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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.