TOPS Turns 20 with Upgraded Version of the Tom Brown Tracker

TOPS is kicking off its 20th anniversary celebrations with an upgraded version of its well-known Tom Brown Tracker #3 knife. The limited edition fixed blade packs in big material upgrades and leads the charge for a series of anniversary releases.

If TOPS has a flagship knife in its 200 model-strong catalog, the Tom Brown Tracker is it. Fans of the enduring design will recognize its profile, which pairs two distinct stretches of cutting edge, one curved, one straight, into a single blade. Of course, the main draw of the limited edition version isn’t the design itself so much as what TOPS have done to it to celebrate. The 20th Anniversary Tracker is made from S35VN, and comes with burlap Micarta handle scales over its full tang frame. “S35VN is not a common steel for us (especially on a knife like this),” says TOPS’s Craig Powell. “Basically everything about this is a step up from the regular Tracker #3. To round out this performance-oriented collectible, TOPS upgraded the sheath as well. Burgundy leather replaces the standard Kydex option, and the new sheath has a few additional flourishes: a front-facing carrying pouch and arrangements for multiple carry options.

20 years is a long time in the knife industry. When TOPS opened its doors in October 1998, there was no YouTube, no Instagram, the flipper fad hadn’t caught on, and the Sebenza 21 was still a decade away from release. What is it about TOPS products that have kept the company going all these years? “They work. Again and again and again,” Powell says simply. “People know they can trust a TOPS knife. We take care of our customers and we do the best we can to produce knives that will fill a need/want in their life.” Even though the company has grown, optimized its processes, and is able to produce more knives than in the past, the core TOPS philosophy has remained the same. “Our goal/company mission is really the same that it has always been. Make knives that people can trust in whatever situation they may find themselves.”

The 20th Anniversary Tracker will not be the only TOPS classic seeing a celebratory makeover. Rather, it is the first in a small series of releases commemorating two decades in the knife business. It is available now.

Knife featured in image: TOPS Knives 20th Anniversary Tom Brown Tracker