SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a U.S. knife and tool manufacturing company that is famous for their reproduction SOG Knife form the Vietnamese era. SOG currently manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. SOG also produces a line of multi-tools.

The company was founded in 1986 by Spencer and Gloria Frazer and was inspired in its choice of name by the Joint Services Special Operations unit known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.

Making changes to the original design of the MACV SOG Fighter, like resin impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune Magazine of the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date. Knives such as these and many of the SOG models produce prior to the shift of production from Seki, Japan to Taiwan are considered to be the best knives SOG had ever made.

A second “maritime” version of the Bowie (S2) was made utilizing a black Micarta handle and stainless steel blade known as the Trident. It was decorated with the US Navy SEAL emblem as opposed to the Special Force Crest found on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori and Seki Japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp. also of Seki until 2007.

SOG manufactures a knife used by the United States Navy SEALs dubbed the SEAL 2000. The SOG SEAL 2000 was designed for the US Navy SEAL knife trials in 1992. The knife was manufactured from 1995 to 2007. Both the SEAL 2000 and the smaller version, the Seal Pup are on display in the knife exhibit at the US Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.

SOG Specialty Knives manufactures an array of tools available for military personnel and casual outdoor users. SOG also makes several other military style knives including a tactical switchblade which is only available to military/law enforcement personnel. SOG has developed fixed blade knives for survival and outdoors such as the Tech Bowie as well as folding knives, many of which feature assisted opening technology such as the Aegis, Twitch, and Trident. SOG also manufactures multi-tools including the Paratool, PowerLock, and PowerAssist. Many of SOGs folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the USA with the higher priced folders being by in Japan. A couple of SOGs lesser priced tools are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

Today we will be going over a BladeOps Exclusive SOG DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG Tac automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. This steel is very similar to 440B steel, but is slightly inferior in terms of rust resistance. However, AUS-8 is the harder steel out of the 440 steel line. AUS-8 is also similarly tough, but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels, which carry higher amounts of carbon. This steel is going to be very easy to sharpen and you can get a razor sharp edge on it.

The blade has been finished with a TiNi black finish. This is a Titanium Nitride coating, which is an extremely hard ceramic material that is often sued as a coating on blades. The coating works to improve the surface properties of the blade finish. This finish is applied as a thin coating, TiNi is used to harden and protect cutting and sliding surfaces and even for decorative purposes. This finish is known for edge retention and corrosion resistance and works to improve the steels lifetime.

The blade has been carved into clip point blade style. This is a fantastic all-purpose blade shape and one of the second most popular blades that is in use today. To form the blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut-out” area is straight and is referred to as the “clip,” which is how this shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by the clip is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. The tip of the clip point blade shape is going to be more capable of stabbing than a drop point =because of how controllable, sharp and thin the point is. This means that the blade shape will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that the clip point blade shape is so all-purpose is because it does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing. With the large belly and the sharp tip, this exclusive knife has been perfectly designed to work as a tactical knife. The clip point blade shape really only has one disadvantage: that is that it does feature a narrow tip. Because the tip is so sharp and narrow, it is prone to being weak and breaking fairly easily, especially when compared to the other popular blade shape—the drop point.

SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife
SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife

The blade features a plain edge, which is better equipped for a variety of different jobs. While this knife has been specifically designed for tactical purposes, it would still make a phenomenal everyday carry blade. On the spine of the blade, about 1/3 has jimping to give you a little bit extra control when you are slicing with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle has been made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The most common type of aluminum alloy used in knife handles is 6061-T6 aluminum, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”, which is sometimes seen as a gimmick. Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to titanium aside from its lightness.  However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The handle scales have been anodized to a Desert Tan color. Anodizing is a method of increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The part that is being treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does. The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytic-ly. The metal part to be treated is first submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the part being treated. The anodized handles are more corrosion and wear resistant than non-treated parts, which means that they will have much longer life spans than non-anodized parts.

The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it, while the bottom of the handle has four deep finger grooves to provide you with a better grip on the handle. Because of these deep finger grooves, there is a slight finger guard and the base of the blade.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but it is reversible for either left or right hand carry options. The pocket clip is black and matches the rest of the hardware and accents on the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

This SOG knife is an automatic knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, pushbutton knife, and ejector knives. This is a type of knife with a folding blade that is contained in the handle. The blade is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon. Automatic knives do have a strict set of laws surrounding them though, and they are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility to know your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife.

Switchblade knives date from the mid 18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistols and coach guns. Cutlery makers such as Tillotson, A. Davey, Beever, Hobson, Ibbotson, and others produced automatic-opening knives. Some had simple iron bolsters and wooden handles while others featured ornate, embossed silver alloy bolster and stag handles. It was in 1950 that the article The Toy That Kills appeared and sparked a storm of controversy and a nationwide campaign that would eventually result in state and federal laws criminalizing the importation, sale, and possession of automatic opening knives. Switchblades have continued to be sold and collected in those states in which possession remains legal. In the 1980s, automatic knife imports to the U.S. resumed with the concept of kit knives, allows the user to assemble a working switchblade forma parts kit with the addition of a mainspring or other key part. Today, the ability to purchase or carry switchblades or automatic knives continues to be heavily restricted or prohibited throughout much of Europe with some notable exceptions.

This exclusive knife features a slide safety and a button lock. A button lock knife is easy to use and maintain. It simply features a small push-button. To deploy the knife, you push this button and to unlock this knife, you will push this button down and then fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this SOG TAC measures in at 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 3.4 ounces. The overall length of this knife when it is opened is 8 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

BladeOps is proud to announce the newest addition to the family of exclusive products–the SOG DTST-02 auto knife. The SOG-TAC series is an invigorating new design that offers a fully functioning automatic knife with the added benefits of a slim profile. Specifically tailored for the tactical user, the blade deploys quickly and locks up with plenty of security. The desert tan anodized aluminum handles were machined with insets for increased control and grip and there is an integrated slide safety on the back side of the knife that allows the blade to be locked in either the open or closed position. This exclusive full size model, the DTST-02, features a desert tan colored handle and a clip point style blade in a TiNi (Titanium Nitride) black finish and the deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for left or right hand carry options. Pick up this exclusive knife at BladeOps today.

 

SOG Ultra C-Ti Knife Review

The story of SOG Specialty Knives does not begin with the founder, Spencer Frazer, and his love of knives, although that does play a big part of it. It actually all started in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit. This unit was known as MACV-SOG and the member had to carry a unique combat knife because of their covert missions in the jungle. It was in 1986, years later, that Spencer Frazer happened across that bowie knife and founded SOG Specialty Knives. His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie Knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it.

What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools are field proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. From protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, to facing your most extreme conditions yet, your SOG knife will stand up to the demands needed. So no matter your situation, you should lead the way with SOG. These knives are “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.”

Spencer Frazer is not only the founder of SOG, but also the chief designer. He has always been a creative person and since he was a young boy, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. Throughout his life he has graduated from UCLA as a math and science major, started his own company in the professional audio industry, worked in the aerospace defense industry, and has been involved in the modern art movement. Spencer says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment he first saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie. Spencer has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

They have recently released a brand new knife called the Ultra C-Ti. This product is just as innovative and durable as you would expect from a SOG knife.

SOG Ultra C-Ti
SOG Ultra C-Ti

The Blade:

The blade on this new knife has been carved out of VG-10 steel. The G in the name actually stands for “gold” as in the “gold standard” that this steel has reached. It is a stainless steel that is considered to be premium. This is a Japanese steel that is commonly used in the Japanese cutlery market. However, because of the many high qualities that this steel possesses, it is also commonly used in top of the line pocket, hunting, and tactical knives. This steel does contain vanadium, which is renowned for its toughness. The blade on this knife can be sharpened to a fine edge that is very durable and can maintain a high level of hardness without feeling or becoming brittle. This is a huge advantage, because many steels that have a matched hardness are very brittle and very prone to breaking. Plus, this edge on this blade will last long periods of time in between sharpening’s, even if you are using it on the daily. Another huge benefit to this steel is that it is easy to sharpen; many beginners would be able to handle it.  Another one of the great qualities that this steel possesses is its ability to resist rusting. Many knife users that own knives with blades made out of VG-10 steel can go a solid week, using it lots every day, without washing and/or oiling them. This steel refuses to rust. And while this type of steel is more expensive than many, it is on the inexpensive side of things when compared to the other premium steels.

The blade has been finished with a black TiNi coating. This is short for Titanium Nitride and is by far the best coating that can be applied to your blade steel. This finish is commonly used for the black look, but also because it increases the durability of the steel. This specific type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch and peel resistant. Something that sets this coated finish apart from the rest is how it is applied; the TiNi finish is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air sealed vacuum. Because it is applied in a vacuum, the application is going to be extremely smooth and even. A common problem with coated finishes is that during application, the edges sometimes receive more of the coating than the other areas. This creates an uneven, lumpy finish that is more prone to chipping off.

