TOPS Knives’ Desert Nomad Won’t
Leave You High And Dry
By Pat Covert
Fixed-blade fighting knives spawned during WWII by designers such as John Ek and Walter “Bo” Randall are some of the most desired by collectors, and for good reason. Their classic lines warm the cockles and stand up to scrutiny today. The TOPS Desert Nomad captures the look and feel of a WWII “Fighter,” in particular the John Ek Commando Model 5. Ek’s knives were no-nonsense designs with flat, straight handles accompanied by either a double edged or slenderized clip point Bowie blade. The TOPS Desert Nomad reflects the latter, but has a wider profile.
At 11.75 inches the Desert Nomad is a large fixed-blade but smaller and more agile than your typical Bowie. The Nomad’s 6.5-inch blade is 440C stainless steel with a non-reflective tumbled finish. A deep hollow grind makes for excellent slashing and chopping, while a swedge grind on the backside enhances penetration. Bowies, despite the legendary tale of their namesake, were primarily large camp knives. The Desert Nomad, though slightly smaller, can do a heap of heavy-duty chores, such as shelter building and butchering game. An aluminum bolster keeps the hand below blade level and grooved and textured G10 scales afford a nice grip. The exposed skull-cracker base is ovate with a lanyard hole for those who prefer an added bit of security during use. A black leather belt sheath (with a loop to lock the Nomad in during carry) is included.
If you like a straightforward fixed-blade able to deliver a high level of self-defense and perform a bevy of camp chores, the Desert Nomad will be glad to be your friend. At a suggested retail of $220 you can break a lot of things without breaking the bank.
MAKER: TOPS Knives
P.O. Box 2544
Idaho Falls, ID 83403
Steel type: Tumble finish 440C stainless steel
Blade length: 6.5 inches
Overall length: 11.75 inches
Weight: 10.8 ounces (16.0 ounces sheathed)
Handle: Black G10 scales
Carry: Black leather belt sheath