SOG Pillar Knife Review

Many knife company histories start with a person, a passion, and a new knife design. SOG’s history actually starts years before the person, the passion, but it did start with a new knife design. Kind of. In Vietnam there was a US special ops unit made up of high classified members. This unit was called MACV-SOG. The members in this group worked on covert missions that were primarily based in the jungle. This is where the new knife design comes into play. The jungle required features of a knife that they hadn’t previously had. This knife was a unique combat knife called the SOG Bowie.

Years later, Spencer Frazer came into the picture. He had always had an interest in knives, but became inspired by this SOG Bowie and what it had come to represent. Spencer founded SOG Specialty knives with a mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie Knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that had created it. SOG Specialty Knives started with a single commemorative model but soon branched into becoming a full line of innovative tools. These tools are field proven by the US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, when you carry a SOG knife, you can carry it with confidence. You know that these knives have been “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.” You know that these knives will stand up to any task, from protecting other, to leading a hunting expedition, to tackling one of life’s everyday challenges. Even if you are in the most extreme conditions, your SOG knife will be able to stand up and represent. “Lead the way with SOG.”

SOG Pillar
SOG Pillar

The Blade:

The blade on the Pillar has been shaped out of CPM S35VN steel. Years ago, Crucible released a steel that had been specifically designed for use on knife blades. They called it the CPM S30V steel. This steel became known as the steel that had the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The steel was able to avoid rust and corrosion effortlessly. However, the users quickly realized that the steel was tricky to sharpen. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve released this newer version of the older steel and named it CPM S35VN steel. This is a premium steel that is a slightly superior version of S30V steel. However, they used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium (which is where the N comes from in the name). With these two switches, they were able to make the newer version of the steel much easier to sharpen. The finer grain structure also gives the finished steel a more polished look. Crucible and Chris Reeve were also able to improve the toughness of the steel. The S35VN steel also resists rust just as effortlessly as the beginning steel type. When the first version of the steel was considered the best steel that your blade could be, just imagine how much better CPM S35VN steel actually is.

The finish that has been applied to this steel is a stonewashed finish. This finish is created by tumbling the stone with small abrasive materials, which are usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled around, it is smoothed out and polished. This finish creates a rugged look, because it looks pretty textured. This finish also works well to hide scratches and fingerprints, which significantly cuts down on maintenance time with this blade. The stonewash finish creates an even, matte gray finish. This helps cut down on glares and reflections.

The premium steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is a very versatile blade shape because of all of its great characteristics. The shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area of the knife looks to be cut or clipped out, which is where the shape gets its name from. The point on this blade shape is lowered, which helps to give you more control while you are using the knife. This is similar to the drop point blade shape, except for on the clip point shape, the point is sharper and thinner. This gives you more stabbing and piercing capabilities because the point has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because it has a large belly, which makes it perfect for slicing and other everyday activities. On the Pillar, the clip point is less dramatic than many clip point blade shapes. Near the handle, on the back of the blade, there is a short area of thick jjimping. This jimping helps add increased control for when you are working on precise cutting tasks.

 

The Handle:

The Pillar is a full tang knife, which means that the CPM S35VN steel forms the entire shape of the knife. However, holding the handle on this knife would not be comfortable and not give you excellent grip, so SOG has covered the handle portion of this knife with a canvas micarta. This material is made by soaking thin layers of canvas in a phenolic resin, which produces a product that is lightweight and strong. Micarta also provides you with a little bit of a classier look when compared to the similar G10. However, just like most materials, there are drawbacks to it. Micarta is a brittle material. Because of the way that it has been built, it is extremely strong in one direction, because the canvas is all going in that direction. However, when it is stressed in other directions, it has the tendency to break down. This means that if it is subjected to an impact on a hard or sharp object, your knife handle might break or crack. The other drawback to having a micarta handle is that micarta has no surface texture whatsoever. Because of this, the manufacturer has to hand carve or etch the handle to add any amount of grip. This takes time and hand labor, so it does increase the cost of the knife by a decent amount. In the Pillar, SOG has carved five deep grooves going across the width of the knife. With these, you will have a solid grip on your knife whether in wet or dry conditions. They also have a deep finger groove that you can rest your hand in with a finger guard to protect from slipping and cutting yourself.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. There are so many advantages to having a lanyard on your fixed blade, but I’ll just cover a few of them. The lanyard helps you to secure your knife against loss. This is because you can easily tie your knife onto you or your backpack. If you are using this knife to skin anything or work in wet environments, you can actually put the lanyard in between the handle and your knife, which helps to add some extra texture. This will help your knife from slipping up the length of the handle and getting cut on the blade of the Pillar. When you are using your knife, you can easily slip the lanyard around your wrist to secure it against loss. And, if you are using your knife in the outdoors or dark environments, you can attach a brightly colored lanyard for greater visibility, just in case you drop or misplace your knife. The last reason that a lanyard is such a great addition is that it can add a little touch of your own personal style.

 

The Mechanism:

The Pillar is a fixed blade which comes with a large variety of benefits. Many people think that they prefer folding knives because they are easier to transport, easier to have with you at all times, and easier to conceal. They like the convenience of a folding knife. But if you haven’t given a fixed blade a shot, you are really missing out. For starters, a fixed blade is much stronger than a folding knife. This is because the full tang prevents any weak spots from forming while transitioning from the blade to the handle. Also, the handle is solid, because the blade doesn’t have to be stored inside, so you do have more strength coming from the handle. The blade can also be thicker, because it does not have to be stored inside a small handle. One of the other major benefits of having a fixed blade is that maintenance time is significantly reduced. Instead of having to clean the inner mechanisms and all the small parts, you really just have to wipe down the blade and handle and call it good. Another benefit to owning a fixed blade is that they are a great survival tool. Not only can a fixed blade cut, but it can also dig, split wood, hammer, pry, and of course, it can be used as a weapon. Lastly, on a fixed blade, you have the benefit of having a longer blade. This longer blade also helps with some of the previously mentioned activities.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a black Kydex sheath. This is a more modern material that can be used for your sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic that has also been sued for holsters. The reason that people love Kydex is because of its durability and ability to withstand many extreme environments, including being submerged in salt water. However, Kydex also has some cons to it. One is that it lacks any personality. It is basically a hard lump of plastic. The advantage to this is that it is dark and can work great if you are trying to conceal your sheath. Unfortunately, Kydex is a very loud material when you are sheathing and unsheathing your knife. There is a definite “click” when you pull your knife out of the sheath. This click is loud enough to give you away if you are trying to be stealthy, so it isn’t the best option for tactical missions. The biggest negative characteristic about Kydex in my opinion is that over time, with repeating sheathing and unsheathing of your knife, the blade will dull and lose its edge. The sheath includes a Tek-Lok compatible mounting option.

