm not wrong am I? Bear in mind that this grind also turns a 90 degree radius and keeps going.

    There's a little crud on the blade right this minute because I keep using it to open packages and break down boxes. Which is to say that this little last-ditch knife is now my primary work slicer. It's not totally perfect but I just like it.

    IMG_2599.jpg
     
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  21. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    A witty salesman would say "That's so most of the primary edges don't contact the sides of an Altoids tin to dull it." ;)
     
  22. beestokk

    beestokk Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you!
     
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  23. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Let's call it a "tamper-proof factory edge." Designed to keep inept knife sharpeners like me from messing it up with our limited ability.
     
  24. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    An edge like that is a design element. Could be cheaper to manufacture, or simpler to sharpen, or cuts a different way (like a kiridashi).

    It would be interesting to know the designer's intentions.

    I have almost too many knives but would like to try a Scandi Trekker, BOB, HOG or SNAP card. Maybe even a mid sized tracker. I might pick up a SNAP even if I had to buy the kit. ;)
     
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  25. Tyrthek

    Tyrthek Tracker

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    I just picked up the last one they had in stock! I assume they were trying to clear out.

    35 dollars for the knife and a new Fresnel lense is worth it (shipping was 8 dollars, but I knocked off 3.50 by signing up to the sight. We'll see if it's a good deal!

    I may bust out the Naniwa stones to regrind the edge! But it is a compelling little knife for a light weight (and pretty much legal anywhere since it doesn't have a tip, and is one single running edge) fixed blade alternative
     
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  26. beestokk

    beestokk Supporter Supporter

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    Nice snag! Great price for checking it out.
     
  27. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce MOA #65 Supporter

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    This is the one card sized tool I wouldn't mind having.

    Here is Norsman's blog post showing some of the uses.
    http://survivology101.blogspot.com/2014/05/tops-knives-norseman-snap-kit.html

    I've always thought it looked like a fun tool to have.
    For me not so much a survival tool, but a pocket woodworking tool.
    Using the hole for a branch handle seems like a very usefull way to use it.

    I'd sure like a knife only without the extra survival kit junk.
     
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  28. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    If we sold the SNAP, we would be interested in selling it with jus the tin and no extra pieces.
     
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  29. beestokk

    beestokk Supporter Supporter

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    I'd be interested in that! Good luck!
     
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  30. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    I have a SNAP, rides my haversack that is my daily carry to work. Small, unobtrusive, there if I need it........
     
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  31. beestokk

    beestokk Supporter Supporter

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    @andy.t - this looking likely to be an item added to 5col, or just spitballin at this time?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  32. Tyrthek

    Tyrthek Tracker

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    How has it performed for you?
     
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  33. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    You know it's one of those stash it and forget it things........looks like it could use some edge work though......
     
  34. jsbrend

    jsbrend Scout

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    I think it would be educational to see what @field-expedient would to to mod and use this tool based on what hes done with other card shaped blades.
     
  35. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Supporter Supporter

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    Interested...
     
  36. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Supporter Bushclass II

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    Thank you very much! I would like to try one but too rich for my blood.
     
  37. Tyrthek

    Tyrthek Tracker

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    I'll be using mine when I go gathering with my brother, the whole thing has good potential there. Back bottom area for digging, edge for cutting mushrooms, etc

    After I properly redo the edge of course. I'll post pics of what it after I decide if it needs a reprofile when it gets here tomorrow
     
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  38. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Andy if you get them in stock, kit or no kit, I will take one.
     
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  39. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Right! This is supposed to be on my A list of priorities. I will try to gain some ground on this tomorrow.
     
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