“This is the expedition camp knife I always wanted,” explains the knife’s designer, legendary adventure writer Robert Young Pelton. The HEFT (short for hostile-environment field tool) CHOP is designed to dig in the dirt, split logs, slice through foliage, and yes, chop down small trees.
Is it a knife? Is it a machete? Is it a parang? The CHOP ($425) is all of those, none of those, and an axe, too. Too heavy to be used all day as a bush-clearing tool, it will nevertheless slice through vines and foliage with aplomb. But it's more at home in camp, where it can process fire wood, build shelters, and excavate holes.
Its multi-part blade is designed to offer the dexterity of a long, heavy duty knife, and it's topped with a broader tip that has more of an axe profile for chopping wood or digging. While Pelton says he's used the CHOP to shave, he also recommends paring it with a smaller, more dexterous field knife for smaller jobs. His experience covering wars in places like Afghanistan, Burma, South Sudan, and Colombia is what informs his knife designs.
“The CHOP is a razor-sharp piece of Sleipner steel that makes short work of building camp, cooking, and even self defense,” he says.