In late 1988, TOPS Knives was founded with a mission to create the highest-quality knives around. Their knives are tools, designed and built using the extensive knowledge and real life experiences of many Operators with backgrounds in Military, Law Enforcement, outdoor professions, and Martial Arts. Specifically, they have worked with designers with backgrounds ranging from Navy Seals to Airborne Rangers, from Martial Arts instructors to survival experts, and from SWAT Team Members to Native American weapons experts. They have a designer from nearly every background that uses hard-core knives. Perhaps the best part, all TOPS fixed blades are manufactured and hand finished at their facility in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, USA.
Their knives have been requested and deployed in “Hot Spots” all over the world. Numerous individuals who are or were Field Operators use or have used their knives and report top performance and reliability form times when their life depended on the tools they had with them.
Several old friends from the Vietnam War era developed a concept based on their experience and disappointment with the knives they were issued during the war, and they sought to correct these issues of strength and durability. TOPS Knives was founded by veterans and supports the Wounded Warrior Project and other charitable organizations. TOPS knives is owned by Michael J. Fuller and operated by Vice President Leo Espinoza. The company primarily produces fixed blade knives for military and law enforcement. TOPS Knives has over 200 knife models in production with many more that are no longer made. One of the most well-known models is the Tom Brown Tracker Knife. It was designed by Tom Brown Jr. and was featured in the 2003 Hollywood movie The Hunted.
Today we will be talking about the TOPS Knives Fiel fixed blade neck knife with a 1095 high carbon steel that has been stonewashed.
The blade on this neck knife is made out of 1095 high carbon steel. This steel is a basic form of carbon steel that is most commonly used in the construction of various kinds of knives. This steel has a carbon content of .95% which works to harden the steel, and reduce the amount of wear that a blade will experience over time. Despite the reduction in wear created by the high presence of carbon, 1095 steel is not as tough as other types of steel due to the lower levels of manganese, which serves to harden the steel. Although manganese hardens steel when used in certain levels, in higher levels it does make for a more brittle blade overall. This steel is going to hold a really good edge, and is going to be easy to sharpen. Unfortunately, this type of steel does have a tendency to easily rust. To give your steel the proper care, make sure that you rinse it off after every use, wipe it clean, and oil it once a week. The oil forms a barrier that prevents moisture from reaching the steel and does give your blade a shiny look. Because this steel is considered more brittle than other types of steel, it is generally good for blades that are not too thin.
The steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. A stonewashed finish refers to when the blade has been tumbled in an abrasive material, such as small stones. This finish works to easily hide scratches, while also giving a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. The most positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime, because of who well it hides the scratches and smudges that occur overtime and with use.
The blade on this neck knife has been carved into a fat dagger blade shape. The dagger point blade is also known as the needle-point blade and the whole point of the blade shape is to pierce or stab with it. The blade is made up of 2 symmetrically sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which easily pierces into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes this blade shape a favorite design for self-defense in close combat situations. These blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to easily concealed and easily withdrawn from its sheathes. This blade shape definitely has a modified dagger blade shape because instead of a thin and sharp tip it has a thicker and more rounded than your typical one. But, because it features the double sides blade, this will still make for a phenomenal dagger.
This is a full tang knife which means that the blade and the handle are made out of one continuous piece of metal. This means that the handle is also made out of 1095 high carbon steel that has been stonewashed. There are many benefits of a full tang knife, the biggest one is how strong it is. Because there is no place where the blade and the handle are molded, you don’t have to worry about the blade or handle snapping if you are using it in a tough situation.
This handle has been skeletonized so that the weight of this knife doesn’t get too heavy. And while there are no handle scales on this blade, it still provides you with a comfortable grip because the handle has been curved slightly.
On the butt of the handle there is a lanyard hole—which is an essential piece for your neck knife. You can tie a longer lanyard through the hole or you can even hook this onto a necklace—whatever your personal style prefers.
