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Knife Review: TOPS Wolf Pup

Knife Review: TOPS Wolf Pup

Posted by PT on Aug 7th 2023


The TOPS Wolf Pup, a compact fixed-blade knife, has gained significant popularity and received positive acclaim worldwide. As an essential addition to the TOPS Knives lineup, the Wolf Pup offers exceptional versatility and reliability for everyday carry (EDC) and outdoor enthusiasts. This comprehensive technical review will delve into the specifications, design elements, and user experiences that make the Wolf Pup a standout performer in the knife world.

Designed by the renowned TOPS Team, the Wolf Pup perfectly fuses functionality and craftsmanship. With an overall length of 5.25 inches and a 2.50-inch blade, this knife strikes a harmonious balance between portability and utility. The blade steel, 1095 RC 56-58, adds further allure to the Wolf Pup, making it an ideal choice for users seeking a reliable and robust cutting tool.

Throughout this review, we will explore the virtues of the 1095 carbon steel, diving into its unique properties that contribute to the knife's outstanding performance. The Rockwell hardness rating of 56-58 ensures an ideal blend of edge retention and ease of sharpening, catering to the demands of knife enthusiasts across various disciplines.

The blade design is another focal point of our analysis, as the Wolf Pup boasts a Hunters Point blade shape with a burly trailing point. We will uncover the practical benefits of this blade shape, such as heightened slicing and piercing capabilities, making the Wolf Pup an invaluable companion for EDC tasks and outdoor excursions.

Additionally, we will discuss the significance of the Black Traction Coating, which enhances the blade's durability and corrosion resistance while lending a touch of striking aesthetics to the Wolf Pup. By evaluating the coating's advantages and potential considerations, we will paint a comprehensive picture of its impact on the knife's overall performance.

The handle of the Wolf Pup is crafted from Black Linen Micarta, an exceptional material well-regarded for its resilience and reliability in demanding environments. We will explore the ergonomic design of the handle and how it contributes to a comfortable and secure grip, providing knife users with optimal control during intricate tasks and challenging situations.

Moreover, this review will feature real-world testimonials from users who have put the Wolf Pup to the test in various scenarios. From outdoor adventures to everyday tasks, we will highlight the knife's exceptional performance and practicality, reinforcing its reputation as a reliable and versatile companion.

With a focus on utility, functionality, and user experiences, this technical review aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the TOPS Wolf Pup. Whether you seek a reliable EDC knife or a trustworthy companion for outdoor excursions, the Wolf Pup's impressive attributes are sure to leave a lasting impression. Join us on this journey as we uncover the reasons why the TOPS Wolf Pup has earned its place as one of the most favored and highly regarded knives in the market today.

TOPS Wolf Pup Knife

Section II: Specifications

  • Knife Type: Fixed Blade Overall Length: 5.25" (133mm)
  • Blade Length: 2.50" (64mm)
  • Cutting Edge: 2.50" (64mm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130" (3.3mm)
  • Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
  • Blade Finish: Black Traction Coating
  • Handle Material: Black Linen Micarta
  • Knife Weight: 4 oz (113.4g)
  • Weight w/ Sheath: 5.6 oz (158.8g)
  • Sheath Weight: 1.6 oz (45.4g)
  • Sheath Included: Yes
  • Sheath Material: Black Kydex
  • Sheath Clip: Rotating Spring Steel
  • Designer: TOPS Team

The TOPS Wolf Pup boasts compact dimensions, making it a highly portable and versatile fixed-blade knife. With its 5.25-inch overall length and 2.50-inch blade, the Wolf Pup strikes a perfect balance between easy carry and functional cutting performance. The blade's thickness of 0.130 inches ensures robustness without compromising agility.

Crafted from 1095 carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness rating of 56-58, the Wolf Pup's blade is engineered to excel in various cutting tasks and outdoor applications. Its Black Traction Coating enhances durability and corrosion resistance while also minimizing glare to aid in tactical situations.

The handle is fashioned from Black Linen Micarta, providing both a secure grip and remarkable resilience to environmental challenges. Weighing in at 4 ounces, the knife achieves a well-balanced feel in hand, facilitating extended use without discomfort.

Included with the Wolf Pup is a Black Kydex sheath designed for safe and convenient carry. The sheath's rotating spring steel clip ensures versatile attachment options for both right and left-handed users, catering to individual preferences.

