This Bushcraft Camp Style Knife is Fun and Capable.
Offgrid Knives has been a relatively recent company that I have completely ignored. Sometimes, in moments of weakness, I look at their catalogue of folding knives with beautiful bellies and feel tempted to purchase one. But I’ve always resist the temptation. There are many knives I can review from respected companies that have been around for decades. I have too many knives to review from new knife manufacturers with great branding and happy customers.
The Tracker-X was then dropped. Damn. It was nice. A thick spine of 5mm and a chunky handle made from micarta. “The heat treatment of the D2 steel blade was probably poor,” I thought to myself. Then, the reviews began to pour in with positive feedback and an astonishing lack of buyers’ remorse. So I bought one.
I, along with a few other knife-nerds at Everything But Knives, have spent the past several weeks attempting to discover its weaknesses. We failed most of the time. The Tracker X did well in most tasks.
Off Grid is primarily an off-grid knife company. However, they have jumped into fixed blade with a product that is more than just an afterthought. They didn’t just throw together a knife to add a fixed-blade section to their catalog. This knife was designed and manufactured by someone or people who put in a lot of effort and time.
|Blade Thickness||5 mm|
|Blade Style||Drop point|
|Knife weight:||10.3 oz|
|Knife Weight with Sheath||12.4 oz|
|Multi carry sheath system|
|This is one chopping machine|
|Comfortable horizontal carry|
|Blade holds it’s edge well|
|Knife can sag horizontally if it is not worn with a wide belt|
|For those with small hands, handling may be difficult|
|A ferro rod is not very good at sparking up.|
The Tracker-X’s blade is so heavy it almost feels bulky. This knife is not ideal for carving due to its large size and lack of a finger choke. However, it’s great for cutting, branch clearing, or even hammering with either the flat or spine blade.
Off Grid used a sabre grinding for this blade. Although I would prefer a flat grind, or even a scanningdi grind to my personal preference, I cannot argue with what we saw in the field. This knife’s performance suggests that the designer is much more knowledgeable about blade geometry than me. Sill, I would love to have a conversation with him or her about the knife’s grind choice if ever I get the chance.
The jimping at the spine of your blade is well-placed and useful for detail work. The Tracker X is not a good choice for slashing things but it’s great for actual work. The knife’s tip held up well when we dug into some very hard wood. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Off Grid’s D2steel heat treatment proved to be completely unfounded. It was as sharp, if not more so than any D2 Steel knife that I’ve used. The blade is extremely sharp and holds its edge well. We did some feathersticking, cut some branches and did a paper test.
Although the Tracker-X didn’t slide through the paper as easily as it did from the box I, it did so well. The Tracker-X was sharp when it arrived, but it wasn’t Spyderco razor sharp. Before I took the knife out into the woods, I spent some time using a leather strop.
The handle is thick. It is very thick. This knife is perfect for those with large hands. However, if your hands are small you might want to consider sanding the edges or passing on this knife. It was easy to hold and didn’t feel uncomfortable for me, despite my average-sized hands. Another tester mentioned that the handle was too large when she first picked it up, but it didn’t matter once she started cutting.
Chopping was one area where the thick handle was an advantage. The handle measures 3.75 inches. This is smaller than many camp or bushcraft knives such as the Buck Compadre and Condor Stratos. The handle’s thickness and slight downturn made it very easy to grip, even with my back part hanging out. The designer deserves a big kudos once again.
Although the “snake skin texture” of the handle was initially a bit rough, my hand soon adjusted and some of its rough edges were eroded by heavy use. The texture made the handle grippy, even though it was wet.
For a new company in fixed blade, the Tracker-X’s kydex sheath is very versatile. It’s a great feature to be able to switch between horizontal and vertical carry .
The kydex sheath’s retention is excellent. The knife will not move if you do handsprings. This is one downside to kydex.
The sheath of the knife comes with a quick clip. This was great for us. This makes it simple to transfer the knife from your belt or backpack to your knife. The quick clip’s opening would be smaller to fit on standard-sized belts. You need a wide belt to prevent horizontal carry from sagging. The sheath can be used with the Tek Lok Belt Clip System, which is very customizable.
