The mere sight of the two new TOPS blades should have any reasonable opponent fleeing to safety. The new options include an over-sized and intimidating karambit and a combat knife and entry tool, both intended for tactical applications.
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Designed by Colin Despins of Max Venom Product Group, the TAC-TOPS Karambit is modeled after a custom version that Max Venom built specifically for a member of an elite military unit. The size, shape, design, and sheer appearance of the knife puts the TAC-TOPS Karambit in a league of its own. What this blade lacks in civilian practicality, it makes up for in its ability to terrify and its effectiveness as a weapon. The 11.25” overall length delivers a slashing and tearing reach that is unprecedented for a karambit. The strike face on the spine of the knife and another at the base of the glove-friendly, exaggerated finger hole provide additional striking options.
TOPS has a reputation for producing high carbon steel with a superior heat treat. The choice of 1095 on the business end of the TAC-TOPS will sustain the edge and is still easy to sharpen – as easy to sharpen as a karambit can be. Its canvas micarta scales is another TOPS Knives staple. These scales provide the user with great purchase on the handle even when damp that should also appeal to the military and law enforcement community.
The Desert Nomad is a 440C Stainless Steel beast that will please many long time fans of TOPS and win over some new ones too. With an overall length of 11.75”, and a blade width of 3/16” the Desert Nomad is no burden to carry around or mount on a pack, weighing in at well under a pound. “It’s definitely one that was designed with ‘old’ combat knives in mind. We wanted to make a fighting/self-defense blade that was light but could still handle tough tasks,” TOPS Knives’ Marketing Director, Craig Powell told us.
The simple blade shape of the Desert Nomad was designed with slashing and stabbing in mind. The addition of a splitter on the end of the handle contributes to making the Desert Nomad capable of primary knife duties especially within severe environments. This knife affords a generous 6.5” blade length made possible by a finger choil at the base of the blade.
Every TOPS knife has a story behind what’s printed on its blade. How did the Desert Nomad get its name? “Think about where most major military operations are happening now. Most of them are in desert-like environments, and our armed forces are wandering from place to place searching out the bad guys – when we actually get boots on the ground that is. Hence the Desert Nomad,” Powell explains.
Knife featured in image: TAC-TOPS Karambit by TOPS Knives