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TOPS’ Dave Canterbury Pathfinder School Knife with Tan Ballistic Nylon Combat Sheath—perfect for adding a multi-tool or survival kit. Overall length, 9-1/8 inches long; total weight with sheath, 12 ounces, making this package field-ready without compromise!

In the past few years I have noticed there has been a trend with TOPS Knives. They have enlisted the expertise of adventurers, writers, professional outdoorsmen, instructors, hunters, along with various branches of law enforcement and military in the design of their knives. Seems like a very reasonable idea to ask the professionals just what goes into making a great knife. One of the newest members added to their designer’s team is Dave Canterbury.

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Man on a Mission
A man who has done it all, Dave Canterbury is quite the outdoorsman, to say the least. Not only is he a professional tracker and hunting guide, Canterbury has a combined 20 years-plus of military and civilian survival experience. As an Army-trained SRT (Special Reaction Team) sniper and scout, a portion of that time was spent as a SRT instructor. He now heads the Wilderness Survival Center at his own Pathfinder Training Survival School in Ohio. Most people may know Dave from his co-starring role on Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival, where the show’s hosts, Dave and Cody Lundin, are placed into real-life survival scenarios. With minimal gear, they must fight to find their way back to civilization and survive at the same time.

Design Intent
Every soldier has his story, as does every knife. The best way to get to the bottom of this is to go right to the source. In contacting Dave, I managed to get some detailed information on the true design intent of the Pathfinder School Knife. Dave made a very good point about his knife from the get-go. He said, “Knives are application specific.” This is something I definitely agreed with. You wouldn’t try to hammer nails with a saw or try to cut wood with a hammer, would you? They just aren’t the right tools for the right job. It is the same idea with knives and each one has its intended purpose and limitations. Dave was quick to say that this is not the illusive one-knife-do-all.

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