 

The Specs:

The Pillar is made in the United States of America. The blade on this knife is five inches long, with a thickness of 0.16 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.9 inches long, with 4.9 inches making up the handle length. This knife weighs 7.3 ounces.

 

The Designer:

This knife was designed by Spencer Frazer, who is the founder and head designer of SOG. He had a variety of life experiences that led up to him founding SOG and designing knives. These include graduating with a science and math major and starting his own company in the professional audio industry, working in the aerospace defense industry, and becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting many of the top artists. When he became inspired by the SOG Bowie knife, he felt like all of these experiences converged. Since then, he hasn’t stopped designing knives and has come out with many innovative designs.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has been a reliable company since the 1980’s. They have won awards for their exceptional knife designs. When you carry a SOG knife you know that it is going to be able to stand up to the challenges of life, whatever those might be for you.

With the Pillar, they built the knife around the superior S35VN steel. They carved it into a versatile blade shape that will be able to help you accomplish the expected and the unexpected. The full tang knife has a handle covering made out of canvas micarta. The Pillar comes with a fantastic sheath. All in all, this is truly a remarkable knife that you can feel comfortable using in any situation.

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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Centi I and Centi II Knife Review

The story behind SOG specialty knives begins in Vietnam with a highly classified US Special Ops Unit known as MACV-SOG, or Military Assistance Command, Vietnam—Studies and Observations Group. The members of this unit carried a unique combat knife because their covert missions were in the jungle. Some of these missions included: cross-border operations in to 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; train, insert, and control agents in North Vietnam to gather intelligence or form resistance groups; carry out black Psy Ops such as operating fake broadcasting stations inside North Vietnam; kidnap or assassinate key enemy personnel; retrieve sensitive documents form equipment lost in enemy territory or in enemy hands; and insert rigged mortar rounds or other booby-trapped ordinance in enemy arms caches.

It was years after this group was around that Spencer Frazer found the knife and founded SOG Specialty Knives. His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. The company began as a single commemorative model, but it soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools have been field proven 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 as well as protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or even facing your most extreme conditions yet. Lead the way with SOG, because these tools are “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.”

Spencer Frazer has always been a creative person who has had a great curiosity for how things work. He is the founder of SOG as well as the chief designer. He has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission; To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

SOG has recently released two brand new knives and they live up to the classic SOG reputation. These knives are called the Centi I and the Centi II.

SOG Centi I and Centi II
SOG Centi I and Centi II

The Blade:

The blades on these two knives have been made out of stainless steel. This type of blade usually has at least 12% chromium which does two things for the blade: it makes the blade able to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than high carbon blades. The downside is that stainless steel is generally softer than high carbon knives. This means that the stainless steel knives are pretty easy to sharpen, however they also tend to lose their edge quicker than a high carbon blade. Some advantages to a stainless steel blade is that they are more durable and tougher than a high carbon blade. However, they are not harder than a high carbon steel. Stainless steel blades do not rust, chip, or stain easily. While a stainless steel can still rust, it usually resists rust much easier than other types of steels. Another advantage is that the look of a stainless steel blade is preserved for long periods of time. The stainless steel blade needs less maintenance than other types of blades.

Both of these knives have blades that have been finished with a hard cased black finish. This finish is used to provide the knife with a sleek, black look. This is a coating finish, so it does help the blade to resist rusting and corroding, while also cutting down on glares and reflections. The coating finish will also help the steel to not accumulate as many scratches and increase the durability of the blade. On the flip side, it is a coating finish, so it will be more prone to scratching, peeling, or wearing off over time and throughout heavy use.

Both of these blades have been carved into a drop point style blade. This is a fantastic, versatile, popular blade shape. The drop point blade shape can really take on almost anything. Drop point blade shapes are most commonly found on hunting knives, although the shape is also used on many other types of knives as well. To form the drop point blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. Because of the lowered point, you have more control over the tip as well as the tip being much stronger. One of the disadvantages to the drop point blade shape is that the tip is not as sharp as the tip on the clip point, but it is so much stronger. Because the tip has extra strength and because the blade shape is able to stand up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. And, because the tip is so controllable, drop point blades are a very popular choice on hunting knives; the lowered, controllable tip makes it easier to avoid nicking the internal organs or ruining the game’s meat that you are working with. One of the reasons that this shape is such a great option for an all-purpose knife is because it features a large belly with plenty of length that makes slicing a breeze. When you are looking for an everyday knife, you should be looking for a blade with a belly because most of your everyday tasks are going to involve some form of slicing. The biggest disadvantage to a drop point blade is that it has a broad tip which takes away most of your stabbing capabilities. But in most people’s eyes, the strength that you gain from the broad tip is well worth having no stabbing capabilities.

The edge on both the Centi I and the Centi II are straight edges. This type of edge is the more traditional edge style and excels at push cuts as well as skinning, peeling, shaving, and slicing. With a straight edge, it is easier to sharpen and you can usually get a finer edge on it. The straight edge prepares you for more of your everyday tasks.

There is a large hole in the middle of both blade; this hole works to cut down on weight as well as giving you a thumb hole to open your knife.

