SOG Field Pup Fixed Blade Knife Review

Spencer Frazer is the man behind SOG. He says, “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 talking about the SOG Field Pup fixed blade knife.

SOG Field Pup Fixed Blade Knife
SOG Field Pup Fixed Blade Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 7Cr17MoV steel that has been hardened to a HRC 55-57. For the common man, a good hardness range is between 56 and 63. This means that this steel is going to be the perfect amount of hardness to really make a good steel at a low price. This steel is very popular steel for budget knives. Of course, the word “budget” does make people a little bit nervous, but this steel makes a budget knife worth having. Wikipedia describes this steel as a specially modified 440A stainless steel that contains more Vanadium than other steels. Vanadium helps to add increased overall strength, increased wear resistance, as well as increased toughness. This all means that with a 7Cr17MoV steel, the edge is going to last longer than you expect with a budget knife.

The blade on the Field Pup has been finished with a satin finish. To create the satin finish, the steel is sanded in one direction with an increasing degree of a fine abrasive. The most common abrasive that is used is a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the abrasive and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish on the blade is going to look. The satin finish is one of the most common finishes that you are going to find on the market today. It gives a very traditional look that is going to stand the test of time. It is also a simpler look, so your knife is not going to steal the show. The satin finish shows of the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine liens of the knife. The satin finish can also reduce the reflective glare of the knife and can sometimes even increase the corrosion resistance of a knife.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape. A drop point knife is definitely one of the most popular blade shapes that you are going to come across today. While you are most likely going to find this shape on a hunting knife, it is also incredibly popular on almost every other type of knives. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle until it reaches the tip of the knife. It stretches in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is more important to how this knife works than you would probably think. It is going to give the knife more control while also adding strength to the tip. The easily controlled tip helps people perform fine detail work with the Field Pup, because you don’t have to worry about losing control over the knife. The tip on a drop point is also very broad, which is where the characteristic strength comes from. The broad tip allows the knife to stand up to heavy use, which is why this knife is going to make such a great outdoors knife. Next, the drop point has a large belly, which is going to make slicing easy. This lets you take on more tasks than a smaller belly. The drop point does have one disadvantage—because of the broad tip, you are not as capable of piercing or stabbing.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Kraton. This is a synthetic replacement to rubber. This means that the material is going to have a lot of flexibility, high traction, and will be able to resist heat, chemicals and weathering. Kraton is often used on utility knives because there is not a lot of character and there aren’t color options besides black. The advantages are that it adds grip, it will give your handle a more comfortable grip, it has high resistance to breaking down, and it is incredibly durable. The disadvantages of the knife are that it is not very aesthetically pleasing, because it is similar to rubber, it can slowly start to soak up some fluids, which means it is going to be a little harder to clean. And, because it can soak up those fluids, it can slowly damage the material, which will make it brittle and weaker.

This is a simple knife with a simple handle. The handle has a curve that goes from the blade to the butt. There is a large finger guard that will protect your fingers if there is ever accidental slippage. There are three finger grooves, which will give you a solid, comfortable grip on the knife. The face of the handle has been intensely texturized so that you can have a good grip even when things get a little messy. SOG has been stamped in the middle. As a bonus, there is a lanyard hole on the butt.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which means that there is no mechanisms. There are plenty of good advantages of having a fixed blade, especially on an outdoors knife such as this one. For starters, they are very strong and don’t break. They don’t break because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This means that there are no hinges, screws, or springs to break down or corrode over time. And because there are no moving parts, a fixed blade is going to be easier to maintain. Ease of maintenance is a very high quality for an outdoors knife, because you probably aren’t going to have access to all of your maintenance supplies when you are in the field. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and make sure the blade is dry before putting it in the sheath. Lastly, this knife is going to have superior survival qualities because it is so strong and durable. You can use this knife for more than just cutting. Almost any challenge that comes your way when you are outside, you can achieve by suing this SOG Field Pup fixed blade.

