It always seemed to me that Tops knives were quality made...

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They’ve got so many knives I’m not sure which one to get. For some reason, the desert fighter I liked was made from 440c. I think it’s called the desert nomad. I like this steel, but why would a knife designed for the desert be 440c? I noticed they also have knives made from 5160, but their biggest knives are 1095. One of their knives was prominent in the movie “the hunted” btw, the Tom brown tracker I think.
 
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BladeScout

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One of their knives was prominent in the movie “the hunted” btw, the Tom brown tracker I think.
Nope.
David R. Beck made the Tracker knife for the movie.

Also from Beck:
'The TRACKER/WSK is a special knife. It has been mis-conceived as one that came about for the production of "The Hunted" movie, when in fact, the design was developed many years prior as a stand-alone work tool for wilderness survival/bushcraft & wilderness rescue applications.'
 
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They’ve got so many knives I’m not sure which one to get. For some reason, the desert fighter I liked was made from 440c. I think it’s called the desert nomad. I like this steel, but why would a knife designed for the desert be 440c? I noticed they also have knives made from 5160, but their biggest knives are 1095. One of their knives was prominent in the movie “the hunted” btw, the Tom brown tracker I think.

I think I mentioned it in my very first post of this thread, and will mention it again... I really like a lot of what Tops does during the in house production of their knives. That said, I just don't feel myself gravitating towards most of their designs. The quality is obviously there, but their styling simply does not appeal to me. Just a personal thing, since I know that likes and dislikes of their designs is all a matter of opinion.
Yup, I have a Tops .230 Machete, and now this Tops Wild Pig Hunter... But, there is simply nothing else in their line that calls out to me.
My recently doing a bit of research into most of Ontario Knife Company' original SP series line of knives, (and I understand that they are not at the same level of overall quality as Tops), I found that most of their designs were definitely more appealing to me. I say were, because over the years the line has mostly faded away, with most of what used to be OKC's SP line having been discontinued.
I also say the "original" SP series, because their SP Gen2 series was mostly pretty bland in their styling, not continuing with the more exciting variety and style of their first generation SP line. The Gen2 series has pretty much faded away too, they seem mostly discontinued now.

As for the Tops Wild Pig Hunter, it has such an awesome style behind it. I believe that it being mostly a Russian design, with only some Tops traits thrown in, makes it their "Tops" offering in my eyes ;)

I will, of course, keep my eyes peeled to see if something else of theirs winds up appealing to me :)
 
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I was perusing their machete line and I thought Condor's prices were getting a bit out of hand for the product. So, I would have to see one of these $160 machetes in person before I would ever commit my funds to such. The pricing in general would suggest that they feel that they have a pretty high quality line of cutlery.
 
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Holy shite, I just read over the link you posted on page 2 or so, that's bleeping insane! I would have never expected the owner to be linked up with something like that. Let alone 60 minutes outing him on TV. Thanks for sharing that one, Jimmy!


I'll admit, I don't really buy into the whole, "I killed 40 men with my bare hands", when it comes to selling knives, as long the product is of good quality, and the business is respectable I have no issue getting one. Reading that story isn't going to alter my opinion on Tops, but it's one helluva read.
 
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The thing about Tops owner, (or maybe ex-owner now), is that he was purposely staying low key about his past. That being the case, he grew his company without ever using his own personal U.S. war hero history.
This whole thing was only uncovered a few years ago.
 
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I was perusing their machete line and I thought Condor's prices were getting a bit out of handlo for the product. So, I would have to see one of these $160 machetes in person before I would ever commit my funds to such. The pricing in general would suggest that they feel that they have a pretty high quality line of cutlery.

But of course Condor is made in El Salvador, and the biggest expense in manufacturing is a manufacturer's labor force. I'm sure that the labor cost is quite less for Condor than it is for Tops. Then there is the fact that Tops touts, and is very proud of, their products being made with USA materials, (which again adds considerable costs).
Tops prices sometimes cause a little sticker shock... But, then one realizes that they are made in the USA, using an American labor force, while using USA materials, and all done in very high quality form. In most cases applying a differential heat treatment on only a few blades at a time, (rather than a large batch done the average non differential heat treatment way).
The other thing is the MSRP... Tops being no different than most other production knives, in that a street price can usually be found considerably lower than the MSRP.
Tops is not a cheap knife in cost, but neither is it a cheap knife in it's manufacturing.
 
