How BIG is TOPS?
Whether you are just discovering TOPS or you own several and have known about us for years, odds are that as you browse through our website or catalog, see us on social media, or see us at a trade show, you have made an assumption about how big our company is.
What do you mean by “big”? Are you referring to the number of people TOPS employs, the number of knives we make, the physical size of our facilities, how well known we are in the industry or even some other measure?
Size in Terms of Knives
With a catalog of over 250 active knife models, we are a large company. We make a knife for nearly every use out there. Some are highly specialized and specific to a task. The Back Bite and HKT are perfect examples. These knives were designed by Colin Despins as combatives knives specifically. No one is taking these models out into the woods to do some bushcrafting because that’s not what these two knives are made for. Some are made are made as a 1-tool-option. Look at the Tom Brown Tracker and Tahoma Field Knife for examples here. These knives are made to be able to accomplish multiple tasks that would normally require more than one blade. They allow the user to carry one tool instead of several. Regardless of the purpose, all TOPS knives are made to be used. We make knives for military and law enforcement, bushcrafters, survivalists, hunters, campers, everyday carry, and more. This variety gives many people the impression that we are a huge company.
Size in Terms of the Industry
This is a tough one to answer. While many people in certain circles know who we are, there are many that don’t. We’re not a household name like Buck for example, but if you’re a knife enthusiast, in the military, or work as a first responder of some kind, chances are you know TOPS. We have a solid following on Facebook and Instagram and some reach on Twitter and YouTube. We put out thousands of knives a week, tens of thousands a year. So in this sense, you could say we’re a mid-sized company.
Size in Terms of Employees
Less than 50 total employees make the beautiful pieces that we sell. However, we have highly skilled employees and we constantly look for more efficient ways to get things done. By using a small number of employees to do each task, we are better able to control the quality of what we make and therefore ensure we provide a quality product consistently. That is huge. Consistency is nearly as important as quality, and we’re not content unless we have both. So in terms of employees, we squarely fit into the small business category.
Regardless of the size of TOPS, you can rest assured that our work is important to us. It shows in the quality, fit, and finish of every knife we produce. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters? Physically and in terms of employees, we might be a small business. But when it comes to quality, reliability, and a company you can trust, we can compete with anyone.