David R. Beck, Knifesmith LLC
Call Us: +1-610-670-5319
"Fine Cutlery for the Adventurer"  

 The Original BECK "WSK" (WILDERNESS SURVIVAL KNIVES)
TRACKER/WSK Knife History:
    The concept originated in the early '80's between collective minds to address the needs of the modern hunter-gatherer relying primarily upon aboriginal skills rather than extra gear for lighter travel. The tool needed to be tough, dependable, & possess the traits of both a hunting knife & hatchet to accomplish the most common tasks encountered to survive & thrive in the wilderness. Developing such a design had its challenges & wasn't easy. It wasn't expected to be perfect for every task as some compromises & limitations had to be accepted, but the idea was to construct a tool that worked well enough, that a single knife could accomplish all the practical requirements one would need to perform. An early attempt called the "Medicine Blade" & made by Ed Lombi, which demonstrated the possibilities & set the foundation  for the influence of others to come. 
    After being introduced to the concept, David Beck presented his own design improvements & in the late '80's he was persuaded  to take over the project. Within a few years, the basic concept transformed into a more functional tool displaying his own unique design enhancements & his knife shop was opened to equip those in the growing "survival/tracker" community. Aside from the "Medicine Blade", until then the knife concept was otherwise just known by its generic reference to the survival school where it originated, but in 1991, a name was officially designated after Mr. Beck became the first to own & stamp the registered trademark "TRACKER" on his blades, & the Original "TRACKER" Wilderness Survival Knife was born.
    After ten years of producing his knives, idea conflicts & marketing difficulties resulted in his first venture coming to an end, & with the closure of the knife shop also meant the end to his exclusive trademark rights.

    Through luck & circumstance, his knife was selected for an upcoming film, & Dave became the designer & maker of the actual "TRACKER" knife used by Benicio Del Toro in the 2003 Paramount Pictures film the "HUNTED", which for historical reference, was one of his model "C" Gen1 TRACKER knives. With the exposure & renewed interest, a new demand brought buyers looking for the "Real" TRACKER knife, but only found disappointment with what was now being marketed.  With several years to concentrate on further design & manufacturing improvements bringing his "TRACKER" knives to a new level of performance, a better chance of success appeared promising, & he re-opened his doors for business. It was a tough start & met with resistance as he now had to address competitive pushback  & establish himself with a world-wide community who knew little of his name, history, & involvement. In addition, with others now marketing their own versions & battling over name rights to secure an advantage, his hopes to reclaim his TRACKER trademark meant too much expense with little prospect of gain. The decision was to simply change the name, & from that time forward, his knife became known as the "WSK" (Wilderness Survival Knife).
Production of his new knives didn't last long as his second attempt was cut short by injury, but in 2011 the knife shop once again resumed full-time knife making operations but now under the name of David R. Beck Knifesmith LLC. With many years experience under our belts & motivated for success, we now look forward to a long-lasting venture providing our customers with some of the highest quality knives they're find anywhere.  
         
The TRACKER/WSK Knife Today:   
​    After over thirty years of dedication & hard work, our WSK knives have evolved into very fine-tuned tools which far outperform the early examples. Proportions, angles, contours & heat treating have been perfected, raising the bar of performance well beyond what could have been imagined years ago. What started as a simple, yet highly efficient tool for modern survivor/hunter-gathers, was now seeing use in many conflicts abroad, proving to be just as dependable & effective in demanding combat/survival applications as it was in the back woods.
Through feedback from the Special Operations community & many other deployed military personnel, further testing & refinements ensured our knives could meet the challenge, & pushed our WSK knives to a new pinnacle of design & demand. 
   Traditionally, TRACKER/WSK knives were made from 1/4" thick blade steel. This continues to be an effective, but a  heavy choice when combined with full field gear, so in 2019 we began adding medium duty versions for lighter carry & easier handling. With the perfection of our designs & specialty heat treatment now done "in-house", it was found that a lighter steel could equal the effectiveness of our heavier knives with little compromise in practical strength & overall performance.

    Today, we continue to individually hand-craft every 
WSK knife & never cease to expand our skills to make our 
even knives better with every year.

