The History of the TOPS HOG 4.5 HOG is a name earned by a certified US Marine Scout Sniper. HOG means Hunter Of Gunmen, because we hunt men with guns. We HOGs are a force multiplier for any commander that chooses to employ us. The design for this blade started somewhere in my history that I cannot fully trace. It began in the early years of my career as a young Marine Infantryman. After spending days or weeks at a time in a field environment it seemed that my hands would always ache. I eventually traced this pain back to the blades that I was carrying and using. The Tacti-cool handles on those blades all had rough edges and sharp corners. Sure they were mean to look at and gripped like a gator but they didn’t have the comfort that I needed for sustained field use. After this realization I set out to design the best knife handle that I could in my limited experience. Little did I know at the time, this would take the better part of my career to complete.
I started with a piece of wooden closet rod and carved in the features that I most liked in many of the knives that I have used. I kept this in my pack for a long time and modified it with a piece of sandpaper as I discovered new ways to use a knife. Whenever one of my field knives earned me a hot spot I grabbed that little handle mock up and made a subtle change so that it did not irritate that hot spot. This went on for many years and many times this piece was over worked and restarted new. Eventually I had the handle shape that worked wonderful in my hand. So I looked to buy a knife that had a handle close to the one that I had designed. I found one and set out on the next phase of simply using the blade as much as possible while making subtle changes to the handle. This also led to my developing a greater understanding of how to use a knife to accomplish field tasks while also conserving energy. With the handle done I realized that there was another problem brewing. The blade designs were just not up to the task that I needed them for.
Some of the better shapes were too thick and some too flimsy. Some had bad edge geometry that would just not hold the keen edge needed for a good field knife. This continued through out many years and on to my instructor position at the 1st Marine Division Scout Sniper School. I was fortunate in that I was the primary instructor for survival, fieldcraft and combat tracking. This gave me the opportunity to sample many, many knives that my students had in their kit. Believe me, Snipers love knives like coyotes love meat. In doing this I developed an attraction to wide blades with keen edge geometry. The problem was that there were not any available that I could find that would meet both my blade and handle requirement. Not that I was the expert but I knew what I needed and that was good enough for me. So now, I was armed with this Ideal field knife that does not exist. So I set out to make this knife exist.
I made a wooden knife from start to finish and carried that in my pack everywhere so every time that I had an issue with whatever knife I was carrying, I could sand my wooden blank to remedy it. Some Marines thought that I was crazy being a Marine Sniper in the field with a wooden knife in my pack. I just claimed that I was doing research and development, that usually quieted the cries of wanna-be and mall ninja. Never the less I continued to refine the design. Occasionally I would over work the handle and have to start again with a fresh model. Fast forward a few deployments and I landed a job at the Mountain Warfare Training Center as the SNCOIC of Mountain Survival and Mountain Scout Sniper Courses. Of course that meant lots of field time. In order to be a qualified red hat you have to complete winter and summer mountain leader courses and that means practically living on the mountain. I continued to refine the design until I could think of no more refinements. Then, one time on the mountain while skinning a rabbit I set my knife in the snow and the knife disappeared. Already half starved there was no way that I was going to dig down and retrieve it so I went back to the drawing board with my knife design. I wanted a way to retain my blade and not have to have six feet of dummy cord attached to it. That is when the hole was born.
I made the hole big enough to handle a standard issue carabineer so that it could be clipped to my gear rather than set on the ground when working. It is a bad ideal to put a bloody blade back in the case while skinning game, if you do, you will only do it once after you learn that lesson. This worked well and eventually I discovered many uses for that hole. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.
When I thought that I had the design about as good as I could make it I sent it, and a larger version of it, to my good friend and mentor Ron Hood. I had asked for his opinion on the overall design, and I asked him if he could find any obvious flaws in the design that I may have overlooked. Ron never got back to me as he was busy with his new magazine and all the other projects that he had going on. So I let the issue rest. At first I figured that Ron must not have liked it, but then I realized that if he didn’t then he would say so. I have never known Ron Hood to sugar coat anything, perhaps that’s why we got along so well, it is comforting to know people that can handle the truth. Well much to my surprise I soon received a package in the mail. The package was from Ron and it contained two complete knives of my design, rendered exactly as I had designed them. I immediately called Ron to thank him and scold him for such a wonderful gift. He told me that since I designed theses knives over many years for how I use a knife then his opinion was irrelevant. So he had them made by Luke Swenson so I could take them to the International SERE Instructors course winter portion in Elverum Norway. So I did just that. For three weeks in that portion of the course I traveled all over the Norwegian country side, on skiis and homemade snowshoes. The knives provided me with shelter, fire, water, food, and the ability to craft practically anything that I needed to survive. Most importantly, they did not create hot spots or blisters on my overworked hands. My instructors and fellow students admired the blade and my ability to use it effectively for survival tasks. Back home on the mountain it served me well for the remainder of my tour. It is still to this day my favorite blade and you will rarely ever find me without some version of it on my belt.
