TOPS Knives New Juggernaut Is One Mean Hombre
By Pat Covert
TOPS Knives has never been shy when it comes to making big bad brawlers, but their new El Chete may just be their coup de grâce. The El Chete is not the company’s longest knife, but for sheer brawn—as in 1/4-inch blade steel and 29.5 ounces in weight—this mega-basher will take on all comers. For fans of big, hard-use knives this monster is bound to whet the appetite.
The El Chete, designed by TOPS president and longtime resident designer Leo Espinoza, is 17.5 inches overall, 12 inches of the total dedicated to the aforementioned 1/4-inch thick 1095 high carbon steel blade. The blade style is based on the clipped version of the Indonesian Golok, a highly effective machete used for blazing trails and clearing brush in dense rainforest environs. A stonewashed Acid Rain Cerakote finish adds excellent corrosion resistance to the blade. The El Chete’s robust handle features sandwiched black-and-green layered canvas micarta scales with a deep index finger choil and bow drill pivot designed in. There are two holes in the base for lanyard attachment, recommended for arduous periods of slinging. It’s also worth noting 1095 high carbon steel, a TOPS Knives standard, is easy to sharpen in the field.
The El Chete is made for the toughest of field chores—from trail blazing and shelter building, to chopping firewood and food prep for hoards of hungry eaters. It can perform many functions of both a hatchet and machete, and it’s the kind of knife you’d want in dire survival circumstances. TOPS delivers the El Chete with a black Kydex sheath with spring clip or dangler belt carry options. Price for this mega-basher is $300.
MAKER: TOPS Knives
P.O. Box 2544
Idaho Falls, ID 83403
Steel type: 1095 HC
Blade length: 12.0 inches
Overall length: 17.5 inches
Weight: 29.5 ounces
Handle: Layered canvas micarta
Carry: Kydex belt sheath, clip/dangler