TOPS to Boost Karambits, Break into Kitchen Knives in 2019

TOPS’ new for 2019 lineup was exactly what we’ve come to expect from the company: big, bold, adventurous. Among the incoming models for the new year are a friction folder that doubles as a cigar cutter, a new line of kitchen knives, and an injection of karambit-style designs to flesh out that part of the TOPS’ catalog.

Cigar Cutter
Every so often we’ll see a knife company play around with the idea of cigar cutter, but TOPS is taking the concept further than most with this model. In combines the standard guillotine-style cutter with a friction folder tanto knife. “There are a lot of cigar cutters out there, but not a lot that double as a utility knife or even an EDC blade,” TOPS’ Craig Powell tells us. The knife [see feature image] comes with a stubby tanto blade and a black G-10 handle – which is where the cigar actually gets cut. This one’s very much a prototype and was drawn up by TOPS CEO Leo Espinoza.

Dicer Kitchen Line
TOPS in the kitchen? The company is making it happen this year with the new Dicer line. Six new fixed blades are designed for use in the kitchen, which means thinner blade stock (3/32″) and stainless steel S35VN blades. Them models on offer include a bread knife, bullnose chef’s knfie, and another that we can only describe as a kitchen sword [see image below].

TOPS Dice Kitchen Series

TOPS Dicer Kitchen Series

The burlier knives in the line should appeal to any TOPS fan, but the company is serious about reaching a wider audience with the Dicer knives. “A lot of our dealers will carry them because they’re TOPS, but we also want them to be seen as legitimate kitchen tools, so we’ll be looking to have them stocked in places where you wouldn’t normally expect to see our stuff,” Powell explains. Of course, a few of the Dicer knives look robust enough to go on a trek in the woods, and Powell says they may eventually get out there. “I could easily see a lot of guys making Kydex or leather sheaths to carry their paring knife or steak knives around as EDCs.”

Karambit Expansion
Another 2019 priority is incorporating more karambit designs and elements into the TOPS lineup. The Devil’s Claw 2, a sequel to an older TOPS karambit, is on the way. Additionally, lots of new prototypes were incorporating the karambit finger ring into their designs without the hawkbill blade. We saw two new, smaller EDC-style blades with finger rings, as well as a rescue cutter and a typically TOPS-like cleaver. “We realized that our karambit offerings were almost non-existent, so we’ve got a few models to help fill that void,” Powell says.

TOPS Devil's Claw

TOPS Devil’s Claw 2

TOPS Nata

TOPS Prototype

In addition to the wide gamut of models on display at SHOT, there may be a few models to come later this year. “Always a possibility,” says Powell. “I believe we’ll have a couple of new things to show at BLADE this year, but we definitely have a lot of models to release throughout the year that will keep people excited.”


Knife in Featured image: TOPS Cigar Cutter

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