The Combat Utility Tool
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Having a martial arts background, Joshua Swanagon has done some training with the karambit and is a fan of ring style knives and their prowess in combative applications. However, also being an avid outdoorsman, he has found them to be less than ideal as field utility blades. So he set out to make a knife that could combine those disciplines and decided to call it the C.U.T. 4.0 (Combat Utility Tool).
It is a combative, ring-knife with a utility style blade for field use. The curved handle and ring of a karambit provide superior comfort during combative use, and a traditional drop point blade profile is ideal in the field. The aggressive tip provides for maximum penetration during combat, allowing the C.U.T. 4.0 to penetrate body armor and heavy clothing much easier, while also being useful for drilling chores during fieldcraft tasks.
The C.U.T. 4.0 was designed with professional personnel in mind, but will also make a great EDC for civilians and martial artists who like the diversity of a dual purpose knife.
Bio: Joshua Swanagon has studied survival in both urban and wilderness environments in Colorado and Michigan for most of his life, while also adding experience in harsher terrains abroad. He utilizes his experience and years of diverse martial arts and combatives training and real world application as a self-defense/combatives instructor, published freelance writer and Field Editor for various magazines in the fields of knives, survival, self-defense and tactical subject matters.
|Knife Type||Fixed Blade|
|Blade Steel||1095 RC 56-58|
|Blade Finish||Black Traction Coating|
|Handle Material||Tan Canvas Micarta|
|Handle Style||Dragonfly Tread|
|Weight w/ Sheath||9.0oz|
|Sheath Material||Black Kydex|
|Sheath Clip||Beta Loop|
- Dual Use Blade
- This knife is very unique since it is basically a karambit and a utility/EDC knife all-in-one. The sheath is scout-carry so you can get away using it as an EDC if you wear the right clothing. It has a large ring for your finger but you can use the blade without your finger being in the ring. I find the grip angle to be a little awkward when you aren't using the finger ring but it still works. Overall this is a great knife because it serves the role of a defensive blade and a fixed blade EDC. I wish Tops would offer other color/steel options for this model and I find it to be one of the coolest knives that they make. (Posted on 11/4/2023)
- Great edc
- Perfect edc size blade. Feels like an extention of your own hand and is not gunna get pulled away from you in a self defense situation. Holds an edge well and built like a tank . My fav karambit to date. (Posted on 7/26/2022)
- One of my favorite knives!
- I have had this knife for about three years. It holds a great edge. I can carry it in any pocket, and it fits me great in horizontal carry. As a karambit it fits my hands great and I have very large hands. (Posted on 4/19/2020)
- Big value in a small package
As someone who prefers the karambit style blades for self defense / martial arts training, it was always problematic for me to carry a low cost karambit along with my edc blade.
Also, for outdoors and wilderness survival, I've enjoyed carrying larger bowie styled knives which offer the amazing strength and durability of 1095 steel. However, these are knives that can't be carried in public either in India or Norway - my two base locations.
The TOPS Combat Utility Tool is precisely made for people with my kind of unique problems I suppose. Someone who enjoys training reverse grip combat techniques and appreciates a high quality workhorse knife that excels at both tasks magnificently will definitely love this design instantly.
It has been amazing to train my martial arts techniques with this knife. The reverse grip with a drop point blade gives unique disarming and disabling options that are particularly interesting and exciting while sparring (with sheath on ;)).
The knife has also fared well in the tropical forests of India as well as the Nordic woods as my primary blade. Both these regions are not the best places to be seen with a large bowie, even in the woods. The size of C.U.T 4.0 is something I've been able to easily justify with the authorities as a necessity in the forests.
The blade comes quite sharp and takes 3-4 strokes to make it hair shaving sharp. The edge retention is remarkable during most of my cardboard / paper / plastic cutting tests.
In the woods, it has chopped wood fairly well and coating doesn't allow the blade to be used as a fire-starter with flint as such. That maybe resolved with other kinds of finishes, but my blackout edition doesn't support it. It's a minor gripe anyway.
The reverse grip seems to be the more ergonomic way to carry this, although it hasn't caused any significant stress on my ring and little fingers in the forward grip so far. Flipping it along the ring in forward grip might wear down the little finger in the long run, but that's not an intended application of this knife anyway.
The sheath is top class and allows multiple carry options. I prefer a right side, vertical carry for easy access in both grips. Several videos on YouTube cover its uniqueness and high quality.
The knife is small enough to not cause much trouble if found on person and is definitely recommended for anyone who wants a medium sized, unique blade. Definitely worth the investment. (Posted on 2/22/2019)
- natural extension of the hand
Well, to be honest, after the steel eagle 107D delta class,
I was a little afraid of being disappointed.
Would he be too small, would he look fragile?
When I got it in my hands,
he released such instinctivity from this tool that one would have thought a natural extension of the hand and the arm.
I understood that it was one of those that will separate me last,
and maybe even the last, for its fantastic versatility.
I often take it out of his holster just for the pleasure of looking at it.
I am collector, damn it, what is beautiful and well designed !!!
Thank you Tops, Thank you Mr. Swanagon, for this fantastic tool !
it was indispensable in my collection ....
I know that my neighbor will most likely still be a model of tops, there are so many exceptional:
Ranger's Edge, Operator 7, 107 XX combo, wild pig hunter, high desert harpoon ... (Posted on 10/21/2018)
- CUT 4.0
- Amazing piece of hardware!!! It goes where my wallet goes, everywhere. Market, mall, on patrol or even kicking doors. I expected nothing but the best from TOPS!! You guys rock!!! (Posted on 4/19/2018)
- Black River Wash
- I hope this knife will be available with the Black River Wash finish and dark micarta, ill order two when it is. (Posted on 4/7/2017)
- Best of both worlds
- I absolutely love this knife! It has everything you may want in a useful field knife plus is a reliable self defense tool for those who know how to use a karambit. It is well balanced and fits well in the hand. (Posted on 1/14/2017)
- Perfectly Executed
- The one knife to do it all......Tops Cut 4.0. EDC, survival, defense. Perfect length, great ergonomics and excellent scout mount sheath! When I do not want to belt mount the Cut it drops right in my front pocket. The loop barely sticks out and does not appear to be a knife. It is quickly accessed and handy. Literally the biggest fixed blade I can realistically carry everyday and not gather dust in my dresser drawer. The Slight curve of the handle shortens the overall length and provides a death grip with a deep choil for finger protection. The blade is very thick, but tapers to a sharp fine edge and is very usable unlike other overbuilt fixed blades on the market. I am thrilled. I hope Tops continues to make this model. I was not paid to write this, but i have wasted money on alot of other fixed blades. BUY IT! you won't regret it. (Posted on 11/29/2016)