 

The Sheath:

             The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of leather. Leather is one of the more common blade sheaths that you are going to come across while also being one of the most traditional sheath materials that you are going to come across. The leather dates back to the mountain men and cowboys. Leather is rugged, tough, and strong. It is not going to break like plastic can and even if the stitches come undone, they can easily be re-sewn. Plus, when a leather sheath is cared for correctly, it should only look better with age. One of the biggest advantages of a leather sheath is that it is going to provide a custom fit to the knife once it has broken in. And, leather sheaths are going to be silent. You can pull the knife out or put it back in the sheath without making a sound. This is very different than more modern materials such as Kydex, which is incredibly noisy.

Of course, leather is going to have its disadvantage. One is that it is not waterproof, which does make maintenance a little more complicated. Also, it is not going to do well in extreme environments. Both getting wet a lot or even high heat can dry out the natural oils and lead to cracking. Of course, if you oil it from time to time, it will help the leather last for much longer.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long and has a blade thickness of .13 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.5 ounces. This knife was made in China.

 

Conclusion:

             The SOG Field Pup fixed blade knife features a high gloss satin finish that you normally only find on high end knives.  Just the right combination of size and weight, this outdoor sporting knife is comfortable to hold with its Kraton molded handle and is very strong.  The full tang blade features a standard edge.  The handle sports SOG’s trademarked finger grips as well as very aggressive jimping on the back of the blade to give you lots of control over the knife.  The Field Pup is a real working knife for those who need a knife that will perform in the outdoors. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

SOG Toothlock Folding 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’ Psy 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).

Excerpted from US Elite Forces-Vietnam by Leroy Thompson (Squadron/Signal Publications, June 1986)

Today we will be discussing the SOG Toothlock Folding knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of San Mai VG-10 steel. A san mai is a layered steel. This steel is going to contain a very hardcore steel that is encased in softer, more resilient outer layers. Keep in mind that there are many combinations of steel that can be used in san mai. The greatest advantage that san mai gives a blade is that it gives it an extremely hard edge, while still maintain the flexibility of the knife. VG-10 is a high end steel that is very similar to 154CM and ATS-34, although it does have slightly more chromium which leads to enhanced corrosion resistance. This steel also has vanadium, which the other steels do not, which does help to make this a tougher steel than the other two similar ones. This steel did originate in Japan, not too far back, and has been slowly introduced into the American market. This steel is a relatively hard steel that can get crazy sharp, while also giving you reasonable toughness.

The blade has been finished satin, which is the most common blade finish in the American cutlery industry to date. This finish gives a very classic look to the knife, while also adding a handful of other benefits. Plus, it is relatively simple to create. The manufacturer has to sand the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive (usually sandpaper). The finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the satin finish is going to look. The satin finish is used to showcase the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. This finish also reduces glares and reflections slightly, while increasing the corrosion resistance of the blade slightly.

The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape that more closely resembles the shape of a clip point blade. The drop point blade is the most popular blade shapes that is in use in the American market today. It is an all-purpose knife shape that can really stand up to almost anything. While the most common place to find the drop point blade shape is on a hunting knife, the shape is used on plenty of other knives as well, even including the Swiss army knives. The shape of the knife is formed by having the knife start out going straight, but quickly curve inward and downward. After the curve, there is a slight portion that is straight and angles towards the point of the knife. This is the section of the Toothlock that is modified. The rest of the knife is the same as a typical drop point. Because of how the spine is curved, it does create a lowered point. The lowered point is going to give more control while also adding strength to the tip. And, because the lowered tip makes the knife so easy to control, you can easily perform fine detail work with this knife. The tip is also broad, which is going to add even more strength to the tip, so that you can take on those harder tasks and not worry about whether or not the knife can even handle it. One of the last reasons that makes a drop point knife so versatile is the incredibly large belly area that is perfect for slicing. Of course, like any knife shape, the drop point is going to have its disadvantages. Because of its relatively broad tip, it is not going to be able to pierce as well as that of a clip point. Remember though, that it is that broad tip that gives the point strength that you cannot find on a clip point knife.

