TOPS Brings Back the Wind Runner Line

TOPS is bringing the Wind Runner line out of retirement with a new release called the Snake River Editions. The company hopes to leverage its foothold in the hunting sphere to parlay the Wind Runner’s second coming into a business success.

According to TOPS General Manager Craig Powell, there were two major motivating factors for the rerelease. “[The originals] were released before TOPS was really known for good hunting/fishing knives,” he tells us. Now, the company has a foothold in that category thanks to successful products like the Quick Skin. And as TOPS diversified into new categories, they found their audience growing beyond the bounds of its early days. “A lot of people over the last year or so have discovered our brand, seen this model, and started asking for it,” Powell explains. “So they’re also being re-released due to this resurgence in customer interest.”

TOPS took the ‘Director’s Cut’ approach with the 2017 Wind Runners, tweaking and improving rather than releasing a full-fledged sequel. The handles have been overhauled, with grippier Micarta scales that run all the way to the edges of the tang. To reduce resistance when cutting, TOPS also implemented their Black River Wash blade finish on the new versions, which is thinner than the old gray powder coat.


Both Wind Runner models feature the same blade shape, a bullnose skinner with a pronounced recurve. The smaller model has a blade length of 3.5 inches and the Wind Runner XL maintains a 5.25-inch cutting edge. “The small is great for gutting fish, handling small game and birds, and in tight places,” Powell says. “The XL will be up for large game, food prep, and other camp chores.”

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TOPS active catalog consists of over 200 products, with a steady stream of new designs in the works. But this may not be the last time they turn back to the archives to dust off an older model that never got its due. “We have a lot of retired models that are excellent designs, so it’s always a possibility,” Powell says.

The 2017 Wind Runners are now available directly from TOPS and are on their way to leading knife dealers.

Knife featured in image: TOPS Knives Wind Runner XL