To many, it’s not new or revolutionary. It’s a buck knife.
However, TOPS released the Buck CSAR-T (Combat Search and Rescue Tool) a few years back to address that small portion of outdoorsman and non-operational tactical operators that need just a few more capabilities on their go-to working blade.
With a full tang 154CM stainless steel blade ending in a modified Tanto point, the CSAR-T is built to be prying, cutting, and chopping tool first, but adds a few elements for users that don’t want to also carry a pocket full of other gear. There is a hex driver built into the butt end which also serves a dual purpose as a large flat head screwdriver or impact tool.
The 4.5” blade has a non-reflective finish thanks to being treated with Zirblast and weighs in at 14 ounces. The weight is hefty, but not heavy. There is a solid feel to this knife that just begs for you to put it to work.
For transport, the CSAR-T ships with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath capable of multiple configurations options, whether on your belt or strapped to a pack. It contains an extra front pocket for fire steel or sharpener or anything else you may need. The knife is held fast by a snap closure.
The aggressive grooved pattern on the G10 handles felt great in our hand and TOPS calls it “Rocky Mountain Tread.” Held to the blade with four screws, we have not felt any give in the handles at all, even after a lot of use. However, the handles can be removed if you find yourself in an extreme enough position where you needed to lash the knife to a spear. You, my friend, would be their ideal customer.
The blade also contains an oxygen wrench and utility notches to add leverage in the case where you just can’t release that regulator screw.
We had this knife with us on a recent moose hunt in Maine (hence the dried blood in the pictures), and through all sorts of field dressing, brush cutting, and a variety of activities on the hunt, the CSAR-T was razor sharp and performed admirably. In Utah, we used it to cut a bit of kindling to get our fire started and it breezed through the job.
The TOPS CSAR-T has an MSRP of $200, but your favorite online retailers typically have a street price of $120. With so many capabilities built into one affordable lifetime-warranty outdoors knife, this deserves a spot somewhere in your camping loadout.
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