Latest TOPS Pairing is a Karambit Cleaver and Bush Sword

TOPS has a new pair of knives available to wrap up April/kick off May. The Tidal Force is their latest riff on the cleaver-style knife, while the CUMA Kage breaks into the bushcraft territory in an unusual way.

Tidal Force

When it comes to cleavers, TOPS has a certain flair. Models like El Chete and the new Tac Raze 2 showcase an affection for the shape, and an awareness of its utility. With the new Tidal Force, TOPS is taking the cleaver concept and giving it a boost up in ergonomics.

The 4.87-inch cleaver blade has ample belly, and is made from 1095 carbon steel. The length and particular curve on this blade give it a purposely wide range of uses: cleavers obviously have a culinary connotation, but TOPS advertises the Tidal Force as something that is ready for outdoor or indoor use.

TOPS looked to karambit designs for the Tidal Force’s handle. The arching shape and, more to the point, the finger ring, should be familiar sights to anybody au courant with the karambit format. In combination with a very deep finger groove, the Tidal Force’s handle should be just as flexible in terms of grip options as it is in use categories. The Tidal Force has burlap Micarta scales, a Kydex sheath with a dangler attachment, and weighs 11.8 oz.


The CUMA Kage, designed by Sijo Waysun Johnny Tsai, goes far afield for its inspiration. Tsai always loved the GI Joe comics, and gravitated towards the character Snake Eyes in particular. The Kage is modeled after the sword that Snake Eyes uses in the comics. And, in fact, the inspiration eventually went both ways: the GI Joe artists tweaked the look of Snake Eyes’s sword to match that of Tsai’s TOPS design.

In practical terms, the Kage has a 15.5-inch blade, a drop point or Japanese tanto profile that has been modified with an expanded Punyo front portion to expand its capabilities further. TOPS is calling this one a “bush sword,” a self-defense implement that can also replace an axe in outdoor bushcraft-style scenarios. 1095 is the blade steel, which in combination with the .250″ blade stock means this bush sword can take a beating.

Like the Tidal Force, the CUMA Kage comes with a Kydex sheath equipped with a leather dangler. Given its dimensions it should be no surprise that it weighs quite a bit more than the average TOPS release, tipping the scales at 39.7 oz. with the sheath.

Knife in Featured Image: TOPS Tidal Force