TOPS Unearths New Tracker Digger

Smatchet Tracker

TOPS Knives just introduced a new edition of their best-selling Tom Brown Tracker line in the form of the Tracker Digger. An edged tool designed for digging as well as cutting, the Tracker Digger is the first in a series of new for 2017 offerings from Idaho-based TOPS.

TOPS describes the new knife as a mix between a smatchet, a hori hori (a Japanese gardening tool), and of course the original Tom Brown Tracker. The Tracker Digger is dagger-ground, with a total usable blade length of over 9-inches. Its black traction coated 1095 steel blade could best be described as spade-shaped, with plenty of surface area for digging. “From harvesting wild edibles in the forest, to making fire pits, to digging roots out of your garden, this knife is as versatile as the Tracker it was based on,” TOPS Knives General Manager Craig Powell tells us. The Digger resembles the original Tracker in handle design, with the same two pronounced finger recesses for grip, though on the symmetrical Digger they are located on both sides of the handle.

TOPS Tracker Digger

“The Tracker Digger is one of those designs that is not ‘the norm’, but meets a need that many people have,” Powell says. When it comes to digging, most use a non-bladed implement but TOPS tells us that dual functionality in an outdoor scenario is a major advantage. “Sometimes having something the size of a knife that can do just that instead of a large shovel or flimsy garden tool, is just what is needed.” Having double the edge also means that if one side gets dull or nicked, there is still another useable edge available prior to resharpening.


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The original Tracker was designed by Tom Brown Jr., a wilderness survival instructor who also had a long career tracking down missing animals and people. A custom version of the knife, produced by David R. Beck, played a prominent role in the 2003 movie The Hunted. The knife’s unprecedented amount of screen time fueled its popularity. Whether the Tracker Digger can establish a film career remains to be seen, but TOPS is predicting that a lot of users will gravitate to its unusual design. “This knife is as versatile as the Tracker it was based on. It will be found in many camp kits, bug out bags, and tool sheds.”

The Tracker Digger is now available directly from TOPS and is on its way to leading knife dealers.


Knife featured in image: TOPS Tracker Digger

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