My first reaction when I saw a picture of the new TOPS Knives Yacare was “that looks like a Joe Flowers-designed blade”. I was technically wrong, but I was correct in that it wasn’t primarily one of TOPS President Leo Espinoza’s designs. Leo helped , but it was the brainchild of TOPS’ GM Craig Powell. It was inspired by the machetes Craig saw on his travels in Central America, including a Columbia trip with Bushcraft Global – which just so happened to be led by none other than Joe Flowers. I seem to be getting better at this whole knife recognition thing.
TOPS Knives press release:
An “All Belly” Machete
The Yacare is a barong-like machete with a blade that is all-belly. This knife came about from inspiration that TOPS’ GM Craig Powell got from trips to both Costa Rica and Colombia. In Costa Rica he saw locals carrying machetes with similar looks, and after his Bushcraft Global trip in Colombia, it was time to see if he could design one that he would like. As far as machetes go, it’s made of thicker stock than most (3/16”), but it has a high grind to keep the weight manageable and give a fine edge for chopping or slashing. The Yacare is definitely worthy of jungle, mountainous terrains, and everywhere in between.
Pick yours up today from an authorized TOPS Knives Dealer or at www.topsknives.com/yacare-10-0
- Overall Length: 15.50”
- Blade Length: 10.25”
- Cutting Edge: 9.88”
- Blade Thickness: 0.19”
- Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
- Blade Finish: New Tumble Finish
- Handle Material: Black Canvas Micarta
- Knife Weight: 17.7oz
- Weight w/ Sheath: 25.4oz
- Sheath Material: Ballistic Nylon
- Sheath Clip: Belt Loop
- Designer: Craig Powell
- MSRP: $250
The jungle has proven to be very inspirational over the last few years with TOPS designs. The Brakimo and Tanimboca Puukko are two examples of knives born through jungle experience. The Yacare is the next one in the series.
It was designed by TOPS’ GM Craig Powell. He first saw machetes of a similar style in Costa Rica on the hips of local folks and in decorative pieces. They were similar to barong-styled machetes, but with their own flair. Then, after he attended the Bushcraft Global trip of 2015, it solidified that he wanted to design a machete. “I’m definitely not a knife designer. So getting help from Leo to make this a reality and a design that would fit with the TOPS line was imperative,” – Craig Powell.
The Yacare is made of 3/16” 1095 with TOPS’ new finish Acid Rain. It has thick, well-contoured black canvas Micarta handles. The design is made to function well as a medium to heavy machete, and with its all-belly blade, it bites deep into vines, thicket, and wood. The wide blade, high grind, and weight balance together to create a machete that you’ll want to use on your next camping trip, or even the next time you head to Colombia for Joe Flowers’ Bushcraft Global Adventure.
If you missed my post about my visit to the TOPS Knives production facility in Idaho, you can see it here.