The blade is slightly a combination blade. I say this because only the bottom quarter of the knife is serrated, instead of a larger chunk. The combo edge is designed to really give the user the best of both worlds. They can have the long, plain portion which will give them cleaner cuts, help them perform fine detail work, and be easier to sharpen. But, they do have a small serrated section that can be used to saw through those thicker materials that you may come in contact with.

 

SOG Toothlock Folding Knife
SOG Toothlock Folding Knife

The Handle:

The handle is made out of GFN with a stainless steel liner.

GFN or Glass-Filled Nylon, is a type of thermoplastic material that is strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, and is almost indestructible. Something that is almost too good to be true is that it is also a very inexpensive material.

This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape while also being textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. These characteristics means that it is going to have high volume manufacturing and a low cost.

This is such a strong material because all of the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout, which means that it is going to be strong in all directions as opposed to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. These other three materials have their fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. That being said, many knife lovers did not like this material at first because they said that it felt cheap as well as hollow. They also felt (and do continue to feel) that G-10 is going to offer a more solid grip.

Stainless steel is going to prove the knife with excellent durability as well as being resistant to corrosion, which will cut down on maintenance. However, this is not a particularly lightweight material. Because it is just the liner, it does not create a major disadvantage. Instead, it can actually add heft to the knife without weighing it down, which is an advantage.

The handle, as well as the blade, is incredibly unique. The shape of the handle is relatively normal; it is the texture that SOG has added that sets it apart. It has rows of dashes going up and down the handle to add texture. In the middle of the handle there is a circle stamped into the material with two swords crossing each other. Also, this knife is more about angles than curves. There are some sections of extremely thick jimping at certain points on the handle. Above the jimping are indents to create a more comfortable section for you to place your fingers. Overall, this handle is designed to give texture and plenty of it. The knife does have a harsh look to it though.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is silver, which matches the blade and contrasts with the handle nicely. It has been slightly skeletonized, with the bottom portion cut out, as well as the round section at the very bottom cut out. This pocket clip is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which does help to make this knife more comfortable for more people to use. However, it can only be attached for tip up carry, which is a definite disadvantage, as that is the more dangerous positon for it to be attached.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fully manual knife, which means that it is going to be legal in more areas than an automatic or a spring assisted knife. This is a major advantage, because you don’t have to worry about the strict laws that surround those other types of knives. However, there are disadvantages to a fully automatic knife. They are harder to bring into play quickly and they are not as smooth as the other styles of knives.

To assist you in opening this knife, the blade has been equipped with a thumb stud. This is a small barrel that is attached around the portion of the blade where the handle begins. The thumb stud is one of the most common styles of opening mechanisms that is available on the market, especially when it comes to one-handed opening mechanisms. However, this is a harder mechanism to get the hang of and it does put your fingers in the path of the blade when you are opening it.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in with a length of 3.1 inches long and thickness of .12 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.30 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened is 7.3125 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.3 ounces, which is a great weight for a knife that you plan to have with you at all times. This knife originates from Japan.

 

Conclusion:

Built with an amazingly comfortable Zytel handle with all the right curves to make it fit your hand, the Toothlock knife has a reverse curve blade built of VG-10 stainless steel.  The TK-02 has a part serrated blade.  This knife sports a high performance piston lock but has the extra bonus of a kick start device.  Pull the lock down and the blade gets nudged out to start the opening journey.  From there, you can flick your wrist to open it the rest of the way, or go with the more traditional thumb studs.  The lock bar has two lobe geometry.  The Toothlock is not only innovative, it is one of the best new manual folder knives we have seen.  Good design, great materials, and high quality construction all combine to make the Toothlock folder knife a great SOG addition to your collection.

