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Tops Tibo Neck Knife Review 2014/09/06

The kit I use is always changing but one aspect has stayed the same for many years, the bushcraft knife on my belt. It was a solitary knife, scandi ground, 4 inches in length and with this I did all my bushcraft tasks. It worked well, so well in fact the method of using one knife of this particular style did not change. The knives may have altered but they were all of a similar design, that of the classic bushcraft knife. However evolution never stops. This is our full review on the Tops Tibo Neck Knife.

Introduction

This summer I have been using a radically different approach, a game changer and I’m not going back. It’s a combo, a neck knife and then a slightly larger full flat ground main knife. The Tops Tibo Neck Knife is a little blade with so much usefulness packed into something you can wear easily all day around your neck. First off its weight. 95g including sheath which is featherlight. This allows the user to pretty much forget he or she is wearing it and just crack on with the task at hand. All over summer I have been wearing the Tops Tibo Neck Knife from the moment of getting out my tent in the morning through a day of bushcraft instruction, meal breaks, hiking and then into fast movement during night activities. At no point did the Tops Tibo Neck Knife get in my way and was pleasant to wear for an extended time.

Design

The blade on the Tops Tibo Neck Knife is made from 1095 high carbon steel. The shape has a pronounced belly and moving back from the blade edge we have a skeleton handle. It's all made from the same metal in one piece so even for its weight the Tibo has full tang like properties. The handle and blade are coated in a ‘Black Traction Coating’ which is slightly rougher than the power coatings on my ESEE’s but this allows the Tops Tibo to be held more securely as with a blade this small you will be doing a lot of choking up and holding the spine directly to perform bushcraft tasks such as scraping silver birch bark to produce tinder. The Tibo also has a great section of jimping to further improve grip. 1095 high carbon steel holds its edge for a long time but can rust if not looked after properly in the field. Out on expeditions or instructing I will carry a portable oiling kit to keep the knives functioning properly. I do not see this as a problem, it just requires a bit of discipline to see that the knives are oiled. Using the Tibo for cutting and slicing the 1095 steel helps the user by being so strong compared to a stainless steel alternative.


Conclusion

Having a small neck knife in the field and around camp has proved to be so useful. It’s now with me on every trip. The Tops Tibo is a great bit of kit and one that is great introduction to a neck knife. At first I found the handle rather annoying as it’s on the thin side. Wrapping it paracord helped a lot but for big hands. It’s still rather hard to hold the blade in your palm for extended periods of time. There’s hardly any thickness to the handle and your palm has to squeeze right down to get a positive grip. The price is also highly attractive. Get one, you will not be disappointed!

-Sunny

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