 

The Handle:

The handles on both of these knives are made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel provides fantastic durability as well as resisting rusting and corrosion with ease. However, there are a handful of drawbacks to having a stainless steel knife handle. For starters, stainless steel is not particularly lightweight, so even with a small knife like the Centi I and Centi II, it will add good chunk of weight to your knife. The second drawback to this handle material is that it does not provide you with great grip because it is so slick. To combat this, SOG has add a row of jimping in the middle of the spine of the blade. There are also two, elongated, super shallow finger grooves on the bottom edge of the handle. The last thing that they did was add a raised portion on your palm to add texture. Even though these two knives are both very small, they are going to be able to achieve some heavier duty things, because of how durable stainless steel is. The stainless steel has been anodized black to make these two knives all black and very sleek.

These knives have been built to be the knife that you have on you at all times. To make it easier for you to constantly have this knife with you, SOG has carved a lanyard hole into the butt of the handle. Having a lanyard attached to your knife has so many benefits. One is that it is super easy to attach to your boot, belt, or pack strap with the lanyard. Second, it helps to prevent against loss and secure the knife in place. This benefit is more for when you are out adventuring and cannot keep track of your knife. Third, you can fold the lanyard over the knife handle for added texture when you need a more solid grip. And fourth, you can add a bit of personal style with a lanyard. There is no pocket clip on these knives, so the lanyard helps keep your knife out of the way while you don’t need it, but also keeps it right there when you do need it.

 

The Centi I:

Now that we have gone over everything that is the same in both of the knives, we will take a minute to touch on the differences.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that sports a slip joint locking mechanism. The slip joint doesn’t have a true “lock” as far as laws are concerned, and because of that, this type of locking mechanism isn’t ideal if you are trying to perform heavier duty tasks. This type of locking mechanism is most commonly seen in Swiss Army Knives. For the most part, this locking mechanism requires two hands to open and close the knife safely. It is made out of a spring bar and a specially shaped blade. To open the knife, you pull on the blade to overcome the pressure form the spring, snapping the blade into place. To close it, make sure your fingers are out of the way of the sharp edge, and push back down. One of the main advantages that this type of locking mechanism sports is its legality. In some places, knives that lock open are not allowed, and this is a way around the law.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 1.4 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.05 inches. The overall length of this knife is 3.4 inches long, with a closed length of 2 inches long. This is a tiny, super lightweight knife that weighs in at only 0.40 ounces.

 

The Centi II:

The Mechanism:

The Centi II is also a folding knife, but it sports a lock back locking mechanism instead of a slip joint locking mechanism. The lock back mechanism is what you will find on many of the classic American folding knives. It is basically 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 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. Some of the major advantages of a lock back mechanism include its reliability in strength and safety. The unlock is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, which means that you’re unlikely to accidently disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, minimize the risk of cutting yourself. However, one of the 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 are cutting.

 

The Specs:

This knife is a little bit bigger, with a blade length of 2.1 inches. The closed length of the knife is 2.9 inches long, with the overall length of the knife being 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 1.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Centi I and Centi II have been designed small, yet durable and powerful so that you can have them with you wherever you go. And they are still strong enough to take on some of the tougher tasks that your day throws at you. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a U.S. knife and tool manufacturing company that is famous for their reproduction SOG Knife form the Vietnamese era. SOG currently manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. SOG 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 (MACV-SOG) who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.

Making changes 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 of 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. Knives such as these and many of the SOG models produce prior to the shift of production from Seki, Japan to Taiwan are considered 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 Force Crest found on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori and Seki Japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp. also of Seki until 2007.

SOG manufactures a knife used by the United States Navy SEALs dubbed the SEAL 2000. The SOG SEAL 2000 was designed for the US Navy SEAL knife trials in 1992. The knife was manufactured from 1995 to 2007. Both the SEAL 2000 and the smaller version, the Seal Pup are on display in the knife exhibit at the US Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.

SOG 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 SOGs folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the USA with the higher priced folders being by in Japan. A couple of SOGs lesser priced tools are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

Today we will be going over a BladeOps Exclusive SOG DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG Tac automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. This steel is very similar to 440B steel, but is slightly inferior in terms of rust resistance. However, AUS-8 is the harder steel out of the 440 steel line. AUS-8 is also similarly tough, but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels, which carry higher amounts of carbon. This steel is going to be very easy to sharpen and you can get a razor sharp edge on it.

The blade has been finished with a TiNi black finish. This is a Titanium Nitride coating, which is an extremely hard ceramic material that is often sued as a coating on blades. The coating works to improve the surface properties of the blade finish. This finish is applied as a thin coating, TiNi is used to harden and protect cutting and sliding surfaces and even for decorative purposes. This finish is known for edge retention and corrosion resistance and works to improve the steels lifetime.

The blade has been carved into clip point blade style. This is a fantastic all-purpose blade shape and one of the second most popular blades that is in use today. To form the blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut-out” area is straight and is referred to as the “clip,” which is how this shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by the clip is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. The tip of the clip point blade shape is going to be more capable of stabbing than a drop point =because of how controllable, sharp and thin the point is. This means that the blade shape will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that the clip point blade shape is so all-purpose is because it does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing. With the large belly and the sharp tip, this exclusive knife has been perfectly designed to work as a tactical knife. The clip point blade shape really only has one disadvantage: that is that it does feature a narrow tip. Because the tip is so sharp and narrow, it is prone to being weak and breaking fairly easily, especially when compared to the other popular blade shape—the drop point.

SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife
SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife

The blade features a plain edge, which is better equipped for a variety of different jobs. While this knife has been specifically designed for tactical purposes, it would still make a phenomenal everyday carry blade. On the spine of the blade, about 1/3 has jimping to give you a little bit extra control when you are slicing with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle has been made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The most common type of aluminum alloy used in knife handles is 6061-T6 aluminum, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”, which is sometimes seen as a gimmick. Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to titanium aside from its lightness.  However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The handle scales have been anodized to a Desert Tan color. Anodizing is a method of increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The part that is being treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does. The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytic-ly. The metal part to be treated is first submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the part being treated. The anodized handles are more corrosion and wear resistant than non-treated parts, which means that they will have much longer life spans than non-anodized parts.

