TOPS Bestia Finally Appears in the Wild

It has been a long wait, but the TOPS Bestia is available to consumers at last. This wild-looking mashup of kukri and chopper falls into the same heavy duty category as some of TOPS’s most popular releases.

Perhaps surprisingly for such a purpose-specific blade shape, there’s something about the kukri that speaks to knife makers; over the years it has seen nearly numberless revisions, renditions, and riffs. Some of these hew close to the historical form, but Bestia is a more departure from traditional kukri tropes: TOPS exaggerated the signature curve and, instead of a bulbous, spearlike tip, gave this knife a dropped, low point – almost like a gigantic wharncliffe. The cutting edge is 12.75 inches long – even longer than El Chete’s, another big TOPS knife that the company acknowledges was an inspiration for this one.

From the beginning, in roles both martial and mundane, the kukri has been a chopper first and foremost, and the dramatic rejigging on display in the Bestia does not alter that purpose. This is primarily meant to be a workhorse, clearly brush and biting through wood. Stainless steels are a growing part of TOPS’s lineup, but, naturally, they crafted this meaty blade out of 1095 carbon, their preferred steel for anything in this size and use class.

The ergonomics are commensurately oversized, with a handle that is approaching short sword size. The added length isn’t just for show; it allows users to either choke up for more detail-oriented cutting, or fall back for added power in chopping. Big slabs of green-over-tan canvas Micarta comprise the handle scales, and an exposed rearward pommel provides two optional lashing points for a lanyard, if you’re so inclined. A leather dangler-equipped, open back Kydex sheath is included, and all in the Bestia weighs in at 42.4 oz. – about 2.65 lbs.

We first saw the Bestia in January 2020, where it appeared alongside more than a dozen other models at TOPS’s SHOT Show booth. For an obvious, hardly-needs-to-be-mentioned reason, some of those knives did not release on time. And it looks like the Bestia is one of several 2020 reveals that will appear this year; the company has already teased that the Brush Wolf is incoming as well.

The Bestia is available now.

Knife in Featured Image: TOPS Bestia