When SOG is explaining this knife, they say, “Thoughtfully designed for anything that comes its way, the Toothlock easily opens and closes with one hand. It combines preparedness with attractiveness while using SOG’s newest locking mechanism that allows for rapid deployment and a solid blade lockup. The aggressive grip pattern gives users a handle surface that is non-slip and easy to hold. It features a VG-10 san mai stainless steel blade that holds its edge for longer periods of time. The blade shape cuts effortlessly while maintaining a thick reinforced tip for power penetration. It can be carried conveniently with its reversible low-carry pocket clip.”

You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

SOG Team Leader Fixed Blade Knife Review

SOG stories 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 knife inspired 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. 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. SOG says, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.

So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Team Leader Fixed Blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 steel. This is a good steel, although it is not a super steel or even considered to be a premium steel. This steel is Japanese made and is often compared to 440B because of how similar their qualities really are. However, between AUS-8 and 440B, 440B is slightly more resistant to rust and corrosion. That being said, AUS-8 is the harder steel, which means that it will keep its edge for longer periods of time. On that matter though, AUS-8 steel does not have a ton of carbon in the steel, which means that when you compare it to the best steels, it won’t keep its edge nearly as long. This steel is extremely easy to sharpen and you will be able to get a razor edge on it. This is a huge benefit because this fixed blade is probably going to be used in the great outdoors and you will be able to sharpen it when needed.

The blade has been finished satin, which is the most common blade finish on the market today. This finish is used to showcase the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. It provides a very traditional look to the blade which will last through time. The blade is also not going to steal the show or draw too much attention to it. To create the satin finish, the manufacturer sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. As a key, the finer the abrasive (usually a sandpaper) and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. This is not a super high end knife, so the satin finish won’t look as clean as the higher end knives. Some of the last benefits of a satin finish is that it does increase the corrosion resistance of the blade slightly, which is good for an AUS-8 blade. It will also cut down on some glares and reflections, which can be beneficial if you are using this knife mainly outside.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is one of the two most common blade shapes along with the drop point. The clip point shape is just as versatile as the drop point blade, but it is not going to be as tough. Instead, you will have greater ability to pierce or stab with a clip point. The shape of the blade is created by having the spine of the knife curve toward the point from the handle until it reaches about two thirds of the way. At this point, the knife curves more sharply downward toward the butt. This area is straight on the Team Leader although on some other knives it is curved. This portion is also called the clip, which is where this knife shape got its name from. The clip creates a lowered point, which is going to give you greater ability to perform fine detail work with. And, because the point is finer, thinner, and sharper at the point, you are going to excel at piercing. The tip is created to have less drag during insertion along with a smoother pull out. The clip point also has a large belly that is ideal for slicing, which is a great thing to have in the wilderness. Because AUS-8 steel can get so sharp and the belly is so large, you don’t even need serrations—it will be able to cut through thicker materials such as thicker sticks or vines.

SOG Team Leader Fixed Blade
SOG Team Leader Fixed Blade

The knife does have a straight, plain edge, which just means that there are no serrations. This will make it even easier to sharpen. The plain edge is also going to give you cleaner cuts, which can be crucial if you are using this as a food preparation tool or a first aid tool.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black glass-filled nylon, or GFN. GFN is the same material as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN, as well as Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is very strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, and is one of the most indestructible materials that you are going to find for a knife handle.

This material is resistant to bending and abrasion and almost indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the material. This is going to create a material that is strong in all directions, as opposed to other fiberglass resin laminates such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. These other materials have their fibers arranged in a single direction, which means that they are strong in that direction, but will start to break apart when stressed in any other direction. However, because of the production process, GFN can feel cheap or even somewhat hollow. People have also found that it does not offer as much grip as you are going to find in G-10, which is a drawback for this fixed blade.

This material is so inexpensive because it can be injection molded as well as textured throughout the production process. These characteristics mean that the manufacturer can produce a high volume of the handles at once which does keep the cost down. This ultimately keeps the overall cost of the knife down.

The overall benefits of the material are strong, tough, inexpensive, and requires almost zero maintenance. The cons to this handle material is that it doesn’t give as much grip as G-10 would and it does have a cheaper plastic feel.

