When someone with the curriculum vitae of Robert Young Pelton describes a tool in those terms, it is worth taking note. Of course if it was a tool designed by someone else it would carry more weight than in this case, since he is describing a knife that he is designing and selling.
Occupying the complete opposite end of the spectrum from his “Survival Tag”, the new HEFT (Hostile Environment Field Tool) is a 12″ blade that occupies the niche between a knife and machete, with a point suitable for light digging tasks.
From DPx Gear:
“After decades in the jungles of Asia, Africa, North America and other remote places, I have always wanted something between a machete and a rugged survival knife,” says DPx Gear founder Robert Young Pelton. “The CHOP is a twelve inch piece of razor sharp Sleipner steel that makes short work of building camp, cooking, and even self defense.”
The key to the CHOP’s unique patented design is not just the use of the same exotic steel used in the commercial meat processing industry but also the ergonomics. The shape of the knife is unique. A deeply ergonomic handle with rounded full tang flows into a front-heavy axe-like tip. There are also twelve inches of perfectly straight, sword grind Sleipner steel to perform precision work; a flat, thick spine for pounding; a relief area to balance the knife; and a two inch tip with a thicker grind for splitting wood and a thick point for ground work. There are also two clever depressions at the front and back of the spine for batoning through timber. The overall look is reminiscent of the Asian parang; designs that Pelton used for years on expeditions through the island of Borneo. The crude but flexible car spring blades had to be backed up with a heavy bush knife and small axe for splitting wood that doubled the weight of one’s gear. The DPx Gear CHOP 12 is the perfect middle ground between a hatchet, machete and heavy bush knife. Paired with a light, tough, skinning knife like the DPx HEST Original it becomes the perfect outdoor combination.
The HEFT is available for pre-order for a discounted $380 (MSRP is $425). It is expected to ship June 15th.