Opening the box of TOPS’ Steel Eagle 105C, I wasn’t sure if it was a knife or a pry bar. The Steel Eagle is a massive knife and truth be told, I like the way it feels in my hand.
Mike Fuller founded TOPS Knives in Idaho in 1998 to make knives that reflected the experience of knife users who fought, survived, and roughed it out at the edges of civilization. Their flagship model was the Steel Eagle.
Mike passed away in 2020 and left TOPS in the capable hands of Leo Espinoza. Leo wanted to pay homage to the original knife that started the company. The original 107 Steel Eagle was an overbuilt, 13-inch slab of quarter-inch-thick 1095 carbon steel with a 7” blade sharpened to a razor edge. That’s a lot to live up to.
The 5” bladed 105 Steel Eagle is going to fill those boots and create trails of its own. There are three 105 Steel Eagles, each designated by a letter. Type E is a drop point with a plain spine, type F is a tanto with a smooth spine. Type C is the drop point with a saw spine. I got the 105C.
The blade is shaped from a quarter-inch thick-slab of 1095 carbon steel which is heat treated by Benny Carbajal to a consistent 56-58 Rockwell C scale. TOPS has worked with Benny for years, and Benny knows high carbon steels.
This article originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of KNIFE Magazine.
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