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

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I have been purchasing a lot of the Kizlyar knives to add into my collecting hobby, and have been researching their methods of manufacturing. Their Phoenix knives are not differentially heat treated, (where the edge hardness is different than it's spine). The Tops version, (the Wild Pig Hunter), is indeed an edge differentially heat treated blade. The Tops also has a thicker blade, and maybe that may make the knife tougher overall than it's Kizlyar counterpart. But, there's a person that did a you-tube video showing some hard testing of his Kizlyar Phoenix Combat knife, and it proved it's salt. In any case, although the Tops and Kizlyar knives in this pattern are almost identical in their side blade profiles, the Tops has incorporated quite a few differences that does make it something more of their own, rather than just an exact knock-off of the original.
 

BladeScout

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Design originality aside, I prefer the look of the handle on the Tops over the Kizlyar. No skullcrusher on the Tops is also an advantage IMO. The handle of the Tops is quite grippy (havent held the Russian knife).
 
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Design originality aside, I prefer the look of the handle on the Tops over the Kizlyar. No skullcrusher on the Tops is also an advantage IMO. The handle of the Tops is quite grippy (havent held the Russian knife).

Actually, Kizlyar's basic Phoenix, which I believe is coined as their Phoenix Model 1, not only has an even more "grippy" handle material than the Tops Wild Pig Hunter, it also has no "skull crusher". It seems Tops took features from both the Phoenix Model 1 and Phoenix Combat, and then added a few additional touches to make it a similar, but different product.

Here is what the the basic Model 1 Phoenix looks like, and it does look like the handle portion of the Tops Wild Pig Hunter borrowed much from this Kizlyar model...

 
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Lee D

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Decent knife. Feels good. Ive been thru their factory on a tour. I enjoy the time ive spent with them at Blade show. Real good salt of the earth people. Nice knives at great prices. View attachment 1253272 View attachment 1253273 View attachment 1253274 View attachment 1253275
I’m not a huge fan of Scandi grinds, but I really like the ergos of that one. I’m 6’5” with XL hands, and despite its medium to small-ish size, that folder feels locked in my hand like very few knives do.

I like some of their fixed blade designs, but every time I find one I’m interested in it comes with one of their boring, ugly kydex sheaths. If only they offered more leather...
 

Wolverine666

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I’ve received nothing but top notch quality from all the TOPS I have. I’m looking at getting that SXS. Love the blade.
 

not2sharp

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Unmistakable likeness. I dont know the background either but would like to. Not saying they did (as I dont know) but disappointing, if they ripped off the Don Norris Battle Bowie II.

Not knocking Tops either. The few I have, I like (jury is out, if they ripped off designs) but many other Tops knives are too thck across the spine for my liking.

Here is a similar Siegle knife as photographed in 1998.

Siegle bowie.jpg

n2s
 

BladeScout

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Plenty of knives out there with similar lines and its not like it isnt okay to make a knife inspired by the greats like for example a Loveless-inspired knife but look at the forum here and how many respected makers always pays homage, when they present X knife. Thats fine with me and they make some awesome knives. Kudos to them.
However, I got the impression from when Tops introduced the Prather War Bowie, that it was the brainchild of Mr Prather. I might have missed nuances dictating otherwise but thats how it came across to at the time.
 

Bill Siegle

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I don’t know? Maybe Bill Siegle Bill Siegle can tell us.

n2s
Not sure when the Prather first appeared. I’m pretty sure that one I made predates at least the TOPS version. The one in the pic was made directly from a customer’s design. It was much larger than the TOPS Prather Bowie. Very squared off too. Either way the shape/design is pretty basic for an unguarded Bowie Knife. Not much “ownership” to contest :)
 
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The Siegle knife is one thing, like Bill stated, it's a basic unguarded bowie. But in my opinion, the Norris Battle Bowie and the Prather War Bowie have every aspect of the knife nearly identical, even right down to the name. The handle is the same exact shape, with a little bit of the tang sticking out, with a lanyard hole in the exact same place, angles and shape of the end of the tang identical. Blade shape nearly identical, the prather is a little more narrow. Swap out the word "Battle" for "War" and add your name, and booom there it is. Similar style is one thing, but the Prather definitely looks more like a copy of the Norris than anything else.
 

BladeScout

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I have no problem with a somebody making a basic Bowie knife.
But AFAIK, Tops marketed the War Bowie as something Mr Prather came up with. I might not remember that right and/or be mistaken.
 

BladeScout

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Tops' blurb on the War Bowie:

The War Bowie was designed by former 7th Special Forces, DEA Special Agent, DIA Intelligence Officer, and Bujinkan martial arts master Jeff Prather.

As before, I have no problem with someone making a knife with som classic Bowie lines but it would have been nice of Tops and/or Prather to have included 'inspired by....' in the marketing blurb. It might be nitpicking and I might be alone thinking so.

To have done so, would IMO have taken nothing away from them having made the knife.
 

not2sharp

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9 inch camp knife.jpg

I found an image of the Siegle knife showing its measurements.

Comparison:

................................Siegle.............Tops Prather

OAL.......................... 13.5" ............12.6"
Blade..........................9" .................7.8"
Thickness...................1/4" ..............1/4"
Handle.......................4.5" ...............5.8"
Steel..........................5160................1095

n2s
 
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Alsharif

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Tops' blurb on the War Bowie:

The War Bowie was designed by former 7th Special Forces, DEA Special Agent, DIA Intelligence Officer, and Bujinkan martial arts master Jeff Prather.

As before, I have no problem with someone making a knife with som classic Bowie lines but it would have been nice of Tops and/or Prather to have included 'inspired by....' in the marketing blurb. It might be nitpicking and I might be alone thinking so.

To have done so, would IMO have taken nothing away from them having made the knife.
Kind of like how Spyderco still refer to their frame lock designs as having the "Reeve Integral Lock"
 
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