All Grown Up

The TOPS Baja 4.5 Is A Bigger
Version Of Its Sibling.

By Pat Covert

It’s not uncommon for a successful model knife in a cutlery manufacturer’s line to be morphed into an encore version, exactly what we find in the TOPS Knives’ Baja 4.5 fixed-blade. We reviewed the original Baja 3.0 in this column back in the May 2014 issue and were quite impressed with its overall design and handling. The Baja 4.5 is a larger version of that knife and every bit impressive.

All of the original Baja 3.0’s original design features are present and accounted for in its bigger sibling, which hits the door at 9.25 inches in overall length. The drop-point blade, stretched to 4.88 inches, is now more graceful in this newer send-up, and TOPS increased the blade thickness to 3/32 inches, bolstering its strength. They also replaced the light tan powder coat with their newer—and more attractive—smoky Black River Wash finish. The cutting chores are handled by TOPS’ slice-du-jour 1095 high carbon steel, which they’ve been heat-treating to perfection since 1998.

The scales are green canvas micarta with the same three diagonal grooves found on little brother’s handle, but TOPS added a bow drill pivot on the basal end which will make Bushcrafters lick their chops—as will the black leather dangler-style sheath. For icing on the cake, the sheath features a ferro rod holder replete with TOPS’ tri-rod firesteel for flame to go and an emergency whistle to boot. Nutshelled, the TOPS Baja 4.5 is the complete package for the hunter, survivalist or camper who desires a fixed-blade capable of a wide range of chores. A suggested retail of $200 makes this knife a great value considering its many features.

BAJA 4.5

MAKER: TOPS Knives, P.O. Box 2544, Idaho Falls, ID 83403, (208) 542.0113,

Steel type: 1095 High carbon steel
Blade length: 4.88 inches
Overall length: 9.25 inches
Weight: 6.2 ounces
Handle: Green canvas micarta
Finish: Black River Wash
Carry: Black leather dangler sheath with ferro rod holder
Price: $200

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