This knife is a neck knife which is a knife that is worn on a cord hanging from a person’s neck. This neck knife, like most neck knives, are fixed blades. The biggest benefit of having a neck knife is that it can easily be with you at all times. This knife shouldn’t be expected to be your first weapon, but rather as a backup defensive plan. There are also a lot of benefits to having your defensive weapon as a fixed blade. The blade can be thicker than on a folding knife because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle. And, the knife can be stronger because there are no inner mechanisms that might break. My personal favorite advantage to a fixed blade is that the maintenance is extremely easy—all you have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil the blade every so often. There are no small pieces that you need to be concerned about rusting because the knife is only one piece.
A Kydex sheath is a much more modern material, especially when compared to a leather sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic material that is often used to make holsters and sheaths. The greatest advantage of a Kydex sheath is how durable it is. Kydex is even able to stand up to environments such as being submerged salt water without losing its quality. This material is waterproof, scratch resistant, and will not shrink or stretch over time. Kydex also does not require much attention or care when compared to natural sheath materials.
There are disadvantages to Kydex though. For starters, Kydex does not have very much personality behind it. It is a plain black sheath; unlike leather, that gets better looking over time. The bigger disadvantage is how noisy Kydex is. When you put the knife back in the sheath and when you withdraw it from the sheath, it is going to make a clicking sound. People don’t love this because it gives away your positon whether you are in a tactical situation or you are hunting. Lastly, repeated withdrawing and putting back of your knife in the sheath will dull your blade. Luckily with this knife, the blade material is easy to resharpen.
The blade on this blade measures in at 3 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.13 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches, putting the overall length of this knife at 6.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.
The Pros of the Fiel Fixed Blade:
- 1095 steel has high carbon which means that it has high wear resistance.
- The steel holds an edge well.
- The steel is easy to resharpen.
- The stonewashed blade finish preserves the overall look of the blade for long periods of time.
- The stonewashed blade finish hides scratches and smudges, so the maintenance is a little lower key.
- The blade is dual edged and a dagger shape—the perfect combination for a defensive tool.
- This is a full tang knife, so you won’t have to worry about the knife breaking.
- The knife does feature a lanyard hole, which means that you can easily keep this defensive tool with you at all times.
- The knife handle is skeletonized, so the weight of the knife will not be too high.
- This is a fixed blade, so maintenance will be easy.
- The fixed blade non-mechanism is not going to easily break.
- The Kydex sheath is extremely durable.
- The Kydex sheath can stand up to a wide variety of extreme environments.
- This knife was made in the United States of America—so you can show your country pride while keeping yourself safe.
The Cons of the Fiel Fixed Blade:
- The steel is more brittle, so it might be prone to chipping.
- The steel is prone to rusting easily—so you have to keep up on how often you oil it.
- The Kydex sheath does not have much personality.
- The Kydex sheath is extremely noisy when drawing and putting your knife back in your sheath—it will give your position away.
- The Kydex sheath will also dull your blade when repeatedly pulling it out and putting it back in.
- This knife is only a backup weapon.
When describing their knife, TOPS Knives has said,
“Fiel – Spanish for “Faithful” or “Accurate”. This knife is aptly named. It’s a double-edged, hideaway fixed blade that makes a great last resort tool, tactical blade, and a serious EDC. Because of its small size and comfortable, contoured handle, it is easy to wield. That makes for precise slashing, slicing, and stabbing cuts. There are generous finger guards and jimping on the flat of each side of the blade to give a solid grip for safety.
The sheath was engineered to work well as a neck knife with a secure lock up on the blade, but is also compatible with Tek-Lok for those that would prefer to wear it on their belts. The Fiel is small enough and slim enough to make it an excellent concealed carry option. It’s perfect for military, Law enforcement, and guys who want a good urban defense option. It’s also attractive and useful enough to make a great EDC knife. The Fiel will not let you down.”
Before purchasing this knife, you also need to know that this knife is primarily for use by military, law enforcement, and executive protection specialists. This knife is a double-edged weapon, which does have mean that it falls under a separate set of laws than your typical knife. It is your responsibility to know your local laws before purchasing and carrying this blade. It is completely your responsibility to know these laws.
The blade that has been made out of 1095 high carbon steel means that your blade is going to have high wear resistance and as a bonus is easy to sharpen. The full tang design is going to keep you extra protected because it is less likely to snap. While this shouldn’t be your go-to weapon, this blade will make for the perfect back up tool. Come pick up your new neck knife from BladeOps today.