My Detailed Tops Knives “Spirit Hunter” Hunting Knife Review

by Knife Expert on September 20, 2013

For all those who’re not aware of the history of the Tops knives, let me share some interesting facts with you. The knives built by this company are based on the extensive knowledge and real world experiences of a diverse number of people with experience in military, outdoor survival and law enforcement. This means that TOPS knives are designed to be used for critical or extreme assignments and the same is the case with the TOPS Spirit Hunter knife.

An excellent and well designed knife, the Spirit Hunter measures about 9 and ¾” with a 4 1/4” clip point blade made from 5/32”, high carbon, 154CM stainless steel. This steel measures about 58-60 on the HRC scale and is an extremely tough knife. A unique feature of this knife is that the blade is manufactured with a patented process that creates 3 distinct unique hardness zones within the blade.

Tops Knives “Spirit Hunter” Hunting Knife

After that, each zone is then cryogenically frozen to remove stress and this then force the molecules within the blade to line up in perfect alignment with each other. All this results in the TOPS Spirit Hunter knife becoming extremely hard at the edges while the back is left a little softer to create a “spring steel tempered” spine.

I also liked the fact that this knife is extremely resistant to corrosion thanks mainly due to the patented TAC Gray epoxy polyester coating that TOPS is famous for and which is baked onto the blade for permanent adhesion. This full tang hunting and survival knife has Micarta handle slabs (read about my liking for Micarta) and comes equipped with a heavy-duty leather sheath. It might not be as pretty as some of the other hunting knives you’ve seen that have exotic wooden handles and polished blades but overall, the Spirit Hunter has a highly practical design and comes up trumps in performance.

This is clearly evident while skinning game because the Clip Point blade positions the tip of the blade closer to the center line where it is out of the way during skinning and instead serves to increase the control the user has over the tip of the knife.

Another thing that I liked about the TOPS spirit hunter hunting knife is that the wide blade allows for a considerable amount of belly in the sweep which is excellent for removing the hide from harvested game animals. But, most importantly, the blade is made from 154CM which is a highly popular stainless steel that was first used by Bob Loveless in his custom knives as an alternative to 440C.

I’ve used a few knives before that contain a 154CM blade and let me tell you that it’s an extremely good material because it makes for extremely durable and hard steel thanks to the 1.05% carbon and 14% chromium content in it. Apart from that, it also contains 0.5% Manganese and 4.0% Molybdenum which help increase the hardness and toughness of the Spirit Hunter blade.

Tops Knives “Spirit Hunter” Hunting Knife Review

This hunting knife does not have any sort of quillion on it and although, I am personally fine with it, some people do prefer having a quillion on the knife. I also liked the overall length of the blade and at a length of 4 1/4”, I think it’s just about perfect plus the shape of the handle and the linen Micarta handle slabs provide a non-slip surface for the user’s hand and it is extremely tough and it is impervious to moisture, heat, cold, chipping, cracking, or splitting.

To sum up this detailed review, the TOPS Spirit Hunter might not be the prettiest or most aesthetically pleasing knife in the market, but it more than makes up for all that with its performance and functionality. It is made solely for the purpose of being an exceptional hunting knife and it does that to perfection thanks to the high quality material that are used in the manufacture of this knife.

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