TOPS Bumps MSF Folder up into the Super Steel Category

A new folder from TOPS, a company best known for its fixed blades, is always a notable event in the knife world, and we’ve just seen the latest one arrive. A new version of the MSF folder is here, with a different blade shape, different handle materials, and upgraded blade steel.

The story of the MSF (which stands for Mini Scandi Folder) begins, in fact, with a neck knife. The Mini Scandi knife was a smash hit for TOPS, becoming their best selling model in the neck knife category – so it made sense as a starting place for designing a new folding everyday carry piece. The original MSF released in 2018, with a 3.25-inch Scandi-style drop point blade made from N690Co and canvas Micarta scales. It in itself went on to become a popular product for TOPS, so this year they returned for a new, improved version.

The clip on the new MSFs is different, but just like original it can be swapped to either side

The blade length on the 2023 MSFs is the same as before: 3.25 inches (that’s actually a bit bigger, by the way, than the fixed blade Mini Scandi). But the scandi-style drop point is gone, replaced by a clip point. Differences in blade shape, especially when you’re dealing with knives in this size class, often come down more to preference than performance; and these clip MSFs should do just about anything the original version could do, performing as an everyday carry knife or an outdoors tool.

What isn’t the same, however, is the blade steel. Instead of N690Co, the 2023 MSFs come with Elmax steel. N690Co is a fine steel in its own right, but few if any would argue that Elmax is an improvement, a full-on super steel with high edge retention and stain resistance in particular. The clip blade is flat ground rather than Scandi ground too, making conventional sharpening a bit easier. Finally, instead of Micarta scales, the 2023 MSFs come with G-10 scales, either black or green.

The 2023 MSFs are available now.

Knife in Featured Image: TOPS MSF-B

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