TOPS Knives releases El Chete

A decade ago, the notion of a “high-end” machete would have drawn some strange looks. It is typically the crudest of instruments, stamped from mystery sheet metal, and sold for about $10-15 at hardware stores. Today there is no shortage of offerings from big-name manufacturers, even designs from marquee names in the knifemaking industry.

I have reviewed the CRKT/Ken Onion Halfachance, which at a $45 street price is still fairly pedestrian compared to the latest offering by TOPS Knives – El Chete.

Not your typical machete shape, El Chete looks more like an oversized competition-knife with a point.  At $300, El Chete is not going to find its way into most suburban garages, but if you want a knife that will process wood like a hatchet, El Chete may be right for you.

From TOPS Knives:

Press Release

How does TOPS define destruction? El Chete. It has a wicked new blade finish called Acid Rain. The sandwiched Micarta handles fill the hand well and look outstanding too. The sheath is a clever out-the-back design that comes with either a spring steel clip or a leather dangler. On top of the aesthetics, TOPS president Leo Espinoza designed it to demolish wood as a chopper thanks to its heft and thick tang. If you’re in the market for a large knife, you’ve definitely found it.

Pick yours up today from an authorized TOPS Knives Dealer or at

El Chete:

Overall Length: 17.5”

Blade Length: 12.0”

Cutting Edge: 11.38”

Blade Thickness: 0.25”

Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58

Blade Finish: Acid Rain

Handle Material: Sandwiched Black Canvas and Green Canvas Micarta

Knife Weight: 29.5oz

Weight w/ Sheath: 37.5oz

Sheath Material: Black Kydex

Sheath Clip: Spring Steel or Leather Dangler

Designer: Leo Espinoza

MSRP: $300

I will be visiting TOPS’ manufacturing facility in Idaho Falls this June. I am looking forward to this both personally, and for the cool blog-content it will provide.



  1. Daniel J says:

    That beast is 1/4″ thick. That makes my .08″ thick Tramontina look like an Exacto blade.
    It looks like it will be a great knife, but it aint no machete.

  2. Arctodus says:

    A couple of TOPS knives fit the machete category (other than the actual machetes that they make). Leo designed El Chete and also the Power Eagle 12 (my first TOPS knife). And Trace Rinaldi designed my favorite TOPS knife, the Armageddon. He calls it the American machete.
    All of them you can trust your life with.

  3. Jason says:

    Thats a whole lot of awesomeness from TOPS!

  4. cmeat says:

    ’tis beastie.
    i like my tramontina bolo. now that’s a machete.
    can’t see el chete doin’ much that my kukhris won’t.

    1. Jenky says:

      No, no it does not. That looks horrible.

    2. Private says:

      That Terava thing looks like something a person shopping for “outdoor” gear at Canadian Tire would love.
      Maybe even @ walmart.

  5. Garoulady says:

    I actually have a couple of old fashion hedge clipper blades that are massive like El Chete. Trying to find a metal smith willing to make them like this. I paid 20 bucks and if I can find someone anyone who is less than 300 bucks, I’m ahead and upcycling an awesome couple of blades.

  6. Tom Gunter says:

    We purchased an el chette for my son for his Birthday. He loves this thing, that was back in Jan 2019. Just the other day he was using it to chop some red oak limbs for fire wood while camping in the smoky mountains. He came to me very upset, almost in tears. I made sure that he didn’t get hurt. But what did happen, was that his el chette had a big chip out of it. Is there anything that can be done?

    1. Kevin W. Wilson says:

      Tom, I’m sorry to hear your son’s El Chete chipped. That is so disappointing. You could contact TOPS and ask if they can help. I’m no outdoorsman, but I suggest you look for an El Cheapo hatchet for your son, so he can chop trees with impunity next time. Blessings on your camping adventures.

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TOPS Knives releases El Chete

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