Latest Version of TOPS Spirit Hunter Subtly Refines Design

TOPS just put the finishing touches on a new revision of a longrunning model called the Spirit Hunter. The Spirit Hunter X3 refines the original design, with changes to blade shape, handle design, and sheath coming together for a higher than ever level of refinement.

The Spirit Hunter, one of many TOPS designs by company CEO Leo Espinoza, was the first release from the Idaho-based company to sport a recurve blade – and that signature element is preserved on the X3. Indeed, most of what defined the original Spirit Hunter is still here, just sharpened (ha ha) for today’s knife market. The most notable change made to the 4.75-inch blade is that the swedge on previous versions has been removed; it’s an alteration that helps make the X3 just that bit more robust, especially when it comes to piercing chores.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. That’s what they say anyway, and in one key way the axiom holds true on the X3. While nearly every knife company, TOPS included, has played with modern steels, the Spirit Hunter X3 retains the time- and TOPS-tested 1095 carbon steel for its blade. It’s rugged stuff, with good edge retention too; but, perhaps most importantly, it’s very easy to work with on the sharpening stones, so repairing and touching up the edge doesn’t take long at all.

And while the blade got tougher, so too did the handle get softer – well, not softer, per se, but more comfortable. TOPS upgraded the scales on the X3, thickening them up and contouring them more, for better than ever long-term ergonomics. Last but not least, the leather dangler sheath is now brown instead of black; granted, it’s not a performance-enhancing change, but it could be the key change for the fashion conscious outdoorsmen among us. The Spirit Hunter X3 weighs 13.4 oz. in the sheath.

The Spirit Hunter X3 released this week and is available now.

Knife in Featured Image: TOPS Spirit Hunter X3

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