The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it, while the bottom of the handle has four deep finger grooves to provide you with a better grip on the handle. Because of these deep finger grooves, there is a slight finger guard and the base of the blade.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but it is reversible for either left or right hand carry options. The pocket clip is black and matches the rest of the hardware and accents on the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

This SOG knife is an automatic knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, pushbutton knife, and ejector knives. This is a type of knife with a folding blade that is contained in the handle. The blade is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon. Automatic knives do have a strict set of laws surrounding them though, and they are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility to know your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife.

Switchblade knives date from the mid 18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistols and coach guns. Cutlery makers such as Tillotson, A. Davey, Beever, Hobson, Ibbotson, and others produced automatic-opening knives. Some had simple iron bolsters and wooden handles while others featured ornate, embossed silver alloy bolster and stag handles. It was in 1950 that the article The Toy That Kills appeared and sparked a storm of controversy and a nationwide campaign that would eventually result in state and federal laws criminalizing the importation, sale, and possession of automatic opening knives. Switchblades have continued to be sold and collected in those states in which possession remains legal. In the 1980s, automatic knife imports to the U.S. resumed with the concept of kit knives, allows the user to assemble a working switchblade forma parts kit with the addition of a mainspring or other key part. Today, the ability to purchase or carry switchblades or automatic knives continues to be heavily restricted or prohibited throughout much of Europe with some notable exceptions.

This exclusive knife features a slide safety and a button lock. A button lock knife is easy to use and maintain. It simply features a small push-button. To deploy the knife, you push this button and to unlock this knife, you will push this button down and then fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this SOG TAC measures in at 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 3.4 ounces. The overall length of this knife when it is opened is 8 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

BladeOps is proud to announce the newest addition to the family of exclusive products–the SOG DTST-02 auto knife. The SOG-TAC series is an invigorating new design that offers a fully functioning automatic knife with the added benefits of a slim profile. Specifically tailored for the tactical user, the blade deploys quickly and locks up with plenty of security. The desert tan anodized aluminum handles were machined with insets for increased control and grip and there is an integrated slide safety on the back side of the knife that allows the blade to be locked in either the open or closed position. This exclusive full size model, the DTST-02, features a desert tan colored handle and a clip point style blade in a TiNi (Titanium Nitride) black finish and the deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for left or right hand carry options. Pick up this exclusive knife at BladeOps today.

 

SOG Ultra C-Ti Knife Review

The story of SOG Specialty Knives does not begin with the founder, Spencer Frazer, and his love of knives, although that does play a big part of it. It actually all started in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit. This unit was known as MACV-SOG and the member had to carry a unique combat knife because of their covert missions in the jungle. It was in 1986, years later, that Spencer Frazer happened across that bowie knife and founded 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 innovative tools. These tools are field proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. From protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, to facing your most extreme conditions yet, your SOG knife will stand up to the demands needed. So no matter your situation, you should lead the way with SOG. These knives are “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 has always been a creative person and since he was a young boy, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. Throughout his life he has graduated from UCLA as a math and science major, started his own company in the professional audio industry, worked in the aerospace defense industry, and has been involved in the modern art movement. Spencer says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment he first saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie. Spencer has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

They have recently released a brand new knife called the Ultra C-Ti. This product is just as innovative and durable as you would expect from a SOG knife.

SOG Ultra C-Ti
SOG Ultra C-Ti

The Blade:

The blade on this new knife has been carved out of VG-10 steel. The G in the name actually stands for “gold” as in the “gold standard” that this steel has reached. It is a stainless steel that is considered to be premium. This is a Japanese steel that is commonly used in the Japanese cutlery market. However, because of the many high qualities that this steel possesses, it is also commonly used in top of the line pocket, hunting, and tactical knives. This steel does contain vanadium, which is renowned for its toughness. The blade on this knife can be sharpened to a fine edge that is very durable and can maintain a high level of hardness without feeling or becoming brittle. This is a huge advantage, because many steels that have a matched hardness are very brittle and very prone to breaking. Plus, this edge on this blade will last long periods of time in between sharpening’s, even if you are using it on the daily. Another huge benefit to this steel is that it is easy to sharpen; many beginners would be able to handle it.  Another one of the great qualities that this steel possesses is its ability to resist rusting. Many knife users that own knives with blades made out of VG-10 steel can go a solid week, using it lots every day, without washing and/or oiling them. This steel refuses to rust. And while this type of steel is more expensive than many, it is on the inexpensive side of things when compared to the other premium steels.

The blade has been finished with a black TiNi coating. This is short for Titanium Nitride and is by far the best coating that can be applied to your blade steel. This finish is commonly used for the black look, but also because it increases the durability of the steel. This specific type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch and peel resistant. Something that sets this coated finish apart from the rest is how it is applied; the TiNi finish is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air sealed vacuum. Because it is applied in a vacuum, the application is going to be extremely smooth and even. A common problem with coated finishes is that during application, the edges sometimes receive more of the coating than the other areas. This creates an uneven, lumpy finish that is more prone to chipping off.

The blade on the Ultra C-Ti knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This shape is the prefect all-purpose blade shape. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is sold on the market today. One of the usual places that you will find this blade shape is a Bowie knife, but it is also popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge 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” which is where this blade shape got its name from. The clipped out portion on the Ultra C-Ti is straight, although on some knives, you will find a curved portion. Because of the clipped out portion, the point on this knife is lowered, which helps to give you more control over your slices and cuts. And, because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, this knife will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The clip point blade shape is often confused with a drop point blade shape. These are both very versatile and popular blade shapes. However, they are different blade shapes and the biggest difference between the two is the tip. A drop point has a lowered tip, but there is a good portion of metal near the tip, which creates a broader tip. Because of the broader tip, you do have more strength behind it, but you also lose out on most of your stabbing capabilities. A clip point also has a lowered tip, but the point is sharper and thinner than a drop point. So while you do lose a good chunk of the strength behind the tip, you gain back your stabbing capabilities. Both of these blade shapes make fantastic knives because of the versatility behind them, but you should look at what you are most expected to do and then choose the appropriate blade shape between the two. One of the reasons that a clip point is such a perfect all-purpose blade is because it sports a large belly area that provides you with plenty of length for slicing. The only disadvantage is something that we have already mentioned—the thinner tip. While you do have full stabbing capacities, your tip will be more likely to break.