The Tracker-X is a bit higher in the vertical carry position than I prefer when worn to the side of my hips. However, the Tracker X rides high so you can wear it closer to your hips when hiking.
Although the Tracker-X is heavy for a bushcraft knife it was light enough that I didn’t notice it while hiking, crawling in the underbrush or climbing. It handles well, is easy to use in the vertical or horizontal carry positions, and returns to its sheath easily. It isn’t nearly as noticeable as the Boker El Heroe but it does ride quite comfortably for its size and weight.
THE OG LOPRO SHEATH EXTENSION OPTION
This review has been a while ago, so I wasn’t planning to add much content unless my opinion on the knife changes. I still love this knife, but Off-Grid released an upgrade option which forced me to update.
The Tracker-X’s vertical position was my main complaint. Off-Grid has just announced the OG L-Pro Sheath Extension. I was sent a few to try, so this article now reads more like a commercial than a review. Damn. This extension allows the Tracker-X, from comfort and functionality standpoints, to ride on the hip sweet spot. The belt can also be attached and removed without the need to remove the belt.
IN THE FIELD
This is one tough chopping machine. The knife is very sharp and bites nicely. The knife’s weight makes it easy to cut through tree branches. The Tracker X is a good choice if you’re like me and forget your hatchet while hiking or camping. It would make a great chopper if the handle were a little longer.
The blade’s taper makes it difficult to cut the tip, as I have already mentioned. The Tracker-X is a great choice if you are someone who uses a knife to dig or pry.
Batoning is easy thanks to the wide blade and the short, almost straight taper at the tip. The best way to cut wood is with an axe or hatchet. But if you only have a knife that can make big branches or sticks into smaller ones, then the Tracker-X is the knife for you. It surprised me on several occasions with how easy it was to baton with the TrackerX. Although the analogy “Like a hot knife in butter” is a common one, it works well here.
Feathersticking can be done with a scandi or full flat grind. The Tracker X’s blade is so high that it performs a lot as a flat grind. The Tracker X handled feathersticking very well. Because the spine is so long, it made it possible to use two hands when working with hard woods like the Manzanita. The TrackerX outperformed the Ontario Rat3 that we were also testing.
We found that the Tracker-X had a problem sparking a ferrorod. It didn’t spark, but it was not impossible. It just didn’t spark as much. It feels like the spine of the blade has a slight bevel. This is probably the problem. This knife’s tiny choil looks like it could be used as a ferro rod. However, sparks were much more difficult to get there than in the spine.
To ensure that sparks didn’t go out due to user error, we used the same ferrorod to throw spark with Buck Selkirk. Sparks rained down like a meteor shower. This will hopefully be addressed in future updates to the knife.
The Tracker-X’s current price of $100 puts it in direct competition with the Bushcraft and camp knives categories. It comes with a Kydex sheath that can be used horizontally or vertically, a significant advantage over the Selkirk. The Selkirk’s sheath can be difficult to convert in the field, and is a bit more complicated than the Selkirk. The Tracker-X was so popular that we included it in our 2020 knife gift list.
Off-Grid recently released the Backcountry fixed blade, which is more tactical and hunting than the Tracker-X. To learn more about the Off-Grid Backcountry , check out our review.
The Off-Grid Ridgeback is another option to the Tracker-X. The Ridgeback has a shorter blade, thinner handle and scandi grind. The Ridgeback has a 14C28N stainless steel blade instead of a D2 steel one. However, it is much easier to sharpen. To learn more, check out our Offgrid Ridgeback Review.
Bushcraft, and camp-style knives are gaining popularity. As the number of knife manufacturers is increasing, so is the competition. To make an impact and establish Off-Grid as a serious player within the outdoor fixed blade knife market, the Tracker-X had to be a real standout. It did exactly that.
I am excited about Off-Grid’s future plans because of the combination of its high-quality materials and outstanding field performance, as well as its unique design and stunning appearance. This knife is a joy to use. The Tracker-X is a knife that I am confident in recommending, despite the few shortcomings I mentioned.