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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.