My mind is telling me Benchmade will have better blade steel than Tops but the Tops will be good enough.
I like a striking pommel which neither the Benchmade or BOB really have. My hatchet will handle the hammer functions my KaBar used to be tasked with.
So now Im getting two tools to do the jobs I used to do with one.
Albeit Ill be doing those jobs much more efficiently.
The Tops BOB has a firesteel striker on the pommel area. Its the biggest complaint about the knife but the complainers that have watched videos of how to use it after failing state it does work well. I think it looks pretty slick but if I had my way I would add a magnesium shaving notch at the base of the blade and strike the steel with the spine of the blade. The pommel would get a hammer cap.
My Kabar was great but it is a bit of a Claymore. I realized that last camping trip when we used a four wheeler off road vehicle quite a bit and sitting on the bench seat the scabbard/hilt of the knife were always in the wrong place.
The Kydex BOB sheath swivels and I bought the Tops leather sheath similar to the Benchmade with a dangler attachment. The smaller size and flexible sheath should be more manageable.
I was really tempted by a Randall but at that price point I dont see me smacking the spine of fine stag and polished steel with a log. Ive got too much shit right now that I have either spent too much on or made so pretty that I dread using it because it may get banged up. Kind of dumb. I do use my shit but I crave the ability to abuse my shit.
This knife will be that. Kind of the AR of knives. Im building a .223 M40 clone that will be a good serviceable abuse rifle and Ive got a Win M70 headed to a builder that Im intending when its not mounting a Unertl may ride a simple Redfield 3-9X for woods outings. Plain walnut stocks with a linseed finish that gains character with bumps and bruises.
I really need the kids to get their woods bravery settled in so we can advance the tentage. Unfortunately the crazy sounding Barred owls get them a little spooked when they start talking like howler monkeys so getting them into a light one man or two man aint happening right now.