The blade on the Ultra C-Ti knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This shape is the prefect all-purpose blade shape. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is sold on the market today. One of the usual places that you will find this blade shape is a Bowie knife, but it is also popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. It then turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut out or “clipped out” which is where this blade shape got its name from. The clipped out portion on the Ultra C-Ti is straight, although on some knives, you will find a curved portion. Because of the clipped out portion, the point on this knife is lowered, which helps to give you more control over your slices and cuts. And, because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, this knife will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The clip point blade shape is often confused with a drop point blade shape. These are both very versatile and popular blade shapes. However, they are different blade shapes and the biggest difference between the two is the tip. A drop point has a lowered tip, but there is a good portion of metal near the tip, which creates a broader tip. Because of the broader tip, you do have more strength behind it, but you also lose out on most of your stabbing capabilities. A clip point also has a lowered tip, but the point is sharper and thinner than a drop point. So while you do lose a good chunk of the strength behind the tip, you gain back your stabbing capabilities. Both of these blade shapes make fantastic knives because of the versatility behind them, but you should look at what you are most expected to do and then choose the appropriate blade shape between the two. One of the reasons that a clip point is such a perfect all-purpose blade is because it sports a large belly area that provides you with plenty of length for slicing. The only disadvantage is something that we have already mentioned—the thinner tip. While you do have full stabbing capacities, your tip will be more likely to break.

The edge on this knife is a straight edge, which is definitely the more traditional edge for knives. Straight edges are easier to sharpen, while also having the capabilities of achieving a finer edge. The straight edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, while also making skinning, peeling, and slicing easier. While the serrated edge is the ideal edge if you are going to be working with thicker or tougher materials, such as branches or rope, when your straight edge is sharp enough, you can manage to cut through those materials as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Ultra C-Ti is made out of Carbon Fiber. This is a material that is made when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. What you get when you purchase a knife with a carbon fiber handle is a carbon fiber reinforced polymer. This material is extremely strong, but also lightweight. However, because of the time that has to go into manufacturing it, it is a pretty expensive material. While it is extremely strong, it is also far from indestructible because it suffers from being brittle. This is because all of the fibers have been woven together in a single direction, so while it is crazy strong in that specific direction, if the fibers are stressed in a different way, the material will start to break apart. Because of its level of brittle ness, it can crack if it is subjected to sharp impacts.

Something unique about carbon fiber is that depending on the way that the fibers are woven and the way that the light reflects off of the carbon, you can get a variety of different patterns. On the Ultra C-Ti, it looks like a classic woven pattern, like something that you find on a basket. This weave offers texture to provide you with a secure grip in almost any situation. Another thing that SOG did to provide you with a secure, comfortable grip, was to carve three deep finger grooves in the handle. There are a variety of other carved out portions on this handle, but those don’t work to give you a better grip. These etchings work to carve out every bit of excess weight on the knife, to provide you with a powerful knife that won’t weigh you down.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed out of titanium and is a solid pocket clip. “SOG” has been etched into the clip. This is a thick clip that covers almost half of the pocket clips handle. This pocket clip is the perfect shape to also work as a money clip. The clip has a satin finish.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that features SOG’s Arc-Lock. This is an extremely strong locking mechanism that has been tested at over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses a conventional lock strength. This is an ambidextrous locking mechanism and is quick to open and close. SOG describes the speed of this locking mechanism as lightning-quick, even when you are just using one of your hands. The safety that this locking mechanism sports is a spring action that securely retains the blade closed, which keeps finger safely clear while unlocking. This locking mechanism is also extremely durable, because it is self-adjusting over time and is easily cleaned for long term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The country of origin for the Ultra C-Ti knife is Japan. The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.08 inches. The overall length of this knife is 6.2 inches long, with a closed length of 3.4 inches long. This knife is very lightweight, weighing in at 1.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

At just 1.3 ounces, the Ultra C-Ti makes a great, lightweight folder that doubles as a money clip. The minimalistic design of the Ultra C-Ti does not take up much space and even fits comfortably in the small watch pocket of jeans. The 2.8-inch clip point blade opens and closes with one hand smoothly and locks open with SOG’s exclusive Arc-Lock. The high quality VG-10 steel ensures that every cut is as sharp as the first. Utilizing carbon fiber for the handle and titanium for the clip, it is light yet strong and durable. Although every bit of excess weight has been engineered out of the Ultra C-Ti, you will be surprised at the power it conveys.

 

 

SOG Pentagon Elite 1 Knife Review

“SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Born in 1955, Spencer Frazer was a creative kid with a great curiosity for how things worked. As he grew older, while in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. But it wasn’t until much later that this interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools.

After graduating from UCLA as a math and science major, Spencer started his own company in the professional audio industry, designing a whole new style of speaker system.

“I learned to work with many different materials as I built models and prototypes,” he says.

Then Spencer went on to work in the aerospace defense industry – in the Top Secret Black Projects Division – as an R&D tool/die and model maker. He recalls, “I saw things there I still can’t talk about.” At about that same time, while becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting with top artists, Spencer learned a lot about scale and color. He went on to work in product development, creating toys and consumer products.

All these life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie: “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the knife.” That single knife spawned the birth of SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, Inc. His one goal: to reproduce the mystical knife… the SOG Bowie. “We started our company by having to sell a one-knife line at the very high price of $200 retail!”

Today, SOG is a true innovator in the knife industry. Having won many industry awards, SOG was one of the first companies to be synonymous with a high-tech modern image. “SOG was the first company,” says Spencer, “to produce a sculptural faceted folding knife. We called it the Tomcat. With the Paratool, SOG became the second company ever to produce a folding multi-tool. And we remain the only company that uses compound leverage in our multi-tools; the only company to have adjustable lock-on clips on our folding knives; the only company to employ one of the strongest locks in the industry with the Arc-Lock; the only company to use exotic BG-42 steel cost effectively in the production of our knives; and the first company in the world to offer an automatic opening multi-tool.”

But those are just a few of the landmarks Spencer Frazer has helped SOG achieve. “I design each one of our products,” he says, “to be functional and comfortable to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. If I personally don’t like them or wouldn’t use them, they don’t make it into production.”

Today, SOG is distributed and sold throughout the world. Law enforcement specialists, military, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, industrial professionals, and everyday carry knife enthusiasts have come to rely on SOG in the most extreme conditions. “We don’t settle for ordinary,” says Spencer. “We never did, and we never will.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Pentagon Elite 1.

SOG Pentagon Elite 1
SOG Pentagon Elite 1

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 steel. This is a high end steel that is often compared to 154CM as well as ATS-34 steel. VG-10 steel does have slightly more chromium than the other two styles of steel, which will help when it comes to enhanced corrosion resistance. The steel also contains vanadium, which does help to make it a tougher steel than the other two steels. This is a Japanese steel that was slowly introduced into the American market and is now received well in the American market. This steel is relatively hard and can get very sharp with the right equipment. Its toughness is going to be capable of standing up to most tasks. The steel has been hardened to an RC 59-60.

The steel has been finished with a bead blasted finish. The bead blasted finish is sued to give the knife an even, gray surface. This is created when the manufacturer uses abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are then blasted at the metal at a high pressure. The even matte finish reduces reflections and glares that would come off of this knife. The blasting does create an increased surface area as well as micro-abrasions, both of which make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point is a similar blade to the needle point because they are both great for piercing. However, the spear point is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. The shape of the spear point is created with a symmetrically pointed blade that has a point that falls in lien with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife will rise and fall at the same time to create a very symmetrical and even blade. This blade shape is different than the needle point because the needle point does have a sharp but weak point, while the spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough to use for piercing. Like earlier mentioned, the spear point does have a small belly that can be used for some cutting. If you were to compare this belly with that on a drop point or clip point though, it would seem incredibly small. Overall, the spear point is considered to be a hybrid shape because you do get both the piercing and slicing ability as well as the strength plus the point that can pierce, and not to mention the belly that can be used for slicing.

This is a combo blade, which is when the blade has both the plain edge portion as well as the serrated portion. The plain edge extends for roughly 2/3 of the blade on the upper portion. This section can be used to give clean cuts or be used for fine detail and tip work. The serrated portion is the portion closest to the handle. This section can be used for swing through thicker materials that you might happen to encounter. The benefit of a combo blade is that you should get the best of both worlds with it. However, the common complaint when it comes to a combo blade is that both portions are so small that you can’t really utilize either one of them.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Reinforced Nylon, which is a very similar material to Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, as well as being almost indestructible. This material is so strong and nearly indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the knife which creates a knife that is strong in all directions. This is different form the other fiberglass resin laminates such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have the strands arranged in a single direction. Many people did not warm up to this material because it is so modern and synthetic, it was believed to be plastic feeling, and it does offer less grip than G-10 would.