The edge on this knife is a straight edge, which is definitely the more traditional edge for knives. Straight edges are easier to sharpen, while also having the capabilities of achieving a finer edge. The straight edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, while also making skinning, peeling, and slicing easier. While the serrated edge is the ideal edge if you are going to be working with thicker or tougher materials, such as branches or rope, when your straight edge is sharp enough, you can manage to cut through those materials as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Ultra C-Ti is made out of Carbon Fiber. This is a material that is made when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. What you get when you purchase a knife with a carbon fiber handle is a carbon fiber reinforced polymer. This material is extremely strong, but also lightweight. However, because of the time that has to go into manufacturing it, it is a pretty expensive material. While it is extremely strong, it is also far from indestructible because it suffers from being brittle. This is because all of the fibers have been woven together in a single direction, so while it is crazy strong in that specific direction, if the fibers are stressed in a different way, the material will start to break apart. Because of its level of brittle ness, it can crack if it is subjected to sharp impacts.

Something unique about carbon fiber is that depending on the way that the fibers are woven and the way that the light reflects off of the carbon, you can get a variety of different patterns. On the Ultra C-Ti, it looks like a classic woven pattern, like something that you find on a basket. This weave offers texture to provide you with a secure grip in almost any situation. Another thing that SOG did to provide you with a secure, comfortable grip, was to carve three deep finger grooves in the handle. There are a variety of other carved out portions on this handle, but those don’t work to give you a better grip. These etchings work to carve out every bit of excess weight on the knife, to provide you with a powerful knife that won’t weigh you down.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed out of titanium and is a solid pocket clip. “SOG” has been etched into the clip. This is a thick clip that covers almost half of the pocket clips handle. This pocket clip is the perfect shape to also work as a money clip. The clip has a satin finish.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that features SOG’s Arc-Lock. This is an extremely strong locking mechanism that has been tested at over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses a conventional lock strength. This is an ambidextrous locking mechanism and is quick to open and close. SOG describes the speed of this locking mechanism as lightning-quick, even when you are just using one of your hands. The safety that this locking mechanism sports is a spring action that securely retains the blade closed, which keeps finger safely clear while unlocking. This locking mechanism is also extremely durable, because it is self-adjusting over time and is easily cleaned for long term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The country of origin for the Ultra C-Ti knife is Japan. The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.08 inches. The overall length of this knife is 6.2 inches long, with a closed length of 3.4 inches long. This knife is very lightweight, weighing in at 1.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

At just 1.3 ounces, the Ultra C-Ti makes a great, lightweight folder that doubles as a money clip. The minimalistic design of the Ultra C-Ti does not take up much space and even fits comfortably in the small watch pocket of jeans. The 2.8-inch clip point blade opens and closes with one hand smoothly and locks open with SOG’s exclusive Arc-Lock. The high quality VG-10 steel ensures that every cut is as sharp as the first. Utilizing carbon fiber for the handle and titanium for the clip, it is light yet strong and durable. Although every bit of excess weight has been engineered out of the Ultra C-Ti, you will be surprised at the power it conveys.

 

 

SOG Pentagon Elite 1 Knife Review

“SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Born in 1955, Spencer Frazer was a creative kid with a great curiosity for how things worked. As he grew older, while in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. But it wasn’t until much later that this interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools.

After graduating from UCLA as a math and science major, Spencer started his own company in the professional audio industry, designing a whole new style of speaker system.

“I learned to work with many different materials as I built models and prototypes,” he says.

Then Spencer went on to work in the aerospace defense industry – in the Top Secret Black Projects Division – as an R&D tool/die and model maker. He recalls, “I saw things there I still can’t talk about.” At about that same time, while becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting with top artists, Spencer learned a lot about scale and color. He went on to work in product development, creating toys and consumer products.

All these life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie: “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the knife.” That single knife spawned the birth of SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, Inc. His one goal: to reproduce the mystical knife… the SOG Bowie. “We started our company by having to sell a one-knife line at the very high price of $200 retail!”

Today, SOG is a true innovator in the knife industry. Having won many industry awards, SOG was one of the first companies to be synonymous with a high-tech modern image. “SOG was the first company,” says Spencer, “to produce a sculptural faceted folding knife. We called it the Tomcat. With the Paratool, SOG became the second company ever to produce a folding multi-tool. And we remain the only company that uses compound leverage in our multi-tools; the only company to have adjustable lock-on clips on our folding knives; the only company to employ one of the strongest locks in the industry with the Arc-Lock; the only company to use exotic BG-42 steel cost effectively in the production of our knives; and the first company in the world to offer an automatic opening multi-tool.”

But those are just a few of the landmarks Spencer Frazer has helped SOG achieve. “I design each one of our products,” he says, “to be functional and comfortable to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. If I personally don’t like them or wouldn’t use them, they don’t make it into production.”

Today, SOG is distributed and sold throughout the world. Law enforcement specialists, military, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, industrial professionals, and everyday carry knife enthusiasts have come to rely on SOG in the most extreme conditions. “We don’t settle for ordinary,” says Spencer. “We never did, and we never will.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Pentagon Elite 1.

SOG Pentagon Elite 1
SOG Pentagon Elite 1

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 steel. This is a high end steel that is often compared to 154CM as well as ATS-34 steel. VG-10 steel does have slightly more chromium than the other two styles of steel, which will help when it comes to enhanced corrosion resistance. The steel also contains vanadium, which does help to make it a tougher steel than the other two steels. This is a Japanese steel that was slowly introduced into the American market and is now received well in the American market. This steel is relatively hard and can get very sharp with the right equipment. Its toughness is going to be capable of standing up to most tasks. The steel has been hardened to an RC 59-60.