The handle is built to be tough and comfortable. The spine of the handle curves toward the butt with a bulge in the middle, which creates a comfortable grip on the handle. The butt of the knife does have some jimping, which will give you more control when you are cutting with this knife. There is a large finger guard, which will protect your fingers in case of slippage. While this may seem unlikely, if you are in a wet enough environment or using it as a food tool or even a hunting knife, the finger guard is going to be a really big advantage. There are three finger grooves that stretch from the top of the handle to about two-thirds of the way down the knife. All of these grooves do have jimping on them to give more control a better grip. The first groove is the biggest, with each one getting progressively smaller.

The handle of the knife does have a large lanyard hole that is big enough to fit almost any lanyard. The lanyard can come in handy if you are looking for even more texture when using this knife. You can wrap the lanyard around the face of the handle before gripping it, to add a significant amount of texture. The lanyard is also handy if you plan on wanting this knife at easy access without wanting it to get in your way.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a fixed blade knife, which means that there is no internal mechanism. This means that there is no spring and no hinge. Fixed blades are legal in more states, cities, or areas, because they are not automatic. However, always know your local knife laws before you purchase this knife as BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences of broken laws.

The fixed blade is very easy to maintain because there is no spring or hinge. This means that you don’t have to worry about any inside parts rust or corrode. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and make sure the blade is dry before putting it in the sheath. You will also want to oil the blade occasionally to keep it in the best shape you can.

Some of the other benefits of a fixed blade is that you can bring it into play more quickly than you would be able to a folding knife. All you have to do is pull it out of the sheath and you are ready to go. This knife also makes a better survival tool, because it is tough enough to use for more purposes than just one.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is one of the most common sheath materials that you are going to find in the cutlery industry today. Nylon is often compared to leather when it comes to sheaths because they are both so common and have been around so long. Just like leather, nylon sheaths are tough as well as strong. They also have a one up when it comes to leather because they are resistant to rot and mildew and are not vulnerable to water. This is definitely the area of expertise where the nylon sheath is going to take the lead compared to the leather. Also, nylon sheaths are not easily scuffed or torn, which is great for your large fixed blade because you will probably be using this in more extreme environments instead of just your day to day life.

Of course, nylon is going to have its disadvantages. For example, nylon does not last as long as leather ones or the more modern materials are going to last. Plus, while the other sheath materials are going to either fit your knife better with time or fit your knife the same over time, nylon is going to get stretched out. This is not a huge deal breaker, because it should still hold your knife okay. However, if you are going to be moving through the trenches or in extreme environments, a fit that isn’t snug could mean losing your knife. If you choose to keep it, the knife is not going to be as secure or protected. That being said, nylons sheaths are not super expensive, so if you do need to replace it, it shouldn’t set you back too much.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.16 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at a whopping 10.25 inches long. This is a larger knife, so you are going to need to expect a heavier weight. The Team Leader weighs in at 7.4 ounces, which is heavier than your typical EDC, but for a large fixed blade such as this one, it really isn’t too heavy.

 

Conclusion:

             You can only lead from the front” is one of our favorite expressions. If you are one of those people who covet the “ultimate ultimate” then we have a surprise for you. The Team Leader exemplifies the exceptional with incredible balance and streamlined aesthetics. Comes with an AUS-8 stainless blade for a great combination of performance and price. This knife is no longer carried by SOG, but you can still pick one up from BladeOps. Hurry over to get this knife today if you are looking for a great fixed blade for a great cost.