This can be such an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. The overall benefits to this knife is its strength, its toughness, its cost, and how low maintenance it is going to be. The overall cons to it is that it does not offer as much grip as you could get out of a different synthetic material, and some people feel like it feels plastic-y.

The knife has a straight belly and a straight spine, both of which come in slightly in the middle to offer better grip. The butt on this knife is rounded. There is some jimping near the blade on both sides of the handle which will give you more control.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the knife more comfortable for each individual to use, because you don’t have to carry it on a side that is not familiar to you. That being said, it is not reversible for tip carry, and can only be attached for tip up carry. Tip up carry is definitely the more dangerous of the two because if the knife happens to accidentally come open while in your pocket and you reach into your pocket, it could easily slice your hand. This is a not a deep carry pocket clip, which is a disadvantage.

The clip is kept in place by one big screw and two much smaller screws. The screws are silver, which match the rest of the hardware and the pocket clip on this knife. The pocket clip has been mostly skeletonized which does cut down on weight.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud as well as SOG’s Arc-Lock.

The Arc-Lock is described by SOG by saying, “With its ambidexterity – and all the other attributes knife enthusiasts so relentlessly seek – the Arc-Lock might just be the perfect lock.” It has incredible strength: Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force (measured at the lock), far surpassing conventional lock strength. It also has high speed: Lightning-quick, one-handed opening and closing capability. It is a safe mechanism to use: Spring-action securely retains blade closed, keeping fingers safely clear while unlocking. And it is incredibly durable: Self-adjusting over time and easily cleaned for long-term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.14 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.75 inches long when it is opened. It weighs in at 4.3 ounces, which is a weight right in the middle for an EDC knife. This knife was made in Japan.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “A folding version of the Pentagon, the Pentagon Elite has all the benefits of its big brother as well as a bead blasted blade that reduces reflection. The stainless steel blade offers the instant choice between a serrated or beveled edge, giving you the best of both worlds for cutting virtually any material. Extremely lightweight, the Pentagon Elite features a glass-reinforced GRN handle with stainless steel liners that provides sensational feel and balance. Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force at the lock, the Arc-Lock is SOG’s strongest lock. It can be carried conveniently with its reversible low-carry pocket clip.”

The Pentagon Elite series by SOG has been amazingly popular with military and law enforcement officials as well as the general market.  The Pentagon Elite I is the “smaller” of the two versions.  This is still a good sized knife.  Made with a low reflective bead blasted 5″ VG-10 blade, the Pentagon Elite I is plenty big.  At the tip of the blade is a shark tooth tip that increases the point strength of the blade.  The handle is made of glass and Kevlar reinforced Zytel.  Very comfortable to hold, the knife has ambidextrous slotted thumb studs to open the knife with and is machine screw constructed.  The Pentagon Elite knives all use SOG’s innovative Arc-Lock system and this knife also has a reversible military style clip.  This SOG also has a limited lifetime warranty.  You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

SOG Targa Stainless Tanto Folder Knife Review

The SOG story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit (known as MACV-SOG) carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. Years later, in 1986, that same knife inspire a young designer named Spencer Frazer to found SOG Specialty Knives.

His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovate tools. These tools are filed prove by US Special Forces, and even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. They say, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.”

SOG says, “So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG. #TakePoint.” SOG is a high quality company that you know you will be able to rely on when the time comes.

Today we will be talking about the SOG Targa Stainless Tanto Folder knife. Of course, this knife is no different from the rest of SOG in that it will be a sturdy knife that you can use to get the job done.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 stainless steel. This is a high end steel that is very similar to 154CM and ATS-34, except that it has slightly more chromium. This added chromium makes for enhanced corrosion resistance. However, this steel also contains vanadium which is going to make it tougher than the other two similar steels. In all reality, the amount of toughness is not going to make a huge difference in your day to day life, because it is just a fraction tougher. However, if the Targa were not an EDC knife, the added toughness may be easier to utilize and benefit from. This steel came from Japan and has been introduced into the American cutlery industry slowly but surely. Spyderco was one of the first few brands that really made this steel stand out and put it on the map here in the states. Some of the overall benefits to this steel is that it is relatively hard and can get needle sharp when sharpened correctly. Also, this steel does have the toughness to get the job done.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines of the knife while reducing its reflective glare. As a key, the finer the abrasive and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. A satin finish is going to be one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to find in the cutlery industry.

The blade on the Targa has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is definitely not designed to do everything like a drop point blade is. The tanto blade shape is designed to do one thing and do one thing really well. With the tanto, that one thing is being able to pierce through hard materials. The tanto blade shape was originally designed for armor piercing and was used on Japanese long and short swords. In the 1980s, Cold Steel revamped the shape and popularized it. It is not the exact shape that you would find on the Japanese swords, but the concepts are the same. The shape of the tanto is built from a high point and a flat grind, which leads to a very strong point that makes it perfect for stabbing into had materials. It is because of the thick point of the tanto that is it able to stab into hard materials. This is because the excess metal is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto meets the spine of the knife at an angle, rather than a curve. Because of this, the tanto blade does not actually have a belly, which makes it a little harder to use for slicing. However, the Targa does have a recurve belly, instead of the typical straight edge, so you will be able to slice with this knife. While this knife is not going to do it all, it is going to get the job one and make for an alright every day carry knife.

The blade is a plain edge, which allows people to take on more tasks. The plain edge is going to be easier to sharpen. Unfortunately, the plain edge is going to need to be sharpened more often than a serrated edge would. The plain edge is going to give cleaner cuts, which is great for everyday carry knives such as this one.

On the spine of the blade, right before the handle begins, there is a short row of little jimping. This allows for a better grip when you are using the knife because it adds a little bit of texture for you to get a grip with your fingers.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great material because it helps add high levels of durability to the knife, which is ideal for an EDC knife, because you never know what you are going to encounter and you are going to be using this knife almost every day for little odds and ends. Stainless steel is also going to be very resistant to corrosion, which cuts down on maintenance considerably. With an EDC knife, corrosion isn’t a huge problem that you are going to encounter every day, but when you do, it will be easy to take care of because of how corrosion resistant it really is. Unfortunately, stainless steel is incredibly heavy and is going to add a lot of weight to the knife. This can be an advantage in a smaller knife such as this one, because you don’t have to worry about if the knife has enough heft. But, it can be a drawback in larger knives where the weight can begin to add up. Also, stainless steel is pretty slippery, which means that the manufacturer is going to have to add in ridges, etchings, or grooves to get you the texture that you need. The overall benefits of stainless steel are that the handle is going to be strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The cons are that it can be slippery and it is going to be heavy.

The handle is pretty unique to this knife. The spine of the knife has a slow curve from the blade to the butt. The butt is straight down to the belly. The belly is where things get the most unique. There are two smaller finger grooves and then one elongated finger groove. Each of these grooves are equipped with plenty of jimping to give you a solid grip on tis stainless steel knife.

SOG Targa Stainless Tanto Folder Knife
SOG Targa Stainless Tanto Folder Knife

The face of the knife is also unique. There is the hardware and locking mechanism right after the blade on the handle. After that, there are vent-like slits that add enough texture for you to really be able to utilize this knife with the slippery stainless steel. Following that, SOG has stamped their name in a raised manner, which will add a little more texture to the knife as well.

Overall, this knife is going to give you the grip that you need from the knife to really use it as your everyday knife. It also looks unique so when you pull this knife out of your pocket, people are going to be intrigued with it. What I’m saying is that this knife is going to get the job done and look good while doing it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a darker stainless steel. It has been skeletonized with the SOG logo in the middle of it. This clip is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which is a definite advantage of the knife. However, it is not reversible for either tip-up or tip-down carry. This pocket clip can only be attached for tip-up carry, which is a disadvantage. This knife should not accidentally come open in your pocket, but if it does, the tip-up carry can create a dangerous weapon in your pocket. There are plenty of stories of people reaching into their pockets to pull out their knives and slicing themselves.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a manual folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud as well as a thumb hole. The hole is triangular, with the largest end being closest to the handle. Where this triangle ends, the thumb stud is situated. The thumb slot or hole is used just like you would a thumb stud, except by its very design, it is ambidextrous. The thumb hole is a slot in the blade where you would normally find a nail nick. This allows you to get a grip on the knife with your thumb and flip the knife open. The thumb stud is a barrel that is situated protruding off of the blade. To open a knife with a thumb stud, you hold the folded knife, place the tip of your thumb on the stud, and then push your thumb to swing the blade open and lock it into place. Most knives with a thumb stud do incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. The Targa is one of those knives and incorporates SOG’s arc lock. The Arc-Lock is known for its ambidexterity as well as all the other attributes that knife enthusiasts seek. For starters, the Arc-Lock is incredibly strong. It has been tested at over 1000 lbs. of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses conventional lock strength. Second, it has high speed. The Arc-Lock is described as lightning-quick. It can also be opened with only one-hand as well as closed with only one-hand. Next, the Arc-Lock is very safe. It has a spring-action that securely retains the blade closed which means that your fingers are going to be kept safely out of the way when you are unlocking this knife. Lastly, the Arc-Lock is very durable. The lock has been designed to self-adjust over time and can be easily cleaned, which helps with long-term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.120 inches. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.9 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG describes this knife, they say, “Taking advantage of some of SOG’s greatest designs, the Targa is a slim, but solidly built folder with a big punch. It sources VG-10 cutlery grade stainless steel from Japan to utilize some of the best edge retention characteristics in the industry.” The Targa is a slim but solidly built folder with a big punch. This knife boasts VG-10 cutlery grade stainless steel from Japan provides some of the best edge retention characteristics in the industry. Using SOG’s Arc-Lock mechanism, for strong lockup and smooth operation, plus full length stainless steel handle, the Targa is a robust folder in a slim, minimalist framework that make it a great everyday carry. It comes with a satin finished tanto point blade for maximum piercing capability and is small enough to fit in your pocket but big enough to get any job done. The Targa makes for an excellent minimalist EDC option. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and have your new favorite go-to knife.

