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TOPS Knives Baja 4.5 – Now Available

The Baja 4.5 that we previewed a couple of days ago is now available for purchases at TOPS Knives. This is one of the most hotly anticipated TOPS Knives releases since the BOB Field Knife.

Baja 4.5 Flyer

First Look: TOPS Knives Baja 4.5

If you find me walking in the woods or working outside, there is a good chance you will find a TOPS Knives Baja 3.0 (check out the review) on my belt. I think it is one of the best small fixed blades on the market and one of the best knives in the TOPS line. I like the Baja 3.0 so much that the announcement of the larger Baja 4.5 at the 2015 SHOT Show had me pretty excited.

TOPS Knives has been teasing the release of the Baja 4.5 for a few days now so it should be available any day now. They also just released a video that gives us out best look yet at the soon to be released knife.

Keep an eye on TOPSKnives.com for more details.

Update: TOPS Knives sent us additional information. The release date will be 6/23 (tomorrow). Check out the additional, more detailed images and specs below…

Baja 4.5 Flyer Baja4.5 Baja4.5_8

Stout Gear

If you like hard working, custom knives that offer big performance at a reasonable price (who doesn’t?), Stout Gear should be on your radar. I have been purchased one of their Ibex models and I’m seriously impressed. I like it so much that I am already making room in my budget to pick up their Scout model! You can stay tuned for a full review of the Ibex.

Stout Gear Ibex

Ibex

Stout Gear offers several models in several sizes so it is difficult generalize their knives but there are a few things that characterize them. One of those characteristics is good cutting geometry. These knives are made for hard work so they are very thick at the spine and in order to make them cut, Stout Gear uses very tall, slightly convex primary grinds and then applies a 20 degree, polished bevel. The result is a tough edge that cuts very well.

They also have large, hand filling handles with comfortable contours. You’ll find deep bellied, drop point blade shapes on most of their knives. Their work is extremely clean (look at those plunge lines!). They also use tough, high quality steels that are well suited to the tasks envisioned for the knife. Most of their knives use CPM S35VN which is one of the only modern stainless steels I have been able to warm to because it is fairly easy to sharpen. I can sharpen anything, I just don’t care to spend a lot time doing it!

The Scout

Thankfully, Stout Gear is not one of those companies that sells you a great knife and sticks you with an afterthought of a sheath. I could probably write whole post just about the sheath. It is completely unique and very functional. It is a kydex sheath that is constructed much like a leather sheath in that is has an HDPE (tough plastic) welt between the outer layers of kydex. This allows the kydex layers to retain the knife without contacting the blade. This prevents scratching the blade and dulling of the edge by contact with the kydex and all the grit that ends up in the sheath of a knife that is actually being used. The sheath also features metal belt loops that Stout Gear makes themselves. It has to be the most bomb-proof sheath system I have ever seen.

All of their knives have starting prices below $300 – most well below $300. They cost less than many production knives with similar features (thick premium steel, sculpted G-10 handles, quality sheath, etc.). You need to get to know Stout Gear.

Wolverine

Wolverine

The Return of Nick Allen and NWA Knives

I have been a long time fan of knife maker Nick Allen and his NWA Knives brand. His knives were characterized by flowing, organic shapes, deeply contoured handles, fine finishing, tall flat grinds, tough carbon steels, differential heat treatments, an intuitive understanding of cutting geometry, and a love for the outdoors. He has a very distinctive visual style which is something all good knife makers have. You can recognize one of his knives from across the room.

NWA Knives Sierra Scout

Several years ago, he had to stop making knives due to some life changes and a lack of space. I was recently searching the web for his knives in case a good deal had popped up and I came across something that made my day. NWA Knives had a Facebook page and… It was active! I contacted Nick and, sure enough, he is making knives again. Judging by the examples on his Facebook page, it looks like he never stopped!

Check out the NWA Knives Facebook page for details on ordering.

NWA Knives 1 NWA Knives 2

Bradshaw Blades Combat Angler

What happens when you apply tactical knife sensibility to a purpose built fishing knife? You get something like the Bradshaw Blades Combat Angler.

bradshaw combat angler

The Combat Angler is ground from 1/8″ thick AEBL stainless steel. Its 6 3/4″ flat ground blade sweeps into a wicked point for fine work. The handle features brown cavas micarta slabs with carbon fiber bolsters and a deep choil to keep your fingers off the edge no matter how deep you are in fish guts.

Check out Bradshaw Blades on Facebook.

bradshaw combat angler sheath

TOPS Knives Kodiak JAC 2

The Kodiak JAC 2 is TOPS Knives’ latest version of their Kodiak JAC hunting knife. The distinctive feature of the Kodiak JAC and Kodiak JAC 2 is its deep bellied, continuously curving drop point blade. It also has an extended tang designed to be used for scraping hides (so you don’t have to use your cutting edge).

kjac02

The new Kodiak JAC 2 is similar to the original Kodiak JAC with the addition of a new Coyote Brown color scheme which includes the powder coating, green canvas micarta handle slabs, and the kydex sheath.