The steel has been finished with a bead blasted finish. The bead blasted finish is sued to give the knife an even, gray surface. This is created when the manufacturer uses abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are then blasted at the metal at a high pressure. The even matte finish reduces reflections and glares that would come off of this knife. The blasting does create an increased surface area as well as micro-abrasions, both of which make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point is a similar blade to the needle point because they are both great for piercing. However, the spear point is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. The shape of the spear point is created with a symmetrically pointed blade that has a point that falls in lien with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife will rise and fall at the same time to create a very symmetrical and even blade. This blade shape is different than the needle point because the needle point does have a sharp but weak point, while the spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough to use for piercing. Like earlier mentioned, the spear point does have a small belly that can be used for some cutting. If you were to compare this belly with that on a drop point or clip point though, it would seem incredibly small. Overall, the spear point is considered to be a hybrid shape because you do get both the piercing and slicing ability as well as the strength plus the point that can pierce, and not to mention the belly that can be used for slicing.

This is a combo blade, which is when the blade has both the plain edge portion as well as the serrated portion. The plain edge extends for roughly 2/3 of the blade on the upper portion. This section can be used to give clean cuts or be used for fine detail and tip work. The serrated portion is the portion closest to the handle. This section can be used for swing through thicker materials that you might happen to encounter. The benefit of a combo blade is that you should get the best of both worlds with it. However, the common complaint when it comes to a combo blade is that both portions are so small that you can’t really utilize either one of them.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Reinforced Nylon, which is a very similar material to Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, as well as being almost indestructible. This material is so strong and nearly indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the knife which creates a knife that is strong in all directions. This is different form the other fiberglass resin laminates such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have the strands arranged in a single direction. Many people did not warm up to this material because it is so modern and synthetic, it was believed to be plastic feeling, and it does offer less grip than G-10 would.

This can be such an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. The overall benefits to this knife is its strength, its toughness, its cost, and how low maintenance it is going to be. The overall cons to it is that it does not offer as much grip as you could get out of a different synthetic material, and some people feel like it feels plastic-y.

The knife has a straight belly and a straight spine, both of which come in slightly in the middle to offer better grip. The butt on this knife is rounded. There is some jimping near the blade on both sides of the handle which will give you more control.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the knife more comfortable for each individual to use, because you don’t have to carry it on a side that is not familiar to you. That being said, it is not reversible for tip carry, and can only be attached for tip up carry. Tip up carry is definitely the more dangerous of the two because if the knife happens to accidentally come open while in your pocket and you reach into your pocket, it could easily slice your hand. This is a not a deep carry pocket clip, which is a disadvantage.

The clip is kept in place by one big screw and two much smaller screws. The screws are silver, which match the rest of the hardware and the pocket clip on this knife. The pocket clip has been mostly skeletonized which does cut down on weight.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud as well as SOG’s Arc-Lock.

The Arc-Lock is described by SOG by saying, “With its ambidexterity – and all the other attributes knife enthusiasts so relentlessly seek – the Arc-Lock might just be the perfect lock.” It has incredible strength: Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force (measured at the lock), far surpassing conventional lock strength. It also has high speed: Lightning-quick, one-handed opening and closing capability. It is a safe mechanism to use: Spring-action securely retains blade closed, keeping fingers safely clear while unlocking. And it is incredibly durable: Self-adjusting over time and easily cleaned for long-term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.14 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.75 inches long when it is opened. It weighs in at 4.3 ounces, which is a weight right in the middle for an EDC knife. This knife was made in Japan.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “A folding version of the Pentagon, the Pentagon Elite has all the benefits of its big brother as well as a bead blasted blade that reduces reflection. The stainless steel blade offers the instant choice between a serrated or beveled edge, giving you the best of both worlds for cutting virtually any material. Extremely lightweight, the Pentagon Elite features a glass-reinforced GRN handle with stainless steel liners that provides sensational feel and balance. Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force at the lock, the Arc-Lock is SOG’s strongest lock. It can be carried conveniently with its reversible low-carry pocket clip.”

The Pentagon Elite series by SOG has been amazingly popular with military and law enforcement officials as well as the general market.  The Pentagon Elite I is the “smaller” of the two versions.  This is still a good sized knife.  Made with a low reflective bead blasted 5″ VG-10 blade, the Pentagon Elite I is plenty big.  At the tip of the blade is a shark tooth tip that increases the point strength of the blade.  The handle is made of glass and Kevlar reinforced Zytel.  Very comfortable to hold, the knife has ambidextrous slotted thumb studs to open the knife with and is machine screw constructed.  The Pentagon Elite knives all use SOG’s innovative Arc-Lock system and this knife also has a reversible military style clip.  This SOG also has a limited lifetime warranty.  You can pick up this knife today at 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.

 

 

SOG Tangle Fixed Blade Knife Review

SOG was founded with a specific mission. SOG is striving to be the creators of the most distinctive gear—gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge.”

The company was also founded with a specific vision. SOG’s mission 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.

SOG has eight main values. The first is pride. This is described as “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 next value is innovation. This is described as “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 value is passion, which is described as 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 value is creativity, which is 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 value is integrity, which is firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. The company says, “We always try to do the right thing — for our consumers, our customers, our co-workers, and the global community.” Next comes accountability, or 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.” Second to last is leadership, which is the art of motivation 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.” Last, but not least, is sustainability, which is of, relation to, or begin 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 SOG’s Tangle fixed blade knife.

SOG Tangle Fixed Blade
SOG Tangle Fixed Blade

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 9Cr18MoV steel. This is a high carbon chromium bearing steel that is very corrosion resistant. This steel is known to keep its cutting edge and has good corrosion resistance. Blades from this steel are easy to sharpen. 9Cr18MoV is one of the most popular knife steel sin the world and is a great value in terms of price and quality. This steel has been hardened to a RC 58-60 hardness level.

