Thursday, July 3, 2014


Tops Tex Creek hunter XL

O/A Length: 11 1/8"
Blade Length:6 1/8" Thickness: 3/16"
Steel: 1095 HighCarbon Steel
Handle: Black Canvas Micarta
Blade Finish: Black River Wash
Sheath: Leather
Weight: 9.5oz
Weight w/ Sheath: 11.7oz
Designed by: Leo Espinoza

Today i will be reviewing one of the most functional looking options in my opinion by Tops at this time

Grading criteria: 1-really bad-10-excellent
steel: 9
Fit and finish:10
Price to performance: 9
sheath: 5

overall: 8
I consider this knife for someone who wants a good field knife for a good price.  The 1095 steel is easy to work with and holds a very good edge.  Tops has done a very good job on steel.  the fit and finish is outstanding. the ergos are good but not RMD good. although the warranty is not as good as other top companys it is still very good.  while the sheath is sub par in my opinion it still works.  overall its a keeper in my books

Steel: 9
the dif. heat treated 1095 that tops uses does not disappoint.  it keeps its edge and is easy to resharpen
i would put it on par with ESEE's 1095. An like all carbon steels you need to maintain it with a light coat of oil to keep it from rusting

Ergos: 8
The handles of this knife are comfy.  No hotspots were developed while testing.  The handles are also slightly contoured so you don't have a boxy handles like esee likes to put on there knives.  The handle is also designed to give the user maximum control of the blade without putting a choil on the blade which would sacrifice blade length. There is also oversized jimping on the spin of the blade and on the handle.  this serves its purpose and is not too sharp.

Fit and finish: 10
this knife is coated with Top's proprietary black river wash coating.  which both looks good and after some pretty heavy use it did not really wear much and after a good cleaning looked darn near brand new. i believe it is a ceracoat based coating.   the coating really impressed me.  this is superior to both esee's and busse/kin's coatings.  the fit of the knife was very good with no spaces in between scales-steel and liner

Warranty: 8
the Tops warranty is good but it only covers the original buyer and a proof of purchase is required and can be void by "abusing" your knife.  the definition of abuse is at Tops discretion.   wish that they have a no questions ask warranty like other top companys (bark river, busse/kin, and esee)
(top to bottom- DMD,Tex creek, ESEE 6)

Price to performance: 9
at 150 dollars shipped off of Amazon. This is just on the creast of what i would consider spending for a 1095 production knife.  This knife is designed very well and the 3/16 thick blade is the sweet spot for most people.
Sheath: 5
the sheath is made out of leather and the retention is by friction.  the only reason that i give this sheath a 5 is that it will not retain the knife upside down.  this is a big turn off for me because if i am doing any activity I have to worry about my knife flying out of the sheath.  if you are just hiking or walking around camp you will be fine but if you need to move around more(climb, jump, run, ect) i would recommend a spec ops sheath or a custom (Godspeed tactical,Glockcrazz,buybrown,aswelks,ect)
final notes: there is a smaller 4in bladed version of the tex creek.  so if this is not your size requirement i would look into the smaller version

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me

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