    There are many now producing this style knife, but no
one has made them longer, crafted more by hand, or has
more experience to know the intimacies of the Tracker/WSK
design better than us. If you're searching for a true 
"TRACKER/WSK" knife, look no farther, for our WSK 
knives have become the "gold-standard" standard by which
 all others are compared. 
 Std. "Swiss Army" type staggered saw teeth.
Full-length distal-tapered tang on a model "C" WSK.
  Click on thumbnails below to enlarge & for captions of features that come std. with every knife.
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​< Black Linen




< Green & Black
       Linen



< Green Linen




< Tan Linen
(Above) COLORED TANG SPACERS: Add $10.00
Available in: White, Black or Red 
*(Blue no longer available)
*Only one color choice per knife.
< (Left) #MTL: Multi-Tool 
(Shown next to a Swiss Army Trekker for size comparison)
1/6 x 3/4 x 4" fully hardened 01 tool steel. 1 oz.
The sides have sharp edges for ferro rod striking & will cast much better sparks than using a knife blade. 
The edges & flats can be used as an emergency blade edge shaper/burnisher when a more suitable sharpening device is not available.
The narrower screw driver tip can be used for adjusting our older-style slotted sheath mounting screws. Guaranteed to cast the best sparks you've ever seen when used with a quality ferro rod.  Price = $18.00 
All our WSK knives come std. with differentially hardened/tempered high carbon steel blades, self-cleaning "Swiss-Army" type staggered saw teeth which cut on both the pull & push stroke, flat-ground blade bevels, tapered tang, Micarta handle & a Right hand blk. molded leather sheath ("Basic" version: no mounting holes or "scout" loops). Made with an integral belt loop for vertical side-carry only.  
You select the Micarta handle color, blade finish & any sheath options you'd like to add from our "Options" list below.

Dimensions:
Blade thickness = Measured at the thickest cross-section of the blade. 
Blade Length = Measured from the shoulder of the plunge line nearest the handle to the point. 
OAL (Overall Length) = Distance from the butt to point.
Carry Weight = Includes both knife & sheath. Actual weight may vary depending upon the handle material selected.
Current WSK Knife Models
*Ordering Status:
 NO orders for Tracker/WSK knives are being accepted at this time.
 Due to the number of WSK knife requests on our waiting list, all spots are
 currently filled & we have temporarily stopped accepting new WSK knife
 requests at this time.
 We will resume accepting new order requests starting August 1st 2021. 
 Thank you for your patience & understanding. 
​(Above) Model "C" Gen3 Tracker/WSK: Our traditionally-styled WSK knife.
Taken from the same "TRACKER" knife pattern introduced in 1991 that was used for the "HUNTED" movie, except now with a flat-ground draw knife bevel for stronger edge support, a more proportionately correct 6-3/4" blade (1/2" longer than our original model "C"), & refined handle for improved feel. 12-7/8" OAL. 
Two versions available:   
#C3WSKHD (Std. Duty): 1/4" thick blade with tapered tang. Carry wt. = 1 lb. 13oz.   PRICE = $1000.00
#C3WSKMD (Med. Duty): 3/16" thick blade with NON-Tapered tang. Carry wt. = 1 lb. 9oz.  PRICE = $925.00
                                (Above): John "Lofty" Wiseman
A good friend & proud owner of one our  model "G" WSK knives.
Hope to see you on the trail.
David R. Beck taking a break on Angel's Landing, Utah
"Basic" WSK sheath version that comes std. with  every knife. (Front view)
"Basic WSK sheath version that comes std. with every knife (Rear view)
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WSK Handle Material Options
Available Micarta Handle Choices:
Made std. w/finely sanded & waxed finish.
Sheath Options
    All WSK knives come std. with "Basic" styled sheaths for a clean appearance. For added versatility, customers can request any number of mounting holes to be added which permits the attachment of mounting straps to secure other optional accessories such as "scout" loops, pouches & smaller "companion" knives. Mounting holes are free upon request & are unlined, but nicely finished inside to ease of mounting screws or bungi cord. Mounting accessories are attached to these holes by use of Chicago screws.
    For the greatest versatility, we recommend ordering your sheath with a full-series of mounting holes which include a row of vertical holes spaced 1" apart going up the side of the sheath, plus two unlined horizontal leg tie/lashing holes along the bottom.   
*Leg tie holes can be upgrade by adding hand-made brass eyelets for an extra cost of $15.00.
*Feel free to consult us if you need assistance deciding on a sheath configuration that will work best for you.
A few examples of sheath set-ups:
(Far Left): "Basic" version sheath.
(2nd from left): Shown w/removable "scout"
                            loops & (2) lower leg
                            tie/lashing holes w/optional 
                            brass eyelets.

