Pros: Blade Material, Finish, Handle Material, Materials, None
Cons: Blade Sharpness, Weight, Overall Quality, Sheath/Scabbard
I recently picked up a TO107C in a trade.....same as the TO107D but with the hunter's point instead of tanto, and now I know why the gentleman was so eager to part with it. Overall, it's an impressive looking knife, but I have some serious problems with it regarding it's usefulness as a cutting tool. BLADE: The blade is THICK, WIDE, and HEAVY. In some ways, this is good, but in this instance, it does more harm than good. The Steel Eagle is more of a 'chopper' than a knife. The grind of the blade is entirely too coarse to consider this a useful tool for anything but the most abusive heavy duty cutting jobs. No problem hacking a tree limb off, but don't bother trying to shave a stick or slice rope. (I use the same 45 degree blade grind on my camp axe--great for splitting kindling or clearing brush, but that's about it.) The black paint is a bit thick and soft and shows when used--but it stays on the knife, and I haven't seen any rust, so it's not all bad. It's not as smooth or as durable as the KG GunKote Chris Reeve uses, but it does the job. SAW: The saw back on the spine is pathetic. The offset teeth are a great idea, but they were poorly ground, and aren't sharp at all.....It might just be my particular knife because it almost looks like the edges were rolled on the grinder. Maybe this is why Tops made this knife to be such a good chopper....the saw is all but unusable. GRIP: The micarta grip panels are smooth, and there are some nice serrations on the handle for palm and thumb--allows for a very natural hand position for delicate cutting.....too bad the thick blade and grind doesn't let you do anything delicate with this knife. For brutal overhand chopping strokes, the finger groove and handle serrations give a very secure grip. The grip is the only saving grace of this knife in my opinion. SHEATH: The sheath is my #1 complaint, especially for such an expensive knife. What a craptastic piece of garbage!!!! Very soft nylon, and no comparison to the stiff cordua on a SpecOps or similar quality aftermarket sheath. The factory sheath is 'MOLLE compatible' with a single attachment strap down the center line--when it's installed on your gear, it's vertically secure, but flops around from side to side. This sheath has a cheap, clear plastic insert (the kind that yellows and cracks easily) instead of Kydex. The last gripe I have with the supplied sheath is the retention strap. Velcro?!? Who would use velcro on something like a retention strap?!? An adjustable strap with a reinforced snap would be much better. With the supplied sheath, there is no way to release the retention strap and draw the knife in a fluid motion--the strap must be unsecured before the draw. (rrrriiiipppppp...hope you weren't trying to be quiet!) The one positive thing about the sheath is the large pocket with adjustable retention strap--plastic lock instead of velcro this time. It will fit 2 1911 magazines or one double stack 9mm magazine. (I keep a DMT diamond hone and a Leatherman in mine) OVERALL OPINION: If you're looking for a short, visually attractive machete for hacking through stuff while playing Airsoft, then this isn't a bad choice. If you're looking for a heavy duty knife that you can rely on to perform a variety of chores at home/in the woods/in the field/TEOTWAWKI, then you might want to look for something else. DISCLAIMER: This is only my personal opinion, and I'm not posting this to trash Tops. I actually like several of their other designs--but this one doesn't work for me.....what works for me isn't necessarily what will work for you.