 

 

SOG Tangle Fixed Blade Knife Review

SOG was founded with a specific mission. SOG is striving to be the creators of the most distinctive gear—gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge.”

The company was also founded with a specific vision. SOG’s mission is to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction and value that delivers what consumers need- and in order to do so, always defining the leading edge of technology.

SOG has eight main values. The first is pride. This is described as “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.” SOG says, “We have pride in our products and in the way in which we conduct business with our customers, co-workers, and consumers.” The next value is innovation. This is described as “a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation. SOG says, “We leverage our innovation as a competitive advantage by creating and manufacturing products that meet consumer needs better than the competition.” The third value is passion, which is described as intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. SOG says, “We are passionate about using leading edge technology to create the best products to meet and exceed consumer and customer expectations.” The fourth value is creativity, which is the ability to produce through imaginative skill. SOG says, “We use our creativity to produce results – from developing products, to improving processes, to delivering our message to both customers and consumers.” The fifth value is integrity, which is firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. The company says, “We always try to do the right thing — for our consumers, our customers, our co-workers, and the global community.” Next comes accountability, or an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for or to keep track of one’s own actions. SOG says, “We mean what we say… we do what we say… and we take responsibility for our actions.” Second to last is leadership, which is the art of motivation a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. SOG says, “We are all leaders in our area of responsibility and we are deeply committed to delivering continuous improvements with a focus on results.” Last, but not least, is sustainability, which is of, relation to, or begin a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. SOG says, “We seek to preserve the environment by using recycled/ recyclable materials and minimizing waste in all that we do.”

Today we will be discussing SOG’s Tangle fixed blade knife.

SOG Tangle Fixed Blade
SOG Tangle Fixed Blade

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 9Cr18MoV steel. This is a high carbon chromium bearing steel that is very corrosion resistant. This steel is known to keep its cutting edge and has good corrosion resistance. Blades from this steel are easy to sharpen. 9Cr18MoV is one of the most popular knife steel sin the world and is a great value in terms of price and quality. This steel has been hardened to a RC 58-60 hardness level.

The blade has been finished with a hard case black coating. A coating blade has a few purposes on a knife blade. Of course, the first is that it is going to prevent corrosion. The coating is going to fight against rust because it creates a barrier between the steel and the environment. This means that the elements have to pass through the coating first, but that is not going to happen. Also, the coating can eliminate any shiny surfaces. This is a big necessity if you are ever in the field. You do not want any reflections to give your position away. The coating also adds a very sleek, black look. Next, a coating can reduce a drag during a cut. Also, a good coating can increase the wear resistance. This is for the same reasons that a coating increases the corrosion resistance. Of course, coatings do also have their disadvantages. For example, if they are not applied properly, they can create ridges or grooves where they were not applied smoothly. This can get in the way of how well the knife can actually cut. The biggest problem with a coating though is that sooner or later, they are going to come off. While you might think this is a purely aesthetic issue, you would be wrong. The beat up coating is considered even worse than bare steel. And, once the knife is partially gone, the coating will fail its whole purpose: the blade is going to rust, drag, reflect, and not look good while it does. Another issue with a coating is that sometimes the coating creates something called a “wire edge”, which reduces cutting ability and can make the sharpening more difficult.

The blade on the Tangle knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is an all-purpose knife that really can stand up to almost anything. The drop point is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is used on the market today. The blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control while also adding strength to the tip. It is this tip strength that the knife has the ability to hold up to heavy use. In fact, it can hold up to heavy use so well that it makes a great blade shape for tactical or survival knives. The dropped point blade shape is so easily controllable, which allows the user to perform fine detail work. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so versatile is because of the large belly that it has. The large belly allows you to slice very easily. The drop point blade does have one disadvantage—because of the relatively broad tip, it is not going to be suitable for piercing. Of course, you need to remember that it is this broad tip that gives you so much strength.

 

The Handle:

             The knife is a full tang knife, which means that the handle and the blade are made out of the same piece of metal. This creates a stronger knife because there are no weaker points where the two pieces have been welded together. This means that the knife is less likely to break when in use. The metal is going to give you the same benefits that it gives to the blade.

However, what sets this knife apart is that the handle is wrapped in paracord. This is where the name “Tangle” comes from. Not only does the paracord add more texture, it serves plenty of other purposes. For starters, you can use this knife for emergency situations. This is because the inner strands of paracord are both small enough and strong enough to help close a wound. If you unwrap the knife handle and then take apart the paracord, you can use the inner strands as sutures. One of the other emergency purposes you can use this knife for is as a splint. Paracord is easy to use as a splint with only a t-shirt. Put the t-shirt under the limb and then lay out a hard object such as a walking tick to keep the limb stable. Afterwards, wrap the limb with paracord and tie a knot tight enough for a secure hold.

You can also use the paracord for a fishing line. Just as the sutures, remove the inner threads then tie the ends of the threads together using a knot at your desired length. Toss your line out and start fishing. This can come in very handy in a survival situation if you are ever desperate for food. Of course, there are more than 100 uses for paracord, so having a long strand of it wrapped around your knife handle just prepares you for the worst.

The handle shape itself is relatively simple. The spine angles from the blade to the butt of the handle in a straight line. There is not a very large finger guard, but with the grip that the paracord provides, you shouldn’t need one. There is a deep finger groove, which will allow you to have a comfortable grip on this knife. The handle has been skeletonized with each of the lines inside wrapped in paracord. The skeletonization keeps the weight down while also giving the knife a unique look.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a fixed blade, which means that there is no mechanism on the knife. There are plenty of advantages to a fixed blade knife. For starters, the knife is going to be bigger and stronger. This is because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle, so it can be longer and thicker. This makes it less likely to break because it can withstand more. Fixed blades are even more less likely to break because there is no mechanism. This means that you don’t have to worry about hinges, screws, or any smaller moving parts on the knife. It also means that the blade is going to be easier to clean and maintain. All you have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and make sure the blade is dry before putting it in its sheath. You will also have to oil the blade occasionally. But this process is much simpler and less time consuming than a folding blade. Fixed blades also offer a superior survival tool because they are so big and strong and you don’t have to take too much time to maintain them. They can be used for more things than just cutting. You can use it as a first aid tool, a hunting tool, splitting wood, or just simply cutting.

Overall, this knife is going to be strong, tough, and versatile. Because of the paracord, you are going to be prepared for almost anything, including emergencies or unexpected situations. When you buy this knife, you are going to find yourself a new favorite knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this fixed blade is made out of molded nylon. Nylon is a very common material. Nylon is tough and strong while also being resistant to rot and mildew. One of the other common materials that is often used is leather, which is extremely vulnerable to water. This is where nylon has its advantage to leather—nylon is not vulnerable to water. Plus, nylon is one of the more inexpensive materials for a knife sheath. This is going to keep the overall cost of the knife down.
Nylon does have its disadvantages. For starters, nylon does not last as long as leather or more modern materials would. Also, nylon is going to stretch over time. So while the sheath will still work, it is not going to be as snug as it always would be.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.9 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.19 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.75 inches long. This knife is a heavier knife, weighing in at 5.60 ounces. This knife was made in China.

