Pros: Blade Sharpness, Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Blade Material, Materials, Weight, Overall Quality, Finish
I see some of my thoughts and comments are the same as others. In purchasing this blade, I was never concerned about the manufacturer. TOPS is one of the best. I've known a number of guys in SOGs who carried one or more of the their blades in the field. I wanted something for law enforcement (the street) and chose this specifically for its sheath, blade, & handle. I know 1095 carbon isn't exactly a rust resistance steel, but because in law enforcement one's not usually in a wet environment for any extended period, it won't be a problem. When I was in the military, I carried an Al Mar 8" blade. No matter what the conditions, that thing never saw rust. Now I simply require a reliable blade (1095 is an extremely durable steel) that can be openly carried and possesses a limited profile. Unfortunately, law enforcement limits the carrying of any Rambo style hardware. The civilian populace and, especially, the brass (command) would freak the eff out. Obviously, you're issued firearms for defense so, if one ever needs to use a knife as a weapon, they've probably screwed up. I also wanted to protect the blade from access by an assailant when I go to the ground or if I bang into crap. That said, it still needs to provide quick access for the bearer and if pulled, can be held in any blade position. Incredibly, this sheath (extended length kydex) and blade (double-edge) does precisely that. The molle clips that come with it weren't able to properly fasten the sheath directly to the departments oversized issued belt. I figured a few ways to secure it; either multiple allen bolt fasteners, rivets, or two parallel cuts in the belt itself with reinforced stitching. I chose stainless steel rivets. This thing is permanent till a change of belts. The knife has only one minor design issue but I knew this before purchasing it. It could utilize a bit more protection to prevent the users hand from sliding forward. I'm not implying installing a full hilt, just a little more excess steel coming off the base of the blade along the top of the handle for individuals like myself who possess large hands. Since this isn't specifically for combat, I'm not too concerned. The handle's length, feel, color, and the serrated blade's matte finish (helps to maintain a low profile & prevent rust) are freaking sweet. It fully serves all my intended purposes. Additionally, my thanks to Knife Center. As usual, the blade arrived faster than expected and in perfect condition. I'd give it a nine out of ten (10 being perfect), but as everyone knows, there's no such thing as a perfect blade or, for that matter, any perfect special forces operator. Only those perfectly planned missions... yea, right up until the proverbial "sh*t hits the fan" That's when this blade will be worth every penny I spent on it.