Designed by the TOPS Team, the Wolf Pup reflects a culmination of practicality and functionality to meet the diverse needs of EDC enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and survivalists alike.

Section III: Use and Utility

The TOPS Wolf Pup is a highly capable fixed-blade knife that excels in a wide range of applications, making it a reliable companion for outdoor enthusiasts, EDC users, and survivalists. Its compact size and ergonomic design contribute to its exceptional versatility, allowing it to handle various tasks with ease.

  1. Outdoor and Camping Companion: Whether you're camping, hiking, or exploring the wilderness, the Wolf Pup proves to be a valuable tool. Its compact form and lightweight build make it an ideal choice for backpackers and minimalist travelers. The robust 1095 carbon steel blade with a black traction coating ensures durability and reliability, enabling the knife to tackle demanding outdoor tasks, such as processing firewood, preparing food, and building shelters. The Wolf Pup's reliable cutting performance and ease of use make it an essential piece of gear for outdoor adventures.
  2. Everyday Carry (EDC) Excellence: The Wolf Pup's practical size and functionality also make it an excellent EDC knife. Its compact profile allows for discreet and comfortable carry, whether on the belt, in the pocket, or as a neck knife. The Black Linen Micarta handle offers a secure grip, allowing for precise control during everyday tasks like opening packages, cutting ropes, or performing small utility chores. The knife's rugged construction and corrosion-resistant blade coating ensure it stands up to the rigors of daily use, making it a dependable tool for urban environments as well.
  3. Versatile Utility Blade: Beyond outdoor adventures and everyday carry, the Wolf Pup proves to be a versatile utility blade suitable for various professional applications. Its compact size and stout blade shape make it well-suited for professions like first responders, law enforcement, and military personnel who require a reliable cutting tool in emergency situations. The Wolf Pup's ability to handle both delicate tasks and more demanding cutting needs highlights its adaptability for a wide range of scenarios.
  4. Tactical Applications: The Wolf Pup's design also lends itself to tactical use. The black traction coating on the blade reduces glare, maintaining stealth during tactical operations or self-defense scenarios. The knife's manageable size allows for quick deployment and ease of handling, making it an effective tool for personal protection and close-quarters combat.

TOPS Wolf Pup Sheath, Belt

The TOPS Wolf Pup is a testament to practicality, durability, and reliability in a compact fixed-blade knife. Its thoughtful design, coupled with the use of premium materials, ensures it can tackle various cutting tasks and challenges with confidence. From outdoor adventures to everyday carry needs, the Wolf Pup's versatile nature and dependable performance make it a go-to knife for those seeking a compact, high-quality tool that can handle the demands of diverse situations. With its robust construction and well-balanced design, the Wolf Pup continues to win the trust of hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and EDC users worldwide.

Section IV: Steel and Performance

The heart of any knife lies in its blade, and the TOPS Wolf Pup excels in this department with its choice of premium 1095 carbon steel. This high-carbon tool steel has earned a solid reputation in the knife community for its exceptional performance and durability, making it an excellent choice for the Wolf Pup's versatile design.

  1. 1095 Carbon Steel: The blade of the TOPS Wolf Pup is crafted from 1095 carbon steel, a steel renowned for its toughness, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. With a Rockwell Hardness of 56-58, the 1095 steel strikes a perfect balance between hardness and flexibility, ensuring that the blade can withstand heavy-duty use without being too brittle. This characteristic is essential in outdoor and survival scenarios where the knife might encounter rigorous tasks like batoning or chopping.
  2. Edge Retention and Ease of Sharpening: The 1095 carbon steel blade of the Wolf Pup holds an edge exceptionally well, allowing users to perform a multitude of cutting tasks without frequent re-sharpening. This quality is highly beneficial during extended trips or survival situations where maintaining a sharp edge is crucial for efficiency and safety. Furthermore, when it's time to touch up the edge, 1095 steel is easy to sharpen, even in the field, using basic sharpening tools like whetstones or ceramic rods.
  3. Resilience and Corrosion Resistance: While 1095 carbon steel is not stainless, the TOPS Wolf Pup addresses this concern with a black traction coating on the blade's surface. This coating not only reduces glare for tactical use but also provides a protective barrier against moisture and corrosion. Proper care and maintenance, such as drying the blade after use and applying a thin coat of lubricant when storing, will help extend the knife's lifespan and prevent rust.
  4. Blade Shape and Finish: The Wolf Pup features a "burly trailing point" blade shape, which is wider and thicker than a typical trailing point, but still retains the characteristic pronounced tip and belly. This blade design enhances slicing performance and allows for precise control during delicate tasks. The black traction coating also gives the blade a sleek and tactical appearance while improving its durability and corrosion resistance.

