BLADE Magazine

TOPS Little Bugger: Svelte-Bladed Straight-Edge

A small straight-edge knife makes a great tool for controlled cuts. The author uses the TOPS Knives Little Bugger to make wood curls with a paring-style cut.

A small straight-edge knife makes a great tool for controlled cuts. The author uses the TOPS Knives Little Bugger to make wood curls with a paring-style cut.

Ultra-thin and razor-sharp, the TOPS Little Bugger makes for a nimble and practical EDC fixed blade.

What The Little Bugger Has To Offer:

I have reviewed more TOPS Knives models than I can remember. Some have been hit-and-miss and others have been pretty good with just an issue or two. My biggest complaint with TOPS knives over the years has been their blade geometry. Blade profiles, handles, and sheaths have all worked out in some of the designs. As for the blade geometry, I have always thought, But only if they went a little thinner!

The Little Bugger’s sheath makes for a great little belt carry that provides quick, easy access to the blade.

Thin isn’t the issue with the company’s Little Bugger fixed blade. The blade is thin and cuts like a razor. I couldn’t be more ecstatic with it—seriously. As a knife reviewer, sometimes I find it hard to share what I think about a knife—if I hate it, someone will say I don’t know what I’m talking about, and if I really like it, someone will call me a paid shill.

Well, let the haters hate.

The Skinny

The Little Bugger has a nice wharncliff e-style blade that gives a good articulated tip very similar to a utility knife. TOPS uses a saber grind to form the geometry—oh, and did I mention it was thin? TOPS not only puts a nice, high grind on the blade but starts out with thin stock. To begin with, the blade measures only .9-inch thick. The Little Bugger cuts like a razor. It was a sheer pleasure to use right out of the box. For once, I’m not even going to complain about the choil, though when I first started cutting with it I couldn’t resist the what-if urge and strapped the blade.

You can peel a lime with many knives, but the straight edge of the Little Bugger excels at the task. A little
knife with a fi ne edge can do a range of chores, from semi-heavy to delicate


The sheath is spot on. It is not big and clunky but snug fitting with a crisp lock. Best of all, the fit is so good there was no notorious plastic rattle during carry—it is quiet as a church mouse. (Though oddly enough, I can’t really tell you how quiet a church mouse is because I’ve never heard one.)

I know many like the Little Bugger style as a neck knife but TOPS includes a belt clip with this knife, and I see why. Between belt-carry clip and a tether carry system, you can EDC this little fixed blade with no problem. I won’t summarize what I think of the Little Bugger. If you haven’t got that by now, I haven’t written well enough. I will say, however, that now that TOPS has found this level of thin, I am excited and filled with anticipation as to see what other small fixed EDCs the company releases in the future.

Little Bugger Specs:
Overall Length: 5.75 inches
Blade Length: 2.38 inches
Blade Grind: Saber
Blade Material: 1095 Spring Steel
Handle Material: Tan Canvas Micarta
Carry: Injection-Molded Sheath
Weight: 37 ounces W/Sheath
Style: Fixed Blade
MSRP: $129

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