TOPS Street Scalpel

The TOPS Street Scalpel is a non-nonsense, simple yet rugged, option for EDC and self-defense. This thing can take quite a beating, no question about it. Let’s run through the basic specs:

Overall length: 7 inches
Blade length: 2.38 inches
Blade thickness: 0.25 inches
Weight: 5 oz, with sheath 6 oz
Steel: 1095
Sheath: Kydex

What I like:

I really like the aggressive jimping on the top and bottom of the knife.

This provides for a very secure feel in the hand, wet or dry. The linen micarta scales on the handle are also comfortable and provide plenty of traction.

The blade is covered in the TOPS proprietary black traction coating, which not only prevents glare but provides grip should you need it.

At 0.25” thick and with a full tang, the Street Scalpel is almost like holding an ice piton in your hand. It feels very solid. With a weight of 5oz, it isn’t overly heavy but you know there’s something in your hand.

The blade has a flat grind and arrives very sharp. A little time on a strop and it’ll shave hair without trouble. The needle point on the blade leaves little doubt that this knife is meant for business.

The kydex sheath has an attached belt clip that swivels, allowing you to carry the Street Scalpel exactly where and how you prefer. The sheath also has a couple of attachment holes you can use to lash it to your pack. (Disregard the couple of white flecks you see on the sheath. We painted the ceiling in my office at home and the sheath was sitting out at the time.)


What I don’t like:

Honestly, it is a great knife but it is kind of overbuilt for my tastes. While it is an exceptionally solid knife, if it were a touch thinner, I think it would work better as an EDC blade. It is so thick it almost, not quite but almost, feels cumbersome. On the belt, the thickest part of the blade and sheath together measures about an inch. Not great for concealed carry in some situations.

As regular readers here know, I’m not a big fan of kydex sheaths. I much prefer leather. However, with a knife like this, kydex makes sense.

My only other real gripe would be with the name. “Scalpel” is a bit of a misnomer. The blade isn’t quite that sharp, of course, but on top of that, using the term scalpel makes me think the blade is going to be really thin, like that of an Exacto knife or something. That’s far from the case with this knife. As I’ve mentioned previously, this blade is thick and rugged.

Overall verdict:

I think the TOPS Street Scalpel is a great option for those looking for a smaller fixed blade knife for everyday use as well as possible self-defense. I wouldn’t perhaps choose it as my own primary carry knife as I like a slightly thinner blade but if you’re on the hunt for something rugged and durable, you can hardly do much better than this.

The TOPS Street Scalpel runs $70 here on Amazon.