Houghton Era TOPS Brush Wolf Lopes into the Wild

The spate of releases from TOPS continues with the much-anticipated Brush Wolf, another long-anticipated 2020 SHOT Show blade. This knife is a collaboration with Houghton Era Outdoors and is a beefed up revision of one of the truly classic outdoors knife patterns.

It’s plain at a glance that the Brush Wolf’s blade is a take on the nessmuk, an all-purpose outdoors knife designed by writer George W. Sears (who wrote under the pen name “Nessmuk.”) And indeed the nessmuk knife is required reading for anybody interested in bushcraft blade history. The Brush Wolf plays up the original elements of the shape somewhat: its 6.5-inch edge is a very pronounced belly, sweeping out to a low, but acute, tip. The spine is capped with a run of saw teeth, but a short section has been defanged to allow for use of a fire striker. The blade steel, as it often is on TOPS’s classically outdoors-focused offerings, is 1095.

Other recent TOPS drops like the Bestia and the Filet Knife were both quite specialized knives, but the Brush Wolf is capable of a wide gamut of outdoors and bushcraft chores. Its size and typically sturdy TOPS construction mean that it can flex between bigger and littler tasks without a hitch: batonning, chopping, and detailed whittling are all on the table for this one.

The Bush Wolf has a handle that can adapt to these varied jobs. It’s a long handle in comparison to the blade, starting with a big forward choil that brings the grip right up underneath the cutting edge; this choil flares out into a finger guard below, and beyond the guard there’s a long stretch of bellied-out handle that eventually terminates in a curved butt end with an exposed pommel. The scales are Micarta, fastened with exposed hardware for easy modification.

Houghton Era Outdoors is the shop name of brothers Aaron and Nate Morgan. Until they now, they have been best known for their custom sheaths, so it makes sense that the Brush Wolf is getting the leather sheath treatment from TOPS, complete with dangler-style belt loop.

Knife in Featured Image: TOPS Brush Wolf