TOPS Partners with Al Mar Knives

TOPS Al Mar Mini SERE Operator

TOPS has partnered with Al Mar Knives for their latest release, a USA-made version of the Mini SERE Operator. The surprise announcement gives a classic Mar design new life and could lead to more TOPS models based on the legend’s designs.

The SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape) Operator family endures as some of the finest tactical knife options in the world. The simple, spare design belies their usefulness and TOPS wasn’t one to mess with what isn’t broken. For their iteration of the Mini SERE Operator, they retained the straight 4-inch drop point blade with swedge and ergonomic, slightly angled handle. Even smaller details like the hollow handle pins and lanyard hole location mirror the original.

TOPS Knives Mini SERE Operator'“In terms of translating this model to our lineup, it was a simple process,” says the company’s Craig Powell. “Because we aren’t making any changes to the design, it was just a matter of making it with our own manufacturing process.” The Japan-produced Al Mar Knives iteration utilizes VG-10 steel, but TOPS chose 154CM for their take. Additionally, they opted for G-10 instead of Micarta for the scales. “The two designs for all intents and purposes are the same just with slightly different materials,” Powell says.

TOPS Knives Mini SERE Operator

One challenge that anybody adapting an Al Mar Knives product faces is living up to the fit and finish of the originals. The company enjoys a reputation for meticulous detail, and although the SERE knives often end up with soldiers and other hard users, they receive the same attention as other Al Mar products. TOPS was careful to ensure the details were correct on their Mini SERE Operators too. “Al Mar Knives are known for having superior quality in terms of their fit and finish,” Powell tells us. “We are known for having excellent quality with our fit and finish as well.”

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The late Al Mar’s work is enjoying a major renaissance as 2017 comes to a close. Nemesis Knives took the helm with a cache of never-before-seen Mar designs and now TOPS is bringing this new version of the Mini SERE Operator to market. And according to Powell, TOPS is interested in further collaborations with Al Mar Knives. “We’d like to make the full-size version of this knife for sure. It would be an honor to make any that [the company] would want us to make.”

TOPS’ Mini SERE Operator is available directly from TOPS and is on its way to leading dealers.

Knife featured in image: TOPS Al Mar Mini SERE Operator

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