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Thread: Finally Got My Shadow Tracker 2

  1. #1
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    Finally Got My Shadow Tracker 2


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    I had been impatiently waiting on the arrival of this knife since I first found out it was in the works. Now I know that as a rule TOPS does not make the traditional type bushcraft knives per say. A lot of TOPS knives typically fall into an area of having brute strength above all else. Having had knives fail under certain situations myself I understand this and it is one of the reasons I own several TOPS knives. In my studies of survival under extreme situations tough is a prerequisite for the knives I use, just as it is a prerequisite for teaching these techniques to others. Yes the knives I've had fail were being asked to perform well above and beyond the realm of what is commonly considered reasonable expectations of a knife, but life is not always reasonable, and these were not simple destruction tests. Having quite a bit of experience with TOPS' knives and coming to trust them to be tough and survive a good bit of extreme use and abuse, this one caught my attention because the redesigned Shadow Tracker combines features I like in my dedicated survival knives with features I like in dedicated field craft knives. It is not all that big, but not exactly small, it has a higher grind now, but not a flat grind with some steel left in the spine for strength under lateral stress. It's not a dedicated fighter so there is no large guard, nor is there a choil or index finger grip forward of the handle for extrication, but there is an ample first finger notch for both protection in plunges and traction in pulling. Because of this cutting pressure can be applied right in front of the handle where the most force can be placed and more easily controlled. Also it has a nice sharp tip which is something I seem to have a major hang up on for good penetration in tough materials, boring holes, fine tip work, removing splinters and such, and scraping small bits of debris from wounds. Also it is made of a good stainless for corrosion resistance in harsh and salt water environments.

    This is not an actual review of the knife, that will come later on, but just few pics from the first couple of days of playing around with it as I've had time.

    The knife comes with a well-made kydex sheath. It has a good snug fit with no rattling and a thumb-push for easy drawing of the knife.









    The knife has nice clean lines. A 4 inch blade, and a black linen micarta handle.







    A comparison shot with an “actual” bushcraft knife, essentially a Woodlore clone made by Mick Spain





    The knife came with a nice sharp edge







    So far I've only done a little whittling and notching, but have been really happy with the results. I've made a few feather sticks, and made a figure-4 trap trigger. Yes, the 2x8 is just for weight to hold the trigger together for the photo. The first pic here is a video, just click on it to play it.


















    And before anyone asks, yes I do have and like several knives by various companies and makers, and this isn't even a third of them...just all I felt like carrying at the time.

    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  2. #2
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    WOW! Good introduction Mist. It looks like a nice, no-nonsense, no-"frills", "get the job done" knife. As you said, not too big nor too small. Hard to tell how the ergo's work without personally handling it, but it looks neutral enough to be comfy with most tasks.

    Incidently, thats a whole lot of steel there on the deck!

    I know you've a good bit more than that (at least in terms of customs!!!), but do you have any "favorites" that you tend to reach for more than others?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmajor007 View Post
    WOW! Good introduction Mist. It looks like a nice, no-nonsense, no-"frills", "get the job done" knife. As you said, not too big nor too small. Hard to tell how the ergo's work without personally handling it, but it looks neutral enough to be comfy with most tasks.

    Incidently, thats a whole lot of steel there on the deck!

    I know you've a good bit more than that (at least in terms of customs!!!), but do you have any "favorites" that you tend to reach for more than others?
    Thanks man. Well...I'm pretty moody and have several "favorites" based on things like size, intended application, and carry system. I guess these are among the ones that get used more than some others, but there are also other favorites currently stored at other places. By all rights, as much as I carry it, my old RC-3MIL should be included in this pic, but it's as much the carry system I like as it is the knife.

    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistwalker View Post
    By all rights, as much as I carry it, my old RC-3MIL should be included in this pic, but it's as much the carry system I like as it is the knife.
    Well now I'm curious. What's the carry system that gets so much love?
    It takes more of a man to be a gentleman.

  5. #5
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    I liked the Shadow Tracker as soon as I first saw it, nice simple design !

    How do you like it compared to the Wilderness Guide you recently reviewed ?

  6. #6
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    That looks great, and it really does look like a TOPS take on a bushcrafty kind of knife. How thick is it? I really like the blade shape
    /Users/tnc4evr/Desktop/thumbnail.aspx.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmittie View Post
    Well now I'm curious. What's the carry system that gets so much love?
    Thin profile that doesn't print too heavily that rides high and inside belt for discretion without being "concealed", easy on and easy off one-handed yet still secure during the draw all via their little plastic boot clip screwed to the sheath. I like it for when I am doing studies in urban woods and urban environments. I'd love to have a duplicate system with a 5/32 blade...but I've learned to deal with the shy 1/8 just because of the carry system for specific applications. As soon as I hit the real woods though it is always replaced with a stouter, heavier blade.


    Quote Originally Posted by pitdog View Post
    I liked the Shadow Tracker as soon as I first saw it, nice simple design !

    How do you like it compared to the Wilderness Guide you recently reviewed ?
    Oh, you know me and stout blades with sharp points, what do you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by tknife View Post
    That looks great, and it really does look like a TOPS take on a bushcrafty kind of knife. How thick is it? I really like the blade shape
    Thanks I thought so too, and I love the blade shape. It's 3/16, which is where the stout part comes in, but with the higher than standard saber grind it still has great slicing ability.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  8. #8
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    Awesome blade and review. Thanks
    http://packmastergear.blogspot.com/

    The only thing you can guess about a broken down old man is that he is a survivor - Joe Sarno
    BECKERHEAD #154

  9. #9
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    I really like the simple look of the sheath on this. Some sheaths are just too elaborate for me. (Depending on the blade, of course) This one seems to be done right. Thanks for the pre-review, Mist.

  10. #10
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    Mist:

    Hello again! As usual; good stuff with the reviews!

    I'm really not surprised you find an affinity with that knife design

  11. #11
    Looks like a Winner to me

    Always look forward to your posts--and your Excellent photos too

    Thanks Mist
    Siegle Knife Expert----
    If you have one you want to buy,sell or trade--contact me

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by panzertroop View Post
    Awesome blade and review. Thanks
    Thanks man, but this barely scratches the surface of the actual review of this one. It's currently undergoing tests in several activities


    Quote Originally Posted by TheGame View Post
    I really like the simple look of the sheath on this. Some sheaths are just too elaborate for me. (Depending on the blade, of course) This one seems to be done right. Thanks for the pre-review, Mist.
    Thanks man, I know what you mean, there are those times when less is definitely more. I love the fit on TOPS' kydex sheaths.


    Quote Originally Posted by untamed View Post
    Mist:

    Hello again! As usual; good stuff with the reviews!

    I'm really not surprised you find an affinity with that knife design
    Thanks UT, I appreciate that. Yeah, I think most people that know me and where I spend most of my time can easily where this one would fit into my life very well.


    Quote Originally Posted by WILLIAM.M View Post
    Looks like a Winner to me

    Always look forward to your posts--and your Excellent photos too

    Thanks Mist
    Thanks Bill. I thought so too as soon as I saw it. I think it is a great mix of cutting ability, strength, ease of carry, and functionality in multiple environment types.
    History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


    B.H. #27

  13. #13
    Amazing photos as usual. I got a Tops several years back, when I didn't know much about knives. I still think it makes a great urban survival type knife as I live in a city and who knows what kind of natural diaster could strike but being a 1/4" thick saber grind and about 4.5" long blade its not the greatest for the woods. Something I've learned since being on these forums. I cannot fault the knife as its designed for police and government agencies where prying is required and I just liked how it looked and the quality is incredible. I think Tops doesn't get the attention it deserves here because they are listening and producing the kind of knives people here like with thinner yet strong stocks, higher grinds and really great overall designs on top of the already awesome build. I think the problem may be they simply have too many knives to choose from!

  14. #14
    Hi, this is my first post to this blogsite. I just purchased a few knives today and one of them being the TOPS Shadow Tracker 2, from a knife collector that needed some $. The owner said it was a numbered series but I cant confirm on TOPS site. Mistwalker, what is the number under the TOPS logo (R045)? I have a number there also but it is different. He also stated that he sent the knife back to TOPS and they custom cut the handles for $30. I have just made an attempt to contact TOPS, and await their response. The handle set screws are different than the ones in your pics, but match the ones on the Kydex sheath. Im hoping I didnt buy a clone. I have a few Benchmade folders and this knife seems to have quality. Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistwalker View Post
    Thanks man. Well...I'm pretty moody and have several "favorites" based on things like size, intended application, and carry system. I guess these are among the ones that get used more than some others, but there are also other favorites currently stored at other places. By all rights, as much as I carry it, my old RC-3MIL should be included in this pic, but it's as much the carry system I like as it is the knife.

    4th from the right...which Breeden is it? Great looking bunch!
    Someday is today. Make your life count; don't just count the days.
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