When TOPS Knives President Leo Espinoza was tasked with designing the ultimate chopping knife, El Chete sprung from his mind practically fully formed. “Leo knew as soon as he drew this thing up that people were going to love it,” TOPS Knives’ Craig Powell tells us. “As soon as they look at it, people just know that it’s going to chop like no other.”

El Chete definitely lives up to the billing. Like the mutant child of a machete and a cleaver, the knife is nearly two pounds of ¼ inch thick 1095 steel. The broad blade is given a high saber grind to carry that stock thickness towards the tip, making the cutting geometry strong without being too wedge-like.

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