It’s not often I review a product, but now and then something strikes me as very special. In this case it is the Tops Air Wolfe. Regularly running $250 in Canada, I was fortunate enough to catch one on sale for a mere $122 and, recognizing its potential, snagged it on the spot.
For years I’ve carried large blades in the bush. In the Louisiana bayous where I grew up, it was a machete. In the Alaskan bush, it was a knife in the bowie style. Since coming to Maritime Canada, with its endless thick, scrubby woods, I’ve learned to re-adjust my approach to bush life again and have come to favor a mid-sized knife and small axe combination. This is easier to manage between horseback, foot and canoes, and it’s very versatile for this kind of country. There are lots of good choices in the mid-sized range, but a while back I came across this knife and it struck me as nearly perfect. I look for that rare blend of extremely tough, versatile, useful for all manner of foraging and camp tasks, and tactical since, where I live, I also have to consider possibly fending off an aggressive animal. I rarely ever give consideration to essentially useless purposes such as batoning wood, because a small axe and easily fashioned wood wedges are far better for splitting wood, and if I really want a metal wood splitter, I’ll go to the village hardware store and by a metal wedge for $3.
I believe this hidden gem is one of the most overlooked and best outdoors knives available. In a comprehensive review, to be posted shortly, I’ll go into why.