The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Swanagon CUTs it Deep – TOPS Knives CUT 4.0

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

From the mind of Joshua Swanagon comes the TOPS Knives C.U.T. 4.0. CUT is short for Combat Utility Tool. The goal, Swanagon and TOPS tell us, was to combine the offensive-defensive capabilities of a karambit with the usefulness and practical application of a utility knife. The CUT 4.0 is what he concocted to do so, and initial reports indicate it does so successfully. With an overall length of 8 and a half inches, a total weight of 9 ounces with the sheath (6.3 oz without) and a full tang, the CUT 4.0 is big enough to meet its intended purpose without being so large you can yank it out of a rock to become King of England. The butt of the CUT has a finger-hole for a grip.

Go ahead and read that out loud. You know you want to. The butt of the CUT.


TOPS Knives CUT 4.0

Overall length: 8 and a half inches.

Blade length: 4 and a quarter inches.

Cutting edge: 4 inches.

Blade thickness: nineteen hundredths of an inch (.19).

Blade steel: 1095 RC 56-58.


Blade finish: Black Traction Coating.

Handle material: Tan Canvas Micarta.


Handle style: Dragonfly Tread.

Knife weight: 6.3 ounces.

Weight with sheath: 9 ounces.

Sheath material: Black Kydex.

Sheath clip: Beta Material loops.

We reached out to the designer to get some of what was going through his mind when he began developing the CUT 4.0. Swanagon says,

“Having a martial arts background I have done some training with the karambit and have really been a fan of ring style knives and their prowess in combative applications. However, also being an avid outdoorsman I have found them to be less than ideal as a field utility blade. This was the thinking behind the C.U.T. 4.0 (C.U.T. = Combat Utility Tool), being a combative ring knife with a utility style blade for field use. I utilized the curved handle and ring of a karambit for superior comfort and utility during combative uses, but opted for a traditional drop point blade profile for ideal utility in the field. The aggressive tip provides for maximum penetration during combat, allowing the C.U.T. 4.0 to penetrate body armor and heavy clothing much easier, while also being useful for drilling chores during field crafting tasks.

The C.U.T. 4.0 was designed with professional personnel in mind, but will also make a great EDC for civilians and martial artists who like the diversity of a dual purpose knife.”


Not familiar with Swanagon? He has studied survival in both urban and wilderness environments in Colorado and Michigan for most of his life, with additional experience gleaned in harsher terrains found abroad. He utilizes his experience and years of diverse martial arts and combat training and real world application as a self-defense/combat instructor, published freelance writer and Field Editor for various magazines in the fields of knives, survival, self-defense and tactical subject matters.

The knife is arguably one of the greatest and most significant tools mankind ever developed, and that's going all the way back to when a good blade was made out of sharpened stone. It is our humble opinion (an opinion with which most of you reading this probably agree) that anyone venturing away from societal comforts should be in possession of one.

If you’re looking for a knife to take into the  field, a larger addition to some sort of niche EDC, or just to have in a pinch when life demands, you may want to check out what TOPS has to offer. You can check out the CUT 4.0 here — follow TOPS Knives on ye olde Instagramz @topsknives.

FYI, you enjoy collecting knives or are just curious about proper knife terminology when it comes to knife anatomy you should head over to read this article on


Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free