(3rd): Shown with removable "scout" loops in
          their std. position, leg tie holes w/brass
          eyelets + two extra holes positioned for            mounting a #SC400 4"Saranac knife.

(Far Right): Full series of mounting holes
                      w/lower eyeletted leg tie holes &
                      fixed ferro rod loop. 
< Ferro Rod Loop: 3/8 x 1-1/2".  
             Will fit any ferro rod that's at least 2" long & no larger
             than 3/8"in diameter. Fits LightMyFire "Swiss Army Model"
             or Firesteel.com "Armageddon" 3 - 4" ferro rod perfectly. 
             (Ferro rod not included). $20.00
Vertical & lower (horizontal) Mounting Holes (unlined) & mounting straps = No Charge
 1 set of hand-made brass eyelets (For leg tie holes only) = $15.00 
"Scout" Loops: 1" wide leather straps. Requires (2) mounting holes. Used for additional frontal cross-draw & 
                           behind-the-back carry options. No Charge
Steel D-Rings: For on "scout" loops to enable attachment of a shoulder sling = No Charge
​< (Left) #SS1 Adjustable Shoulder Strap: (Click thumbnails to enlarge)
Made from 8' of 1" 4000 lb. safety-rated Sterling tubular climbers webbing. Fully adjustable w/nylon hardware, D-rings & easy detachable snap clips. The best way to carry a knife while running or for easy removal. Disassemble & use the strap by itself as an emergency climbing aid or load-bearing strap. *Hardware not safety rated & must be removed prior to load-bearing use. Requires "Scout" loops installed on a sheath to use. Price = $20.00
The Two-Knife "Piggyback" Rig: (See Pics Below)
For the ultimate WSK knife set up, request add one of our #SC400 (4" Saranac) knives to be onto the front of your WSK sheath. We'd add the necessary mounting holes to each sheath, include all mounting straps & hardware & will pre-attach everything together prior to shipping. This will give you a convenient & rigid set up with both knives in a single package for easy carry & access, yet everything is easily detachable for individual carry.
If ordering a "piggyback" configuration & you want a ferro rod loop, only one of the sheaths can have a loop & it must be on the larger knife sheath.

