Don't worry about all that edge talk. A good convex edge on that beast is all you need. Also its not an ontario. Its TOPS.
-awaiting heat treat info
But it still cuts anyway
Last edited by Joezilla; 10-05-2012 at 11:57 AM.
I'm curious about this HT stuff as well. Joe did design it with Tops, so I reckon I can take his word. Mist also said he didn't believe it was a stock Ontario HT after comparing it to his Ontario machetes. This darn thing is really becoming attractive. Tops, DO IT IN EARTH TONES!!!!!!!!The gray with black sheath is very pleasant, but gives it an urban combat, "I am legend" type blade look. Whatever it's lineage, it's a good looker and appears to perform well. Maybe they'll even make a 12" compact version. Wouldn't have the utility, but would be sweet with this tough steel and handle. Thanks again everyone for the info and reviews.
I trust ya', Joe, but I'll be pretty dang surprised to find it's not an upscaled Ontario or that Servotronics isn't involved in "supply chain logistics" at all. I literally laid a .230 on top of an 18" Ontario and the .230 fit perfectly within the outline of the 18" OKC including the shape of the end of the handle and the shortening of the "tail" to eliminate where the rivet hole would normally be. Same goes for the unusual tip geometry which strikes me as an easily machined "fix" for the rounded tip commonly found on factory Ontarios. The handle on the TOPS simply extends up to cover the ricasso area prior to where the primary grind on the Ontario begins. It wouldn't be the first time that a OKC machete blank was rebranded or upscaled either. Not only is there the Bark River, but there's the yellow handled rebranded Moore Maker which is just an Ontario with different scale coloration and brand stamping. It all just adds up to me. Now the bulk of the work being done by TOPS I can easily believe. But forgive me if I suspect that the blanks are provided by Ontario.
Last edited by FortyTwoBlades; 10-05-2012 at 05:30 PM.
42, your last statement could account for the confusion.
Perhaps they DO simply buy blanks, un-heat treated, from Ontario, then get to work on em. That would certainly account for the identical width, length, and shape, while giving Tops and opportunity to refine it with their own heat treatment
Speaking of the Bark River, can anyone compare this to one of them? You guys have me about ready to sell all my other machetes and buy one of these.
“When men speak ill of thee, live so that nobody will believe them.” - Plato
We need some pics of that newly durocoated chete. As for the OKC connection, it's niether here nor there, really. As long as it performs as advertised, and it appears to do just that and well. The cost is a bit high, but not really when you think about it. The base OKC 18" (assuming that is the starting point) seems to run $35 or so from what I see. Micarta from from ESEE or Becker runs $30ish. Yes, I know it's for different knives, I just use that as a price for finished micarta handles. We're about $65 already. As this machete runs about $90 online, I can safely say the powder coating, superior to OKC sharpening, and reportedly very nice sheath are worth the other $25. Not to mention this micarta is custom fitted and extra long for added utililty. If a heavy duty machete is what you need/want, it actually seems to be a pretty good deal. You see, it's really not hard once you've mastered the art of convincing yourself that something you really don't need is actually a must have item If only friction fire skills were as easily acquired from Blade Forums as purchase justification skills! Thanks again for all the info guys. Take care.
This thread is really great; interesting, informative, and fun! What a reservoir of knowledge and experience there is on Bladeforums.
Be interested to hear more about the HT issue, one way or another.
Great stuff guys
Mist, I was just making a joke about how hard it can be to pick up a skill over the net, except the purchase justification skill
see, i just got this new backpack, and none of my knives quite fit it perfectly... i think i need a new knife so the balance will be right
but then, it's going to need a really good flashlight... i mean i have really good flashlights, but i need to keep those in the utility drawer incase the power goes out, so i should get a new one.
and i could probably use another set of walkies... you need one for every pack right?
yeah, i know how it goes brother
I don't think the edge needs to be convexed at all. It's great as is. I havent convexed mine (yet) and it cuts like a champ. As far as the Ontario comparisons, who cares, gitu loh? Judge it on it's own merits. So what if it's an Ontario blank, it's an great piece and will serve well in whatever situation u throw it at.
I've been waiting for better weather to get some outdoor pics, oh well. So, here's a few shots with the TOPS, the Bark River/Ontario, an 18" Ontario and my 12" just for comparison. Not sure how to take better pics of the edges, lighting and focus seem to be issues, and the Bark River is so shiny the edge just disappears.
There's obvious differences in the TOPS and the Barkie, size, handle, lack of coating, and the sheaths. The weight and balance of the Barkie is even better than my 12" Ontario, it's very lively. Bark River thinned down the entire blade, as well as making the edge very very thin. The handle is shorter, than the TOPS, but it also has a palm swell that feels like a bushcraft knife handle. It's a fantastic handle, and it's the sharpest machete I've ever seen, or held. I though Andy's Fiddleback's were sharp, but the convex edge of the Barkie is just crazy thin.
TOPS has done a fantastic job, even if it is an Ontario, that's a great place to start, tha's not a bad thing. The TOPS is still a heavy duty machete, and using it on light grasses and such is overkill. Like my stock 18", the length and weight will become an issue when you have to stop the machete after each swing. It can wear out your wrist and forearm. Yet, if you use it for heavier tasks, they are great. I'm finding the TOPS to be less heavy out at the tip, with some material taken away, also I can choke up with the longer handle, that's nice. So, it's not as unweildy as the stock Ontario, but yet it retains that Heavy Duty feel. I'd go to war with the TOPS, well against Zombies.
I haven't used my TOPS much yet, but I'm loving the handle, it's thin but comfortable. Mine came sharp, but like all TOPS, it is still a thicker edge than I like. I've spent lots of time thinning the edges of two Ontario's, by hand with a file and sandpaper. It pays off, they bite deeper in wood, and still retain strength and durability. At some point I will thin the TOPS down, maybe after I get myself a Kalamazoo?
Here's some pics....all four and one with the TOPS laying on the stock Ontario 18".
Machete edge Pisctures 006.jpgMachete edge Pisctures 001.jpg
An attemp to get the edges, you can see the handles to tell which is which...in the horizontal pic, from top down is..my edge on the 12", the Barkie in the middle, and the TOPS on bottom. That pic is magnified, so the TOPS looks really thick, yet the Barkie still looks ultra thin.
Machete edge Pisctures 008.jpgMachete edge Pisctures 003.jpgMachete edge Pisctures 004.jpg
I think you'll find that the reason why the TOPS feels less tip-heavy than the standard Ontario is that the micarta is a heavy handle material that shifts the balance back. Great machete, and I'm glad you're enjoying it! Extending the handle made a lot of sense, given that the ricasso on the stock model is just "wasted space" so converting it to handle space makes choking up much more comfortable, as you noted.
As others have said, there's absolutely nothing negative about it being a rebuilt Ontario. They started with a quality base product that they then reworked into a heavily re-imagined and improved tool that's still a good value.
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