Tracker Knife

Primitive (and modern) knives, hatchets, cutting tools; ONLY as they relate to wilderness survival. *NO* discussion about using knives for fighting or defense.

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Postby ericalynne » Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:13 am

It took a little searching, but found the Razor Edge Book of Sharpening at Here is what they say about it:

"Universally recognized as “The Bible Of The Cutting Edge,” this book belongs in the library of anyone who’s serious about sharpening. Written by Guinness world record holder John Juranitch, it contains all the knowledge and insights gained during his more than 45 years in the sharpening industry. The 145 page book is crammed with photos, illustrations and cutting edge secrets you won’t find anywhere else. Its 14 chapters cover topics like how to choose a knife, sharpening theories and applications, steeling, using a hone and much, much more. You’ll get answers to the most asked sharpening questions. You’ll learn the truth about common myths like why you should never use oil on a hone. And you’ll get the insights necessary to put a great edge on knives, axes, fish hooks, arrowheads, chain saws and other tools. It’s a history, a handbook, a reference manual that the simplest, most complete way to give yourself a razor edge on sharpening."

This was a serendipitous recommendation as I had just been wishing for the "best book" or other resource for improving my ability to sharpen knives.

BTW, I also worked in deer check stations in Illinois, McDonough and Hancock counties. There was quite a stir back then about me "manning" the stations alone, being just a "girl" and all.

digging out from under Wilma's destruction in Naples, Florida
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Sharpening knives

Postby paul vallandigham » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:01 am

EricaLynne: The review of the book is not an exaggeration. I had many books on knife sharpening before I bought this one. I got rid of the others. Sharpening is a 3 step process that always ends with stropping the blade on leather, or something that is tough enough to pick off the final, fine " Feather" that is left in the sharpening process. The rest of the secret of keeping a knife sharp is to take care how you use it.

Of course circumstances always dictate what cutting instrument you need and should have. I spend most of my days on concrete, and a pocket knife is perfect for me. When I am in the woods, I am rarely more than a few hours walk from my car. I don't have to carry gear to cut down trees to make a camp. And, I took Tom Brown's class and know how to get by with what is out there, if I should have to spend a night.

I worked two years, 1968-69 in Monroe County, Illinois as a deer checker, at what was once the town of Valmeyer, Illinois. The town was destroyed in the 1993 Mississippi River flooding, and the new town is located a mile East, up on the bluffs.They still produce a lot of mushrooms in the old mica mines along the bluffs in Valmeyer.
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Postby stompingbear » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:01 pm

Iuse a cold steel etool sharpen one side for cutting the other for spliting also works well for driving stakes and such. has a cover and 2 loops on the back of my possibles bag for carry. never leave home without it and my folder. covers all my bases
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Postby L.T. » Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:26 am

from a black smiths point of view it's a more than good kind of knife, I'd go but one if I did not know how too black smith. It does everything it says it's supposed too do and more.
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Smaller Tracker knife

Postby ShawnRPrice » Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:35 pm

Hello all, was wondering if you all had noticed Tom Brown has made a smaller version of the Tracker knife. You can see it at the Tracker School website in the March monthly news letter. I saw it personally 2 weeks ago when I attended the Standard class. It was the prototype and wasn't hardened so we couldn't cut/carve with it but it fit very good in my hand. My one turn off about the orginal Tracker was the size/weight, this one solves both of those problems for me.
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Postby mjh » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:37 pm

I have the Tracker Knife and have been fairly happy with it. It is NOT my every day carry knife or the knife I take when hunting. The knife is in my go bag and in my hiking back.

I have done a little bit of field testing and comparison with another larger knife a Gerber LMF. The Gerber is older and no longer made. Gerber has introduced a newer LMF 2 but it is a different knife in almost all ways.

The Tracker has outperformed the LMF in every respect so far except perhaps weight and sheath. The Tracker is heavey but a much better chopper. The LMF sheath is multiposition carry, if I remember jump rated, could be scout carried with some extra straps and is much quieter than the Tracker sheath. I have thought about buying or making a leather sheath for my Tracker. The Tracker is in my go bag. The LMF is in a drawer.

As a camp knive or general all around knife the Tracker works for me. I don't always have a saw or axe with me but the Tracker pretty much travels with me at least when by foot or car and it is there when I need it.

I plan on doing more testing and comparison in the future so will update when possible.

I have thought of purchasing another big knife like the Tops Anaconda or something similar but I have a Tracker now, it works for now, I don't really use it all that much and I don't have the funds for another big knife. So no need to but it high on the priority list when theres so much out there to do otherwise.
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Postby OzaawaaMigiziNini » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:43 pm

Personally, if I wanted a saw blade, I'd buy a saw. When I split logs with my knife and a baton, I always end up needing to tap the tip of the knife. Which always gets chewed up by my SRK's false edge, or the thinness of my Cold Steel Bushman. I don't want to even think about the idea of whacking a saw blade with my baton... I'd be missing a baton and a saw blade!.

The handle looks nice and the sheaths are interesting.... but the blade set-up just makes me uncomfortable.

