Every industry has its tools of the trade — a logger needs an ax, an electrician needs a multi-meter, a surgeon needs a scalpel. For those who make a living through bar-tending, few tools are more important than a good bottle-opener. Even if you don't spend much time behind the bar, it's a useful item to have, and always manages to come in handy at get-togethers. TOPS Knives realized this, and built a tool that combines a compact blade and a convenient bottle-opener. It's called the Bartender Defender, also known as the de-cap-itator.

TOPS bartender defender neck knife bottle opener 7v2

Top: the original Bartender Defender. Bottom: the revised Bartender Defender XL.

TOPS released the original Bartender Defender several years ago, and it has been a popular choice for those who needed a bottle opener and small blade. But, over the years the company also received some feedback from customers who wanted a longer blade to work with. So, the Bartender Defender was redesigned, and a new XL version was created.

The Bartender Defender XL may be larger than the original, but not by much. It's still only 4.63 inches long, or about 8% longer than the standard model. However, the business end was significantly revamped, producing a 2.13-inch upswept blade edge. That's over 80% more usable edge than the original 0.38-inch blade design.

TOPS bartender defender neck knife bottle opener 1

The bottle opener is still an integral part of the Bartender Defender XL, but has been moved to the spine of the blade. The Kydex neck knife sheath was also redesigned, and now features a cutout for the bottle opener. When you need to open a beverage, you won't even have to draw the blade, and we'd call that both a safety improvement and ergonomic upgrade.

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As opposed to the black wrinkle finish on the original model, the 1095 steel Bartender Defender XL has a smooth tumble finish, with a clear Cerakote to protect against rust. Here are the rest of the key specs for this blade:

  • Overall Length: 4.63 inches
  • Blade Length: 2.13 inches
  • Blade Thickness: 0.13 inches
  • Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
  • Handle: Skeletonized
  • Knife Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Weight with Sheath: 2.4 ounces

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The Bartender Defender XL is normally available at an MSRP of $80, but at the time of writing it's on sale for $65. For more information on the Bartender Defender series, visit TOPSknives.com/bartender-defender.

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