Unlike the usual history of a knife company, SOG began years before the company actually became a company. And, to make the story more unique, SOG began in Vietnam. There was a group of highly classified US Special Ops that were officially known as MACV-SOG. The members of this group were working primarily in the jungle of Vietnam, so they needed special knives to be able to actually accomplish tasks and survive. Years later, around 1986, Spencer Frazer, who was a young knife designer, came across the story of that special ops units and was inspired by the knife that they used. He had a mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and help to pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. He named his company SOG Specialty Knives. This replication, which was a commemorative model, became extremely popular and soon became a full line of innovative tools. These knives and tools have been field proven by US Special Forces and even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.
Now SOG knives are carried with confidence even when you are carrying them in the most demanding of situations. These knives and tools have been forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. SOG says, “So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.” And lucky for us, SOG has just come out with another durable knife. They call it the Strat Ops Auto.
The blade on this knife has been forged out of S35VN steel. This steel is a high end steel that has been developed by Crucible and Chris Reeve. Years ago, Crucible released S30V steel which became known as one of the best blade steels that money could buy. This steel was developed specifically for knives, which gave the user all of the qualities that they could ask for from their blade steel. This steel had the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The steel was also extremely resistant to corrosion. There was one drawback to the steel though: it was relatively tricky to sharpen. So in 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeves upgraded this near perfect steel and named it the S35VN steel. They added Niobium, which is where the N comes from in the name. This Niobium and the much finer grain structure that they chose to use makes the blade much easier to sharpen. Not only that, but they also upgraded the other features of the steel. Now, the steel is slightly tougher, while still having the hardness behind it. And it’s not brittle, which is normally a problem when a steel is extremely hard. One of the other aspects that have been upgraded with S35VN steel is that it is even more resistant to corrosion. All in all, this is one of the best steels out there. It will give you a durable blade that is able to take on all your challenges.
This steel has a Hardcased Black finish. This finish provides the steel with a black look, which cuts down on glares and reflections. Having a finish on the steel helps to cut back on rust or corrosion, even though the S35VN doesn’t necessarily need the help. This finish adds a little bit of hardness and a little bit of durability, further enhancing the excellent steel.
The blade shape on this knife is a straight back blade. This is one of the simplest shapes for a knife. Like the name implies, the back, or unsharpened edge of this blade shape is straight. The sharpened edge starts at the bottom of the tang, follows a straight line for a little bit, then curves up to meet the point of the blade. There are a handful of advantages that come with having this blade shape. One of the biggest is that this is a very strong blade shape because the spine is thicker. Another big benefit of this blade shape is that you can rest your thumb on the back of the knife, which adds pressure when slicing or chopping. Because the straight back is dull, it won’t hurt your thumb when you are adding a lot of pressure. Another big benefit to this blade shape is that it has a large belly, which gives you plenty of ability to slice, cut, and perform all of your daily activities.
On the unsharpened edge of the Strat Ops, there is some thick jimping near the handle area.
The handle on this knife is made out of linen micarta. The most popular version of a micarta material is a linen micarta. This is when thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which produces a material that is not only strong, but also lightweight, and provides you with a little bit classier of a look when being compared to G-10. When this material was first introduced to the world, it had been designed as an electrical insulator. However, it is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, there are a few drawbacks to the linen micarta. One of the biggest disadvantages is that linen micarta really has no surface texture. To provide the user with a secure grip, the manufacturer has to hand carve or etch texture into the knife handle. Because this takes time and hand labor, this increases the cost of this handle material steeply. On the Strat Ops, SOG has etched four deep grooves into the palm of the knife handle. This will provide you with a secure grip, whether you are in a wet or dry environment. They also carved in the “SOG” initials. Other benefits of a linen micarta knife handle is that Micarta is extremely hard to scratch because of how hard the material actually is. Compared to G-10 or Carbon Fiber, it holds up very well. One of the other drawbacks to this knife handle material is that it does tend to be brittle. This is because the linen is all facing one direction, so while it is extremely strong in that direction, when it is being stressed in the other directions, it does have the tendency to crack or break. If this handle material is impacted with a hard or sharp object, it might crack or break. SOG says that the more this handle is used, the better it will look.
The Strat Ops sports stainless steel liners.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife is a low carry clip. This clip is skeletonized with “SOG” carved in the middle of it. This is a reversible pocket clip, which means that you can carry it on the left or right side, depending on which is more comfortable for you. This helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. However, you cannot reverse whether you carry this knife tip up or down.
This is an automatic folding knife. Like always, because this is an
automatic knife, and automatic knives have some strict laws surrounding them, make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife. This knife won’t be legal in all states, cities, or areas. An automatic knife is a knife that has its blade stored inside of the handle. Also inside of the handle are a variety of small mechanisms and moving parts. One of the most important mechanisms in the knife is a spring with tension on it. When you push the button on the handle to deploy the knife, the tension of the spring is released and the blade pops out of the handle and locks into place. This lock helps to keep your blade locked into place while you are using it to help avoid accidents and injuries. When you want to close the knife, you push down on the handle button again and fold the blade back down into the handle. One of the reasons that many people love automatic knives is that they are quick, efficient, and easy to use. You can quickly have your knife deployed in a tactical, survival, or self-defense situation. However, because there are many inner mechanisms and moving parts, an automatic knife is more prone to breaking. Maintaining an automatic knife will take a little extra time, but if you treat your knife right, your knife will treat you right as well.
The blade on the Strat Ops is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.9 inches long overall, with a closed length of 4.4 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.70 ounces. The Strat Ops is made in the USA.
SOG is a unique company because the founder of the company is also the chief designer: Spencer Frazer. As a kid, he was always filled with curiosity for the world around him. He was constantly intrigued with the ways that the world worked. When he was in Boy Scouts, he started to become interested in knives and axes. However, it would still be years before he created a career out of knives and axis. He actually graduated college as a math and science major and began his own company in the professional audio industry. He also worked with the aerospace defense industry, in the Top Secret Black Projects Division making tools and models. Around that same time, he worked in the modern art movement and met with many of the top artists. When he became interested in the SOG Bowie knife, he felt like all of his life experiences had led him to this and prepared him to recreate it. When he first started the company, he had only designed that knife. Since then, he has gone on to create many different knives that have been innovative and durable. He has also won many industry awards.
The Pros of the Strat Ops Auto:
- The steel is a high end steel that has the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention.
- The steel is easy to sharpen.
- Because of the fine grain structure, the finishing look on the blade is more polished than with many other steel options.
- The steel is extremely resistant to corrosion.
- The Hardcased Black finish provides the steel with extra corrosion resistance, hardness, and durability, all while cutting down on glares and reflections.
- The straight back has a strong spine.
- The straight back provides you with a big enough belly to slice, which makes it great for everyday use.
- The linen micarta handle is durable and hard.
- The linen micarta handle will provide you with a great grip, whether in wet or dry conditions.
- The pocket clip is reversible, helping to make this knife ambidextrous friendly.
- The automatic knife works quickly and efficiently to deploy your blade.
- The blade locks securely into place after it has been deployed.
The Cons of the Strat Ops Auto:
- The pocket clip is not deep carry.
- The pocket clip cannot be tip carry reversed.
SOG has been a reliable company since the 1980’s. Spencer Frazer has designed many reliable knives that have become extremely popular and have helped many people in a variety of circumstances. These knives are built to last whether you are in a survival situation or just going through your daily tasks.
This new knife combines exceptional steel, a great, versatile blade shape, and a durable handle to give you a knife that will last through the years. The all black knife looks classy and sleek making this knife a perfect addition to your collection. You can get your Strat Ops here on our website.