 

Conclusion:

             When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “Its hollow ground drop point blade makes the Tangle perfect for most uses, sure. But you want to throw this knife, don’t you? Thanks to a full one-piece tang construction, you can. It’s strong. It’s balanced. It’s lightweight. It’s really only dependent upon your aim. Topped with a skeletonized handle – wrapped in 7 feet of paracord – and paired with a molded sheath and belt loop clip, you have yourself a convenient tool ready for anything. Carry it wherever you go.” This knife has actually been discontinued since its release, but BladeOps still has some in stock. Hurry and you will be able to get ahold of one of these Tangle knives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Traction LockBack Knife Review

Our story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit—known as MACV-SOG—carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions.

SOG was named in honor of a covert US Special Ops unit that fought in Vietnam. The unite was known as Military Assistance Command, Vietnam—Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG). Its existence once denied by the US Government, it wasn’t until long after the war that the SOG story could even be told.

Years later, in 1986, that knife inspire a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. Making changes to the original design of the MACV SOG Fighter like resin-impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune Magazine of the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date (only 1 of the original 39 knives produced has survived till this day.) A second “maritime” version of the Bowie (S2) was made utilizing a black Micarta handle and stainless steel blade known as the Trident. IT was decorated with the US Navy SEAL emblem as opposed to the Special Forces Crest found on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori of Seki Japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp. also of Seki until 2007.

What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools—field proven by US Special Forces, even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.

So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.

Today we will be discussing the SOG Traction lockback knife that features a 5Cr13MoV stainless steel tanto blade that has been satin finished as well as a GRN handle.

SOG Traction LockBack Knife
SOG Traction LockBack Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 5CR13MoV stainless steel. This is a budget knife steel that comes from a Chinese series of steel. This steel is a lower grade steel than 440C, but knives made with this steel will stand up to abuse without easily chipping and is at least an HRC 58. This steel probably won’t hold an edge as well as steels in the same series, but will be easy to re-sharpen. The biggest advantage that this steel can offer is how cheap it is—it will keep the cost of your overall knife down.

The blade on this SOG knife has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish works to high light the bevels of the steel as well as the fine lines in the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. This is partly because of how often this finish is used, but it is also due to the fact that it is not extreme on either ends of the spectrum in terms of luster. A mirror finish is going to be more reflective than a satin finish but a coated finish is going to be less reflective than a satin finish.

You can get this SOG knife in one of two blade shapes: the drop point or the tanto. The drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use because it is so versatile and makes for such a great all-purpose knife. This blade shape is also going to be able to stand up to just about anything. To from this blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which works to create a lowered point. It is this lowered point that gives the control people have come to love from their drop point blades. This lowered tip also adds the classic drop point strength to the blade, but because of how broad it is, you do lose out on some of its sharpness. Because of the tip being able to stand up to almost anything, it has made the drop point blade shape a very popular option on both tactical and survival knives. And because the lowered point makes this blade style more easily controlled, drop point blades have become a very popular option on hunting knives. In fact, it is on a hunting knife that you are most likely to find a drop point blade. The controllable point makes it easier to cut cleanly and avoid nicking any of the internal organs, which would lead to ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly that makes slicing a breeze. This large belly is one of the biggest reasons that a drop point blade shape is so versatile: in most of your tasks, you are going to be slicing. The only real drawback to a drawback knife is the broad tip that makes you lose out on piercing capabilities. But, it is also this broadness that gives you the strength to stand up to virtually anything.

The next option for your blade shape is a tanto blade shape. And while the drop point style has been designed to take on almost any task, the tanto style is much more refined. This blade shape does one thing and it does that one thing really well. The tanto blade shape has been designed to pierce through tough material without breaking. This blade shape originated from Japanese long and short swords that were originally designed for armor piercing, but was later popularized by Cold Steel. The tanto style has a high point with a flat grind, which leads to a very strong point that is perfectly designed for piercing hard materials. The tanto blade shape boasts a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto blade style meets the back, or unsharpened, edge at an angle, rather than a curve. This means that the tanto blade style does not have a belly, but instead you get a much stronger tip. If you choose this option of the Traction knife, just remember that the tanto blade shape is not going to be useful as a general utility knife because of the lack of belly. But, you are going be capable of piercing through most things.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This material is the same material as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN. It is a thermoplastic material that is crazy strong, resistant to bending, resistant to abrasion, and overall pretty close to being indestructible. Plus, it is pretty cheap for the qualities that you get out of it. The main reason that it is so close to being indestructible is that the nylon fibers have been arranged haphazardly throughout, which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is often compared to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have similar qualities except that they suffer from being brittle. They are more brittle than GRN because their fiberglass strands have been aligned in a single direction, so when they are stressed in other directions, they will begin to break apart. Although this knife handle material offers so man fantastic qualities, many knife lovers did not warm up to it because they expressed that it feels cheap and almost hollow; very plastic-y. This material also is going to be less grippy than G-10. To add a level of grip to this knife handle, SOG has created a crosshatch pattern of texture across the entire face of the handle. This pattern will ensure that you have a solid grip on your knife in almost any situation. Whether it is your everyday tasks with the drop point version, to piercing through hard materials with the tanto version, you aren’t going to lose your grip on the Traction.

This material is inexpensive because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and then textured in a variety of different ways. Overall, this handle material is going to enable you to get rough with your knife without worrying about your knife.

The ergonomics on this knife are very comfortable. The butt of the handle is more squared than you’ll normally find on a knife, due to the pocket clip being attached with a bayonet mount. There is a short row of jimping across the spine of the handle and the entire bottom of the handle features jimping. The butt and the top of the handle do flare out slightly, protecting your fingers form getting sliced as well as giving you a more secure grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is al ow carry pocket clip which allows you to carry this knife discreetly. The clip is black, matching the handle. It is also slightly skeletonized, with “SOG” carved out of it. This knife is bayonet mounted and reversible.

 

The Mechanism:

This SOG knife features a lock back safety mechanism as well as a thumb stud to assist you in opening this knife.

The thumb stud is easily the most common one hand opening feature that you are going to come across, with almost all big-name knife manufacturers developing at least one knife that features a thumb stud. The thumb stud basically replaces the nail nick that is found on older, or more classic, knives. You hold the folded knife, place the tip of your thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully opened where it will lock into place using the lock back mechanism.

The lockback is one of the oldest locks that are still in use today. A lever on the back edge of the handle catches in the tanto of the blade and locks it. To unlock the knife, one presses on the back of the lever. This locking mechanism is not only ambidextrous, but very safe to operate. This mechanism will lock up your blade very securely, so you won’t have to worry about the blade collapsing on your hand when you are in the middle of use.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife (either version) measures in at 3.5 inches long, with a blade thickness of .100 inches. The handle on this knife is 4.5 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 8 inches long. This knife is very lightweight, weighing only 2.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

New from SOG is an all-purpose line of solid lockbacks that are lightweight, durable and affordable. It features a drop point or tanto blade to suit your needs, and the Traction is small enough to carry in your pocket and big enough for most tasks. SOG designed it with a bayonet mounted reversible clip that gives you the ability to carry this knife extremely low and discreetly. The handle is ergonomically contoured and the straight edge, satin polished blade is large with a locking safety. The handle is made out of crazy durable material, so you won’t have to worry about taking it easy on this knife; it is going to be able to take the heat. Pick up your favorite version of the SOG Traction today at BladeOps.

 

SOG Mini X-Ray Vision Knife Review

“SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Born in 1955, Spencer Frazer was a creative kid with a great curiosity for how things worked. As he grew older, while in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. But it wasn’t until much later that this interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools.

After graduating from UCLA as a math and science major, Spencer started his own company in the professional audio industry, designing a whole new style of speaker system.

“I learned to work with many different materials as I built models and prototypes,” he says.

Then Spencer went on to work in the aerospace defense industry – in the Top Secret Black Projects Division – as an R&D tool/die and model maker. He recalls, “I saw things there I still can’t talk about.”

At about that same time, while becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting with top artists, Spencer learned a lot about scale and color. He went on to work in product development, creating toys and consumer products.

All these life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie: “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the knife.” That single knife spawned the birth of SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, Inc. His one goal: to reproduce the mystical knife… the SOG Bowie. “We started our company by having to sell a one-knife line at the very high price of $200 retail!”

Today, SOG is a true innovator in the knife industry. Having won many industry awards, SOG was one of the first companies to be synonymous with a high-tech modern image. “SOG was the first company,” says Spencer, “to produce a sculptural faceted folding knife. We called it the Tomcat. With the Paratool, SOG became the second company ever to produce a folding multi-tool. And we remain the only company that uses compound leverage in our multi-tools; the only company to have adjustable lock-on clips on our folding knives; the only company to employ one of the strongest locks in the industry with the Arc-Lock; the only company to use exotic BG-42 steel cost effectively in the production of our knives; and the first company in the world to offer an automatic opening multi-tool.”

But those are just a few of the landmarks Spencer Frazer has helped SOG achieve. “I design each one of our products,” he says, “to be functional and comfortable to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. If I personally don’t like them or wouldn’t use them, they don’t make it into production.”

