McNees Mini Flipper Caters to New Market Conditions

Custom maker Jonathan McNees is expanding his catalog of micro-sized custom knives with the Tracker Jacker. The tiny custom flipper builds on the popularity of McNees’ Killer B model.

McNees says the hardest part of the design process was getting the necessary hardware and internal parts into a frame of this size. “It took me a long time to work it out. Longer than it would with a normal-sized knife.” The Tracker Jacker has a 2.25-inch clip point blade that is almost all belly. It runs on caged bearings and uses a hardened ceramic detent ball. There are smaller flippers out there, like the Rike Knives Mini, but McNees says he wanted the Tracker Jacker to be big enough to function as users’ primary EDC: “It’s plenty of knife for the things most of us actually use a knife for.”

With the Tracker Jacker, McNees says he is adapting to the new realities of the custom market. “We all kind of know that things have been taking a down swing. Buyers are more willing to spend money on something that’s $500 or less,” explains McNees. “People are gravitating towards knives that they’re actually going to keep and use.”

The Tracker Jacker has the potential to be a popular production knife but we probably won’t see a Zero Tolerance or We Knife Co. version any time soon. McNees would rather add more machinery to his shop so he can work on small scale production projects himself. “If I have a design that ends up being real popular I don’t necessarily want to shoot myself in the foot by letting someone else make it when I can make it myself,” he says.

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A full-time maker working out of Northport, Alabama, McNees got his start in 2008. “I honestly didn’t know anything about the custom knife world.” With no formal training McNees learned by doing, making knives at a blistering pace to hone his skills before going full-time. “I probably made as many knives as a part-time maker as a lot of guys make full-time.”

Although his books are closed, interested buyers can join his email list to get chances at new batches of knives as they come up.

Knife featured in image: McNees Tracker Jacker