T.O.P.S. Steel Eagle

Nov 1, 1998
I recently purchased a used TOPS Steel Eagle w/11" blade. I am unfamiliar with this brand. Anyone having knowledge of the quality, durability, blade strength etc. please respond. I am not planning on using it for a prybar, but would like to know if this knife is dependable with normal use.

From the ad: Black Linen Micarta handle (could be larger) BLADE - Made from #1095 High Carbon Alloy Steel, hollow ground edge, double tempered and hardened to Rockwell Hardness Test 57-58. Our BTC, black traction coating (a hybrid epoxy and polyester mixture) is electrostaticaly applied and then baked. (Coating is worn from what appears to be sheath wear). Placed through a series of hardening and tempering processes, thus insuring this 1/4", thick piece of steel will have a long lasting edge and the knife
The STEEL EAGLE Series knives are shipped with a formed to fit (I thought that the sheath was a little too loose)


With the stock being 1/4", and 1095 tempered to 56-58 RC, durability should not be a big concern. Unfortunately it all depends on how TOPS is doing the heat treating - can't help you there.

Sid Post is a dealer for these knives. I'm sure he can help you out on the general quality of these knives. I have one of the Interceptor series on the way and am anxious to get it. I thought I saw a review of the Steel Eagle in the Reviews forum. Try doing a search and finding it.
I have the same model. The blade on the 11 inch model is actually 5160. the smaller versions are 1095. There is a review of its smaller brother in the new Tactical Knives (actually the blade of ours is mentioned in DR. HOODS article as well) and if you go to www.survival.com and then to their links page you should find a link to Rimachi Expeditions where there is a review of the blade.

thanks and take care
Damn you Sarge!! I was trying to trade that knife out of Thayne!!
Hope you enjoy the knife.

I tried to read that review but I got a message that the URL is wrong when I tried to go to Rimachi Expeditions. Could yo help me with this? I would like to read that review.

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?
Just a quick note as I'm fading out after all this weeks pre and post Blade Show activities.

The Steel Eagles are all 1095 now except for the few I special order. The SE111 is holding up very well in its 1095 incarnation. 5160 in that size can be a little tough to locate at times and, since the knife does not need the properties of that steel in the SE111 configuration, the change was made.

With regards to the sheaths, on the larger models, the fit is not as tight as the smaller blades. This eases the draw without hanging up. With a lot of insertion and removal, the black finish will get a polished look on the edges where it rubs from the sheath. If this becomes a problem, let me or TOPS know and the blade can be recoated.

As far as general toughness and edge holding, don't expect a scary sharp edge on this knife, there is just too much steel there, after all, do you normally use a knife this big to slice tomatoes? It will cut, don't get me wrong, just not like most pocket folders. While this is a knife and not a prybar, it is heat treated properly for what it is designed to do and, it is relatively thick. I would expect it to hold up very well to "normal" prying. I doubt I would break it doing anything I could manage with my bare hands but, your mileage may vary.

Saw a pic at the Sept issue of TK knives. I really think the way TOPS serrate their knife makes the serration totally useless. I think they used a file to make the serration (if you can call it that).

Maybe TOPS can send their knives to Mike Turber?
I have a T.O.P.'S Model#302 Interceptor and the knife is great! For the serrations they cut real good. The sheath is very well made and the steel holds up to abuse. Not to mention it is my everyday carry.


The Interceptor model #302, which is a 4 inch Tanto, is proving to be popular with law enforcement personnel as well as many others. I do not fully understand why it is but, law enforcement personnel almost all uniformly ask about that knife. For a smaller knife, it certainly is a solid using knife with the materials, heat treat and, construction to make it a good value and solid performer.
The other trend I have noticed is that once someone buys a TOPS knife, they usually order another one a few months later. Repeat sales are a good sign in my book since they indicate the end user is satisfied with the price paid and quality delivered. As a dealer I may be somewhat biased in my views but, end users certainly don't suffer from the same bias a dealer may have. I would encourage any skeptics about these knives, to ask end users who have had them a while for their honest opinions off-line. These knives are not perfect but, they are very good performers in the field.

Tops dealer