Eyes On: TOPS El Chete

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This big damn thing just arrived. Hope the delivery guy didn’t throw his back out carrying it.

You don’t always need a big-ass knife like this, but when you do, it’s usually because a smaller knife would make the work labor intensive and and axe isn’t efficient. That’s where I’m guessing this Golok-type tool comes into its own.

This is the El Chete from TOPS Knives, though despite the name it’s not actually a machete. It was designed by TOPS Knives HMFIC (and lead designer, incidentally) Leo Espinosa, and I’m looking forward to beating the hell out of it.

For as long as I can swing my arm, anyway. Specs below. Report to follow.

Knife Type Fixed Blade

Overall Length 17.50″

Blade Length 12.00″

Cutting Edge 11.38″

Blade Thickness 0.250″

Blade Steel 1095 RC 56-58

Blade Finish Acid Rain

Handle Material Green Canvas/Black Canvas Micarta

Knife Weight 29.5oz

Weight w/ Sheath 37.5oz *note that it does have multiple sheath options*

Sheath Included Yes

Sheath Material Black Kydex

Designer Leo Espinoza

Here’s how the TOPS description reads:

This blade was designed with one thought in mind… chopping. With a 1/4″ thick blade that is a full foot long, it will do that very well. Even though it’s so large, the knife still weighs in under 2 pounds.

El Chete is the first TOPS knife to be released with our wicked new finish called Acid Rain. Because of the process we use, the finish varies slightly from knife to knife so that each person gets something unique. We wanted the handles to be thick enough to fill each user’s hand like a hatchet or small ax handle would, so we decided to use sandwiched Micarta. It’s well rounded for comfort and the black canvas Micarta underneath the green canvas Micarta adds even more to the aesthetics of this piece.

The sheath is an out-the-front design with all the bells and whistles. You just pull up slightly then out the front so that you don’t have to strain to pull the knife all the way up through the sheath. There is a strap that when snapped into place, helps immensely with the retention of the blade. We’ve also made it available with our rotating spring steel clip or a leather dangler attachment so that each user picks the right fit for him or her.

If you’re in the market for a large knife, you’ve definitely found it.

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