At just 6.5 inches long, TOPS’ new Tom Brown Jr. Tracker #4 still proved to be a lot of knife for its size.

Authorities on real-world survival agree that a full-tang, fixed-blade knife is best suited for those times when you really aren’t sure what chores you might face. From breaking through the safety glass of a car window to clawing yourself back onto the solid ice of a frozen lake, a knife that is deployed as soon as it’s drawn from the sheath can be a lifesaver in any number of ways.

The new Mini Tom Brown Tracker #4 from TOPS Knives is a candidate for the position of full-time carry knife in any locale where there isn’t an irrational fear of cutting tools. A miniaturized version of the Tracker knife made famous by Benicio Del Toro in the movie The Hunted, the Tracker #4 in the Tom Brown signature series is not a novelty knife. As the movie depicted, a knife’s effectiveness as tool or weapon depends on its wielder, and the Mini Tracker is possibly even more useful than its larger predecessors.

Tracker Time
With a blade length of 3.25 inches, the Tracker #4 is as legal as a jackknife for open carry in many municipalities, and its overall length of 6.5 inches makes it both concealable and comfortable enough to wear all day. Being a fixed blade, the Tom Brown Mini Tracker enjoys the brute strength of a full-tang design backed up by a blade of classic 1095 high-carbon spring steel, 0.125 inches thick, and hardened to a nice, edge-holding 56-58 Rockwell. Our samples came with adequate working edges. When those dulled, a few minutes of honing had both razor sharp (a diamond rod worked best for resharpening the draw edge).

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At just 6.5 inches long, TOPS’ new Tom Brown Jr. Tracker #4 still proved…