The choice of 1095 carbon steel for the TOPS Wolf Pup's blade is a testament to its commitment to quality and performance. The steel's combination of edge retention, ease of sharpening, and resilience makes it a superb fit for a knife designed to tackle various tasks, from outdoor adventures to everyday carry needs. With the added protection of the black traction coating, the Wolf Pup's blade is ready to face challenging environments while maintaining its sharpness and reliability. Whether it's for bushcraft, survival, EDC, or tactical applications, the 1095 carbon steel blade of the Wolf Pup ensures that users can confidently rely on this knife in any situation.

Section V: Ergonomic Excellence - The Dependable Handle

The handle of the TOPS Wolf Pup is a masterpiece of ergonomic design, combining practicality, durability, and comfort to ensure a secure and reliable grip during any task. Crafted from black linen Micarta, the handle material is a testament to its suitability for outdoor use and rugged adventures. Let's delve into the various aspects that make the handle of the Wolf Pup a standout feature:

TOPS Wolf Pup Micarta Handle

  1. Micarta - A Material of Choice: The handle scales are constructed from black linen Micarta, a composite material renowned for its exceptional properties. Micarta is created by layering linen fabric with epoxy resin and compressing them under high pressure. This process results in a lightweight material that is incredibly strong and resistant to wear and tear. Additionally, Micarta offers excellent resistance to moisture, making it a preferred choice for knives that will be exposed to varying weather conditions during outdoor use.
  2. Optimal Contouring: The handle of the Wolf Pup features a well-thought-out contour, ensuring a comfortable and secure grip for extended periods of use. The subtle curvature and finger grooves allow the knife to fit naturally in the hand, promoting precise control and reducing hand fatigue during repetitive cutting tasks. This ergonomic design is a testament to the attention to detail in the knife's construction, showcasing its user-oriented approach.
  3. Full Tang Construction: The Wolf Pup features a full tang construction, where the blade extends through the entire length of the handle. This design enhances the knife's strength and durability and contributes to the overall balance and stability. The tang extends beyond the handle, serving as an impact tool, adding to the knife's versatility and functionality in survival situations.
  4. Secure and Non-Slip Grip: A secure grip on the knife is paramount during outdoor adventures and challenging tasks. The black linen Micarta handle provides a textured surface that offers a firm grip, even in wet or slippery conditions. This non-slip characteristic ensures that users can maintain control and accuracy during delicate cutting tasks or more demanding chores. Additionally, the handle's slight finger guard adds an extra layer of security, preventing any accidental slippage during use.
  5. Enduring Durability: Survival and outdoor knives must withstand harsh conditions and rough handling without compromising their performance. The Wolf Pup's Micarta handle excels in this regard, as it is exceptionally resistant to impact, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. The material retains its integrity even after extended exposure to various environmental elements, making the Wolf Pup a reliable and enduring companion on any adventure.

The handle of the TOPS Wolf Pup epitomizes ergonomic excellence and practicality. Crafted from black linen Micarta, it offers a secure, non-slip grip, making it ideal for outdoor activities, survival scenarios, and everyday tasks. With a design that allows for comfortable handling and precise control, the Wolf Pup's handle complements its robust blade, making it a dependable tool in any situation. Whether scaling fish, processing game, crafting camp tools, or performing essential survival tasks, the Wolf Pup's handle stands ready to support your outdoor endeavors with confidence and ease.

Section VI: Versatility and Practical Utility

The TOPS Wolf Pup truly shines in its versatility and practicality, making it an ideal companion for a variety of tasks and environments. Designed with input from outdoorsmen and survival experts, this compact fixed-blade excels in the wilderness as well as in everyday scenarios. Let's explore the various aspects that contribute to the Wolf Pup's exceptional utility:

