Reviewed 11/16/2013 by abu uzayr
-Price Paid: $140.00
-Used for Self Defense
-Owned for 6 months
Enter the Tops Back Bite. When I unboxed the knife, I had distinct mixed feelings - something between "This doesn't look like the pictured on Internet" and "What the hell!". My first Tops knife was a Tom Brown Tracker 2 which I picked up at Beautiful Blades in New York. Bill Malloy who owns the establishment is a great guy, he kept his shop open for a whole hour longer to allow me to browse when he heard that I hailed from Africa. Then he gave me a great discount on the TB Tracker and threw in a carry case. I have had the Tracker for several years and I still remain highly impressed by this smaller, thinner, lighter, sharper, more versatile version of the "original". Enter the Back Bite which I got from another great guy, Anton du Plessis, who imports Tops knives into South Africa. Unfortunately, the Back Bite really disappointed out of the box and continued to disappoint me for many months more. The blade was as dull as a spatula, even after I touched it up with some 1000 and 1200 grit. It will cut but with some effort. It now cuts paracord like a Swiss Army Knife knock-off. If you're used to shaving sharp knives that will make paper twirls shaving through paper then this knife is not for you. The curved secondary edge if significantly worse than the straight edge, it won't cut crap! But I supposed that this can be expected from a super thick chisel ground tool that isn't very wide. I was really starting to regret buying the Back Bite. The sheath of the Tracker worked well, but the sprung metal rotating clip on the Back Bite sheath was simply crap - so I got rid of it, attached a cordura belt loop and now can carry it IWB. The retention on the sheath was so weak that I wrapped the top 1/4" of the kydex sheath in dacron cord and expoxied it down - don't have retention issues anymore. In retrospect, I should've just heated the sheath to sort out the retention issues, but guess I was just bored. My resolve the knife's cutting issues I considered by getting the Back Bite reground by Gareth Bull (Gareth did a great nightmare regrind on my NSN Strider DBL) but then I discovered the true strength of the Back Bite - it's astounding ability to punch deep, gapping holes in things. Severe penetration and massive gaping holes in stacked cardboard, plastic refuse bins, sidewalls of tyres - this thing punctured material with ease. I removed the black coating and polished the "blunt strike face" and it punctured even better. So the Back Bite was eventually never reprofiled - it's a fancy shiv and does what a shiv does best - poke gaping holes in things and rips material equally well, but slice a tomato it never ever will. Great shiv!