SOG Terminus Knife Review

SOG Terminus

The history of SOG Specialty Knives began years ago in Vietnam. There was a highly classified US special ops unit that was known as MACV-SOG. The members in this unit carried a unique combat knife because their covert missions were in the jungle. It was in 1986, years after this group existed, that Spencer Frazer happened across the bowie knife and founded SOG Specialty knives. His founding mission with the company was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it.

What began as a single knife soon became a full line of innovative tools. Not only that, but this line of tools has been field proven by US Special Forces and has even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Now, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. So whether you’re protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG. “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 was born in 1955 and was always a creative kid that had a curiosity for how things worked. He joined the boy scouts when he was older and gained an affinity for knives and axes. He later graduated from UCLA as a math and science major and then started his own company in the professional audio industry. He went on to work in the aerospace defense industry, in the top Secrete Black Projects Division. Spencer has also been involved in the modern art movement and even went on to work in product development creating toys. He says that all of these life experiences converged the moment he first saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie knife. He says, “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the function aspects of the knife.” He quickly made a goal to reproduce this knife and has definitely succeeded. Spencer says that SOG “doesn’t settle for ordinary. We never did, and we never will.”

SOG has just released a brand new knife called the Terminus. There are two versions of the same design and both of them are going to be game changers.

 

The Blade:

The blades on these two knives are both made out of CTS-BD1 steel. This is a carpenter’s steel. Something that is very unique about the steel is that it is melted in a vacuum. This is a high carbon chromium steel that provides stainless properties with high hardness and excellent wear resistance. This steel has a hardness of Rockwell C 58-60. This steel has been used for cutlery, ball bearings, and small machinery parts that are normally subjected to high wear conditions, because it can last. This steel has a fairly high corrosion resistance and can resist corrosion from mild atmospheres as well as fresh water, steam, ammonia, and many organic materials.

The finish on both of the knives is where the versions start to differ. One of the versions, the blade sports a dual directional satin finish. The satin finish is created by sanding the knife in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. In the case of this knife, after the blade has been sanded in one direction, it will then be sanded in the other direction. The satin finish works to showcase the lines in the steel and is one of the most popular blade finishes that you can find. This is a classic blade finish that has a medium level of shine—it is more matte than a mirror finish, but shinier than a matte finish. A satin finish actually works to reduce the glares and reflections that your knife will come across.

On the other version of the knife, the blade sports a black hard cased finish. One of the main purposes for this type of finish is to add a sleek, black look to the blade. This effectively cuts down on glares and reflections, and gives you more of a stealth look to it. However, it is a coating finish, and like all coating finishes, it has the tendency to chip, scratch, or flake off. The finish does work to reduce rusting and corroding that will happen to your blade over time.

Both versions of the knife sport a clip point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose blade shape as well as being one of the most popular blade shapes on the market. This blade shape has often been confused with a drop point blade shape, because they are both very versatile, great for most tasks, and very popular. However, they do sport a handful of differences and we will go over those differences today. To form the shape of a clip point, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife 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, and is referred to as the “clip”, which is where this blade shape got its name. This clipped out area can be straight or curved, but on the Terminus, it is a straight portion. Because of this clipped out area, the point on this blade shape is lowered, which provides you with more control when cutting or slicing with this knife. The biggest difference between a drop point and a clip point blade shape is the point. On a drop point, the tip is also lowered, however it is broader and sports more metal near the tip, providing you with more strength behind the tip. Because there is more metal near the tip, you do lose out on most stabbing capabilities with a drop point tip.  A clip point has a lowered point but it is skinnier and sharper. While this is a drawback because the tip is now weaker and more prone to breaking, it is also an advantage because you do have the stabbing capabilities once again. Because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because of the large belly area that lends itself perfectly for slicing. With a clip point blade shape, you will be prepared for all of the expected, everyday tasks that you happen across, but you will also be prepared for the unexpected moments and emergencies.

The blade on both versions of the Terminus sports a straight edge, which is the more traditional edge and lends itself to completing a wider variety of tasks.

On the unsharpened edge of the knife, there is a row of thick jimping that offers improved control during use.

 

The Handle:

Both versions of the Terminus have a handle that is made out of G10. But, each version of the knife has a different colored handle.

G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material has similar properties to carbon fiber, but because it is only slightly inferior, you can get it for a fraction of the cost. However, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles, so it still has a significant cost to it. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin. The next step is to compress the layers of the soaked cloth and then baking them under pressure. The material that you get from this process is super tough, very hard, still lightweight, and strong. An interesting fact: G10 is considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. However, it is more brittle than these other materials as well. To add texture to give you a secure grip on the Terminus, SOG has added intense checkering to the handle of this knife. To add to your grip on this knife, SOG has also added an extremely elongated finger groove to the bottom of the handle. To keep your fingers safe, there is also a finger guard.

On the version with the satin blade, the handle is a tan color with black hardware. On the version with the black hard cased blade, the handle is black with black hardware.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on these knives match the color of the blade. These pocket clips are the classic SOG skeletonized pocket clips, because in the middle, they have carved their logo. These pocket clips are reversible, which does help to make this knife design ambidextrous. The clip is also a low carry clip, so it won’t be quite as concealed as a deep carry clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that sports a slip joint locking mechanism. The slip joint is one of the most commonly found types of locking mechanisms. This type of locking system is also very commonly seen in Swiss Army Knives. These knives typically take two hands to open and close the knife safely. They’re made up of a spring bar and a specially shaped blade. To open the knife, you pull on the blade to overcome the pressure form the

SOG Terminus
SOG Terminus

spring, snapping the blade into place. To close it, make sure your fingers are out of the ay of the sharp edge and push back down. One of the main advantages to this type of locking mechanism is the legality. They are also nice to carry because they are simple and easy to use. However, in technical terms, they don’t sport a true “lock”, so this type of mechanism is not the best if you are taking on the heavier duty tasks.

The terminus sports a nail nick, which is one of the oldest forms of knife opening systems. This type of opening system is pretty difficult to open one handedly. The nail nick is a small groove that has been carved into the top of the blade. This provides you with a divot that you can use to get a grip on and flick the knife open.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Terminus is an even three inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches. The overall length of the knife is seven inches long, with a closed length of four inches. This knife weighs in at 2.9 ounces. The country of origin for the Terminus is China.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has a reputation of designing and manufacturing durable and reliable knives that have been filed tested for you. These knives are going to get you through your everyday tasks as well as the unexpected situations and through all of your adventures.

The Terminus is an all-purpose slip joint folding knife that is legal in many places. It features a quality 3 inches CTS Bd1 stainless steel blade and g10 handles. Slip joint knives are easier to clean, maintain, and have fewer mechanical bits to get dirty and cause problems. The versatile clip point BD1 blade features a straight edge and a nail nick for opening. Textured G10 handles and jimping on the blade offer improved control during use. The small guard on the blade prevents accidental closure of the blade on fingers. Its slim profile makes it easy to carry with or without the reversible low carry pocket clip. In many places around the world including parts of Europe and cities like New York City, folding knives that lock open are not legal to carry. Knife carry laws vary by region, so make sure to consult your local laws for specific details.

The Terminus is ready to take on your life challenges with you.  You can find the sand handle version here and the black handle version here.

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