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TOPS BOB Fieldcraft blade

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by tommytman, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    I'm thinking that the TOPS BOB Fieldcraft blade with the 154cm steel may be my next fixed blade.

    This knife gets good reviews. Are there any CONS to this knife? Is the sheath good?

    Thanks
     
  2. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    I have a couple of TOPS, but not the Fieldcraft. TOPS 1095 steel is good stuff, takes an edge and holds it well. The coating they put on everything also holds up to use, I have put one of their small hatchets through enough wood that if the coating was bad it would have scraped off--a few marks but nothing more. Every TOPS sheath I have encountered has been somewhere between tight and secure to ridiculously "I need to heatgun this thing" tight, which I prefer to losing a blade on the trail. Sometimes that means using a second hand, which I think isn't a big issue. The only con is that the 1095 on the uncoated edge is going to need some work, as it isn't protected from oxidation and discoloration. Again, this is quite acceptable, and adding a bit of oil or steel wool to your kit shouldn't be a deal sinker.
     
  3. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking at the 154cm steel and not the 1095....
     
  4. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
    Some people complain the knife is too thick. It looks like a winner to me. Ive always liked Tops kydex sheaths.
     
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    It looks like a nice practical 4.75" fixed blade. 154cm should be fine. I don't own any TOPS knives.
     
  6. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    Thanks. Right now I’m trying to decide between the TOPS , or the benchmade buscrafter, or bench made arvensis. It’s a tough decision. I think I like the arvensis.
     
  7. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Good looking knife. You picked a good bunch of knives. You really can't go wrong with any of them. I normally don't go for 6"+ blades for field knives. 4.5-5.5" is my personal range. Of the 3 you mentioned, I'd go TOPs.

    I also don't like hollowed pinned knives. The aesthetics just look odd to me.

    I really like my buddies Lionsteel M5 ~$155. The size is darn near perfect for me. The sheath is so so tho.
     
  8. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    Now that you mention it I was not a big fan of the hollow pin.... not sure how durable they are.
    Maybe the TOPS in 154 cm will be the one.
     
  9. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Yeah. I don't think it is a structural issue really, more aesthetic and maybe done to lighten the knife a little bit. But I don't like the look myself.

    Either way, those are all solid knives from good companies. Good luck!
     
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Hollow pins appeal to me to feed a lanyard through. Other than that, I see no point.

    I think you should get the TOPS and give it a try to see if you like it. If for some reason it doesn't quite fit, there is always the next one to look for. Tis the disease....

    I have a fair number of fixed blades and there are only a few that I would absolutely not want to use. This is after years of buying. So, get the TOPS and I suspect it will do the job you need. The almost 5" size is a good size, but I prefer a 5" > 5.5" blade for general woods use and something smaller for hunting chores. Anything over 6" feels a little beastly to me. I go 9" > 12" for choppers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  11. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
    I was just looking at the knife in question. Ive been interested in the fieldcraft for a while. I just noticed that there’s about a $30+ difference between the 154cm over the 1095. Tops 1095 is done really well, im not sure if I personally would pay that much more just to get the 154cm.
     
  12. bobobama

    bobobama Gold Member Gold Member

    358
    Jan 15, 2017
    Tell us more!

    I like TOPS knives but I only have one (Mini- Sere Operator). It's well made and is also CM 154, but I'm not a fan of the sheath with the rotating clip. They seem to go over the "TOP" (pun intended) with their designs, but they certainly give you a lot to pick and choose from. All in all, it's a brand I would trust.
     
  13. Lodd

    Lodd Gold Member Gold Member

    314
    Jan 23, 2015
    I have this knife in 154cm. I am not a fan. The blade is very very thick. It's thickness seriously gets in the way of its' cutting performance. It's almost a chisel.

    The jimping is very aggressive and it will hurt you in prolonged use.

    The fire-steel scraping thingy on the butt doesnt work and just gets in the way.

    It looked good on paper, but it never leaves storage anymore.
     
    chiral.grolim likes this.
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @bobobama Here is a list of most of my fixed blades that I can recall at this time. You asked?

    <decided to delete my list. It served it's purpose, but is not the topic of this thread.>
    All told around 50 or 60.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  15. bobobama

    bobobama Gold Member Gold Member

    358
    Jan 15, 2017
    Thanks. I guess it would keep you pretty busy trying to use them all!
     
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Pretty much an impossible task. I have no interest in "using them all". Just an accumulation of fixed blades from the last 20 years or so. They pile up and this exercise actually gave me an idea of just how many there are. I really didn't know and would have guessed about half that number.
     
  17. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    Yikes!!! Any other recommend blade then?
     
  18. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    Here is a schematic of the blade geometry of a few "survival" type woods knives:

    [​IMG]

    As may be evident, that Tops knife has the geometry of a concrete chisel! If you want something similar but with slightly better geometry and in stainless steel, you might consider the Gerber Strongarm (I have a plain-edge one that I could offer you, and include my custom attachment with the sheath). If you want something with a slender geometry, consider the Becker BK-16 but get yourself an upgraded sheath. If you want to step up the steel or handle materials, you could select one of the myriad Bussekin although it may or may not require some edge-geometry alteration (my RMD came with a thick edge, but my Hog Muk can out slice the BK-16 any day). If interested, I might be willing to sell you the RMD in the picture below. Survive! has a bunch of great knives (now made by Millit knives) but they have had production issues so are not easy to come by except on the secondary market where the cost goes up. ESEE has 1095 and also 440C steel knives, but the wording of their warranty is... anyway, the newer models have improved handles (old square ones were utterly awful). Anyway, here's a pic of a bunch of knives:

    [​IMG]
     
    Jocephus1 likes this.
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @tommytman What are you planning on using the blade for? You never really mentioned it. So maybe we start from square one with this?

    As to blade thickness, many of the woods or bushcraft blades are a tad thick from my point of view. They are still good knives. For example, the White River Backpacker Pro has about a 3" blade, but I think it would cut much better with a thinner blade. I believe the thickness relates to the current market perception that thicker robust knives are needed in the woods. Frankly, what are going to use it for that you need all this strength? Enter Mora's. They cut.

    Another example: The Becker BK-2 was very popular here for years and was highly recommended by many. I bought one and after the initial oohs and aahs wore off, I knew I would never want to use this knife for anything other than after a major earthquake when I might have to pry something. But cutting.... nope.

    The Becker BK-16 is a very popular woods blade. My favorite Becker is the BK-15 that was discontinued. The factory sheaths are serviceable, but many want a better sheath. The fact of the matter is that for most things, a 3" blade is plenty and I have really developed a liking for the Condor Mayflower for general carry and the woods. I of course have other choices. I got mine for $30 new, but that was just a chance thing of being at Blade at the right moment in time at the Condor booth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  20. tommytman

    tommytman Basic Member Basic Member

    43
    Aug 12, 2019
    I need an all around blade for outdoor use. Processing wood for fires, use with ferro rod, prep food, use for defense as a last resort. I am in CT and the climate here is damp....that’s why I was looking at stainless options. I do like the ESEE 6 but it isn’t stainless and doesn’t like a ferro rod. I basically want a bushcraft in stainless that can take a beating and will work with fire steel. A good sheath wouldn’t hurt either.
     
    22-rimfire likes this.

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