Today, SOG is distributed and sold throughout the world. Law enforcement specialists, military, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, industrial professionals, and everyday carry knife enthusiasts have come to rely on SOG in the most extreme conditions. “We don’t settle for ordinary,” says Spencer. “We never did, and we never will.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Mini X-Ray Vision knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 steel. VG-10 is a well-known high-end Japanese steel and is considered to be premium. This steel contains vanadium, which is known for its toughness. The steel is specially designed for high-quality blades used in cutlery. CG-10 can be sharpened to a fine edge that is very durable. This steel also can maintain a hardness of RC 60 without becoming brittle, which is extremely impressive. Because of that, the blade on this knife has been hardened to an RC 59-60.

The blade has been finished with a bead blasted finish. This finish is created by using abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are blasted at the metal with a high pressure, which results in an even, grey finish. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even a matte surface. The blasting does create an increased surface area and micro-abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. In fact, a blasted blade, even made from stainless steel, can rust overnight if it is left in a very humid environment.

The blade has been carved into a tanto style blade. The tanto blade shape is not designed to be an all-purpose knife. This knife is designed to do one thing and one thing really well. This knife has been designed to excel at piercing through tough materials. This knife was originally designed for armor piercing and is very similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The knife shape was re-designed in the 1980s by Cold Steel and then was popularized by them as well. The shape of this knife is made with a high point and a flat grind, which is where the super strong point comes from. The tanto point is thick and contains plenty of metal near the tip, so the blade itself can absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would break most other blade shapes. Not only that, but the front edge of the knife meets the spine edge at an angle, rather than a curve. Because of this, there really is not a belly on a tanto knife, because the belly is sacrificed to give the user a stronger tip. The lack of belly means that this knife is not going to be great as a general utility knife, but if you ever need to pierce through something hard, this is the blade shape for you.

The blade has been sharpened into a combination edge, or more commonly, a combo edge. This is where the upper half of the blade is a plain edge and the lower half of the blade is a serrated edge. This is designed to give you the best of both worlds. You can get your clean cuts and perform fine detail work with the upper half and saw through thicker materials with the serrated half. There is a common complaint that because both of the portions are so small, you cannot actually benefit from either of them.


The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of glass-reinforced nylon, or GFN. This is the same material as FRN and is the common brand of Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is very strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, this material is incredibly cheap because it can be injection molded.

One of the key characteristics about this material is that they nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the handle which means that it is going to be strong in all directions. This is different from G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which all have their fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. The handle on this knife is black.

The GFN is going to be strong, tough, inexpensive, and require zero maintenance. This means that it is going to be a very quality knife handle material that is going to get the job done on a tough knife such as this one.

The handle, like the knife itself, is very simple. The spine is straight from the blade to the butt, angling down slightly. The belly of the knife angles up towards the butt, creating a tapered end. There is a finger guard which is going to protect you if you accidentally slip. The finger groove is small, but deep, creating a comfortable hold. As a total bonus, this knife does have a lanyard hole carved into the end of it.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a side open manual folding knife that has been equipped with the Arc-Lock system that SOG has designed. Because it is a fully manual folding knife, you won’t need to worry about the strict laws that surround automatic knives in our country. That being said, always know your local knife laws before purchasing a new knife, just so that you aren’t breaking the law. However, because it is a manual opening knife, it is going to be trickier to bring into play and it is not going to be as smooth as an automatic or assisted opening knife would be.

SOG Mini X-Ray Vision
SOG Mini X-Ray Vision

The knife has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is going to help you open this knife. The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits near the handle on the blade. You use your thumb to get friction on the stud and then swing the knife open. Unfortunately, the thumb stud is a little bit complicated to get used to and it does put your fingers in the path of the blade when you are opening the knife.

The Arc-Lock is a very ambidextrous locking mechanism. SOG says, “With its ambidexterity – and all the other attributes knife enthusiasts so relentlessly seek – the Arc-Lock might just be the perfect lock.” For starters it has immense strength. It has been tested at over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock) which far surpasses the conventional lock strength. Next is the locks speed: it is lightning quick and can be opened with one hand as well as closed with one hand. The Arc-Lock is also safe. It has a spring-action that securely retains the blade closed, while keeping fingers safely clear of the blade while you are unlocking it. Last, but not least is the durability. This lock is self-adjusting over time and can be easily cleaned for long-term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a blade thickness that measures in at .125 inches. The handle on this Mini X-Ray Vision measures in at 4 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 7/16 of an inch and width of 1 1/8 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 7 inches long. This is a lighter weight knife, weighing in at a mere 3 ounces. This knife originates from Japan.

 

Conclusion:
             The SOG Mini X-Ray Vision knife has an amazing VG-10 combo blade that rotates out of glass reinforced Zytel handles. The Mini was produced for those who love the X-Ray Vision and wanted a smaller knife.  The X-Ray Vision series was created as a “tactical and practical” solution for those who love the SOG Vision but prefer a bead blast blade and the Zytel handle–which make it even lighter than the Vision.  This knife has great lines that focus the power of the knife on the cutting edge and tip.  The knife is made with the Arc-Lock system and also comes with a deep carry pocket clip.  For strength, quality, and craftsmanship, the Vision is one of the best folders on the market.

When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “Created for optimal performance and value, the X-Ray Vision series are the newest members of this high-tech family of folding knives. This knife is further enhanced with our revolutionary Arc-Lock™ for fast-access and full “lockup.” The X-Ray Vision series keeps a low profile with its bead blasted blade finish and black glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) handle to keep it lightweight and comfortable to hold and carry. A reversible low-carry pocket clip allows both righties and lefties to carry the X-Ray Vision conveniently in pocket, pack, or on vest, belt, or jacket.”

This knife has actually been since discontinued through SOG, but BladeOps does still have some in stock. If you want to get in on this great knife, you better hurry over to BladeOps and pick up some of the last few in stock.

 

 

SOG Spec Elite II Automatic Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a U.S. knife and tool manufacturing company that is famous for their reproduction SOG Knife from the Vietnam era. SOG currently manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. The company also produces a lien of multi-tools.

The company was founded in 1986 by Spencer and Gloria Frazer and was inspired in its choice of name by the Joint Services Special Operations unit known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.

Making changes to the original deigns of the MACV SOG Fighter, like resin-impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune Magazine of the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date. Knives such as these and more of the SOG models produced prior to the shift of production from Seki, Japan to Taiwan are considered to be the best knives SOG had ever made.

A second “maritime” version of the Bowie (S2) was made utilizing a black Micarta handle and stainless steel blade known as the Trident. It was decorated with the US Navy Seal emblem as opposed to the Special Forces Crest round on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori of Seki japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp also of Seki until 2007.

SOG Specialty Knives manufactures an array of tools available for military personnel and casual outdoor users. SOG also makes several other military style knives including a tactical switchblade which is only available to military/law enforcement personnel. SOG has developed fixed blade knives for survival and outdoors such as the Tech Bowie as well as folding knives, many of which feature assisted opening technology such as the Aegis, Twitch, and Trident. SOG also manufactures multi-tools including the Paratool, PowerLock, and PowerAssist.

Many of SOG’s folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the USA, with the higher priced folders being made by G. Sakai in Seki, Japan. The fixed blade models that were originally made in Seki are now made in Taiwan. Some of SOG’s lesser priced tools, such as the Fusion line are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

 

The Blade:

There are two different versions of this Automatic knife, but both of the blades feature AUS-8 steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. The steel is very similar to 440B steel, except that it is slightly superior because it is more resistant to rust and corrosion. This steel is also more resistant to rust and corrosion than 440C, but it is less hard than 440C. AUS-8 steel is tough, but it doesn’t hold an edge as well as some of the more premium steels, because it doesn’t carry as much carbon in it; carbon helps with hardness and edge holding abilities. AUS-8 steel is very easy to sharpen and also easy to get a razor sharp edge on it.

There are two different finishes that you can choose from with this SOG knife. The first option that you can choose from is a satin finish. This blade finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine sandpaper. This finish is used to show off the fine lines in the steel as well as showing off the bevels of the blade. This finish does slightly increase the blades ability to resist rust and corrosion, although that is not a huge characteristic of what this finish does. The satin finish is the most popular blade finish that is used today and gives you one of the most traditional looks that you can get on your blade.

The second blade finish option is a TiNi, or Titanium Nitride, finish in black. This is the best coating that can be applied to steel and is commonly used to increase durability. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch and peel resistant, and is applied to the steel though a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air-sealed vacuum. By applying it a vacuum, it creates an even finish, which you won’t always get on a painted finish.

