SOG Magnadot Folding Knife Review

SOG Magnadot Folding Knife

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 Magnadot Folding Knife.

SOG Magnadot Folding Knife
SOG Magnadot Folding Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Magnadot are made out of 7Cr17MoV steel. This steel is a very popular steel for a budget knife. But, unlike many other budget knives, it is a steel that makes a budget knife not feel like a budget knife. The steel in a knife can make it feel like it is a twenty-dollar knife to making it feel like it is a two-hundred-dollar knife. Really, the steel is very important. This steel has been described as a specially modified 440A stainless steel that contains more Vanadium than other steels. The Vanadium means that it is going to have increase overall strength, increased wear resistance, and increased toughness. This means that the edge is going to last longer than you would expect—especially from a budget knife like this. This steel has been hardened to a RC 55-57 level. This is a pretty good level of hardness for a budget knife, but the higher (up to around 63) the better the knife is going to perform. Anything lower than a 55 is going to not actually be that hard.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is both one of the most traditional knife finishes as well as one of the most common finishes that you are going to find. The satin finish gives you a classic look that is not going to go out of style anytime soon. The satin finish is created when the manufacturer sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The satin finish is going to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines of the knife. The satin finish is also going to reduce the reflective glare on this knife and even help this knife have an increased resistance to corrosion. Although, the last feature is very slight, it does make a difference.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is an all-purpose blade as well as being one of the most popular blade shapes that are in use today. The spine of the knife runs straight form the handle before it stops 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 and is named the clip. The clip is also where the knife shape got its name. The clip can be straight or curved, but on this knife, it is extremely curved. The clip creates a lowered point, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. Clip points are also known for excelling at stabbing. This is because the tip is controllable, while also having a sharper and thinner spine. These characteristics means that the knife is going to have less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal.  Clip points also have a very large belly which is going to make slicing much easier. As a key, the bigger the belly, the easier it is going to be to slice. As always, a clip point does have one major disadvantage. Because of the narrow tip, it is more prone to breaking.

The blade is a combo edge. This means that the upper half is a plain edge and the lower half is a serrated edge. The idea with a combo edge is that you are going to get the best of both worlds. You will be able to get your clean cuts or perform detail work with the plain portion. While still being able to saw through thicker materials with the serrated portion. While this can be the perfect combination, some people complain that because each portion is so small, you actually can’t use either. Combo edges really come down to personal preference.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Reinforced Nylon, or GFN. This is the same material as FRN and very similar in characteristics to Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is very strong, resistant to bending and abrasion, while also being almost indestructible. As a complete bonus, it is an inexpensive material.

This material is such a strong one because the fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which means that it is going to be strong in all directions as oppose to other material made out of fiberglass nylons such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. Those other three material have the strands arranged in one direction, so they are really only strong in that specific direction. This is a cheaper material because it can be injection molded and textured during the production process which does cut down on cost.

The handle is simple. There is a large finger groove that gives the user a comfortable grip that allows you to work with this knife for long periods of time. There is a larger finger guard as well. After that, the belly of the handle angles down towards the butt. The butt of the handle is a little curved. The spine of the handle extends from the handle to the butt in a single curve. The face of the handle is textured to give you the grip you need for most situations.


The Sheath:

Instead of a pocket clip, this folding knife comes with a nylon pouch sheath for you to keep your knife secure and in place. Nylon is a material that is very commonly used in knife sheaths. They are often compared to leather because both materials are very common and have been sued for long periods of time. For starters, just like leather, nylon sheaths are going to be tough and strong. And as a bonus, nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew unlike leather is. This is because they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths. Nylon sheaths are not easily scuffed or torn because of how durable they are.

Of course, nylon is going to have its disadvantages for example, nylon sheaths are not going to last as long as other sheath materials. Nylon also gets stretched out over time, so while the pouch sheath is going to fit your knife and work, it is not going to fit the knife as snugly as it will when it comes.


The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud. Manual knives are not as efficient as spring assisted or automatic knives. They are harder to get into play than the other options. And usually, they are not as smooth as the other two styles of knives. However, it is a better option when it comes to legality issues. Automatic knives fall under a very strict set of laws. Manual knives are going to be legal in almost every single area that knives are legal in.

This knife has been equipped with a thumb stud. This is one of the most common one-handed opening feature and is employed by many, many knife companies. The thumb stud works to replace the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives. This is a very easy way to open your knife. You hold the folded knife, then you place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to swing the blade open and lock it into place. Thumb studs are not as safe as flipper knives. This is because when you are opening a knife with a thumb stud, your fingers get placed in the way of the blade while it is opening. There are plenty of stories about people who have tried to open their knife with a thumb stud and instead accidentally sliced themselves. Just keep this in mind and be careful while you are getting used to opening this knife.

The Magnadot knife has been equipped with a lock back mechanism. 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 3.63 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.15 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.77 inches long. The overall length of the knife when it is opened measures in at 8.40 inches long. It weighs in at 4.40 ounces.

SOG says, “The Magnadot is a meaty folder. It has substance and you know it when it is in your hand. A traditional and reliable pattern that will give years of reliable use, the Magnadot is more turtle than hare.” The SOG Magnadot is a big, beefy folder. Built with substance, you know when you have the knife in your hand. The Magnadot features a traditional and reliable pattern that will give years of reliable use. This hefty folder opens easy with the famous SOG thumb stud and is easy to operate, even with gloves. Easily opening the formidable half serrated blade with one hand gives you a sense of power. Magnadot… it is happening big. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.





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