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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.