  • O/A Length: 8 3/8″
  • Blade Length: 4 1/4″
  • Cutting Edge: 3 1/8″
  • Thickness: 3/16″
  • Blade Color: Coyote Tan Coating
  • Steel: 1095 High Carbon Alloy RC-58
  • Handle Material: Green Canvas Micarta
  • Sheath: Coyote Tan Kydex With a Rotating Steel Spring Clip
  • Weight: 7.3oz
  • Weight w/ Sheath: 10.0oz

Southern Grind Spider Monkey

Southern Grind’s Bad Monkey folder is one of my all time favorite knives. It combines great ergonomics with great quality, a licensed Emerson Wave Opening feature, and a heaping helping of titanium and carbon fiber which never hurts. Now we have a more compact Bad Monkey spin off to look forward to called the Spider Monkey.

southern-grind-spider-monkey

This teaser image from Southern Grind shows the Spider Monkey’s more compact blade compared to the larger Bad Monkey.

The Spider Monkey and it’s 3.25″ blade is more compact than its older brother, the Bad Monkey. The new blade also happens to be ground from S35VN steel. Hopefully, there will be more details on the Spider Monkey at Blade Show. In the mean time, check out Southern Grind and all the good things they are doing to put Americans to work and help kids.

Gryphon M10FFG

The Gryphon M10 is one of the finest production defensive fixed blades available. It is light, compact, easy to carry, and purpose built to support point driven techniques. Previously, it was only available with a hollow grind which is appropriate for its use but may have limited some of its general utility and edge cutting performance to some extent.

gp_M10FFG

The Gryphon M10FFG is the latest iteration of the venerable M10. The FFG in its name stands for “full flat grind” which indicates that the primary grind is flat from the edge to the spine. This should increase the usefulness of the M10 for slashing cuts and as a general utility knife without radically changing the characteristics that make it great.

It is also worth noting that the M10FFG is ground from laminate VG-10 rather than just solid VG-10 like the hollow ground version. This means that there is a harder VG-10 core layer sandwiched between two layers of a softer metal. This laminate construction makes the entire blade more durable.

Check out the Gryphon M10FFG at Cutlery Shoppe.

  • Blade Steel: Laminated VG-10
  • Blade Finish: DLC (Diamond Like Coating)
  • Handle Material: Black Zytel
  • Blade Length: 4″
  • Length Overall: 8 1/2″
  • Blade Thickness: 3/16″
  • Weight, Knife: 4.4 oz. (119 g)
  • Sheath Material: .080″ Boltaron
  • Weight, Sheath: 2.1 oz. (60 g)

Rocky Mountain Bullseye C.A.T. from TOPS Knives

Just over a week ago, TOPS Knives introduced their C.A.T. knives with a new grip pattern called Cryptic Cyber. Now they have released a second grip pattern option with a very cool back story.

tops_knives_bullseye_hunter

The new Rockey Mountain Bullseye texture came about serendipitously! The folks at TOPS were machining handles when a machining error created a divot pattern in the surface of the grip slab. It looked good and it felt good so the only thing left to do was program the machine to make the mistake divots on purpose. I wish my mistakes turned out so well.

tops_knives_bullseye_tanto

The new texture is available on the C.A.T. knives in both drop point and tanto. The C.A.T. series is a mainstay of the TOPS Knives lineup thanks to their handy size and versatile shapes.

TOPS Knives launched the new scales today and they are available at an introductory price in both the Tanto version and Hunter’s Point (drop point).

  • Blade length: 3 1/4″
  • Overall length: 7 1/4″
  • Thickness: 5/32″
  • Scales: Black G-10
  • Steel: 1095
  • Sheath: Kydex with multi-position steel clip
  • Weight: 7.5 oz

tops_knives_bullseye

TOPS Knives C.A.T. with Cryptic Cyber Scales

The C.A.T. (Covert Anti-Terrorism) knives have been in the TOPS Knives line up for nearly as long as TOPS Knives has existed and they have been largely unchanged in that time. They announced that they would be breathing some new life into the knives at SHOT Show in the form of a new scales called Cryptic Cyber Scales.

203t01

The new scales are machined G-10. The surface has a texture similar to checkering along with pattern that is somewhat reminiscent of a circuit board. These scales are extremely grippy.

TOPS Knives launched the new scales today and they are available at an introductory price in both the Tanto version and Hunter’s Point (drop point).

  • Blade length: 3 1/4″
  • Overall length: 7 1/4″
  • Thickness: 5/32″
  • Scales: Black G-10
  • Steel: 1095
  • Sheath: Kydex with multi-position steel clip
  • Weight: 7.5 oz

200h01

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