I was able to join another passaround recently on bladeforums.com. This one was for a Shango by Joe which was produced by TOPS knives. Here is a recap of my forum based review:
Shango arrived today safe and pretty dull (expected). I stropped the edge a bit and it came back a little.
Brings me to my first question which I might have asked before, but how would Joe like this knife to be sharpened? V bevels like on the Spyderco Sharpmaker or bench stones, convex like on a belt sander or leather/mouse pad backed sandpaper, or slightly concave by putting it on the paper wheels? Thanks in advance! This is my first experience with a TOPS knife and I would enjoy the chance to sharpen it up and see what it can do here in Central PA.
Once out of the package and stropped, I did a thorough washing twice and put it to use cutting up some onions and red peppers for Chili. It worked well enough for such a tiny blade (I prefer a 10" chef knife for these chores usually). The handle has a satisfactory ergonomic design that made keeping it in hand easy even when covered with onion juice.
While getting into the sharpening on the Spyderco Sharpmaker, my guess was confirmed, it was pretty much right at 40 degrees inclusive. This edge is a bit thicker than I regularly sharpen, so if felt like it took more time than my sharpening efforts usually take. The blade steel sharpened up well in time. I started with the Diamond rods, then to the brown/gray rods and finished up on the white rods. I did some stropping after the sharpening just to be certain not leave any trace of a burr.
Today is pretty rainy so I have been inside and not out doing what I had hoped I could with the passaround knife. I will say that during the sharpening process, I was wishing for some temporary scales for the knife to stop my hand from cramping. I did not stop to attempt to recreate the sassy para cord wrap that was posted by 42blades, but it did cross my mind a few times.
I have decided that the knife and sheath alone would probably be fine on a neck rig, but with the other goodies on there, I have been having headackes which I attribute to the weight that is on my neck that I usually do not have to contend with on a regular basis. For that reason, and so I do not have to keep popping pain relief tablets, the knife will ride in the sheath in a pocket for the short remainder of my time with the pass knife.
Tomorrow is expected to be partially cloudy so I hope to get into the back yard, or over to the gun club for some actual outdoors use/testing. I will be certain to bring along some friends for the Shango to play with during the testing.
Now I’m going to try to make char cloth out of an old pair of jeans. Not the best source, but it is what I was handed today.
Thanks again to Joe for the chance to check out this knife! I really enjoy the profile, but if I score one, I will have to put some handle scales on it.Okay, today’s effort was mostly fun practice for me on fuzz/feather sticks. It took me a bit to find the sweet spot for the Shango, but after that it went very well.
Here is the group after shot from my tests. I tried to pick knives that were thinner handled or slightly unusual for this type of task which you might be stuck with in an emergency.
A close up with the other participants with the fuzz sticks I made.Koster Kit Knife with Black linen scales
A Case knife that I got at a public auction that had been used to cut through a live electrical wire on a farm which prompted me to serrate the damaged blade. Each blade made its own fuzz and the points are letting you know which one made which fuzzy. Before I serrated the blade I sent the knife back to Case and received it back in the same condition with a note that said they could not replace the blade even if I paid them to do it.
Spyderco Native C41PBK that was reground by Tom Krein with a Full convex and convex micro bevel. It seemed to bite in a little too well for my poor technique.
Spyderco Swick 2 which was just released and seemed to be thin handled just like the Shango, but the ergonomics allowed me to cut with more comfort than the Shango did, but I would still rather have handle scales on both.
Bob Dozier neck knife I traded into a year ago or so which was supposed to be some sort of exclusive short run some time ago. I have not looked into it yet and may not bother since I plan to keep using it.
Here is a couple of spine shots to let you know the relative thickness of each knife.
Some late entries: A Ladybug Salt SE, a factory second Spyderco Delica that I bought with a little over one inch of blade left snapped off clean, and …
For those wondering, I did try the fire steel, but I was not able to get the striker at the butt of the Shango to work, so I improvised and used a P-38 can opener blade. Oh, and yes, I had a garden hose ready if needed.
That is about the extent of my bushcrafting efforts so far, so the last bit of my time with this knife will be EDC tasks and food prep. The edge did just fine and will likely only need a little stropping prior to the next cutting task.
Like I said when I posted that I would like to participate in the pass, I really have no bushcrafting skill, so I'm certain it was user error. That video would have been a good thing for me to watch prior to today's efforts. I did not think of hammering down the ferro which is probably why it did not work for me. Also, I had the ground out part facing the ferro rod, not facing the small pile of tinder. I will try again tomorrow if the weather holds.
Thanks for the video! My comments on the grip were not really a complaint as much as an observation which was the same on the Swick2. In general I am very pleased with the Shango. If you would like me to start reprofiling it to 30 on the Sharpmaker, let me know and I will see what I can do.
Thanks again Joe for letting all of us play with your knife!No worries here. I was given a chance to sharpen it sooner rather than later. I do enjoy sharpening and was looking for a chance to sharpen something from TOPS.My last entry. This knife was sharpened on the Spyderco Sharpmaker, packaged up and shipped out yesterday along with an email to Joe and the next participant that contained the shipping info.
I did decide to attempt a cord wrap just before shipping it out so feel free to take that off if it is not of interest. I made the one end easy to remove if desired.
The knife made one more feather stick before the sharpening, and I was able to get the striker on the but to work with the fire steel, thus further proving how effective it is since I was able to make it work (once I watched the video).
Overall, for a skeleton type knife, it works very well! If the knife was mine, I would have thinned the edge down the first time I sharpened it. Again, for Joe's intended use, this knife is outstanding, light, and worth your consideration.
My thanks to Joe for the chance to check out his design and knife as well as for the video so I could attempt to redeem myself for my previous firestarting short coming.