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It is all about providing to the market a product that people want and value. Where it's made is important, but a lot of the Condor machetes that I like are getting pretty pricey (the El Salvador model in particular). I have quite a few Condor blades, but no Tops. Next time I hit a big knife store that carries Tops, I'm going to spend some time handling and looking at their stuff.
 

jbmonkey

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I think I mentioned it in my very first post of this thread, and will mention it again... I really like a lot of what Tops does during the in house production of their knives. That said, I just don't feel myself gravitating towards most of their designs. The quality is obviously there, but their styling simply does not appeal to me. Just a personal thing, since I know that likes and dislikes of their designs is all a matter of opinion.
Yup, I have a Tops .230 Machete, and now this Tops Wild Pig Hunter... But, there is simply nothing else in their line that calls out to me.
My recently doing a bit of research into most of Ontario Knife Company' original SP series line of knives, (and I understand that they are not at the same level of overall quality as Tops), I found that most of their designs were definitely more appealing to me. I say were, because over the years the line has mostly faded away, with most of what used to be OKC's SP line having been discontinued.
I also say the "original" SP series, because their SP Gen2 series was mostly pretty bland in their styling, not continuing with the more exciting variety and style of their first generation SP line. The Gen2 series has pretty much faded away too, they seem mostly discontinued now.

As for the Tops Wild Pig Hunter, it has such an awesome style behind it. I believe that it being mostly a Russian design, with only some Tops traits thrown in, makes it their "Tops" offering in my eyes ;)

I will, of course, keep my eyes peeled to see if something else of theirs winds up appealing to me :)


take a look at tops operator 7........
 
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It is all about providing to the market a product that people want and value. Where it's made is important, but a lot of the Condor machetes that I like are getting pretty pricey (the El Salvador model in particular). I have quite a few Condor blades, but no Tops. Next time I hit a big knife store that carries Tops, I'm going to spend some time handling and looking at their stuff.

I too have noticed Condor prices steadily rising. They have made a decent name for themselves... But I believe a lot of that was decent quality at a very decent price. I think maybe they are simply trying to see what the market will allow for their products. Don't know if it will pan out as well with their prices rising, and the bargain aspect being taken out as a major selling point. We shall see what happens. I do have some Condor items, and got them when the bargain aspect was still in place. Since they went up in prices, I have drifted away from Condor's products. I am currently back on my buying American made thing again :)
 
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I certainly prefer US made stuff, but I also look at other possibilities. Condor's in particular for their machetes which I have more than a couple models. I checked the "Rough Rider" store website and they carry Tops stuff. So, the next time I'm on that side of the Smoky Mt NP, I will visit the store and check out Tops. Often I visit on my way home after doing a job in far East Tennessee. The store visit is something I look forward to, but usually won't make a special trip. KSF is in my area now....
 
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Yeah, that store you speak of, was where I ordered my Condor Swampmaster machete from. Even though the model I ordered has been discontinued, they still had some in stock, and at basically the old Condor pricing. It's the Swampmaster made of the 420hc they used to use on that model, and has their UltraBlac finish (a dead ringer to being a black parkerizing). Walnut handle scales and all :)
 
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I have it's predecessor the 14" Puerto Rican which I use a lot. It is one of my favorites for using and it's in 420HC too.
That's the one I had my heart set on for adding to my collection... But EVERYONE was out of stock (them too having been discontinued).

Oh well, the Swampmaster turned out to be a nice specimen :)

4h4i80.jpg
 
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That's the one I had my heart set on for adding to my collection... But EVERYONE was out of stock (them too having been discontinued).

Oh well, the Swampmaster turned out to be a nice specimen :)

4h4i80.jpg
I remember now your thread on this Swampmaster and the wall hanger use. I wanted to get a Swampmaster, but may have missed my chance now. Won't loose any sleep over it, but I think it's a great general use size and I like the blade shape for pushing bush or logs out of the way. Sorry to deviate from the Tops topic.
 
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I'm very selective with Tops , so far I only liked 3 things from them , one The Prather War Bowie, I unfortunately already sold It. The rest I have and love it.
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If one is going to quote someone's words here, it should at least be complete.
You left out this part... Michael Jon Hand, (aka Michael Jon Fuller), was a USA war hero. He was a Green Beret during the Vietnam War, and earned the second highest medal that the USA can bestow upon a soldier. If he was involved on foreign land, (in this case, Australia), to do the CIA's bidding after the Vietnam War, it's something that may or may not be true, but... intelligence agencies are known to do these sorts of things. All we have on that possibility of his involvement, is just a story and the many allegations that come with it. In the end, the Nugan Hand story never fully got sorted out, and Michael Jon Hand/Fuller put out a statement on why he had fled Australia.
I am not condoning, nor condemning, something I don't know the facts on... But, what is on record as being fact, is that he indeed saved American lives in battle in a very heroic way. The rest is... well, pretty much a mystery of the Cold War.
 
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