The TOPS Knives Operator 7 Blackout Edition is a large, grandiose knife, made for survival. In terms of blade thickness and finish, TOPS has really gone above and beyond. With a blade of 18.5 cm and at just under 8 mm thick, this knife sure makes an impression. Add to that the confidence that the large baffle plate offers and you know that this knife is made for very intensive use.
This is the special Blackout Edition. Black is the order of the day here. The only break in the otherwise all-black theme is a subtle red liner.
The handle really stands out. It's made of three layers: black micarta, a red liner and a layer of black G10. In keeping with the rest of the knife, the handle is also pretty impressive. Plenty long enough, and thick enough to fill your hand.
For the blade, TOPS has opted for 1075 carbon steel. This is a seriously shatterproof steel that can handle everything the Operator 7 might throw at it. Especially because the blade has differential hardening: the edge is hard, and the spine of the blade is a bit softer. With 1075 carbon steel, you always have to watch out for rust. Salts, acids and moisture will undoubtedly lead to corrosion. Always clean the blade after use, and occasionally apply a couple of drops of oil. Fortunately, TOPS has given this version a beautiful matte black coating.
The TOPS Knives Operator 7 comes with a very sleek Kydex sheath. It has a leather dangler belt loop, which gives you optimal freedom when wearing it.