TOPS has a fresh new fixed blade design from Laci Szabo on deck. The Szabo Express, as it’s called, was inspired by the critical differences between folders and fixed blades when it comes to self-defense situations.
You may be most familiar with Szabo’s name from the Spyderco Szabo, a wild-looking tactical folder that has been discontinued, but made its mark on the tactical knife scene. Apparently Szabo himself often carried folders on the job; and in so doing he came to appreciate the specific advantages a fixed blade brings to bear over even the most tactically conscientious folding knife. On top of the added strength, a fixed blade requires only gross motor skills to extract from a sheath, rather than the finer, more complicated motions any folder asks for.
Thus the Szabo Express, a fighting fixed blade through and through. The official TOPS literature makes it clear that the Szabo Express is not a work knife; its 5.63-inch spear blade is explicitly made for penetrating and slashing in desperate conditions. Only the one blade shape is available, but TOPS is offering the Szabo Express both with and without a secondary edge grind on the swedge, if your particular jurisdiction allows for the carry of double-edge dagger knives. Finally there’s the steel, which is to nobody’s surprise 1095, the hard-working carbon steel that TOPS (and others) have favored for years.
Compared to the handle on the Spyderco Szabo, and some of the more specialized fixed blades released under his own label, Szabo went back to the absolute basics on the Express. The plain, functional arch of the handle wouldn’t be out of place on knives without the tactical remit this one has; and thick Micarta scales fatten up the handle, making it comfortable as well as accommodating. And, TOPS being TOPS, they’ve included a Kydex sheath with the Express, which does its job regardless of exterior conditions. In total, the Express weighs 10.4 oz.
The Szabo Express is available now.
Knife in Featured Image: TOPS Knives Szabo Express
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