The blade has been finished with a hard case black coating. A coating blade has a few purposes on a knife blade. Of course, the first is that it is going to prevent corrosion. The coating is going to fight against rust because it creates a barrier between the steel and the environment. This means that the elements have to pass through the coating first, but that is not going to happen. Also, the coating can eliminate any shiny surfaces. This is a big necessity if you are ever in the field. You do not want any reflections to give your position away. The coating also adds a very sleek, black look. Next, a coating can reduce a drag during a cut. Also, a good coating can increase the wear resistance. This is for the same reasons that a coating increases the corrosion resistance. Of course, coatings do also have their disadvantages. For example, if they are not applied properly, they can create ridges or grooves where they were not applied smoothly. This can get in the way of how well the knife can actually cut. The biggest problem with a coating though is that sooner or later, they are going to come off. While you might think this is a purely aesthetic issue, you would be wrong. The beat up coating is considered even worse than bare steel. And, once the knife is partially gone, the coating will fail its whole purpose: the blade is going to rust, drag, reflect, and not look good while it does. Another issue with a coating is that sometimes the coating creates something called a “wire edge”, which reduces cutting ability and can make the sharpening more difficult.

The blade on the Tangle knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is an all-purpose knife that really can stand up to almost anything. The drop point is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is used on the market today. The blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control while also adding strength to the tip. It is this tip strength that the knife has the ability to hold up to heavy use. In fact, it can hold up to heavy use so well that it makes a great blade shape for tactical or survival knives. The dropped point blade shape is so easily controllable, which allows the user to perform fine detail work. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so versatile is because of the large belly that it has. The large belly allows you to slice very easily. The drop point blade does have one disadvantage—because of the relatively broad tip, it is not going to be suitable for piercing. Of course, you need to remember that it is this broad tip that gives you so much strength.

 

The Handle:

             The knife is a full tang knife, which means that the handle and the blade are made out of the same piece of metal. This creates a stronger knife because there are no weaker points where the two pieces have been welded together. This means that the knife is less likely to break when in use. The metal is going to give you the same benefits that it gives to the blade.

However, what sets this knife apart is that the handle is wrapped in paracord. This is where the name “Tangle” comes from. Not only does the paracord add more texture, it serves plenty of other purposes. For starters, you can use this knife for emergency situations. This is because the inner strands of paracord are both small enough and strong enough to help close a wound. If you unwrap the knife handle and then take apart the paracord, you can use the inner strands as sutures. One of the other emergency purposes you can use this knife for is as a splint. Paracord is easy to use as a splint with only a t-shirt. Put the t-shirt under the limb and then lay out a hard object such as a walking tick to keep the limb stable. Afterwards, wrap the limb with paracord and tie a knot tight enough for a secure hold.

You can also use the paracord for a fishing line. Just as the sutures, remove the inner threads then tie the ends of the threads together using a knot at your desired length. Toss your line out and start fishing. This can come in very handy in a survival situation if you are ever desperate for food. Of course, there are more than 100 uses for paracord, so having a long strand of it wrapped around your knife handle just prepares you for the worst.

The handle shape itself is relatively simple. The spine angles from the blade to the butt of the handle in a straight line. There is not a very large finger guard, but with the grip that the paracord provides, you shouldn’t need one. There is a deep finger groove, which will allow you to have a comfortable grip on this knife. The handle has been skeletonized with each of the lines inside wrapped in paracord. The skeletonization keeps the weight down while also giving the knife a unique look.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a fixed blade, which means that there is no mechanism on the knife. There are plenty of advantages to a fixed blade knife. For starters, the knife is going to be bigger and stronger. This is because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle, so it can be longer and thicker. This makes it less likely to break because it can withstand more. Fixed blades are even more less likely to break because there is no mechanism. This means that you don’t have to worry about hinges, screws, or any smaller moving parts on the knife. It also means that the blade is going to be easier to clean and maintain. All you have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and make sure the blade is dry before putting it in its sheath. You will also have to oil the blade occasionally. But this process is much simpler and less time consuming than a folding blade. Fixed blades also offer a superior survival tool because they are so big and strong and you don’t have to take too much time to maintain them. They can be used for more things than just cutting. You can use it as a first aid tool, a hunting tool, splitting wood, or just simply cutting.

Overall, this knife is going to be strong, tough, and versatile. Because of the paracord, you are going to be prepared for almost anything, including emergencies or unexpected situations. When you buy this knife, you are going to find yourself a new favorite knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this fixed blade is made out of molded nylon. Nylon is a very common material. Nylon is tough and strong while also being resistant to rot and mildew. One of the other common materials that is often used is leather, which is extremely vulnerable to water. This is where nylon has its advantage to leather—nylon is not vulnerable to water. Plus, nylon is one of the more inexpensive materials for a knife sheath. This is going to keep the overall cost of the knife down.
Nylon does have its disadvantages. For starters, nylon does not last as long as leather or more modern materials would. Also, nylon is going to stretch over time. So while the sheath will still work, it is not going to be as snug as it always would be.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.9 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.19 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.75 inches long. This knife is a heavier knife, weighing in at 5.60 ounces. This knife was made in China.

 

Conclusion:

             When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “Its hollow ground drop point blade makes the Tangle perfect for most uses, sure. But you want to throw this knife, don’t you? Thanks to a full one-piece tang construction, you can. It’s strong. It’s balanced. It’s lightweight. It’s really only dependent upon your aim. Topped with a skeletonized handle – wrapped in 7 feet of paracord – and paired with a molded sheath and belt loop clip, you have yourself a convenient tool ready for anything. Carry it wherever you go.” This knife has actually been discontinued since its release, but BladeOps still has some in stock. Hurry and you will be able to get ahold of one of these Tangle knives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Traction LockBack Knife Review

Our 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.

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

Years later, in 1986, that knife inspire a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. Making changes 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 of 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.) 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.

