Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 86

Thread: Updated Again: Tops .230 Machete review. Now VERY pic heavy

  1. #61

    ADVERTISEMENT
    Quote Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
    BUY ONE!! i promise you won't be disappointed. It's expensive as all getout, but then, it's the kind of thing that you only need one of. I doubt you'll find a better machete in any price range.
    That's the nice thing--it's only "expensive as all get out" for a machete. Compare that to a lot of production micarta-handled chopping knives and the price suddenly doesn't seem too unreasonable.


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

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sparta, NC
    Posts
    4,301
    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.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Austin Tx
    Posts
    4,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Joezilla View Post
    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. Heat treat and everything are different.
    Please provide references for this. I was under the exact opposite impression. From what i've been able to find out, they do not re-HT the blade after modification

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Western NY State BH#103
    Posts
    3,736
    Quote Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
    Please provide references for this. I was under the exact opposite impression. From what i've been able to find out, they do not re-HT the blade after modification



    I thought this as well.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    1,038
    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.

  6. #66
    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.


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

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Austin Tx
    Posts
    4,371
    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

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    2,610
    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.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Middle Of Nowhere, Rural Michigan
    Posts
    12,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Joezilla View Post
    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
    Yep, just camo duracoated mine, and though I have no complaints about it's cutting ability I am about to convex the grind on Monday just because I'll be cleaning up the grind after the new paint job anyway, and it will likely be dealing with more hardwood than anything else in my neck of the woods. Glad to hear that. Not that I had any worries if it were an Ontario blank, work gets farmed out between companies all the time because it is simply more efficient and cost effective and the economy is still tight. Still makes it 100% US made. I was pretty sure that even if it were an OKC blank that because of all the mods it would have TOPS' heat treat and that was the important issue for me.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    1,038
    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.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by jdk1 View Post
    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.
    Bingo, dude. If anything I consider the (almost impossible to me for it not to be the case) Ontario connection to be a PLUS since their machetes have a sterling reputation for being "diamonds in the rough." The foundation is laid for it to be a top-notch high-performance tool but simply requires extra elbow grease to get it there (like most machetes) and so the TOPS customization is basically taking that foundation and building a fortress on top of it. Rock solid. And TOPS owns that, for sure. I don't think that anyone really considers the Barkies to still be Ontarios, for instance. Far more work is done by the final company in the chain than the first. Blanks are just as much a raw material as micarta slabs are when they're finished out to that extent.


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

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    9,676
    Quote Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
    neat fact... if you take a box and roll it up TIGHT until it's a cylinder 11 layers thick (that's about 6" across), then secure it firmly to you dining room chair with duct tape, the .230 with a convexed edge will cut smoothly through it with absolutely no trouble, and your wife will look at you like you are totally insane


    Quote Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
    Without further ado, i present you with the Tops .230 Mora Edition
    That looks absolutely awesome.

    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

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Middle Of Nowhere, Rural Michigan
    Posts
    12,126
    Quote Originally Posted by jdk1 View Post
    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.
    Several of us have done posts on friction fire, which technique are you looking for info on?
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    1,038
    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

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Austin Tx
    Posts
    4,371
    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

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bourbon County, KY
    Posts
    2,690
    Quote Originally Posted by MVF View Post
    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.
    I own the 2nd version of the Barktario, and now have a TOPS Machete on order. Soon I can do a few comparison shots, I'll even throw in an Ontario 12" and 18" just for the sake of size and edge comparisons.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by foxx View Post
    I own the 2nd version of the Barktario, and now have a TOPS Machete on order. Soon I can do a few comparison shots, I'll even throw in an Ontario 12" and 18" just for the sake of size and edge comparisons.
    When you do get the TOPS first thing you should do is lay it down on top of the Ontario 18". You'll see just what I mean--the one fits perfectly inside the shape of the other.

    Great machete--you're gonna' love it.


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

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The mean streets
    Posts
    595
    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.

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bourbon County, KY
    Posts
    2,690
    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

  20. #80
    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.


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

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •