Story and Photos by Armando Basulto
We are all unfaithful to our Queens.
Be honest with yourself. We all have those top-dollar one-of-a-kind beauty blades that we keep stowed away in some concealed 3-lock box at home. Like a jealous king, we protect our most precious and beautiful princess from being taken out too much and preserve her for some abstract future “marriage” of perfect opportunity and appropriate task. These “Vault Queens” never see the light of day, even though they were intended to be your tactical Dragon Slayer.
Instead, we have our one or two trusted “go-to” blades that sit out in the open, on the dresser, right next to the wallet and watch. This is the knife that we put on before grabbing our truck keys and heading out the door.
It might be used to open a box or cut some rope but deep down in our reptilian brain, we know the reason we carry an edged tool is for that life-and-death fight, in which you’ll need the claw and tooth that fickle nature denied you. It is this comfortable, familiar and easy-to-carry blade that is your dragon slayer and you need it to be light and small enough that – like your wallet and watch – you easily forget is on your person.
The good folks at TOPS Knives are always endeavoring to find that balance of form and function and have added a new EDC tactical blade to their collection that meets daily street-carry needs. The Street Spike is exactly the type of blade that can be seamlessly incorporated into your EDC package and provide you with real-world defensive “claws.”
A small and unobtrusive blade, that is easily accessible, is always a great tool to have for myriad daily tasks – both in the urban jungle or backlot wilderness. However, some blades can do all that and still be well-suited for the dirty work needed in a self-defense scenario.
One glance at the design of the Street Spike and even the most untrained eye can tell it is meant to do some damage against any unwelcome aggressor. The knife’s overall design makes the handle disappear in the user’s hand, leaving only the elegant sweep of the sharp cutting edge exposed to get the job done.
The Street Spike is the latest TOPS project with the “street” as a concept-strategy.
Starting from earlier models, and informed by feedback from end-users, Powell tells us that, “Leo used some of the inspiration for the Street Scalpel that we make, as well as actual doctor’s scalpels” to create the final profile of the Street Spike.
Where the TOPS Street Scalpel is a heftier, thicker and more substantial blade, the Street Spike is thinner and more elegant. It is a rapier rather than a broadsword. While it is meant for the precision work of a surgeon, as opposed to a butcher, the Street Spike is still a robust blade that does not feel flimsy in the hand – in part because of tough and trusty 1095 RC 56-58 steel choice.
Powell explains that the steel selected was “a combination of price and familiarity. We are well-known for our heat treatment of 1095 and it is a budget steel. So, a knife fully made in the US, with .25-inch thick stock, a quality Kydex sheath and a price point that is going to be less than $100 – through a TOPS dealer – is what we were looking for.”
Included with the Street Spike is a small bottle of HP100 blade oil with SMT (Sub Micron Technology) to keep the blade extra corrosion-free.
People like to talk about their EDC this or EDC that but forget the operative words in that ubiquitous acronym. “Every Day” means you carry it…well…every day!
Craig Powell, General Manager for TOPS, explains the impetus for designer Leo Espinoza’s creation of the Street Spike, “Leo wanted a stout, concealable, low-cost fixed blade that didn’t need handles. No frills, simple design. So that’s why there is a radius around the entire spine and there is a lot of skeletonizing to keep the weight low and balance as much as possible.”
The minimalist design, both in size and weight, makes for a very easy knife to include in an average person’s gear load-out.
Powell notes that the Street Spike is “a great EDC for a lot of people out there, but also a capable “last resort” or “last ditch” knife in a bad situation.”
The sleekness and weight of the Street Spike makes it easier to position on your person, or gear, when you are gearing up for your day in the big city or on rural backroads. Carried and deployed easily, the less-than-3-inch blade won’t scare the hoi polloi if used to open a box, and the short length fits the often cited “under 3-inch” restriction in various knife ordinances.
The Street Spike is covered from point to pommel in a black traction coating that not only works to fight rust but helps with keeping the scale-less handle tight in the hand. Though one might expect the skeletonized handle to be lost in the grip of the average hand, the rounded-off corners and single index finger notch actually lock the blade into the hand. Wrapping the handle in paracord can add more of a palm swell if needed but a competent knife user may not wish to give up the dexterity that the Street Spike provides with its smaller, lighter package.
Crafted from a hefty billet of TOPS .25-inch 1095 steel, the Street Spike is up to any day-to-day tasks in the field. The point won’t bend or disfigure if used for basic hole-punching, in various medium, and the edge retention of the 1095 is all-but-guaranteed for tough cutting tasks – like rope or cardboard.
As a fighting blade, the Street Spike is not intended for knife duels in the back alleys of New Orleans but rather as a close-range combative tool. It really shines as a back-up blade to a pistol, filling the role of a get-off-me knife, in the tight quarters of the “gee your breath stinks” range.
The knife locks into the hand, in either a saber or icepick grip, for thrusting or stabbing. The butt-end can be used for hammer-strikes or as a glass breaker. The shorter length blade lends itself to ease of deployment and manipulation, in an entangled grappling situation, but will still penetrate deep enough for immediate effect – especially useful if the Street Spike is being used to help in primary weapon retention (i.e. your handgun).
The design of the Street Spike, married to its multi-positional Kydex sheath, makes it easy to carry in a variety of situations or dress scenarios. The specially designed sheath locks the knife in place, with two embossed dots that align and fit into the Street Spike with an audible click.
Two straps are attached to the sheath that allow the knife to be carried in a variety of positions, and the special “directional snap” on the straps can only be opened and snapped from one direction – for optimal retention. The snaps are etched with the TOPS logo and an American Flag; a nod to the company’s veteran roots and a reminder that all TOPS products are USA-made.
Remove the loops from the sheath for pocket carry or use the pommel hole on the Street Spike to wear as a rapid-deploy neck knife.
The TOPS Street Spike’s easy-carry size, versatility and price-point make it an obvious choice for an EDC knife – especially if you want your blade to be equal parts utility and “business,” when the need arises, but you don’t want to mar, lose or have to ditch one of your vaunted “vault queen” blades.
If you have to pick only one knife to count on in a pinch, the Street Spike perfectly fits the TOPS Knives motto, “One Life. One Knife.” K&G
Join the Conversation, comment on this story below. >>
Blade Material: 1095 RC 56-58Blade Length: 2.75 inchesOverall Length: 6.75 inchesBlade Thickness: 0.250 inchesBlade Finish: Black Traction CoatingWeight: 2.0 ouncesMSRP: $100.00
TOPS Kniveswww.TOPSKnives.com(208) 542-0113
TOPS Knives (Make sure to use discount code “KGS30” for 30% off)Amazon.comKnifeCenter
The name TOPS (Tactical Operational Products) is well known by both knife aficionados and the average knife-carrying layman. The name is synonymous with combat-ready production blades, even though their line up covers products with capabilities ranging from bushcrafting to woodcarving.
Since its inception over 30 years ago, TOPS has prided itself in drawing concepts and designs from a deep pool of experts in a variety of fields from Special Operations assaulters to law enforcement and survival instructors.
Much of their design process includes feedback from end-users that provide real-world testing in real-world scenarios. The Street Spike is informed by desire to provide for the needs of those individuals who may carry a smaller tactical knife for their profession.
Want to win a brand new TOPS Knives Street Spike, along with a Knife & Gear Society patch and sticker, WorkSharp Micro Sharpener & Knife tool and WorkSharp Pocket Knife Sharpener? This is your chance. And it’s easy too.
All you have to do is go to our Instagram page (@knifeandgearsociety) and follow us, go to TOPS Knives’ Instagram page (@topsknives) and follow them and then comment on the story below, letting us know what you like about this knife – based on the story above. Please make sure to include your Instagram User Name, so we can contact you on Instagram if you win.
That is it. It really is that simple. Once we have verified that you have done all three, we will add your name to the drawing, which will take place on Thursday, May 28th. The winner will be notified via PM on Instagram and will have 24 hours to respond.
Shipping and handling will be covered by Knife & Gear Society and will be taken care of as soon as a winner is established. There will be no substitution prizes. Knife & Gear Society is not responsible for lost or stolen prizes.
Armando Rafael Basulto is an avid and life-long outdoorsman, writer, photographer and hunter. His work has been featured in a wide variety of outdoor and action-lifestyle publications – including American Frontiersman, American Survival Guide, Ballistic, Knives Illustrated, Tactical Life, Survivor’s Edge, RECOIL Carnivore, and many others. Over the years Mr. Basulto has developed working relationships with a diverse group of creative vendors and publishers in the outdoor industry. In addition, Mr. Basulto has co-authored a combatives manual for the US Special Operations community and has worked with a variety of European military units. Mr. Basulto holds undergraduate degrees from Montclair State University and NYU, as well as a Master’s degree from Fordham University.
Tops knives are all very thought out for the purposes they are going to be used for. I like the Street Spike for the sleek design and the sheath allowing multiple ways to carry to include concealed or low viz carry.
Loved this article and the design of this knife. Utilitarian and sleek are hard combinations to achieve in a knife, and this one really does it for me (I’m an avid collector/user) in terms of this piece achieving both. Hard-use, tactical, yet elegant. An exceptional knife that I would love to own.
The sheath system’s versatility adds to its value, in terms of carry options, retention, and deployment.
