Sun. Aug 9th, 2020

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In Depth Tactical Solutions

TOPS Hammer Hawk and Backup Fixed Blade Combo

5 min read

TOPS Hammer Hawk and Backup Fixed Blade Combo

TOPS Knives recently provided me with its Hammer Hawk tomahawk and Backup fixed blade knife combo for evaluation. It’s a very impressive combo that will meet the field requirements of many readers.

Designed by TOPS Knives president Leo Espinoza, the Hammer Hawk and Backup combo is a versatile paired-blade system for the outdoors man or woman that’s capable of handling everything from heavier chopping tasks to delicate precision cutting and skinning game.

Hammer Hawk features a traditional bit shape with a 4.25-inch cutting edge and hammer pol. Head is machined for weight reduction and balance and features a Native American spear design

TOPS Hammer Hawk

The market is awash with tomahawks. It seems that every knife company has come with one. TOPS Hammer Hawk stands out from the rest of the pack. This awesome new tomahawk is no ordinary tomahawk. Every feature is has been carefully thought out for maximum functionality and visual appeal.

The Hammer Hawk is no lightweight. Weighing in at just over 2.25 pounds (1.02 kg), the Hammer Hawk is a full-tang 0.38-inch (0.97 cm) thick piece of tough 1075 carbon steel. The overall length is 14.5 inches (39.37 cm).

TOPS opted for 1075 for the Hammer Hawk, instead of the 1095 it uses for most of its knives. Although 1095 is harder and holds an edge better, it is more brittle than 1075 due to the higher carbon content of 1095. Both steels are basically iron and carbon, with trace amounts of other elements. Both steels are easy to resharpen in the field. They will rust if not cared for properly.

The heat treatment is as important, if not more important, than the steel. TOPS knives and tomahawks are differentially heat treated. Differential heat treatment is a technique used during heat treating to harden or soften certain areas of a steel object, creating a difference in hardness between these areas. The blade edge is significantly harder than the spine and tang, creating a sharp knife or tomahawk that is less brittle than one that is fully tempered.

The Hammer Hawk features a traditional bit shape with a 4.25-inch (10.8 cm) cutting edge that allow it to perform chopping tasks that most tomahawks and smaller hatchets cannot accomplish. The head is CNC machined for weight reduction and enhanced balance and features a Native American spear design milled into into it for an added stylish touch.

The full tang handle features thick, contoured textured green canvas Micarta® scales for durability, impact resistance and a no-slip grip. The handle contours allow for multiple grip options.

The head is designed with a choil to permit choking up for added control and also features a differentially heat treated hammer pol (butt) opposite the blade for blunt force impact tasks. TOPS opted for a hammer pol for all-around utility, rather than a spike. The head and tang are acid etched and tumbled finished, which TOPS refers to as an “Acid Rain” finish.

The full tang handle features thick, contoured textured green canvas Micarta® scales for durability and impact resistance, as well as to provide a no-slip grip in all weather conditions. The scales are attached with heavy-duty stainless steel  flat head hex-socket screws. The contours of the handle allow for multiple grip options. The handle has a large swell for additional control and to provide additional protection from slippage. The swell has dual lanyard holes.

A hatchet, axe or tomahawk needs to be designed with balance between the head and tail in mind. The Hammer Hawk has been. It’s exceptionally well balanced, making work easier and reducing fatigue.

The Hammer Hawk comes with a two-piece brown leather sheath system that features a blade cover and a belt frog for carry. The blade cover has two snaps to keep it in place. It’s separate from the belt frog, so you can carry the Hammer Hawk either on the belt or in a pack It also allows the Hammer Hawk to be drawn and inserted easily from your hip. The belt frog fits belts up to 1.75 inches (4.45 cm) wide and features a pocket with a Kydex® insert for the optional TOPS Backup fixed blade knife or other small skeletonized fixed blade  knife of your choice (TOPS Knives has many that will fit). The sheath system is shaped to balance the Hammer Hawk well when worn.

Hammer Hawk comes with a two-piece brown leather sheath system that features a blade cover and a belt frog for carry. The belt frog features a pouch with Kydex insert for the Backup knife. Photo courtesy TOPS Knives.

TOPS Backup

The TOPS Backup fixed blade knife was designed to compliment the Hammer Hawk. This 4-inch (10.16 cm) skeletonized knife is made from 1095 carbon steel. It has a 2.38 inch (6.05 cm) upswept drop point blade with substantial belly for slicing. The knife is 0.13-inch (0.33 cm) thick and weighs a scant 1.6 ounces (45.38 g). It also comes standard with TOPS Acid Rain finish. The Backup is a great little knife and is the perfect companion to the Hammer Hawk.

Conclusion

The TOPS Hammer Hawk and Backup combo are an outstanding paired system. that performs exceptionally well in the field. As with all TOPS Knives products they are well designed and well made. The workmanship is excellent.

The TOPS Hammer Hawk has a MSRP of $350. ($370 with TOPS Backup included). The TOPS Backup has a MSRP of $75 if purchased separately. They are made in the USA and come with TOPS lifetime warranty (the sheath has a one-year warranty).

Specifications
TOPS Hammer Hawk

Manufacturer: TOPS Knives
Model: TOPS Hammer Hawk
Overall Length: 14.50 in.
Blade Length: 4.50 in.(11.43 cm)
Cutting Edge:: 4.50 in. (11.43 cm)
Blade Thickness: 0.38 In. (0.97 cm)
Blade Steel: 1075 RC 56-58
Blade Finish: Acid Rain
Handle Material: Green Canvas Micarta
Weight: 36.3 oz. (1.03 kg)
Weight w/ Sheath: 42.3 oz. (1.2 kg)
Sheath Material: Brown Leather
Sheath Clip: Blade cover with frog
Designer: Leo Espinoza
Country of Origin: USA
MSRP: $350 ($370 with TOPS Backup included)

The TOPS Backup is a perfect companion to the Hammer Hawk. The 4-inch skeletonized knife I has a 2.38 inch upswept drop point blade with substantial belly.

Specifications
TOPS Backup

Manufacturer: TOPS Knives
Model: TOPS Backup
Overall Length: 5.0 in. (12.7 cm)
Blade Length: 2.38 in.
Cutting Edge: 2.38 in.
Blade Thickness: 0.13 in. (6.05 cm)
Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
Blade Finish: Acid Rain
Handle Material: Skeletonized
Weight: 1.6 oz.(45.36 g)
Sheath Material: Kydex
Designer: Leo Espinoza
Country of Origin: USA
MSRP: $75

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.