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Page Armory » Blades
Posted: 2/26/2006 6:52:49 PM EDT
Just received my new TOPS Scalpel in the mail yesterday. After finding it on sale for $35 dollars from www.knifepro.com, I just had to buy it. I have heard good things about TOPS knives in general from the research that I have done on the brand. The only complaints that I have heard are of the knives being overpriced for the type of steel they use, which is a decent carbon steel called 1095. I have been happy with the edge holding and toughness of 1095 in the past, but some of TOPS blades are pretty salty.

Back to the knife, it is really a pretty neat little piece. It is advertised as being able to be carried either on the belt or in a neck sheath, but personally I think it is a little heavy for neck carry, as the knife is a quarter inch thick. Here are the specs,

Length Overall: 7"
Length Blade: 2 3/4"
Cutting Edge: 2 3/8"
Blade Thickness: 1/4"
Weight: 5 oz
Blade Steel: 1095 High Carbon Alloy RC58
Blade Color: Black Traction Coating
Handle Material: Black Linen Micarta

I have'nt cut much with it yet besides some cardboard and paper and I have only done a couple of stab tests with it into some cardboard and 2x4's. It came shaving sharp but the edge is very thick so it does'nt make a very good cutter, but the point narrows down so that it gets pretty good penetration on a hard stab. It is extremely overbuilt. I might experiment with reprofiling the edge sometime in the future to make it more efficient. Pretty comfortable in the hand and very secure due to the very well fitted micarta slabs. The overall fit and finish is excellent. You can definitely tell that is was finished by hand.

The sheath is decent, it is a simple kydex affair with a metal belt clasp which can be rotated to carry vertically or horizontally. The only thing I don't like about the sheath is that only approximately 2 inches of the handle are sticking out of the top, so you kinda have to reposition your hand after a draw.

Overall, I think it is a pretty neat little blade for the money and it definitely seems as bulletproof as they claim their blades to be. Here are a few pics.




Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:43:04 AM EDT
Cool. I'm not sure how I feel about the edge being tilted up from the axis of the handle. What is the advantage of that?
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 7:56:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LWRC_Matt:
Cool. I'm not sure how I feel about the edge being tilted up from the axis of the handle. What is the advantage of that?



Not sure if there really is an advantage to it. Thats probably why they call it the Scalpel, as it resembles a surgical Scalpel. Like I said, it is not a very efficient cutter with an edge so thick, even though it is sharp. On a couple of test slashes on a cardboard box, it bit right in but more punished the cardboard than sliced it. It has good penetration on a stab, but I would like to try reprofiling the edge sometime to increase it all around usefullness. It might decrease the strength of the edge somewhat, but I would trade that off for a little more cutting ability. Overall, a pretty sweet little piece though.

Link Posted: 2/27/2006 5:29:56 PM EDT
I used to have the cord wrapped version. I would agree with everything you have said so far. As for reprofilling the edge, it may be a little more difficult due to the steep flat grind. This knife was supposedly designed by knifemaker Allen Blade as the "Spokane Street Scalpel" while he was doing contract work for TOPS and later ripped off by TOPS, who then dropped the "Spokane" in the name. Probably just more Allen Blade bunk but maybe a neat bit of trivia. I had a terrible time keeping the knife from falling out of the TOPS kydex sheath and it never really cut anything really well. I think it would best serve as a last ditch self defense blade and not as a small multi use utility blade.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:28:24 PM EDT
Ok sweet. Let us know how the project goes if you do it.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 7:56:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torakan:
I used to have the cord wrapped version. I would agree with everything you have said so far. As for reprofilling the edge, it may be a little more difficult due to the steep flat grind. This knife was supposedly designed by knifemaker Allen Blade as the "Spokane Street Scalpel" while he was doing contract work for TOPS and later ripped off by TOPS, who then dropped the "Spokane" in the name. Probably just more Allen Blade bunk but maybe a neat bit of trivia. I had a terrible time keeping the knife from falling out of the TOPS kydex sheath and it never really cut anything really well. I think it would best serve as a last ditch self defense blade and not as a small multi use utility blade.



Interesting little bit of trivia. I will have to do more research. The sheath that I have, although simple, retains the knife pretty well so far, but I am also carrying it upright on my weak side positioned for a reverse grip draw. I would assume with neck carry, the blade being so heavy for its size would be at risk of falling out. I agree with the use of the knife being more geared towards self defense than utility. I believe that was what the original design was supposed to be, but I would like to try to get a little more usefulness out of it. It really carries very well and I am overall pleased with it.

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