When I do my survival courses I carry my Bushman, because in case I lose it, there goes $25, if I lost a $200 knife... I think I'd flip out... same reason why I only carry my $90 SRK when I do bushcraft in my local woods. If it goes missing, I can re-trace my steps pretty quick.

In general, I have a Mora Knife, and Opinel for light work, an SRK and a Bushman for multi-task work, and a Carving axe, a take-down bucksaw and a Kukri Machete for the heavy work. That's only if I'm doing long period camping, or have the ability to lug my gear with ease like a canoe, fourwheeler, pick up truck... or a city boy I bring with me :lol:

The Tracker Knife to me, is an expensive work of art, and I don't use art in the woods, I use tools.
And when they heard of the dead, some mocked... and others said we will hear thee again, of this matter - Acts 17:32
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Postby Kortoso » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:58 pm

Nom wrote:I've looked through a variety of locations trying to figure it out and other than possibly Making it easier to baton wood I'm still lost.

By which you mean hitting the knife so it effectively acts as an axe?
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Postby mattlewisclan » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:43 pm

I have a paratraxx and a Tom Brown T2.. The Tom Brown T2 is perfect! If it isn't a TOPS... don't waste your money.. But if you don't wanna spend the $217 on a tracker, the glock 81 field knife is great at about $30.. I wouldn't trade my tracker for the world-now i just want a leather holster..
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Choice of knives

Postby paul vallandigham » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:53 am

I am glad to see there are a wide variance in what people consider the correct equipment to have when they need a knife. There are a lot of knives out there from which to choose. The best way to know is to go out and use those knives, and see what works best for you. My choice of knives is based on my personal experience. I have hunted with other men and women who choose something else. Sometimes what they have works better. When it does, I study on it, and have been known to go out and get a new piece of equipment. However, there are a lot of large, heavy knives sitting in the top drawer of my dresser, simply because I found them a burden to carry all day, and less effective than something else I bought, or made. I have playing with knives since about 1957, so a lot of time has passed. What I thought was the absolute must have back then is only a small chuckle to me now. I know how to , and do put razor edges on my knives, and I am quite fussy- perhaps too much so- in using knives to slice, axes to chop, and saw to saw. I don't mix the tools, any more than I would grab just any old screw driver to remove a screw.

Whatever works best for you is what you should stay with. Just don't expect to see any saw teeth on the back of any knife I have!
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tracker knife

Postby terry » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:35 am

I have a Tops Tracker Knife and the Scout knife.........I really did think I would get more use out of the Scout knife when I purchased them (at the same time), but surprise.......I really get more use out of the Tracker. I am a small person (female) and I thought the large size and weight of the Tracker knife would be difficult for me to use, however, it really decreases the strength needed for a project and works to assist me (due to it's size/weight). It really is a bit uncomfortable for my hand size but it is a glorious knife and I personally recommend it over any of my other knifes, especially as a survival tool. I also like the fact that I can wear it on my back and not on the side as it doesnt catch on shrubs/bushes when moving off-trail. I am planning on buying the Tracker II knife this summer. It is slightly smaller than the Tracker and may fit my hand a bit better. (sometimes when I am using the Tracker I feel like a little kid trying to wear daddy's big shoes..... :D :D )
Tracker school usually has these knives in stock.
peace, light and simplicity~
peace, light and simplicity~
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Postby skibum » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:13 pm

Recently started making a few blades, why not try it yourself. The price of a tracker will get some essentials to start with and then you will have the equipment to use over and over.
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Postby Searcher » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:52 pm

I did the same thing when I was working for Americorps. I had a lot of time and little money so I started buying some simple cheap equipment and steel to try and make my own. Now I dabble with knives when I get the time.
My goal was to make a T1 for myself.
My dad wanted to get a family heirlom to pass down and was so impressed with my facination, interest, and knowledge of the outdoors that he bought me a T2 (he'd been saving up the money for a family gun to pass down). It was a BIG deal. And the T2 has helped me with a few questions I had while working on the T1.

Funny thing, he ended up buying the knife from a dealer near where I lived in St. Louis (HedgeHog leather works, nice sheath!) while I'd been printing pics of the knife off the internet and trying to xerox them to the correct size. The whole time I would have just gone down the road and physically held one. It taught me a lesson.

Also make sure you use a high carbon steel, it can be hardened (low carbon does change much)
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Postby johnep » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:42 am

I would love to do a bit of smithing with a forge. I understand the best knives are made somwhat like a samurai sword with a sandwhich of high carbon steel encased in a softer grade. after folding a few times get a knife with flexibility but capable of holding a good edge.
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Postby skibum » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:08 am

I have been collecting the necessities for a working forge for a bit. I started with metal in Minnesota taking a metal sculpting class, produced some pretty fun stuff. A little bit indelicate for my stuffy teacher’s tastes. Travel and life stopped the passion for a bit but once resettled and most of my house finished I started searching for bits and pieces, I found an old style portable forge with a hand crank blower six seven years ago at a barn auction. I think I paid about twenty bucks. Last summer my brother dropped off a huge anvil, he is a good man. I just watched Hood’s video #9 good stuff. I have been using a dremel with a cutting disc and finishing up on a belt sander turned upside down. Where there is a will!
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