SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife Review

SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife
SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife

SOG’s founding mission is to strive to be the creators of the most distinctive gear- gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge”.

Their vision is 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 were founded with eight values. The first is pride: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. SOG says, “We have pride in our products and in the way in which we conduct business with our customers, co-workers, and consumers.” The second is innovation: a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation. SOG says, “We leverage our innovation as a competitive advantage by creating and manufacturing products that meet consumer needs better than the competition.” The third is passion: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. SOG says, “We are passionate about using leading edge technology to create the best products to meet and exceed consumer and customer expectations.” The fourth is creativity: the ability to produce through imaginative skill. SOG says, “We use our creativity to produce results – from developing products, to improving processes, to delivering our message to both customers and consumers.” The fifth is integrity: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. SOG says, “We always try to do the right thing — for our consumers, our customers, our co-workers, and the global community.” The sixth is accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for or to keep track of one’s own actions. SOG says, “We mean what we say… we do what we say… and we take responsibility for our actions.” The seventh is leadership: the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. SOG says, “We are all leaders in our area of responsibility and we are deeply committed to delivering continuous improvements with a focus on results.” The eighth is sustainability: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. SOG says, “We seek to preserve the environment by using recycled/ recyclable materials and minimizing waste in all that we do.”

Today we will be discussing the Mini Salute Folding Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese based steel that is from the Cr line of steels. The top of the line is the 9Cr formula, with 8Cr shortly behind. 9Cr steel is better than AUS-8, but 8Cr is about even with AUS-8, maybe even a little behind it. 8Cr13MoV steel is going to get the job done. It is resistant to corrosion, but not extremely resistant to corrosion. It isn’t hard and it isn’t soft. Really, it sits right in the middle of the spectrum. The biggest advantage that it boasts is it’s cost. This is a fantastic budget steel. It will get the job done and it isn’t going to raise the cost of the overall knife. It also isn’t going to compare to the newer steels or the super steels that you might encounter.

The blade on this SOG knife has been bead blasted. The bead blasting finish is created when the manufacturer uses abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are then blasted at the material at a high pressure, which results in an even gray finish. The blasted finish is used to reduce the reflections and glares because of the matte surface. However, the blasting does increase the surface area and does cause micro-abrasions which can make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. This does just mean that you need to make sure you keep the knife dry and clean immediately after each use.

The knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This popular blade shape is also a great all-purpose blade shape. The knife is shaped by having the spine of the knife run straight form the handle before it stops at about the one third of the way to the point of the blade. At this point, it turns towards the tip and continues downward, which creates a lowered point. This section that is angled downward is referred to as the clip and is where the knife got its name from. The clip also creates a lowered tip, which is where the high levels of control are going to come from when using this knife. The clip point is really designed to pierce well, because the tip is sharper and thinner at the spine. Of course, these characteristics also make the tip weaker and more prone to breaking, which is one of the only disadvantages of a clip point blade. The clip point blade shape also has a large belly that is great for slicing.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G10, which is a pretty common handle material for knives. The G10 is a modern, synthetic material. Some of its qualities are that it is very tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. However, it does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the fiberglass fibers are arranged in one direction. In that specific direction the material is going to be crazy strong, but when it is stressed in the other directions, it is going to begin to break apart. The three biggest advantages are that it is tough, light, and durable. The biggest drawbacks are that it is brittle and it does lack some elegance.

The handle on this knife has a deep finger groove followed by a second-deep finger groove. Both the grooves are completed with some jimping that will help give a more secure grip on this knife. There is a large finger guard that will protect your finger in case of accidental slippage. The butt of the knife has been squared off. The spine of the knife goes straight out until about 2/3rds of the way down the knife where it angles down toward the butt of the handle. The face of the handle has been texturized greatly.


The Pocket Clip:

             The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, although it can only be attached for tip-up carry, which is the more dangerous way to position the tip. The pocket clip is silver and has been bead blasted to match the blade. It has also been skeletonized with “SOG” carved out. This skeletonization cuts down on weight but also adds a unique aesthetic to the knife. This is a low-carry clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that uses a thumb stud to help assist you in opening the knife. The knife has been equipped with a lock back locking mechanism.

This is a manual folding knife. In terms of efficiency, this is not going to be as smooth as an automatic or an assisted opening knife would. This is because you do have to fully open it by yourself with no assistance from a spring or mechanism inside. This does mean that you aren’t going to bring the knife into play as quickly as one of the other styles. That being said, in terms of legality, it is going to be legal in many more places than the other two styles would be. And when it comes to maintaining the knife, a manual is going to be easier to maintain because there are less parts inside that have to be working perfectly, as is the case with the automatic or assisted opening knives.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one handed opening mechanisms that is in use today. It is a small barrel that sits where the nail nick would if the knife had a nail nick. This knife does let you open the knife with only one hand, although it will take a little bit of practice to accomplish this. The two biggest drawbacks to a thumb stud are the first: it does extend off of the blade. Some people do feel like this gets in the way when they are trying to use their knife, although plenty others do not feel this way. The biggest drawback to the thumb stud is that when you are opening the knife, your hands do get in the way of the path of the blade. This isn’t really even an issue once you have the hang of using it, but at the beginning, it can lead to accidentally cutting yourself. Just keep that in mind when you pick up this knife that you should be hyper-aware of where your fingers are at first, while the muscle memory is being built.

A lock back mechanism is what you see on many classic American folding knives. It’s essentially made of a “spine” on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine (usually found in the middle or rear of the handle) to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, allowing you to swing the blade to a closed position. The benefits of a lock back include reliable strength and safety. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blade’s path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself.  One disadvantage is that while using both hands to close a lock back is safer, it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lock back with one hand, it isn’t easy. You’d likely need to switch grips and take extra care when closing the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.1 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. When this folding knife is opened, it measures in at 7.1 inches long and weighs in at 3.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG is discussing this knife, they say, “Designed as a compact discreet pocketknife, the Salute Mini is still capable of delivering big time. Thanks to an easy opening blade that snaps to attention and a G10 handle that’s easy to hold, the Salute Mini is ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. The SOG Salute Mini is an acknowledgment that great design can still be affordable with a little perseverance. For a new, refreshed look, the handles are machined G10 with scalloped full-length steel liners. In addition to the detailed handle, the Salute Mini is completed with a strong lock back mechanism, smooth opening and operation, and a proven Bowie-style blade. To accommodate for different users, the adjustable thumb stud can adapt to various hands and thumbs, allowing the user to find the ideal fit for them. Equipped with a removable low-carry pocket clip, the Salute is a great tactical folder for everyday use.”

The SOG Mini Salute stands as proof that a great design can still be affordable. This Fusion tactical folder is built with machined G10 handles paired ups with scalloped full length steel liners for a bold new look. With a big lock back and smooth as silk opening, this Bowie style blade is built to perform. The blade has a bead blast finish. Add in the patent pending movable thumb stud so you can make the blade perfect for you, the Salute Mini is the perfect knife you can carry around the world and in your backyard. Comes with the SOG trademark low carry bayonet clip. Small in size, this knife delivers big. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.