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

SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife

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.

 

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