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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.

Sleek design Tops knife MNKF Tops CSAR-T

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.


Handle view CSAR-T CSAR-T

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.

Case for the Tops CSAR-T You can see your reflection

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.

Rugged Tops Buck Knife Sleek view buck CSAR-T MNKF Tops CSAR-T

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.


Buck CSAR-T Get a good grip

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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Matt Stagliano

When Matt Stagliano is not busy scoring with legions of Japanese girls who think he’s Chris Costa or character acting a bit part in cheap Westerns (he usually plays a syphilis-ridden cowpuncher or similar saddletramp) he can be found shooting some of the best photos and video in the tactical/firearms industry as a firearms photographer and owner of Firelance Media. He's also a portrait photographer who owns Stonetree Creative, a Maine portrait studio. A former Fortune 50 consultant who is (no shit) a former DJ with a degree in Physics he never uses, Matt is not only brilliant behind the lens but also a helluva nice guy with great taste in booze. Oh, and his dog has a fierce, unnatural love for porcupines.

Matt Stagliano has 19 posts and counting. See all posts by Matt Stagliano

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