Last fall, I had a couple of interesting experiences using my TOPS CQT Magnum 747 Folder. I literally was forced to abuse the knife to do what I had to, in order to save a couple people. Well, maybe not really "save", but at least help.
The First "Rescue", I was in the local pub, when some people near me started wondering where their friend Jody went. About that time, we all heard banging from within the women's bathroom door. The doorknob didn't work and she couldn't get out, and actually was beginning to panic. Everybody rushed over trying the knob and pulling on the door. Nobody had a multi-tool or anything to unscrew it at this point. We all know each other here, and it's a comfortable atmosphere. I got up and said I could get her out, so I snapped my TOPS CQT open, and moved directly for the bathroom door. Everyone parted in front of me like the Red Sea. I don't know why.... I decided I'd try to get into the doorjamb and push back the nut to open the door. As I approached, the owner of the bar helpfully warned me, "YOU'LL BREAK YOUR KNIFE!" I looked at him and smiled: I love when a challenge like that is issued. I couldn't get it to push the nut back, and the girl started crying more frantically. Someone helpfully asked her, "You sure you got your drawers pulled up?!" just in case she forgot to get decent before we opened the door... The door and jamb were both wood. So, I thought, what the heck: I jammed my knife into the crack and pushed laterally, with most of my weight on the blade, spread the door jamb and door apart enough that the nut cleared, and we pulled the door open. Now, I was leaning HARD on the blade sideways! Not a scratch, no failure, still locks up perfectly. You'd never know I had just abused the knife by looking at it. The girl ran out, crying with relief (it must've been the smell in there?). Rescue done. I looked at the owner and said, "Break it, huh?" and winked. Everyone passed the knife around admiring it (this is my kind of place!), and everyone wanted one. Score one for the only folder I've been able to use as a prybar.
The Second Rescue was a bit more dramatic. This gets a little graphic. I was driving Halloween night on a back road, when a big doe jumped in front of my car. I stopped just enough for her to get by me, but she got clobbered by a woman in her SUV, going the other way, about 40 mph. The lady swerved, went off the road, and hit a stone wall and a tree. There were quite a few cars on the road at this point, but nobody stopped! I turned around and pulled in front of her and ran over to the car, asking her if she was okay. She was, and so were her 10-year old daughter and 8-year old son. I went back to the front of the SUV, surveyed the scene. The poor doe was half-crushed, and stuck to the grille. And she was still alive. My heart sank when I saw this. They got out and saw her, too. The woman was in shock and had no idea what to do. Her daughter was freaking out at the deer. I pulled the lady aside, and quietly told her to take her kids back behind the car, because I'd have to put the deer down to save it from suffering. I suggested she call the police so she could get a report for insurance purposes. When they went behind, I picked up a stick about two inches or so thick, and about two feet long, to use as a baton. I opened my TOPS folder (this has the hunter's point, smooth edge), and positioned the point right under the back of the doe's skull, right above her spine. I prayed that I could do it right, and then hammered the pommel of the handle hard and fast, driving the knife right through the cartilage between the top vertebra and the base of its skull, into its spinal column, and then very quickly twisted the knife hard. The deer passed instantaneously, thank God. I then pulled the deer off the grille, and laid her on the ground, mangled side down. I grabbed a rag from my car to wipe off the blood and fur on the hood and grille. It was grisly. But I thought it would spare the little girl that much more trauma. They came back around, and the little girl, crying, asked about the deer. Her mom didn't know what to say, and somehow I was able to tell her a story about how "the deer was old" (it wasn't) and "would've died naturally soon, and it'll pass back to the earth, and feed the plants and animals just like in nature, so life can go on." I told her it was in heaven, and was not suffering, and that it was surely thankful for her concern. I have no idea how I came up with that -- it just came out. She relaxed a little more. The bottom front fender of the SUV, driver's side, was crushed up against the front tire, making the car impossible to drive. It was made of that hard plastic they use now, instead of metal. I tried to pull it away, but it would just snap back against the tire. I told the woman I could try to cut it off so she could continue on her way. She said "fine -- please do." So out came the TOPS Magnum again, ready for more abuse. By this time the police arrived. I started "sawing" into the fender with the blade, making progress, but got tired of the time it was taking. So, I took the baton, and started hammering like crazy on the spine of the knife, driving it quickly through the plastic. The cops were standing with their flashlights on it so I could see better. I sheared about a foot and a half off, and the wheel was clear. I looked at my knife -- the coating was intact, and the edge still looked perfect as far as I could tell. The cops were passing the blade around, and fell in love with it! "Where can we get these?" they asked. Of course, I told them. When I got back in my car, I was curious. I turned on the interior light and held the knife up to it. The edge was perfect! It even still scraped hair off my arm with the part that went through the fender! I'd been impressed with this knife for a long time -- but now I was in disbelief! It absolutely confirmed to me why this is my favorite daily carry, all-around blade. And a folder, too -- I've always been a diehard "fixed blade only" kinda guy! This knife really is the only folder to date that I've been able to punish like a fixed blade -- and these two experiences just further illustrated it to me. It still is my daily carry, and is ready to be deployed for any situations that may arise. Interestingly enough, it almost seems as if this knife searches out people in need, and lets me do the honor of holding it while it does its good work. I'd like to express my gratitude to TOPS for making what I consider the finest hard-use folder on the market today.
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