 

 

SOG Medium Slim Jim Knife Review

Their 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 knife inspired 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. 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. SOG says, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG medium Slim Jim knife with a tanto blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 steel. This is a steel that is produced by Aichi Steel, which is a Japanese manufacturer. In terms of how it is made and what it can compare to, it is most similar to 440B steel. However, 440B steel is going to be more resistant to rust and corrosion. This steel is going to be a similar toughness to 440B, which means that it is going to stand up to your typical daily tasks and then some. However, this is not a high carbon steel, which does mean that it is not going to hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels would. When it comes to knives, the higher the amount of carbon in a steel, the harder the steel is going to be and the easier it is going to hold its edge. That being said, AUS-8 steel is very easy to sharpen and can get incredibly sharp.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a satin finish. A satin finish is created by when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with a very fine sandpaper. This creates the classic look that the satin finish is known for. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. Not only that, but the satin finish is also going to cut down on glares and reflections and can even increase the corrosion resistance of the blade slightly. What really matters though is how simple this finish is. It is going to give your knife a look that is not going to go out of style at any point in time.

The blade on this knife has been carved into the tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is not designed to do everything like a drop point or a clip point would. In fact, instead of being versatile, this blade shape has been designed to do one thing and do that one thing extremely well. This blade shape originated from the Japanese long and short swords which had been specifically designed to pierce armor. In the 1980s Cold Steel revamped the shape of the blade and then released it to the public. Many people give Cold Steel the credit for popularizing this blade shape. The shape of the knife is created from a high point that has a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. It is this thick point of the tanto blade that is able to absorb the impact from piercing over and over again that would cause most other knives to break. The tanto knife also doesn’t really have a belly because the front edge meets the spine at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. While this means that you are not going to want to use this knife for a general utility knife and you might have some struggles slicing with it, you will be able to pierce through hard materials. While this knife is not going to prepare you for any situation that happens to pop up, it is going to prepare you for any situation that requires piercing or stabbing, because of the excess metal in the tip of this knife design.

 

SOG Medium Slim Jim Knife
SOG Medium Slim Jim Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 420 stainless steel. This is a mid-range steel that is going to get the job done. It is resistant to rusting and corrosion because it is a stainless steel, which helps to cut down on time and maintenance. However, since it is not a high end stainless steel, you do need to keep up on keeping the knife dry and clean. This is also a tough steel, which allows you to take on some of the harder tasks that you might want to with this knife.

The handle has been finished with a bead blast. The bead blasted finish is created when the manufacturer takes abrasive glass or ceramic beads and blasts them at the metal with a high pressure. This process results in an even, grey finish. A blasted finish is going to reduce reflections and glares because of its even matte finish. However, the blasting does create an increased surface area and the micro-abrasions are going to make the steel more prone to rusting and corroding. That being said, a blasted finish, even from a stainless steel such as this one, can rust overnight if left in a wet or extremely humid environment. This means that you are going to need to really keep the knife dry and try to not bring it into wet environments if you can help it.

The handle has been texturized so that you don’t feel like you are going to slip when using it. The belly of the knife does have a long row of jimping, which is going to give you some grip and control when slicing with this knife. There is a finger guard, which will protect against the accidental slippage. On the face of the handle, there are four vents cut into the handle which will provide some texture. On the bottom of the handle, “SOG” has been carved out, which will also provide texture.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry. This helps to create a more comfortable knife to use for almost everyone. You can feel like you are carrying the knife in the way that you like, so you don’t ever have to really fumble with the knife while you try to pull it out. While it is reversible for either left or right handed carry, this knife is not reversible for tip up or tip down carry. It can only be attached for tip up carry, which is a drawback. Tip up carry is the more dangerous styles of carry between the two because if the knife accidentally opens in your pocket, when you reach in, you are going to be greeted by a sharp blade. To avoid this, just always approach it like you aren’t sure if it is going to be opened or not and you shouldn’t have any problems. Never thrust your hand into your pocket.

The pocket clip is also a deep carry clip, which is a major benefit. This is a big knife and you are going to want it to feel as secure as it possibly can. The deep carry is going to ensure that it rides low in your pocket which keeps it more snug as well as more concealed. One of the only disadvantage of a deep carry (although it is not much of a disadvantage) is that it is going to take a little bit longer for you to remove this knife from your pocket.

