It’s no secret that I like TOPS knives. Not only because TOPS’ owner, Mike Fuller, and I go way back as associates, but throughout my years of tromping through the jungle, I’ve used their knives to eviscerate gators, gather food, clear vegetation for aerial evacuation and build shelters. In fact, just about every jungle survival trip we’ve led in the wilderness of South America has had a TOPS knife in the mix and they’ve never failed to serve us well.

008.gifRecently, TOPS introduced its “Code Yellow” series and, naturally, I wanted to get my hands on them and try them out. Not so much because of any radical design changes; instead, the bright yellow coating is something we value when it comes to jungle use. For those of you who have spent some time in a tropical forest, you know how the vegetation can swallow up anything with an earth-tone color. All that’s required is to lay it down and turn your attention elsewhere for a brief time, and the forest will magically make your knife disappear. Surveyors learned this a long time ago and kept pushing machete manufacturers until they finally came out with a bright orange handle. We also learned this lesson and now opt for bright handled machetes in our jungle operations. Losing a five-dollar machete may not seem like much unless it’s the only one you have while in the middle of nowhere.

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It’s no secret that I like TOPS knives. Not only because TOPS’ owner, Mike…