SOG Spec Elite II Automatic Knife
SOG Spec Elite II Automatic Knife

The blade on the Spec Elite II is a clip point blade. This blade style is one of the two most popular blade shapes that you are going to find in today’s cutlery industry. The clip point blade style is a great all-purpose blade. To form the shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This cut out area is straight on this SOG blade, and is referred to as the “clip”, which is also where the blade shape got its name. Because of the clip, the point on this blade is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. The clip point blade excels at piercing because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine. One of the reasons that this blade shape is an all-purpose blade is because of the large belly that the knife features. This belly will lend well to all your slicing abilities. The clip point blade shape does feature one major disadvantage and that is that the blade has a relatively narrow tip. Because the tip is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. If you are looking for a blade that has a tougher tip, look for a SOG knife that sports a drop point blade.

 

The Handle:

The handles on both versions are made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such as soft metal, it is primarily sued in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The most common aluminum alloy that is used on knives is the 6061-T6 alloy, which is what these SOG knives are made out of. All that means is that the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. 6601-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy is also used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum,” which is viewed more as a gimmick than an actual advantage to the knife handle.

The handles have been hard anodized in black. This is not your regular anodizing process; it is an anodizing process that forms an extremely hard, abrasion resistant, porous oxide on the aluminum. It is generally referred to as an “engineering hard coat” due to the fact that oxide has been found to be suited for applications where the hardness and increased oxide thicknesses are an advantage. This oxide layer can be up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. Not only does this provide a sleek black color, it also increases the aluminums durability, strength, and hardness. Aluminum is prone to scratches, which show up pretty bad, but with the hard anodization process being applied to this handle, it will be less prone to scratches.

The handle is pretty simple, with jimping on both the spine and the underbelly of the handle, near the closest portion to the blade. There are small grooves carved into the face of the handle as well as “SOG” that has been carved into it. These features will increase your ability to grip the handle and grip it well. The ergonomics are designed so that you can have a more comfortable grip on this knife, with the middle of the handle have a slight curve inward.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip, which means that your knife will stay more secure in your pocket and you won’t have to worry about it slipping out as you go about your daily tasks. This deep carry pocket clip is also perfect for law enforcement, military personnel, and regular consumers alike. This clip is reversible, which means that it can be attached for left or right handed carry—making this knife more comfortable for each individual to use.

 

The Mechanism:

This series of knives are all automatic knives. Automatic knives have a strict set of laws that surround them. They are not legal to purchase or carry in all states, areas, or cities and it is your responsibility to know what your local laws are. You, the user, are responsible for all consequences.

An automatic knife is also known as a switchblade or a pushbutton knife. This is a style of knife with a folding blade that is contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlock the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

Switchblades actually date form the mid-18th century. In France, 19th century folding knives were available in both automatic and manually opened versions in several sizes and lengths. The advent of mass production methods enabled folding knives with multiple components to be produced in large numbers at lower cost. By 1890, U.S. knife sales of all types were on the increase, buoyed by catalog mail order sales as well as mass marketing campaigns utilizing advertisements in periodicals and newspapers. In consequence, knife manufacturers began marketing new and much more affordable automatic knives to the general public. In Europe as well as the United Sates, automatic knife sales were never more than a fraction of sales generated by conventional folding knives, yet the type enjoyed consistent if modest sales from year to year.

In 1950, an article titled The Toy That Kills appeared in a widely read U.S. periodical of the day. The author said, “It’s only a short step form carrying a switchblade to gang warfare.” Some U.S. congressmen saw the switchblade controversy as a political opportunity to capitalize on constant negative accounts of the switchblade knife and its connection to violence and youth gangs, which is when the strict laws first popped up.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long with the handle measuring in at 4.9 inches long. When the blade is opened, the knife has an overall length of 8.9 inches long. This knife is the perfect weight to become your new everyday carry knife, weighing in at 3.5 ounces. The SOG Spec Elite II Automatic series of knives was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Spec Elite series are manufactured from 6061-T6 hard anodized aluminum and use a state-of-the-art auto mechanism that snaps the blade open with conviction and locks it up tight when it’s open. This larger model, the SE-61, features either a satin finish or a black coating on a 4″ clip point blade. This auto knife also features a slim profile, a built-in safety on the back handle scale as well as a reversible deep carry pocket clip–perfect for law enforcement, military personnel and consumers alike. Pick up this fantastic everyday carry knife today at BladeOps.

 

SOG Aura Camping Knife Review

SOG has a mission to strive to be the creators of the most distinctive gear. Gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge.” They also have a vision. SOG’s mission is to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction and value that delivers what consumers need- and in order to do so, always defining the leading edge of technology.

Next comes their eight values. The first of the eight is pride: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. SOG says, “We have pride in our products and in the way in which we conduct business with our customers, co-workers, and consumers.” Second is innovation: a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation. SOG says, “We leverage our innovation as a competitive advantage by creating and manufacturing products that meet consumer needs better than the competition.” Third is passion: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. “We are passionate about using leading edge technology to create the best products to meet and exceed consumer and customer expectations.” Fourth is creativity: the ability to produce through imaginative skill. SOG says, “We use our creativity to produce results – from developing products, to improving processes, to delivering our message to both customers and consumers.”
Their fifth value is integrity: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. They say, “We always try to do the right thing — for our consumers, our customers, our co-workers, and the global community.” Sixth is accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for or to keep track of one’s own actions. They say, “We mean what we say… we do what we say… and we take responsibility for our actions.” Seventh is leadership: the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. SOG says, “We are all leaders in our area of responsibility and we are deeply committed to delivering continuous improvements with a focus on results.” Last, but not least is sustainability: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. SOG says, “We seek to preserve the environment by using recycled/ recyclable materials and minimizing waste in all that we do.”
Today we will be discussing the SOG Aura Camping Knife.

SOG Aura Camping Knife
SOG Aura Camping Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been made out of 7Cr13 stainless steel that has been hardened to a 54-56 RC level. This is a good entry-level, rust-resistant stainless steel. It is made in Asia and does offer the user a good value. However, when being compared to higher grades, this steel does tend to be softer and require more frequent sharpening to maintain the best performance, but it will hold an edge adequately. This steel is really there to get the job done and that’s about it. It is going to do what you need it to do, but it is not going to excel at anything it does or offer you anything that is too much extra. Really, the biggest advantage when it comes to this steel is that it is going to be a good budget level of steel. There are some budget steels that really aren’t worth the money and then there are some that are going to hold on pretty well. This steel falls into the second category. While it is not going to excel, this knife is going to be durable and dependable—exactly what you want from such a large fixed blade.

The blade on this knife has been finished satin. The satin finish is the most popular blade finish that is in the market today. This is because it does offer a very traditional blade look that is not going to go out of style any time soon. Not only does it give the knife a very sleek look, it is also not expensive, and does offer some other advantages. Some of these advantages include how it cuts down on glares, reflections, and even increases the corrosion resistance levels that the steel was going to provide. This finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper that is used and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the finish is going to look. This finish is really used to showcase the fine lines of the steel while also showcasing the bevels of the blade.

The drop point is a fantastic all-purpose knife that has been designed to stand up to almost anything. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is, of course, the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well including pocket knives as well as large fixed blades such as this one. The shape of the drop point is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that is going to provide more control while also adding strength to eh tip. Plus, because the point on a drop point blade is so easily controlled, you are going to be able to perform any fine detail work with this knife or even use it as a hunting knife when you are out camping. One of the best parts of a drop point knife is that they have such a large belly area that is ideal for slicing. Drop points are an all-around fantastic blade shape, but they do have one major disadvantage. Because of the relativity broad tip, it is going to be less suitable for stabbing than the clip point is. That being said, the broad tip does provide more point strength that you would never find on clip point knives. By choosing this knife with a drop point blade shape, you are prepared yourself for any situation, whether it is the expected or the unexpected.

This knife does have a plain edge, which is perfect for camping, because it really prepares you for almost anything. You are going to get cleaner cuts, so you can use this knife for precision work, or for shaving, slicing, or even peeling. And, since this steel can be sharpened to a very fine edge, you will even be able to slice through thicker materials that you would normally need a serrated blade for. One of the biggest advantages is that because it is a plain edge, you will be able to sharpen this knife in the field if it ever comes to it, although since it comes with its own sharpener, you shouldn’t need to ever use stones.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Zytel and rubber. Dupont.com says, “When the goal is reducing weight, improving strength, enhancing durability, increasing thermal performance, simplifying processing, or all of the above, Zytel® HTN high-performance polyamide resin is a logical choice. These high-performance resins are available in specific grades that sustain high strength and stiffness over a wide range of temperatures, chemicals and moisture exposure.

Zytel® HTN can replace metal parts that must withstand high temperature tolerances (such as engine cooling, handheld devices, and non-halogenated connectors), while reducing total cost and weight through parts consolidation.” The material is also going to offer stiffness, high strength, excellent creep resistance, broad temperature toleration, fatigue resistance, while also being versatile.

