SOG Fielder Folder Knife Review

SOG was named in honor of a covert US Special Ops unit that fought in Vietnam. That unit 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.

The following is excerpted from “US ELITE FORCES-VIETNAM,” an article by Leroy Thompson that further describes the nature of this specialized group and its secret missions: Separate from “conventional,” unconventional operations of the 5th Special Forces Group were the clandestine operations of Military Assistance Command Vietnam/Studies and Observations Group (MACV/SOG). The Studies and Observation Group (SOG) was a cover name to disguise SOG’s real function, and the name “Special Operations Group,” as it was sometimes called, described its real mission more accurately. Activated in January of 1964, SOG was a joint services unit composed of members from all four branches of the armed forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Recons, Air Force Special Operations pilots of the 90th Special Operations Wing, but predominantly Army Special Forces.

MACV/SOG’s missions included: cross-border operations into Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam to carry out intelligence gathering or raiding missions on the enemy’s ‘home ground’; gather intelligence about POWs and carry out rescue missions when possible; rescue downed aircrews in enemy territory (“Bright Light” missions); train, insert, and control agents in North Vietnam to gather intelligence or form resistance groups; carry out ‘black’ Spy Ops such as operating fake broadcasting stations inside North Vietnam; kidnap or assassinate key enemy personnel; retrieve sensitive documents from equipment lost in enemy territory or in enemy hands; and insert rigged mortar rounds or other booby-trapped ordnance in enemy arms caches (OPERATION ELDEST SON).

Today we will be discussing the SOG Fielder Folder Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 7Cr17MoV. This is a budget formula of steel, which can be nerve wracking, because you aren’t sure if it is going to work well or not. While this is a budget steel, it is not going to perform like the budget steels that you are thinking of. For starters, this steel has been specially modified from 440A to contain more vanadium than other steels. The vanadium in the steel is going to increase the overall strength, increase the wear resistance, and increase the toughness. All of these characteristics will help the edge last for longer periods of time. Next, SOG is going to give this steel a good heat treatment. This is when the knife is heated, then quenched, then reheated and cooled again. The heat treatment is going to make the knife tough from the first heating but also flexible for the second heating. This steel has also been hardened to a 52-59 HRC, which is a pretty medium level of hardness. It is going to keep its edge well but it is not going to be completely inflexible.

This knife has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most traditional blade finish that you are going to get in today’s market. It gives the knife a very classic look that is not going to go out of style any time soon. The finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. This finish works to showcase the bevels of the blade while also showing off the fine lines of the steel. As a key, the finer the sandpaper used and the more even the lines when sanded, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because this is a SOG knife, the finish is going to look pretty clean, but you will be able to find cleaner finishes on higher end knives. The satin finish also cuts down on glares, reflections, and works to increase the corrosion resistance of the knife. This is a classic finish that does not increase the price of the knife too much, while also providing the knife with other benefits.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape. This is also one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape is formed by having the back, or spine, of the knife run straight from the handle before stopping 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 of the knife and is referred to as the clip, which is also where the knife got its name. This knife can be straight or curved, but on the Fielder, it is straight. The point that the clip creates is lowered, which gives the user more control when they are using this knife. Clip points have been designed to excel at piercing, which is accomplished because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine. These characteristics mean that there is going to be less drag during insertion as well as a faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that clip points are so versatile is because they feature a very large belly area that is ideal for slicing. Just like any blade shape, the clip point is going to have its disadvantages as well. The biggest one is that because of its narrow tip that is fine and sharp, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. This blade shape is going to prepare you to be ready for almost anything.

The blade on this knife is a straight plain edge. The plain edge is easier to sharpen than the serrated edge, which means sharpening this knife is going to be an absolute breeze. You can also get a very fine edge on it because there are no teeth to worry about. You can sharpen this style of knife in the field if needed, even if all you really have are some rocks. The plain edge is also going to give you cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated edge. However, a serrated edge is going to need sharpening less than a plain edge. And, the serrated edge is capable of sawing through thicker materials that a plain edge is not capable of slicing through. As you can see, a plain edge is going to equip you to perform a wider variety of tasks than the serrated edge would.

 

SOG Fielder Folder Knife
SOG Fielder Folder Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made with stainless steel bolsters and a G10 handle.

The stainless steel bolsters are going to provide the knife with high levels of durability as well as being resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is rather heavy though, which is where a significant source of the knife’s weight comes from. Because it is just the bolsters though, and not the entire handle, the knife is not going to be too heavy to use comfortably.

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 the inferior material, you can get it for a much cheaper cost. This helps to keep the overall cost of this knife down. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. The next step in the process is compressing them, and then baking them under pressure. This process creates a material that is very hard, very tough, very lightweight, and very strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates (Micarta, Carbon Fiber, GFN, and G10) G10 is considered the strongest. Unfortunately, this material is going to be brittle. As a key, the harder a material gets, the more brittle it is also going to get, which is why this material is so brittle. If it is subjected to a hard or sharp impact, it will probably crack and begin to break apart. Another reason for the brittleness is that all of the fibers are arranged in a single direction. While the material is strong in that direction, when stressed in other ways, it will begin to break apart.

The handle does have two large finger guards on either side of the blade, which creates a safer grip. The spine of the handle curves down towards the butt of the handle. The belly of the handle is relatively straight, until the very end, where the butt extends lower than the rest of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which is going to make this a comfortable knife for almost everyone to use. It is not reversible for tip up or tip down carry though, which is a drawback. The pocket clip is also a low-carry clip, which means that it is going to sit low in the pocket. This will help the knife be more concealed as well as keeping it more snugly in the pocket, both of which are advantages. The only disadvantage to this is that it will take a few milliseconds longer to pull out of the pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife. In terms of legality, the manual folding knife is going to be legal in more areas of the country than an automatic or assisted knife is going to be. This is because there really is no mechanism on the inside. You have to open this knife completely manually. In terms of efficiency, it is not going to be super-efficient or as smooth as an automatic or assisted knife is going to be.

The knife has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is going to assist you in opening the knife. The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits where the nail nick would if the knife had a nail nick. The user is going to hold the closed knife and then use their thumb to push open the knife against the thumb stud. The thumb stud has many benefits because it allows the user to open the knife with only one hand and it is easy to get the hang of. Of course, it is also going to have its drawbacks. For example, the thumb stud does extend off the blade, which can get in people’s way when they are trying to use the knife. Another issue is that it does put your fingers in the path of the blade when you are trying to open the knife, which makes it relatively unsafe if you aren’t used to opening a knife with the thumb stud.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.3 inches long with a blade thickness that measures in at 0.1 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.5 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.80 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces, which is a heavier knife if you are planning on having it with you at all times. That being said, it is not so heavy that it would be incapable of being an EDC knife, it is just going to rest on the heftier side of that spectrum.

 

Conclusion:

SOG says, “A smart looking folding knife, the new Fielder G-10 is the latest addition to SOG’s gorgeous Fielder line. The stainless steel and G-10 handle give this model a classic look and the 3.3-inch blade is easy to open with either hand. The Fielder G-10 is the perfect addition to a knife collection that emphasizes both aesthetics and functionality. Indeed, it’s designed as a do-it-all everyday knife.”

The SOG Fielder G10 Folder boasts a stainless steel and G-10 handle that give it a classic look. The easy to open 3.3″ blade is perfect for serious field work. A perfect blend of looks, workmanship and functionality, the Fielder G-10 knife is an all-around every day carry knife for the man on the move. You can pick up this knife today from 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.