I was really excited when I learned I would have the chance to review the TOPS Apache Falcon, because this knife was designed by my friend Snake Blocker. Snake is a full tribal member of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas. He was featured on Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior in Season One, Episode One: Apache vs. Gladiator, as one of the Apache team members along with Alan Tafoya, where they battled it out against the Iceman Chuck Liddell, Chris Torres, and Steven Dietrich. The Apache won that episode.
The Apache tribes inhabited the areas known today as Arizona and the northwest sections of Mexico. They are considered to be the fiercest tribal warriors of the southwest and are legendary for their keen fighting strategy and battle tactics. Snake Blocker has spent many years researching the knife fighting and battle tactics of his Apache ancestors and has used that knowledge to design his Apache-themed knife—with some modern twists of course.
The Apache Falcon made by TOPS Knives is a hefty piece of 1095 high-carbon steel. It is 12″ long overall with a 6.25” clip-point blade, and is ¼” thick. The knife comes with a “tactical grey” Powder Coat finish and Black Linen Micarta handles with TOPS’ Rocky Mountain Tread. The knife is a hefty 15.8 ounces and feels solid in the hand. The weight of this knife alone makes for some powerful cutting and stabbing strokes.
The knife has some pretty cool features that are even more appreciated when you take into account that the intended purpose of this knife is for fighting. One immediately noticeable feature is the number of gripping serrations on the knife. There are serrations on the top of the forward section and top and bottom of the rearward section of the grip. These serrations aid with grip retention in both standard and reverse grip configurations.
The bottom serrations combined with the shape of the handle also allow for thrusting pommel strikes in the reverse grip, a uniquely Apache method of employing the knife. If you were ever to find yourself engaged in 21st century knife dual, these serrations would aid in using a sgian-dubh grip (A gripping named after the Scottish sgian-dubh knife which is often held by the bottom of the handle with the pommel in the center of the palm) to gain some added reach on your opponent. Of course, a knife like this could not be complete with serrations on the back of the spine as well.
The handle has a very nice guard to help protect the hand against incoming knife attacks. The finger choil (deep notch in the blade at the back end of the cutting surface) also aids in this as well. The choil is deep enough that it can be used for choking up on the blade to do fine tasks, but it also serves to reroute an opponent’s blade away from the user’s hand in the event blade-on-blade contact is made. The large finger grove behind the guard that gives the knife a nice feel. The handle itself has a nice ergonomic shape to it, making it good for thrusting. The 550 card lanyard attached to the lanyard hole at the pommel is not just for retention. On a fighting knife like this the lanyard aids in deception, causing the opponent’s eyes to become fixated on the movements of the cord, thereby concealing the movements of the blade.
The sheath is a generic TOPS black ballistic nylon sheath with a hard protective liner. The sheath can be worn on the belt, or can be attached to MOLLE gear using the integrated MOLLE attachments. The sheath also has an additional external pocket for carrying things like a small sharpening stone, survival kit, or what have you. This is not the fitted Kydex sheath that I prefer to carry my knives in, but it is functional and serves its purpose.
Holding the Apache Falcon in hand feels like holding a piece of Native American history. The design has many of the aesthetic qualities of the knives carried by the Apache, as well as many modern qualities that make a good tactical knife more durable and functional. This makes for a good fighting and tactical/bush knife. I think I may just have to send this knife to my friend Snake Blocker and have him sign the blade for me. Great design!
All TOPS fixed blade knives are manufactured and hand-finished right here in the USA at their facility located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Apache Falcon can be purchased directly from TOPS Knives on their website for $240.00, or from an authorized TOPS Knives dealer. All TOPS Knives come with their lifetime warranty. You can also follow TOPS Knives on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom