posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 01:15 PM
Tops makes some nice knives- but the Tom Brown Tracker is not one of them. It's perhaps the perfect example of the "armchair commando" knife- in
that it looks "cool", but isn't nearly as functional as simpler designs. It is a "Hollywood" knife- designed to look cool. It is made by Rowen
Mfg. (who makes the excellent ESEE knives as well) so it is a quality piece, with good materials and workmanship at least. The design is a joke- it's
designed to sorta do a bunch of different things, but none of them very well.
The gentleman above who mentioned the Mora made a great point- Moras are great knives for the money. They're well made, with good steel, and very
sharp, factory, scandi edges. I'd take a $5 Mora over a $220 Tom Brown Tracker every time. A $5 Mora and a $6 Tramontina machete (properly sharpened)
is all that most people would ever need. I personally like the Imacasa and Condor machetes- with the 14" Imacasa Pata de Cuche being my favorite,
along with the "ESEE Lite Machete", which is an 18" bladed, micarta-handled collaboration between Imacasa/ Condor and ESEE/ Rowen Mfg. One of the
nicest machetes ever made, the ESEE lite machete is only around $50, including sheath. (I say this as a guy who owns dozens of machetes, including
several vintage Collins and customs)
As far as Ka-Bar goes, they make great knives. The iconic "Ka-Bar" aka "USMC fighting knife" is a good knife, but a dated design. It is made with
stick tang construction, and is prone to breakage at the hilt. The Becker series of knives that Ka-Bar makes are well designed, well made, and very
robust. Their "cutlass machete" and "heavy bowie" are also great knives for the money.