TOPS Armageddon Knife: One of the Elite?


TOPS Knives is a company that specializes in the manufacture of high quality, military and law enforcement, and outdoor knives that are mission specific tools designed using the extensive knowledge and real life experiences of 12 individuals with backgrounds in these said areas.

As a result, we can all be  certain that TOPS knives are specifically designed to handle extreme assignments.  For those of you who are looking for a REALLY big knife, the TOPS Armageddon definitely fits the bill!

This knife was designed by Trace Rinaldi and features an overall length of 16 1/2” with a 10 5/8” clip point blade with a flat grind made from 1/4” 1095 high carbon, non-stainless steel that has been hardened to 58 Rockwell. The blade’s knife is further coated with black traction coating to prevent corrosion.

Unlike many other large knives this length, the Armageddon weighs a hefty 24 ounces!

This is even when it features a full tang construction with an integral sub-hilt and black linen Micarta handle slabs. Plus, it is supplied with a black, combat style ballistic nylon sheath.

Since we have been writing lately about various large ethnic knives such as the parang, the bolo, the golok and the machete, it just seemed appropriate to include the TOPS Armageddon even though it is not an ethnic knife design; although, to me, the Armageddon is reminiscent of both the Philippine bolo knife and the Nepalese kukri.

Either way, we have been searching for several months now for a really large knife similar to the one used by the characters “Dutch” and “Billy” in the move Predator (which was designed and built by Jack W. Crain) and we have finally found what we were looking for in the TOPS Armageddon.

With a 10 5/8” flat ground blade made from 1/4” 1095 high carbon steel with a 58 Rockwell and a total weight of 24 oz., this is one hefty knife!

In fact, the Armageddon was conceived as something of a cross between a bowie knife and a machete so you could call it an Americanized bolo or parang designed to handle medium to heavy chopping and splitting tasks that would normally be relegated to a hatchet or a camp axe.

Also, due to the use of the 1095 steel which contains 0.90% -1.03% carbon and 0.30% – 0.50% manganese, this knife is very tough and will hold an edge surprisingly well for a steel with such a simple composition. Most importantly, if the steel is tempered correctly, it will not break, even if you use the knife as pry bar.

Furthermore, the blade of the TOPS Armageddon features a recurved edge that is reminiscent of the Nepalese kukri that greatly magnifies the chopping power of this blade design and the clip point tip is excellent for piercing.  Also, instead of the all too small grips we see on other large knives and other smaller pocket sized versions, the TOPS Armageddon has a true, man-sized grip with a full tang construction and linen micarta handle slabs which is the perfect handle material for a survival knife because it will not chip, split or crack and it is impervious to moisture unlike natural materials like wood.

Furthermore, it features an integral sub-hilt in the handle which aids the user in retaining the knife in the hand when using the knife for chopping tasks.

However, as we have said on numerous occasions in the past, we don’t like large “finger grooves” ground into the edge in front of the quillion because it places the back of the edge farther from the user’s hand – thus, decreasing the leverage when using the knife for carving. Therefore, that is the one thing that we might consider changing about this knife.

The bottom line is that we really love the TOPS Armageddon for what it is. We wanted a knife that was truly large, hefty enough to let me know that we actually have a knife in our hands, and tough as old beef jerky and we believe that the TOPS Armageddon is all of that and more.

The Out sider

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