The beautiful lines of this knife were an unintended quality that verifies the saying “form follows function.” Another important feature that I build into the knife is that the tip of the blade is lined directly in the center of the handle. This is important because it provides the user with tip awareness similar to an ice pick. For some reason the brain seems to be able to calculate exactly where that tip is even when working blind inside of an animal carcass. This tip awareness is valuable in any combatants’ kit because you never know when you may have to transition between opening an MRE and ventilating insurgents. The carabineer hole in the back was never intended to be a gimmick and I don’t believe that it is. It was born out of necessity and has proved many times over that it is well worth the small patch of real estate that it occupies in the handle. I discovered many uses for that little hole over the years. It makes a great lever for almost any task requiring a little more leverage, like braking up kindling and fire straightening expedient arrow shafts when they are hot. I have broken the bones of small game to expose the marrow for soups. I have used it to strip small branches clear of twigs and even as a gauge to make a split piece of wood round enough to use for a bow drill. A carabineer clipped in the hole makes a stout handle extension to aid in the blades chopping power when used in conjunction with a rear pinch grip. I have used it as a pot lifter and even to pull stuck tent stakes from the frozen ground. The truth is that the hole is limitless in its possibilities and the more you carry and use this blade the more uses that you will find for it. It is, much like the Marine Scout Sniper, a force multiplier and you will be glad to have it by your side when it matters.
Walk with Honor. GySgt Dave (Norseman) Williams
|TEX CREEK XL
Available to Order NOW!
Tex Creek Hunter XL
“when its time to go and get some!”
Where does the name black river wash come from?: According to wiki...
TOPS has taken the time to develop a high quality steer hide sheath, which can be worn horizontally or vertically on your belt or easily tied to your pack. This is a knife/tool which has seen hands-on practical applications in a wide variety of circumstances and conditions and has proven itself to be a worthwhile, trusted, and reliable companion...and of courseit is made in the USA!
|VIPER SCOUT RED
Ships with an Amish-crafted, brown leather sheath.
VIPER SCOUT RED
IN THE MOST CHALLENGING SITUATIONS
A GOOD LOOKIN’, FUNCTIONAL, TRUSTWORTHY, COMPANION
***AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW***
The popular class of FDX (Field Duty Xtreme) Knives manufactured by TOPS has stimulated requests that we have received on numerous occasions to develop a smaller tool, with a wide blade, good cutting edge and the capability to pierce. This engaging tool was named after the very popular “Route 66” one of the first primary highways cutting its way across the USA, the subject of several songs, and the “Route 66” T.V. program, with a wide variety of adventures in the series.
The tool itself was designed to have an enhanced cutting edge (lots of surface edge) and a solid piercing point.
"This tool is definitely a highly qualified silent companion, ever ready."
...Special OPS ...Trust TOPS...Cause They're Hard To The Core...
|SURV TAC 5
***SURVIVAL TACTICAL 5***
SURV TAC 5
Hello friends of TOPS. It is with respect that we notify you all of a decision made by Mr. Joseph Teti regarding our Survival Tactical 7 and Survival Tactical 5 models. Per Mr. Joseph Teti's request, we have chosen to stop production of those models:
14 October 2014
To: Mike Fuller, President / CEO TOPS Knives
RE: SURVTAC 7, SURVTAC 5
I am writing you this letter to inform you and TOPS Knives to stop production of my SURVTAC 7 and SURVTAC 5 knives until further notice. I am doing this based off of our conversations over the past few days. I have read the posts made on your companies Facebook page in regards to certain individuals who have threatened a boycott of your company if you continue to make my knives. This I cannot allow to happen. You have been a friend and mentor to me over the past few years, and I cannot in good conscience allow this to happen to you and TOPS. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but I feel it is in the best interest of both parties that I do this. Perhaps in the future we can do business again. Thank you Mike for all that you have done for me, and the friendship you have shown me.
Joseph N. Teti
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ***JOSEPH TETI *** PLEASE VIST: WWW.JOSEPHTETI.COM
Tex Creek Hunter
“when its time to go and get some!”
Where does the name black river wash come from?: According to wiki...
|HIGH DESERT HARPOON
***AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW***
HIGH DESERT HARPOON
Terrill Hoffman is an International Hunter, Photographer, outdoor writer and Founder of "PWYP" Practice What You Preach, the Outdoor Survival Outings.
Terrill has been a good friend to TOPS for some 12 years, always with a good word or deed and inevitably with great photographs. For a number of years TOPS has been fortunate enough to work with Terrill on his now famous Hoffman Harpoon in an assortment of practical sizes. In June of this year, at the Blade Show, we unveiled his latest hard use, good looking project called "THE HOFFMAN HIGH DESERT HARPOON XL". The size and specs are virtually the same, however, the newest innovation has affixed to the Harpoon a beautiful set of Micarta handles with easy access brass screws which make the handles removable. Although it is very pleasing to the eye, the strong sharp features stand out. Numerous tests have shown that this is truly a workhorse of a tool. It is coated with a very durable powder coat, the color being Coyote Tan, over a 1095 High Carbon Steel tool. Whether you are into short treks, long trips, or any other outdoor activity, this could be the perfect highly dependable companion and operates equally well with or without gloves on.
Dateline: Survival author Dan Shectman Tactical Knives Magazine.
"The New 'TOPS/Hoffman harpoon 'offers a unique multi purpose survival tool much like those carried by the stone age hunters."
"The Hoffman harpoon is a useful piece of survival cutlery, worn in its neck sheath, it is always with you. Crafted from quality steel and comfortable to use, it fills the niche the small knife occupies in the woodsman's kit. The Hoffman harpoon is reminiscent of that earlier time when every tool had to be a multi tool"
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