  1. EDC (Everyday Carry) Excellence: Despite its rugged and robust design, the TOPS Wolf Pup is surprisingly well-suited for everyday carry. With an overall length of 5.25 inches and a weight of 4 ounces, this compact fixed-blade knife is easy to carry discreetly and comfortably. Whether clipped to a belt, stored in a pocket, or attached to a neck lanyard, the Wolf Pup is ready to handle daily cutting tasks with ease. From opening packages and cutting ropes to food preparation during outdoor excursions, the Wolf Pup proves to be a reliable and handy companion.
  2. Bushcraft and Outdoor Adventures: The Wolf Pup's versatility truly shines when it ventures into the great outdoors. With its durable 1095 carbon steel blade and black traction coating, the knife is well-equipped to take on bushcraft and survival tasks. From building shelters, processing firewood, and crafting camp tools to preparing meals and performing essential first aid, the Wolf Pup delivers exceptional performance. Its robust design and ergonomic handle ensure a secure grip, allowing users to work with confidence even in challenging conditions.
  3. Hunting and Skinning: As a knife designed with input from pro hunters, the Wolf Pup boasts impressive skinning capabilities. The "burly trailing point" blade shape excels in delicate skinning tasks, allowing precise control to preserve valuable game meat. Additionally, the razor-sharp edge and excellent edge retention of the 1095 carbon steel ensure that the Wolf Pup stays sharp throughout the skinning process. Hunters can rely on this knife to efficiently field dress and process the game, making it an invaluable tool in the field.
  4. Self-Defense and Tactical Applications: While the Wolf Pup's compact size might not immediately scream "tactical," it proves to be a reliable companion for self-defense and tactical situations. Its solid full tang construction, paired with the robust G10 handle scales, offers a firm and comfortable grip during defensive maneuvers. The black traction coating on the blade reduces glare and enhances stealth, making the Wolf Pup a discreet tactical option. Whether used for personal protection, emergency situations, or as a backup knife for military and law enforcement personnel, the Wolf Pup delivers performance when it matters most.
  5. All-Weather Dependability: Survival situations and outdoor adventures often expose knives to various weather conditions. Fortunately, the TOPS Wolf Pup is built to handle it all. The combination of 1095 carbon steel and the black traction coating ensures that the blade remains rust-resistant and functional even in wet or humid environments. The durable black Kydex sheath offers secure retention and protects the blade from the elements, making it a reliable choice for all-weather carry and use.

TOPS Wolf Pup Belt Sheath, Vertical

The TOPS Wolf Pup stands as a testament to the ingenuity and practicality of its designers. Its versatile design and use-case-driven features make it an exceptional fixed-blade knife for a wide range of applications. Whether it's an EDC companion, a trusted tool for outdoor adventures, a dependable hunting and skinning partner, or a tactical ally, the Wolf Pup's performance is unparalleled. With a nod to its collaboration with survival expert David Holladay, the TOPS Wolf Pup embodies the essence of a reliable, hardworking knife that proves its worth in any situation.


In conclusion, the TOPS Wolf Pup is a formidable fixed-blade knife that embodies the essence of a reliable outdoor companion. With its compact size, versatile blade shape, and premium 1095 carbon steel construction, it excels in a wide range of tasks, making it a favorite among knife enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

The use of 1095 carbon steel in the blade not only ensures superior edge retention and durability but also allows for easy maintenance and sharpening in the field. The combination of a burly trailing point blade shape and a black traction coating finish grants the Wolf Pup exceptional slicing and piercing capabilities, while the functional design enables it to handle various EDC tasks, making it an indispensable tool for both wilderness adventures and daily use.

Designed in collaboration with primitive survivalist David Holladay, the Wolf Pup bears the mark of a true outdoorsman's vision. Its simplistic yet effective design reflects the practicality and efficiency required in wilderness settings, where reliability and versatility are essential traits.

Furthermore, the ergonomic handle, crafted from black linen Micarta, delivers a secure and comfortable grip, making the knife a pleasure to use for extended periods. Its full tang construction and impact tool functionality add to its durability and utility in challenging environments.

Overall, the TOPS Wolf Pup is an exceptional fixed-blade knife that meets the demands of survivalists, hunters, campers, and everyday users seeking a reliable and capable tool. Whether you need a skinner, an EDC knife, or a small defense tool, the Wolf Pup delivers with precision and reliability.

With its well-balanced design, premium materials, and excellent craftsmanship, the TOPS Wolf Pup stands as a testament to TOPS Knives' commitment to producing high-quality, purpose-driven tools. If you seek a dependable companion for your outdoor adventures or daily tasks, the TOPS Wolf Pup is undoubtedly a knife worth considering, offering exceptional performance and reliability to meet the challenges of any environment.

Buy your TOPS Wolf Pup.