I first came across this knife at a gun show in 2012. I traded another knife for it that I was looking to sell anyway. The Wolfhawk is my 2nd knife from Tops.
The selling point for this knife (pictured below) and the heart of its design are based on the mounting system. The idea is to have a knife for weapon retention or for a last ditch effort in close combat. Personally, I think the idea is ridiculous. At least mounting it to your rifle. There is a soft nylon sheath for this knife now, but at the time it was not available.
When I acquired this knife I was still enlisted in the Marine Corps. At the time a knife for close combat purposes made sense in my life. So I had it on a MOLLE belt along with various items I needed for work. I had sewn the sheath into a MOLLE pouch and found that it worked great this way. The retention system gave me peace of mind that it would still be there when I needed it, but still be easy to access. This knife went to and through a lot with me. Including the jungle warfare training center in Okinawa, Japan.
After my enlistment I wasn’t actually sure what I was going to do with this knife. The 90 degree edges (pictured above) on the micarta handles were hot spots when using the knife for more than a couple minutes. I liked the size and the drop point for a camp knife and it is only 3.8oz makes it decent for backpacking.
After much thought and a year or so of using this knife while camping, I was finally tired of the sheath and the rough edges on the handles. So, I broke out some tools and smoothed out the handles to make the knife user friendly. Once I did this I knew the sheath would no longer have any level of retention. Luckily for me, I know a guy, and I had a custom kydex sheath made. Once I got it back, it felt like a whole new knife.
I am enjoying the slim part of the handle near the front where my index finger wraps around in a hammer grip. It feels similar to a finger choil, allowing decent control.
Overall length is 7.75″ and the cutting edge is 3.25″. The blade thickness is 0.16″ and made of 1095 steel. The handle materials are black linen micarta, the blade is coated in Tops’ black traction coating. The knife is full tang and weighs 3.8oz.
Tops Knives produces tough products. The shape and design works well. Jimping on both the top and bottom in addition to the handle shape should keep your hand from sliding forward during a stabbing motion. As a small defense knife, I would give it 5/5 stars. I really enjoy the retention offered and how I was able to rapidly deploy it in a time of need. I still wouldn’t mount it to a rifle though. In the first photo, at the top of the article, you can see the traction coating has been worn though. I’ll say that the coating has held up much better than expected.
As a camp knife, with the modifications and new sheath I’ll give it 3/5 stars. I have processed a significant amount of wood and other materials to know that this little blade is indestructible. The grind and coating aren’t suited for wood processing but coming in at only 3.8oz it is a good companion for backpacking.