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Thread: TOPS Lite Trekker

  1. #1
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    TOPS Lite Trekker


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    Back in June I saw the prototypes of a new lightweight TOPS knife at Blade that caught my eye. It had a 1/8 inch thick drop-point blade, a full flat grind, a full handle, and is a collaborative work between our Joezilla and Leo Espinosa of TOPS.. They finally hit the market back in September and I put in the order so I could check it out myself.





    Specs from the TOPS website

    O/A Length:............................8 3/4"
    Blade Length:.........................4 1/4"
    Thickness:...............................1/8"
    Steel:.......................................1095 High Carbon RC 56-58
    Handle:................................... Tan Canvas Micarta
    Blade Color:............................Black Traction Coating
    Handle Color:..........................Sheath: Kydex w/Firestarter and Piggyback
    Weight:....................................5.0oz
    Weight w/Sheath:....................7.7oz
    Designed by:...........................Leo Espinoza & Joe Flowers



    The knife comes with the piggy-back carrier for the TOPS emergency fire starter and that's pretty cool. The fire starter is two magnesium rods and a ferro rod press-fit into an aluminum cap.






    At 5 0z the knife is lightweight, but full sized and fells pretty good in the hand.






    The tapered handle doesn't have any heavy features or contouring so it is comfortable in overhand and underhand grips, as well as in a pinch grip and the odd reversed pinch grip used in the chest lever technique.














    I like how it has a full flat grind without the plunge cutting into the spine






    The blade angles down from the handle slightly with a short straight area right in front of the handle and then a continuous curve to the tip.






    I haven't done a lot of carving with it yet, but a little here and there and it handles well.










    I've done a bit of whittling with it to make feather sticks for fire starting. It came with a really sharp edge and it's easy to control.










    Since it comes with the TOPS emergency fire starter I thought I'd put it to use and whittle a little pile of magnesium shavings for a first stage tinder, this can come in handy in high humidity conditions. That's a common issue here, but not really a problem the last couple of weeks...as you can tell by the blaze produced by the dry wood.




















    The knife has an area on the spine that has been squared for sparking the ferro rod. The one I have doesn't really spark the rod all that well yet, but I am sure it will once I scrape some of the coating off right at the sparking area and clean the corner up. I'm pretty sure it's the coating on the side of the corner impeding sparking and that's an easy issue to fix.






    While the fire settled down I whittled a little forked stick and then sliced up some smoked sausage and white cheddar for a quick lunch. With the thin blade and high grind the knife slices really well. The sharp edge even made quick work of the rolls without me squishing the soft bread.




















    I really haven't beaten on it yet, but all in all I like the knife. I like it better than some other 1/8” steel knives I have just for the full 1/8 thickness and a plunge that doesn't cut into the spine, and the full sized handle is a plus. It's so light that I have worn it for hours forgetting it was even there until I needed to cut something.

    .
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  2. #2
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    Love to read your reviews, this knife has been on my radar for a bit and it's good to hear it performs well.

  3. #3
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    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoy them. The knife itself performs very well. The only issue is the coating on the side of the striker that impedes sparking. I'll fix that with a razor knife and then edit the photos of that into this post later on.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  4. #4
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    Just to add this in, I wrote the guys at TOPS and mentioned the issue I ran into with the sparking edge and how I fixed mine. They informed me that they had already discovered that issue and implemented a fix in house.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  5. #5
    Nice. I'm really excited about this one.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    Nice. I'm really excited about this one.
    Me too. Mostly I'm happy with over-built heavier blades. But for all of the people that read my reviews and always say they like TOPS, but their blades are too thick and edges too obtuse that this one would be a good one to review. It's not their first full flat grind, and not even their thinnest I believe, just the newest one. Plus I happen to Like both Leo and Joe and make a point of looking at things through the perspectives of others when I get the chance. It's light, but a good size and definitely very functional.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  7. #7
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    If my mind wasn't made up about buying a certain knife right now, I'd order this. It looks great. Maybe that's just the hunger in my stomach talking, but either way...

    Thanks for the write up bro.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGame View Post
    If my mind wasn't made up about buying a certain knife right now, I'd order this. It looks great. Maybe that's just the hunger in my stomach talking, but either way...

    Thanks for the write up bro.
    Thanks Dale, it handles great too. I thought you were into bigger blades anyway.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistwalker View Post
    Thanks Dale, it handles great too. I thought you were into bigger blades anyway.
    Oh, I like them all, with a slight preference to the bigger blades There is a lot of smaller blades I like, too. Especially around the house and indoors.

  10. #10
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    Nice knife, and an enjoyable review as always How's the sheath, any rattle?

  11. #11
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    That sammich made me seriously hungry

  12. #12
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    Well done and excellent pics. Thanks

  13. #13
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    Aug 2011
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    Been eyeballing one of these, thanks for the review. Nice to see some pics other than the catalog pics.

  14. #14
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    Nice review as always. I like the looks of that knife.

  15. #15
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    I liked this knife when I first saw it. Like it even more now, Good review. It's now my top TOPS knife.

  16. #16
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    As always, a thoughtful review. Thanks!
    Frank R

    ... Still looking for a vorpal blade.
    (op cit Lewis Carroll)

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  17. #17
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    Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGame View Post
    Oh, I like them all, with a slight preference to the bigger blades There is a lot of smaller blades I like, too. Especially around the house and indoors.
    I know what you mean, same here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Black View Post
    Nice knife, and an enjoyable review as always How's the sheath, any rattle?
    Thanks. Actually there is just a slight rattle in this one, which is unusual in their kydex sheaths for the larger full sized knives in my experiences. It's not bad enough to bother me, I just noted that it was there.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  18. #18
    Hi I like it.
    One question, is handel skeleton type or not?
    Please can you show some piics without micarta handel? thanks

  19. #19
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    nice review,,im liking this tops model now , time to add it too my loooong wish list lol

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