You may know them as T-back knives, push daggers, punch knives,...
Blazing a trail through a dense jungle is a difficult task, and one that's often accomplished by hacking and slashing your way into thick undergrowth. A long, tough, and sharp blade is essential in this setting. In the southern Philippines, a leaf-shaped blade known as the barong fulfilled this role.
Like the machete, parang, and kukri, the traditional barong design has subsequently been adopted by jungle-trekkers around the world, and has evolved over time. TOPS Knives general manager Craig Powell spotted some variants of the barong-style blade during trips to Costa Rica and Colombia, and on his return home, he decided to use them as inspiration for a new TOPS knife design.
The TOPS Yacare 10.0 blends the straight spine of a machete with the wide belly of a barong to create what appears to be a formidable chopper. Its 3/16-inch thickness adds heft and rigidity, but a high bevel and fine edge are said to make it versatile for a variety of tasks.
Like most TOPS knives, the Yacare is made from high-carbon 1095 steel and hardened to RC 56-58. Overall length is 15.5 inches; blade length is about 10 inches.
The Yacare bears a new etched and tumbled finish that TOPS calls Acid Rain, and is fitted with black canvas micarta handle scales. Three hollow pins and a lanyard hole on the butt provide plenty of retention options. The knife also includes a black nylon sheath with a belt loop and exterior pouch (ideal for storing a sharpening stone or fire-starting kit).
MSRP for the new TOPS Yacare 10.0 is $250, but it's currently available on the company's web site for $200. For more info on this knife, go to TOPSKnives.com.