The clip is attached with two silver screws, which match the rest of the hardware. The clip is attached on the opposite face of the handle than it sits on, and then curves over the top of the handle. This creates a little bit more of a snug fit, so your knife is even better attached.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud as well as SOG’s Assisted Technology.

An assisted opening knife sits almost right in the middle of an automatic knife and a manual knife. You have to begin to open the knife manually, which then triggers the response and the knife will open on its own after that. The good news is that since this style of knife is not a fully automatic knife, it does not fall under the same strict laws that an automatic knife would.

The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits on the blade near where the handle begins. This barrel is use to give your thumb some traction so that you can swing the knife open with it. Some of the disadvantages to using a thumb stud is that it doesn’t take your fingers out of the path of the blade when you are opening this knife, so there have been reports of people cutting themselves while trying to open the knife. Also, some people do not like the way that it extends off of the blade and gets in the way when you are trying to use the knife.

SOG Assisted Technology or SAT works through the balance of opposing high-tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.18 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.08 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.22 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at a large 7.4 inches. Although this knife is very long, it is not very heavy; weighing in at only 2.4 ounces, this is going to be one of the lightest knives you are going to come across. This knife was made in Taiwan.

 

Conclusion:

SOG says, “Our new technical assisted folding knife line, stands out by virtue of simplicity and minimalism. It doesn’t try to be the biggest or the loudest in the crowd. It is unobtrusive but always there when you need it. Constructed from a single piece of steel, SlimJim is just that, the slimmest assisted knife in the world. Start to open the blade, and let SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) finish the action with a bang, using one of the surest assisted technologies out there. Tactile bumps and cutouts aid in control while all features are purposeful and functional. The patent-pending safety is used to insure the retention of the blade in the handle as well as acts as a double lock in the open position. The stealth carry clip is reversible. Available in multiple sizes and with fully blacked out version. SlimJim, don’t let its size fool you!”

The SOG Slim Jim is a technical assisted folder knife by virtue of its simplicity and minimalistic style.  This model, the SJ-33, features a satin finished tanto blade.  This knife is always there when you need it.  Built from a single piece of steel, the SlimJim is the slimmist assisted knife in the world.  Give the blade a start, and the SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) finishes the action with a bang, using one of the surest assisted technologies out there. Tactile bumps and cutouts aid in control while all features are purposeful and functional. The patent-pending safety is used to insure the retention of the blade in the handle as well as acts as a double lock in the open position. The stealth carry clip is reversible.

You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

SOG Huntspoint Wood Boning 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 talking about the SOG Huntspoint Wood Boning Knife.

SOG Huntspoint Wood Boning Knife
SOG Huntspoint Wood Boning Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been made out of AUS-8 steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is produced by Aichi steel. This is a Japanese made steel that is very similar to 440B. This steel is also going to be slightly more resistant to rusting and corroding than 440C, but it is not going to be as hard of a steel because it does have less carbon in it. This steel is tough enough to get the job done, but because it has a lower level of carbon, it is not going to hold its edge for as long of periods of time. That being said, this steel is a breeze to sharpen and you will be able to get it incredibly sharp.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most common blade finish on the market today. This is also one of the most traditional blade finishes on the market today, which is why it is the perfect option for the Huntspoint, which has a traditional wood handle and a traditional leather sheath. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with a very fine level of a sandpaper. This finish is used to showcase the bevels of the blade while also helping to show off the fine lines of the steel. Not only that, but the satin finish does help to reduce glares and reflections slightly, while also slightly increasing the corrosion resistance levels of the steel.