This material is going to give you a fantastic grip, even in wet or messy conditions. The handle does not have a finger guard because the blade has one for you. The handle has fantastic ergonomics that are comfortable and easy to hold on to for long periods of time. There are thin grooves running down the length of the handle that will provide the texture that you need for tougher tasks. The handle spine and belly bulge out to fit inside of you hand comfortably. There is also a lanyard hole carved into the bottom of this blade, which is ideal for camping. You will be able to keep this knife close by you without it getting in the way. You can also wrap the lanyard around the handle before gripping it to add an extra layer of texture and grip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife, which is ideal for a camping knife or fixed blade such as this one. This is because fixed blades are stronger and bigger because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle. This usually means that the blade on a fixed blade is going to be twice as long as the blade on a folding knife.

Fixed blades also are not prone to breaking. One of the reasons for this is because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade, but another one is because the blade and handle are so long and thick.

Because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade, they are easier to maintain. This is because you do not have to worry about eh hinge as you do with a folding knife. The cleaning is also going to be much easier—all you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil the blade occasionally. You will want to make sure the blade is dry before placing it in its sheath.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a nylon sheath as well as a sharpener. The nylon sheath is one of the more commonly used knife sheath materials. They are often compared to leather, because they are very common and have been around for longer periods of time. Just like leather, nylon sheaths are known for being tough as well as strong. However, nylon does take the lead because they are resistant to rot and mildew as well as not being as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths are. As we all know, leather’s biggest enemy is the sheath or the water. Next, nylon sheaths are not easily scuffed or torn because of how durable the material really is.

Of course, the sheath material is going to have its disadvantages. For example, nylon sheaths are not going to last as long as leather sheaths are. Plus, the longer you have a leather sheath, the better your knife is going to fit in it. When it comes to nylon, it is almost the exact opposite. Nylon sheaths get stretched out over time, which means that while the sheath will continue to work, it is not going to give your knife a snug or secure hold. In some cases, the sheath will get so stretched out that it is much safer to just go out and buy a new sheath.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at a whopping 6 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.160 inches. The overall length of the knife measures in at a large 10.95 inches long and weighs in at 8.6 ounces. Which, for the length of the knife, really isn’t too heavy.

 

Conclusion:

             The SOG Aura Camping knife is based on the original bowie knife created back in 1838 by Rezin Bowie.  Made with utility, ergonomics and comfort in mind, the Aura has a high impact and tough glass reinforced polymer handle with an over mold that gives you non-slip comfort.  A small blade design change from the Bowie eliminates the big clunky cross guard and gives you a great place for your finger which provides lots of control over the blade.  It also comes with a carbide sharpener in the unscrewable back of the handle, just in case you need to field sharpen the sharp and durable edge of the Aura. Although this knife has been discontinued through SOG, you can still pick up this knife through BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Spec Elite I Automatic Knife

SOG’s story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit—known as MACV-SOG—carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. Year later, in 1986, that knife inspired a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie Knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools—field proven by US Special Forces, even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.

So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.

Spencer Frazer is the founder and chief designer of SOG and has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apparat form the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

SOG strives to be the creators of the most distinctive gear-gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge.” They have a vision to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction, and value that delivers what consumers need—and in order to do so, always defining the leading edge of technology.

They have eight company values: Pride, creativity, integrity, accountability, innovation, passion, leadership and sustainability.

Pride to always have pride in their products and in the way that they conduct business with their customers, co-workers, and consumers.

Creativity to produce results—from developing products, to improving processes, to delivering their message to both customers and consumers.

Integrity to always try to do the right thing—for their consumers, their customers, their co-workers, and the global community.

Accountability to mean what they say and do what they say, and to take responsibility for their actions.

Innovation to leverage as a competitive advantage by creating and manufacturing products that meet consumer needs better than the competition.

Passionate about using leading edge technology to create h best products to meet and exceed consumer and customer expectations.

Leadership because they are all leaders in their area of responsibility and they are deeply committed to delivering continuous improvements with a focus on results.

Sustainability because they seek to preserve the environment by using recycled and recyclable materials to minimize waste in all that they do.

Today we will be going over the SOG Spec Elite 1 Automatic knife.

SOG Spec Elite I Automatic Knife
SOG Spec Elite I Automatic Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 steel. This is one of the more common stainless steels and is readily available globally. This steel is a decent steel all around, it is hard enough, tough enough, and stain resistant enough. However, when being compared to some of the higher end steels, this will not compare. AUS-8 steel does not hold its edge as well as some of the other steels because it does not have as much carbon in its matrix. The more carbon that is in a steel, the harder it will be and the better it will hold its edge. This steel is made in Japan and is very similar to 440B steel.

There are two different finishes that the Spec Elite 1 comes in: a black coated blade, or a satin blade. The black coating is actually a black TiNi, or Titanium Nitride, finish. This is by far the best coating that can be applied to steel, and is commonly used for black finishes and to increase durability. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch and peel resistant, and is applied to steel through a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air-sealed vacuum.

The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted, which is a matte finish, and mirror polish, which is a high gloss finish. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades, showing fine buffing liens with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. This finish requires great hand skill to accomplish, which does mean that the price will be a little bit higher because of this.

The blade on this knife series has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use in the cutlery industry today. This is an all-purpose, versatile blade. The shape of this blade is formed by having the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stopping about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be as if it is cut out, or clipped out, which is where the blade shape gets its name. The clip can be curved or straight, but on the Spec Elite I, it is straight. The point on this blade shape is lowered, because of the clip, which means that you will have more control when you are using this knife. The clip point blade shape is known for its piercing ability because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, which lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The clip point blade shape also features a large cutting area that makes slicing a breeze. One of the only disadvantages to a clip point blade shape is that because the tip is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and break fairly easily, which would not be an issue with a drop point blade. However, you should remember that you have such high piercing capabilities because it is thinner.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife series is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is used in knife making, and it is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily sued in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Most knives use a type of aluminum alloy called 6061-T6, which means the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less, which is the case with the Spec Elite I.

The handle on this SOG knife has been anodized black. The anodization process adds color, improves wear resistance, and prolongs the life of the handle. On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved into it, which is ideal for when you are using this knife as a tactical blade. The butt of the handle. Along the top of the handle, where the blade and the handle meet, on both sides there is a short row of jimping. This helps give the user more control when they are slicing with the knife. The handle is mostly rectangular, although it does curve inward on both the spine and the bottom of the knife handle, which creates a more comfortable grip.

To add an element of texture and grip, SOG has been carved into the face of the handle along with eleven grooves going across the width.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip, which means that this knife will stay very secure inside of your pocket, even if you are jostling around throughout the day. This knife, because of this clip among other things, is a perfect option for law enforcement, military personnel, and consumers alike. The clip is black, which matches the handle, and the blade on the black version, but it does not match the rest of the hardware on this knife, which is a combination of silver and gray. This is a reversible pocket clip, which means that it is ambidextrous friendly.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which is commonly known as a switchblade. There are strict laws surrounding automatic knives in the United States. This knife is not going to be legal to own, carry, or use in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility, as the user, to know what your local knife laws are before purchasing or carrying this knife. BladeOps does not take responsibility for the laws.

An automatic knife is a type of folding knife that has a blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

In 1954, Democratic Rep. James J Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the U.S. Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades, beginning a wave of legal restrictions worldwide and a consequent decline in their popularity.

There are a couple of major benefits to carrying and using an automatic knife, versus a regular folding knife, but there are also a couple of drawbacks. Automatic knives can be brought into play quicker, because they are opened automatically by pressing a button. Plus, automatic knives are easier to open, because you can open them completely one handed. This comes in handy in tactical situations as well as when you are working on a project and need to keep one hand on whatever you are doing. The biggest drawback is that they are not legal in all areas. But some of the other drawbacks are that maintenance is tricky, because there are all the inner moving, mechanisms. Plus, if you do not take care of the insides in a strong enough fashion, they may rust and break. Fixing an automatic knife is going to be much harder than fixing a manual folding knife, or a fixed blade. To some people the pros outweigh the cons, and vice versa. It’s just what is important to you.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.3 inches long. The overall length of this knife when opened measures in at 7.8 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.8 ounces. It was also made in the United States of America, which means that you can feel proud to own, carry, and use this knife because you are supporting a patriotic company.

 

Conclusion:

The Spec Elite series are manufactured from 6061-T6 hard anodized aluminum and use a state-of-the-art auto mechanism that snaps the blade open with conviction and locks it up tight when it’s open. This smaller model, the SE-52, features a black TiNi (Titanium Nitride) finish on a 3.5″ clip point blade. This auto knife also features a slim profile, a built-in safety on the back handle scale as well as a reversible deep carry pocket clip–perfect for law enforcement, military personnel and consumers alike. Pick up this phenomenal every day carry knife today at BladeOps.