SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a United States knife and tool manufacturing company famous for their reproduction SOG Knife from the Vietnam era. SOG manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. The company 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 or MACV-SOG who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.

Changes were made 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 for 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).  Author Greg Walker considers knives such as these and many of the SOG models produced prior to the shift of production from Seki City, Japan to Taiwan 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 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.

OG 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 United States, with the higher priced folders being made by G. Sakai in Seki City. 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.

SOG says, “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 Ace Fixed Blade.

SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife
SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Magnadot are made out of 7Cr17MoV steel. This steel is a very popular steel for a budget knife. But, unlike many other budget knives, it is a steel that makes a budget knife not feel like a budget knife. The steel in a knife can make it feel like it is a twenty-dollar knife to making it feel like it is a two-hundred-dollar knife. Really, the steel is very important. This steel has been described as a specially modified 440A stainless steel that contains more Vanadium than other steels. The Vanadium means that it is going to have increase overall strength, increased wear resistance, and increased toughness. This means that the edge is going to last longer than you would expect—especially from a budget knife like this. This steel has been hardened to a RC 54-58 level. This is a pretty good level of hardness for a budget knife, but the higher (up to around 63) the better the knife is going to perform. Anything lower than a 55 is going to not actually be that hard.

The blade has been finished with a stonewashed finish. The stonewashed finish is created when the blade has been tumbled in an abrasive material, which is normally small pebbles or rocks. The finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. One of the best benefits of a stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish also hides smudges, which means that maintenance is low. The stonewashed finish gives a very rugged, well-worn look to the knife.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade. The clip point blade is a great all-purpose knife. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight form the handle before it stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it has been cut out and is known as the clip, which is where the knife shape got its name from. The clip can be straight or curved, but on the Ace, it is curved. Because of the clip, the point is lowered, which gives the knife more control when you are trying to use it. Plus, because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point is going to excel at stabbing. This is because it is going to have less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Clip point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, which is one of the reasons that the knife is so versatile. There is one major disadvantage though: because the point on the clip point is relatively narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. Of course, by choosing the Ace, with its clip point, you are going to be prepared in almost any situation.

The spine of the knife has been competed with a very large portion of thick jimping. This is covering the portion of the blade before the clip. The jimping will allow you to better manipulate this knife and have better control when using it to slice.

The blade on this has been finished with a plain edge, which is one continuous edge on the knife. The plain edge is going to give you the capabilities of taking on a wider variety of tasks, because it does excel at push cuts and slicing. These two styles of cutting are some of the most common styles of cutting. Really the only thing that a plain edge cannot do is saw through thicker materials. However, if you can get the edge on your knife sharp enough, it will even be able to perform that. Plain edges are going to give you cleaner cuts, which is perfect for precision tasks. Plain edges are also going to be easier to sharpen, because you do not have to worry about the teeth getting in the way when you are sharpening them. Unfortunately, plain edges will need to be sharpened more often than a serrated edge would.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of TPR, which is a Thermoplastic Rubber. A TPR handle will ensure slip resistance, even when the knife or your hands are wet. The thermoplastic rubber handle is lightweight, moisture-resistant, and will feel comfortable in your hand.

The handle is built for having a fantastic grip on it. There are deep scales going across the length of the handle on the bottom half. These add even more texture than the TPR naturally provides. There is a finger groove that gives the user a comfortable grip so that they can use this knife for long periods of time. There is also a finger guard, which will make this a safer knife to use. After the first finger groove, there is an elongated curve towards the butt of the handle, which is squared off. As a complete bonus, there is a lanyard hole which is large enough to fit most styles of lanyard. Because of the texture of TPR and the ergonomics of this handle, you are going to have a very secure handle for messy or wet situations.


The Mechanism:

             The SOG ace is a fixed blade, which means that there is actually no mechanism on the knife. Fixed blades have a couple of major advantages, especially for the sturdier knives that you are going to be using in the outdoors or for major adventures. For starters, fixed blades are much less likely to break. This is because the blade can be thicker and longer, as it does not need to fit inside of the handle. They are also less likely to break because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade that can get worn out over time. This means that there is no spring or hardware that you have to clean constantly or worry about being dry. All you have to do to maintain this knife is wipe down the blade and handle after each use, making sure that the blade is dry before putting it in its sheath. You will need to oil the blade occasionally, but you can definitely go on a long outdoors trip without worrying about needing to get it oiled.

Lastly, the fixed blade is both a superior tactical tool as well as the superior survival otol. This is because it can be brought into play faster than a folding knife would be able to and it is strong enough to take on almost any challenge.

 

The Sheath:

             The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of plastic. Plastic sheaths (other than Kydex) are some of the cheapest ones that you are going to find on the market. However, you do get what you pay for when it comes to this sheath material. This means that you shouldn’t be thrown off when you found out that plastic sheaths are not very quality. Plastic sheaths are going to be an inhospitable home for your knife if you are planning on keeping it in the sheath for an extended period of time. I would recommend purchasing a new sheath as soon as you get this knife so that you won’t ruin your blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.8 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length on this knife measures in at 8.6 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in China.

 

Conclusion:

             When SOG is explaining this knife, they say, “The Ace is SOG’s most accessible and affordable knife. With a black sheath and a grippy textured rubber handle, this is the knife you can grab and know you’ll be prepared. Featuring a 3.8-inch clip point blade for versatility, the Ace is your best friend when it comes to the outdoors. This knife is ideal for tasks like whittling fire-starter strips, batoning wood for kindling, and crafting a shelter. The sheath even comes with the Groove for cord cutting! And, like all SOG knives, it comes with our lifetime warranty, meaning you can always depend on the Ace.” The new SOG Ace is your ideal entry-level budget-friendly tactical fixed blade that can easily cover all your needs without breaking the bank. Featuring both a finger choil, finger groove and positive thumb jimping the Ace is certain to give you a leg-up on whatever the elements throw your way. This model, the ACE-1001, features black TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) handles, a clip point style blade in a stonewash finish and the black hard nylon sheath supports houses a built-in groove for cutting while still in the sheath and a belt clip carry option. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.