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TOPS Power Eagle 12

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by mistwalker, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I looked closely at the TOPS Power Eagle 12 when I was at the 2010 International Blade Show in Atlanta this past June. Even though I really liked the looks of the design a lot, I really didn't have the money to spare at that time...it took me a few months to get one, but I still managed to get it at the current introductory price. I have had it for a month or so now and have put it through some paces.

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    The specs are:

    O/A Length:......17 5/8"
    Blade Length:....12"
    Thickness:.......1/4"
    Steel:...........51-60 Spring Steel
    Handle:..........Tan Canvas Micarta
    Blade Color:.....Black Traction Coating
    Sheath:..........Nylon
    Weight:..........1.6 lbs
    With sheath:.....2.0 lbs
    Designed by:.....Leo Espinoza






    The knife has a full, contoured, tapered handle with a bird's beak pommel, that is actually pretty darn comfortable as far as machete handles go. That was a pleasant surprise for me.

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    The handle has a pre-made lanyard they wraps around the back of the hand, I found this is even useful in a rearward grip if you are just used to that wrist action.

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    There is a nice unsharpened area in front of the guard that can be used for added traction during extrication, or for choking up on when whittling fuzz sticks...which by the way it does pretty darn well for such a large knife, it came with a great edge.

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    The balance point is about 2 inches forward of the handle. So even though it is blade heavy as a chopper should be the balance isn't uncomfortable when it's employed in a knife role.

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    End part 1 of 5

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    The sheath is a "molle-back" sheath that work with molle or pals webbing, it has eyelets for multiple attachment points, as as often with TOPS' sheaths it has eyelets that also serve as a secondary or alternative retention point.

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    Being as the knife is obviously designed primarily as a chopper I have done a lot of just that. And since it is 5160 spring steel which is known for it's toughness and edge retention I have mostly been chopping in some very hard woods, and periodically stopping to check the edge.

    I'm really not sure what type of wood this is...maybe maple...but It is a very hard wood that I have used to test more than one edge on.

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    But even after a few minutes spent making a deep notch in it the edge was still doing fine.

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    Then I set into a nice hard Dogwood tree, a recent victim of the blight, which it handled with ease.

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    Next up was some seasoned Hickory. It severed some one inch thick limbs easily in one quick cut on the bias, and using the hickory log for a chipping block easily chopped them in two cross-grain as well.

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    end part 2 of 5

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  3. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    and even after multiple cuts through larger seasoned Hickory limbs the edge was still doing very well.

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    It handled well, and did very well when I used it to cut the structural members and stakes for this shelter.

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    end part 3 of 5

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  4. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    The full flat ground blade will bite deeply, it took all of three seconds to make this notch with two cuts.

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    The knife also lends itself to being used as a draw-knife.

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    and has a nice pointy tip, which is always a plus in my knives.

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    End part 4 of 5


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  5. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    The tough 5160 has also handled some rough use in being batonned through some hard, knotty Cedar.

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    And still even the most used portion of the edge will whittle some thin curls very easily.

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    Plus included with the Power Eagle, in the utility pouch on the sheath, is a smaller pointy tool...an ALRT XL-01, for more detailed tip work with less fatigue to the wrist that I haven't even begun to experiment with.

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  6. J.Davey

    J.Davey

    Feb 10, 2004
    FINALLY! I've been waiting for someone to do a review of this monster. Glad to see it was you, Mistwalker, as your reviews are always thorough and realistic. Thanks! I think I might have to pick one of these up when finances allow.
     
  7. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Sweet review of a sweet tool. :cool::thumbup:
     
  8. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks, sorry...I have been working on the review for a few weeks, but I've just been really busy.

    It's definitely one heck of a tool, handy to have around in the bush :thumbup:



    Thanks bro, and yeah...this thing is reeeeaally sweet!
     
  9. caine

    caine

    Nov 9, 2003
    Nice you and Joezilla suck. I want a power eagle lol
     
  10. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    topsknives.com :)
     
  11. RickJ

    RickJ

    Mar 2, 2003
    I have been wanting one for a while now! I hope to get one early next year, it is a awesome looking blade.
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I think the goloks and parangs have been hogging their fair share of the attention lately--about time some barong-like shapes start getting attention! :D
     
  13. pitdog

    pitdog

    Apr 13, 2007
    I knew that blade would be a winner the moment I saw it with the full flat grind and Bolo/Chete shape.

    Do ya have a ESEE Junglas, wonder how that compares ?
     
  14. mtnfolk mike

    mtnfolk mike

    Mar 21, 2006
    great review..:thumbup: i was reading Joezilla's write up in the new TK, those don't look too bad...
     
  15. Zombie Zeke

    Zombie Zeke

    Nov 26, 2006
    Mist that's a beast...

    Can you tell me on the continuum of choppers you've used, how you would rank it overall?
     
  16. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Honestly I like it better than most all the choppers I've ever had, including some other large TOPS knife like the Steel Eagle. The full flat grind 1/4 inch thick blade bites amazingly well, and the 5160 really takes some abuse. The heat treat is spot on because it has awesome edge retention even versus the hard woods I have tackled. It gives me a good usable point which I like and I like the design of the guard a lot. I'd take it over any hatchet or normal machete I have ever owned with the only possible competition being a custom machete I have and even at that if I was reasonably sure I'd be tackling larger hardwood logs...4" and up...I'd still take the Power Eagle because it is more designed for such work.

    I was showing it to a friend who drives a K-9 unit last night and he really liked it. I think he is going to get one too.
     
  17. GRIM 62

    GRIM 62

    Mar 29, 2009
    Wow mist,That really looks like a winner!I like the shape of blade,it's not so radical that you could'nt sharpen it with most stones.That 5160 is some tough stuff huh!!Great review pard!
     
  18. JUST1MOR

    JUST1MOR

    Oct 19, 2010
    Mist, that knife looks like it could handle anything thrown at it. Pit beat me to it, have you had a chance to compare it to a Junglas yet? Would be pretty interested in your opinion of the two. How did the "retaining strap" on the handle work out? Good shots, thanks for the information, looks like an interesting tool to be considered.
    Be safe.
     
  19. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    It is an awesome blade indeed.


    Agreed!!


    I don't have a Junglas...at least not yet....I was drawn to the full flat grind.



    Thanks Mike, I liked Joe's write up on it too.



    Thanks, man glad you liked it. The shape of the blade lends itself to many uses in the field, even digging if needs be but I didn't try that...

    Yep, the 5160 is really tough.



    As i said above I haven't had a chance to do more than handle a Junglas. I did really like it, and I am sure it is a very capable knife, but I was just more drawn to the Barong shape and full flat grind of this one.
     
  20. untamed

    untamed

    Jan 7, 2003
    1/4" thick? :eek: Other than that, reminds me of the all-'rounders we have in this part of the world (SE Asia).

    As always, nice bushcrafty-applications review Mist!
     

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