*Note: A "piggyback" rig is too bulky for for some to carry vertical on your hip. In this case we recommend using one of our #SS1 Shoulder Slings to keep everything high & tight against your body to avoid bet weight & catching on vegetation. This is how we prefer to carry our WSK & other large knives. 
*See pics below to show how the "piggyback" set up is assembled.
 Click on thumbnails below to enlarge.
Model "C" WSK & 4" Saranac w/all mounting straps & hardware ready to assemble into a "piggyback" rig. WSK also shown w/scout" loops.
All mounting straps attached to both sheaths & ready to secure together.
(Front View): Model "C" WSK w/4" Saranac fully assembled into "Piggyback" mode.
(Rear View): WSK w/4" Saranac "piggyback" set up w/scout" loops on WSK sheath.
WSK w/4" Saranac in "piggyback" set-up assembled w/"scout" loops on WSK sheath.
​David R. Beck working a WSK knife
at Hawk Mountain, PA.
Tracker/WSK Blade Anatomy
A. Draw Knife Edge: The sharpest, & most delicate edge for
     general carving, shaping & scraping. Originally hollow
     ground, but in later years changed to a flat-grind (shown)
     to provide greater edge support. 
B. 1/4-Round: Used as a gut hook & for carving/scraping trap
     parts & arrow shafts.
C. Hatchet: Flat-ground for chopping, scraping & the only
     edge that should be used when splitting woods. Correctly
     angled so the strongest part of the blade forward of the
     "1/4-round" delivers the impact for greater edge safety &
     penetration.
D. Saw Teeth: "Swiss Army" type staggered tooth design is
     self-cleaning & aggressive cutting on both the pull & push
     stroke. Used for cutting square notches, or tilt at a 45 degree
     angle to cut "V" grooves (both used for traps & snares).
     Downward angle enables sawing square & "V" grooves on
     flat surfaces & stakes for trip & snare wire channels.
E: Spine Recess: Specifically designed as a striking point when
     splitting woods & for push-carving. The curved surface
     enables the blade to be rocked or tilted at any angle & still
     receive direct energy into the material being worked. 
     Recess edges are slightly sanded just to remove the sharp
     burr to avoid injury in carving but can be sharpened if
     needed for scraping tasks.
 Although additional benefits have been discovered by 
 others, the anatomy details to the right explain what
 these knife features were originally designed for.
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F. Arrow Wrench Hole (Not Shown): On many early knives, a 3/8"
    hole placed in the center of the hatchet body for straightening
    arrow shafts. Determined to be less effective than hand-
    straightening, prone to denting shafts, & producing a weak spot
   in the blade, this option was later omitted & is no longer offered.
Answers to Customers' Most Asked Questions & Problems Regarding Tracker/WSK Knife Use:
* Care & use tips are supplied w/every knife. We do plan on having a more thorough user manual one day, but in
   the meantime, should a customer not find an adequate answer in the printouts supplied, please contact us for
   more info. We're always happy to share info & assist our customers in any way we can.
* Our knives are designed to be efficient cutting tools & should be treated as such. They are designed to cut wood,
   fiber, flesh & similar materials. Although plenty strong for their intended purposes, they are not indestructible. 
   Our knives are tested beyond the standards of reasonable use to help ensure user safety under "normal" conditions,
   but the more unnecessary abuse your knife receives, the greater risk of premature wear, damage, or injury.
* Chopping/splitting should ONLY be done using the hatchet edge & not the finer draw knife or 1/4-round edges.
* Don't chop bone & never cut, or chop directly on the ground to avoid edge damage.
* Don't beat on the saw teeth! Although they will hold up well, once damaged, saw teeth can be very costly to fix.
* Don't throw or use your knife as a pry bar. (NO, our knives will not fly straight like seen in the "HUNTED" movie.)
* Keep your blades clean & oiled, or better waxed for those in wet or coastal environments to help ward off rust.
* Don't use diamond stones for grinders for sharpening. These remove too much material & lessen blade life.
   We recommend a hard Arkansas stone w/light oil or water. For the finest edge just strop on leather w/a little fine
   rouge to polish. The key to a sharp edge in not the removal of metal but keeping the edge finely polished. Stone use
   should be reserved for very dull, overworked edges, or for removing minor imperfections. 
* Apply common sense in use & your knife will give you a lifetime of dependable service.
(Above) Model "S" Tracker/WSK knife:
New for 2021, incorporates the very popular handle design of our "Saranac" knives with a traditionally-styled Tracker/WSK blade design for improved handling & more comfortable grip. 7-1/4" blade. 12-5/8" OAL.
Two versions available:
#SWSKHD (Std. Duty): 1/4" thick blade with tapered tang. Carry weight = 1 lb. 13oz.  PRICE = $975.00
#SWSKMD (Med. Duty): 3/16" thick blade with NON-tapered tang. Carry wt. = 1lb. 9oz.  PRICE = $900.00
(Above) The ANIMAL WSK knife:
New for 2021. The perfect Tracker/WSK knife for those not requiring saw teeth. Our first WSK knife exclusively designed for combat survival use. Our popular "Saranac" type handle w/lowered blade point centered for stabbing. Long up-sweeping hatchet edge will out-chop all other WSK knife designs. Upswept spine with lowered point increases grasping surface when working camp & field projects. The ANIMAL lives up to its name as it's the most aggressive & efficient WSK knife we ever produced. 7-1/4" blade. 12-5/8" OAL.
Two versions available:
#ANMLHD (Std. Duty): 1/4" thick blade with tapered tang. Carry weight = 1 lb. 13oz.  PRICE = $925.00
#ANMLMD (Med. Duty): 3/16" thick blade with NON-tapered tang. Carry weight = 1lb. 9oz.  PRICE = $850.00
*Note: This page is under construction. Over the next couple months we will be updating
            our web site to show the latest knives, options & sheath upgrades for 2021.
            We expect to have this process completed by late March & thank you for your
            patience & understanding.
WSK Blade Finishes
All WSK knives come with your choice of blade finish.
(Not shown) "Field-Gray" Blued & lightly buffed to an antique
                        pewter-gray appearance.

< Wet-Sanded


< Blued
< (Left) #SP1 Sharpening Stone Pouch:
​1/2 x 1 x 4" molded leather w/hvy. duty mil.-spec snap closure. Will fit any sharpening stone up to the above dimensions with enough space for a ferro rod striker. Requires two mounting holes w/straps to attach. Comes with a removable belt loop for separate carry. 
Carry wt. = 3-1/2oz.  Price = $85.00
*We recommend the (#FAP-14-T) 4x1x3/8-1/2" hard Arkansas pocket stones which can be purchased from danswhetstone.com.