Exceptional all around – as an avid practitioner and collector/user, nothing would make me happier than to own a TOPS Street Spike!
Need one of these in my collection for sure. Tops knives are such amazing and high quality for what you pay. I scout carry the tops cut 4.0 almost everyday and absolutely love it. I’ve been eyeballing the street scalpel for a long time because it’s a much slimmer and lightweight alternative to my Cut 4.0. Great review!
I could really use this knife I live next to the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and I could use a versatile light knife for processing game wood and that will work in a self defense role in a pinch thanks for the giveaway.
This looks like a new and exciting piece that I need for my EDC. I would very much want to win this excellent blade. As a friend and long time student of Prof. Armando Basulto, his attention to detail and his reputation as using things that work in the real world are critical for me and my team mates. If he endorses this than I am all in. This will make a great addition to my stealth carry and the small, strong blade will do whatever the job calls for, big or small. I would like to win this in honor of Armando Basulto and carry this proudly
Instagram name: Razortrain1
I’m originally from Africa where small blade knives are carried as tools and weapons. I have seen firsthand the efficacy of these knives in close quarter, explosive attacks. Your spike would be right at home in anyone of these situations. The concealability of your product would be key in this ever tightening circle between law enforcement paranoia and law abiding citizens. Looks like you ticked that box. The profile is great, the flat spine speeds up the momentum on any lateral sweeps of the blade. The handle appears to cater for a larger hand such as my own. I’m a collector and user so if I was to win this, it’s always the eternal dilemma of to use or not. Great article it was a good read
The knife is light and has a great length!
This knife is the perfect weight and size for edc. It is also a great self defense tool. I would like to have one of these on me everyday because I do not own a edc fixed blade at this time. My Instagram name is Eljay Schmalz. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.
I love that it has soft corners. Can’t imagine any hot spots. I’d use this on the family of squirrels taking over my wood shed. Patience. @bless_off
Honestly, I don’t need this knife. That being said, I really want this knife. My current EDC FB is a Bradford Gnecker in Elmax with a leather scout carry sheath that I made myself. The one problem with that is the handle is too small for a good grip, everything else is awesome. Also I don’t own a Tops(yet) and feel like this would be a good introductory knife.
Keep your Mind sharp and your Blade Sharper
This seems like it would make an excellent neck knife.
I’ve been looking for a small
Fixed blade for EDC. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE!!!?!?! 🙂
I love the low profile design, size and could see it as back-up to my back-up blade. 🙂 My instagram name is @theangryjackalope
It’s a great length to fit just about any place on your body for conceal carry.
I really like the sleek design! Quarter inch
but Looks like itll carry very light and discreet under a white t-shirt so it wouldn’t be an issue at the family bbq or a trip to the grocery store. I live in NY so smaller blades are much more welcome around town. I have been eyeing this guy since it was released!
I’m a big fan of Tops Rapid strike but really liking the size and conceal abilities of this knife
Wow! What an in-depth review for that knife! I love the cut-out handle of the knife because I enjoy a knife grippy paracord wrap and it cuts down on the weight! Thanks! @knifelover88
I would like to win street spike to have it as an light EDC. Im huge knife fan and my name on instagram is @tomas_sabin
Stay sharp everyone.
It is a very cool looking knife and one that would get used daily by me. I would feature on my YouTube channel by doing a review, field test, and wrapping the handle in paracord.
What i like about the street spike is that it gives you the posibility for custom scales, it is light but robust, i think that is a great slicer as well.
I would love to get one to add to my knife colection and to use as an edc fixed knife.
Ig name: damiantudor
Entering the contest for the tops street spike
This would be my first and every day choice. It’s light, discreet, and perfectly designed to save your life.
I really like the sleek minimalistic design. Perfect for EDC.
Love this knife…its going to be carried and used well…r_m_survival_and_preparedness
Love the lines and how it looks like it’s made to play and not sit on the sidelines.
I love that the sheath is horizontal carry, that really shows that it is a true EDC fixed blade. TOPS makes some cool pieces, for both outdoor and urban use. I know this is called the street spike but I would definitely carry this while walking through the woods too. @mickknife on IG
Great read! TOPS makes some sweet knives for both urban and outdoor use. I could honestly see myself carrying the Street Spike while out at the cabin, that horizontal carry really makes EDCing it much easier. I would definitely have this on a walk through the woods or even the “urban jungle”
@mickknife on IG
Oops, I thought my other comment didn’t get through. Sorry about that.
I would love to have this knife I have just recently found out about Tops and I have been loving there podcasts. I work for a church so I have to have something easy to Conceal this knife looks like it would be Perfect
The streetspike seems like the perfect edc fixed for any occasions.
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