This hunting knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the perfect blade shape for a hunting knife. This is a great knife if you are looking for one knife to get all the jobs done. This blade shape is also tough, which helps you take on even the toughest of tasks. The most common place that you are going to find this blade shape is on hunting knives such as this one, although you can find it on other styles of knives. The shape of this knife is created by having the spine of the knife run from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which does create a lowered point. The lowered point works to add control and strength to the tip. It is the lowered point that really makes this knife a beauty for hunting knives. Because it is so easily controlled, you will be able to easily avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat of the game that you are dressing. The drop point knife also has a large belly that makes slicing a piece of cake. When it comes to field dressing, you are going to need to do quite a bit of slicing. Of course, like every blade shape, the drop point does have its disadvantages. Because the point on a drop point is so broad, you are not going to be super capable of piercing like you would be if you were using a clip point.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife has been made out of Rosewood. Wood handles have been around basically since knives came into existence. A high quality wood handle can be durable as well as attractive and is an inexpensive material, even for heavy duty knives. One of the biggest advantages of a wood knife is that the wood is going to add beauty to the knife.

A Rosewood is any number of richly hued timbers, often that have brownish with darker veining, but you are going to find many hues of this wood. All Rosewoods are strong and heavy, while being capable of taking an excellent polish, which makes them a great option for things such as guitars, pens, and knife handles.

The handle scales on the Huntspoint are a light reddish brown. The handle has a pretty simple shape. The spine has a slight cure to it, with the middle bulging out. There is a large finger guard as well as groove, which help to keep you comfortable and safe. In the finger groove, there is a row of thick jimping, which is going to give you more control over your cuts and slices. Overall, the ergonomics of this knife are designed to be comfortable while also offering you some serious grip. The face of the handle has been texturized slightly, so that you don’t feel like you are slipping when you are using this knife. On the butt of the handle, there is a large lanyard hole which should be big enough for almost any lanyard that you would like. If you are ever feeling like you need a little extra grip when you are suing this knife, wrap the lanyard around the face of the handle before you grip it. This will create additional grip so that you feel in control.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a full tang fixed blade.

A full tang knife is a knife that has the metal from the blade extend down throughout the entire length of the knife. The wood handles are referred to as handle scales and are secured into the full tang. Full tang knives are going to be stronger, because there are no weaker spots where the handle and the blade have been welded together. One of the other benefits is that you are most likely going to be using this knife outside or on long hunting trips. If the wood handle scales happen to crack or fall off, you will still have the entire knife shape to still work with, because the metal extends the entire length.

A fixed blade is great for survival knives because they are stronger, thicker, tougher, and less likely to break. You will also be capable of using this knife for things other than just cutting. This is a tough knife that isn’t going to break when you need it most.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a leather sheath. Leather is a traditional material for a knife sheath and has been used almost for hundreds of years now. This sheath material is known to be rugged, tough, and strong. It is not going to break like the new modern materials such as plastic will, and if the stitching happens to come undone, re-sewing them should not be too big of an issue. Plus, leather looks really good. It looks more old-timey than any of the modern materials are going to look. If you take care of your leather sheath, it is only going to look better as time goes on. Leather is also silent, which is why the mountain men and cowboys loved them of old, and now, hunters love them. You can easily pull the knife out or put it back in without disturbing your surroundings or scaring the game that you are chasing. One of the biggest advantages about a leather sheath is that it is going to give your knife a custom fit once the leather has been broken in.

It is also going to have it drawbacks though. For starters, it is not waterproof or mold proof. Getting it wet a lot could cause it to mold. Or it could cause it to dry out the oils in the sheath and being to crack. Extreme heat might do the same thing to it, by also drying out the oils in the sheath and causing it to crack. To prevent both of these from happening, it is a good idea to oil the knife from time to time to help make it last a longer period of time.

The sheath is a black leather and is going to attach by using a belt loop.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this hunting knife measures in at 3.6 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.13 inches long. This fixed blade measures in at an overall length of 8.20 inches long and weighs in at 3.7 ounces, which is a great size and weight for a hunting knife like this one.

 

Conclusion:

When discussing this knife, SOG says, “The Huntspoint belongs to our purpose-driven line of hunting knives. Featuring a flat-ground boning knife shape crafted out of AUS-8 stainless steel, with Rosewood handles, and a USA made leather sheath and lanyard hole at the butt of the handle for easy carrying. Designed specifically for hunters, the Huntspoint belongs on your belt when you’re hunting big game.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

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.