What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools—field proven by US Special Forces, even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. 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 Traction lockback knife that features a 5Cr13MoV stainless steel tanto blade that has been satin finished as well as a GRN handle.

SOG Traction LockBack Knife
SOG Traction LockBack Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 5CR13MoV stainless steel. This is a budget knife steel that comes from a Chinese series of steel. This steel is a lower grade steel than 440C, but knives made with this steel will stand up to abuse without easily chipping and is at least an HRC 58. This steel probably won’t hold an edge as well as steels in the same series, but will be easy to re-sharpen. The biggest advantage that this steel can offer is how cheap it is—it will keep the cost of your overall knife down.

The blade on this SOG knife has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish works to high light the bevels of the steel as well as the fine lines in the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. This is partly because of how often this finish is used, but it is also due to the fact that it is not extreme on either ends of the spectrum in terms of luster. A mirror finish is going to be more reflective than a satin finish but a coated finish is going to be less reflective than a satin finish.

You can get this SOG knife in one of two blade shapes: the drop point or the tanto. The drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use because it is so versatile and makes for such a great all-purpose knife. This blade shape is also going to be able to stand up to just about anything. To from this blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which works to create a lowered point. It is this lowered point that gives the control people have come to love from their drop point blades. This lowered tip also adds the classic drop point strength to the blade, but because of how broad it is, you do lose out on some of its sharpness. Because of the tip being able to stand up to almost anything, it has made the drop point blade shape a very popular option on both tactical and survival knives. And because the lowered point makes this blade style more easily controlled, drop point blades have become a very popular option on hunting knives. In fact, it is on a hunting knife that you are most likely to find a drop point blade. The controllable point makes it easier to cut cleanly and avoid nicking any of the internal organs, which would lead to ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly that makes slicing a breeze. This large belly is one of the biggest reasons that a drop point blade shape is so versatile: in most of your tasks, you are going to be slicing. The only real drawback to a drawback knife is the broad tip that makes you lose out on piercing capabilities. But, it is also this broadness that gives you the strength to stand up to virtually anything.

The next option for your blade shape is a tanto blade shape. And while the drop point style has been designed to take on almost any task, the tanto style is much more refined. This blade shape does one thing and it does that one thing really well. The tanto blade shape has been designed to pierce through tough material without breaking. This blade shape originated from Japanese long and short swords that were originally designed for armor piercing, but was later popularized by Cold Steel. The tanto style has a high point with a flat grind, which leads to a very strong point that is perfectly designed for piercing hard materials. The tanto blade shape boasts a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto blade style meets the back, or unsharpened, edge at an angle, rather than a curve. This means that the tanto blade style does not have a belly, but instead you get a much stronger tip. If you choose this option of the Traction knife, just remember that the tanto blade shape is not going to be useful as a general utility knife because of the lack of belly. But, you are going be capable of piercing through most things.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This material is the same material as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN. It is a thermoplastic material that is crazy strong, resistant to bending, resistant to abrasion, and overall pretty close to being indestructible. Plus, it is pretty cheap for the qualities that you get out of it. The main reason that it is so close to being indestructible is that the nylon fibers have been arranged haphazardly throughout, which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is often compared to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have similar qualities except that they suffer from being brittle. They are more brittle than GRN because their fiberglass strands have been aligned in a single direction, so when they are stressed in other directions, they will begin to break apart. Although this knife handle material offers so man fantastic qualities, many knife lovers did not warm up to it because they expressed that it feels cheap and almost hollow; very plastic-y. This material also is going to be less grippy than G-10. To add a level of grip to this knife handle, SOG has created a crosshatch pattern of texture across the entire face of the handle. This pattern will ensure that you have a solid grip on your knife in almost any situation. Whether it is your everyday tasks with the drop point version, to piercing through hard materials with the tanto version, you aren’t going to lose your grip on the Traction.

This material is inexpensive because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and then textured in a variety of different ways. Overall, this handle material is going to enable you to get rough with your knife without worrying about your knife.

The ergonomics on this knife are very comfortable. The butt of the handle is more squared than you’ll normally find on a knife, due to the pocket clip being attached with a bayonet mount. There is a short row of jimping across the spine of the handle and the entire bottom of the handle features jimping. The butt and the top of the handle do flare out slightly, protecting your fingers form getting sliced as well as giving you a more secure grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is al ow carry pocket clip which allows you to carry this knife discreetly. The clip is black, matching the handle. It is also slightly skeletonized, with “SOG” carved out of it. This knife is bayonet mounted and reversible.

 

The Mechanism:

This SOG knife features a lock back safety mechanism as well as a thumb stud to assist you in opening this knife.

The thumb stud is easily the most common one hand opening feature that you are going to come across, with almost all big-name knife manufacturers developing at least one knife that features a thumb stud. The thumb stud basically replaces the nail nick that is found on older, or more classic, knives. You hold the folded knife, place the tip of your thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully opened where it will lock into place using the lock back mechanism.

The lockback is one of the oldest locks that are still in use today. A lever on the back edge of the handle catches in the tanto of the blade and locks it. To unlock the knife, one presses on the back of the lever. This locking mechanism is not only ambidextrous, but very safe to operate. This mechanism will lock up your blade very securely, so you won’t have to worry about the blade collapsing on your hand when you are in the middle of use.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife (either version) measures in at 3.5 inches long, with a blade thickness of .100 inches. The handle on this knife is 4.5 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 8 inches long. This knife is very lightweight, weighing only 2.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

New from SOG is an all-purpose line of solid lockbacks that are lightweight, durable and affordable. It features a drop point or tanto blade to suit your needs, and the Traction is small enough to carry in your pocket and big enough for most tasks. SOG designed it with a bayonet mounted reversible clip that gives you the ability to carry this knife extremely low and discreetly. The handle is ergonomically contoured and the straight edge, satin polished blade is large with a locking safety. The handle is made out of crazy durable material, so you won’t have to worry about taking it easy on this knife; it is going to be able to take the heat. Pick up your favorite version of the SOG Traction today at BladeOps.