Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Posts tagged “SOG

The personal shield to help protect, according to SOG Knives

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SOG’s Aegis

SOG speciality Tools and Knives is renowned for their geared plier-based multi-tools, but as per previous installments of TPF-Online, they also manufacture some quality and interesting blades. With that being said, SOG gratefully provided TPF-Online with one of the Aegis line of knives for reviewing. For those that may wonder where the word Aegis comes from, let us take a bit of a history lesson from Wikipedia.

An aegis is a large collar or cape worn in ancient times to display the protection provided by a high religious authority or the holder of a protective shield signifying the same, such as a bag-like garment that contained a shield. Sometimes the garment and the shield are merged, with a small version of the shield appearing on the garment. It originally was derived from the protective shield associated with a religious figure when related in myths and images. The wearing of the aegis and its contents show sponsorship, protection, or authority derived from yet a higher source or deity. The name has been extended to many other entities, and the concept of a protective shield is found in other mythologies, while its form varies across sources.

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The Aegis has a slimmer handle than the similar Flash-II. Both are SAO knives but there are some subtle differences between the two

The word Aegis has traditionally been used in defensive systems and designs across the world, from protective sunglasses to 1911 style handguns to ship based missile systems. It is in this vein of thought that SOG has adopted the name’s usage for an ultralight folding knife series. Based upon the patented SOG Assist Technology™, and the Arc-Lock system, the Aegis is very similar to the previously reviewed Flash-II in opening, locking, and safety mechanisms. TPF-Online takes a look at the AE-04 model of the Aegis series of knives.

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The Aegis handle has no steel liners securing the blade malking for a lighter design

The initial thought of the author when the Aegis was first looked at was that the handle looked cheap with a bland matte black finish and very minimal patterning for grip retention. Simply put however, the author was wrong. The black handle of the knife is manufactured from Zytel nylon and is composed of 2 halves secured together with six (6) socket head screws. Four (4) along the back spine of the handle, one (1) for the pocket clip, and final fastener as part of the SAT/pivot.  The partially serrated tanto blade measures 89.0 mm (3.50″) in length and inserted into the blades spine are the ambidextrous thumb studs. The titanium nitride coated AUS-8 steel blade sports nearly 28.0 mm (1.10″) of thumb ridges along it’s 3.0 (0.12″) thick spine.

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Showing off Gerber’s Serration pattern

The Aegis handle does differ from the Flash and it is these differences which externally show up between the two designs. The profile of the Aegis removes any excess thickness and width which was present on the Flash-II’s, such as the removal of the lanyard loop hole, two finger profile in the grip, and the small hump at the top of the handle above the pivot. The mass saved is offset by the tanto-blade profile which, while massing the same 97 grams (3.1 oz) as the Flash-II, results in the Aegis having a centre of gravity further forward than the Flash-II.

In the grips are a series of rubberized inserts sporting the SOG brand name repeatedly while proving a surer gripping ability for the individual whom wields the knife. The manual safety on the left side of the grips and prevents the Arc-Lock system from moving the locking piston when in safe position. Since the piston lock also provides direct resistance for initial blade opening, by engaging the safety the piston is rendered immobile and therefore disables opening of the blade. Add into that the reversible pocket clip for tip-up carrying, and the Aegis package is complete. While SOG promotes this product as a tactical knife, the low mass and efficient blade design make the Aegis a good EDC knife for those interested.

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Just above the rubber grip inserts, the safety of the Aegis shows that the blade is deployable

The SOG Aegis reviewed (AE-04) has a MSRP of $114.00 USD and is one of many variations available for the Aegis line of blades. Remember that the SOG AE-04 Aegis Folding Knife, like all SOG products, is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects against defects in manufacturing and materials. This knife can be found as various stores across Canada and online at places such as Toronto based www.thegreatoutdoorsmen.ca. TPF-Online authors have their own opinion of the Aegis folding knife, but ultimately it is your decision, the reader’s, to determine if SOG’s Aegis folding knife is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical.

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Camping or hunting, SOG’s Woodline is an answer…

This author has had many opportunities to review knives of several manufacturers, and yes; even more are upcoming. However, once in a while, a slightly different knife comes about from the rest of those which have already been examined by the hands of TPF. Now as has been stated previously, and will be stated again, the authors of TPF are not knife experts, while the terminology and knowledge are still being accumulated, TPF should not be categorized as an expert. At this time, that is… Today we get to look at a sample of SOG’s product line, the Woodline series of knives. According to SOG’s website:

That feeling of leaving civilization behind as you move out of the valley and into the woodline is the inspiration for this series of fixed blades and folders.

SOG's Woodline

With an upswept tip, the cutting edge of the Woodline is long and flows into the overall design.

The Woodline series of knives consist of both a larger fixed blade and a smaller folding blade design. At one time a smaller fixed version was offered but it was discontinued for 2012. Now for the meat and potatoes of this review. The Woodline fixed blade is a non-serrated, trailing point design which measures 264mm (8.4″) overall and masses 235gr (8.3oz); resulting in a large knife for belt mounted EDC. In the author’s opinion this is a field knife, carried and utilized in specific situations such as hunting, camping and other outdoor pursuits which allow for extra bulk and mass to be carried.

The Woodline's Spine

With many thumb grooves on the spine and a large finger groove in the bolster, the knife has many good control features.

Sheath

Secured in 7oz leather

The extremely long curved cutting edge of the Woodline’s 122mm (4.8″) blade designed to a good knife for skinning, and with the 3.8mm (0.15″) thick spine the blade can withstand considerable abuse. Made with the standard SOG material, 8Cr13MoV Stainless steel, the knife itself should be able to keep an edge well and be readily sharpened. On the back of the spine are numerous thumb grooves to aid in fine blade control, which is required to prevent unwanted cuts and nicks with the upraised blade tip. The bolster, the metallic section between blade and handle, is made from cast stainless steel and creates the large finger groove in the handle’s grip profile. The tang of the knife is completely encased in very smooth hard wood which is retained by a series of stainless steel torx head screws. The final accoutrement is a lanyard loop consisted of a stainless steel tube imbedded in the end of the handle.

The sheath is composed primarily of 7oz leather with the reviewed piece having a nice uniform dark brown colouration. The leather sheath not only covers the entirety of the blade edge, but nearly the entire bolster and a small portion of the hardwood handle. Blade retention is accomplished though a single leather strap using a press snap button. This strap wraps around the generous finger groove formed in the bolster of the knife. A single belt loop, also made from 7oz leather and 20mm (0.8″) in width, is riveted place.  A basic SOG logo is branded into the face of the sheath.

Woodline ,the set

SOG’s Woodline fixed blade has nice curves and is complimented by the simple and functional sheath.

The Woodline fixed blade knife by SOG is an impressive looking product , appears to be very well made and creates an attractive package with the dark leather sheath. The only additional observation which can be made by TPF is that the knife itself is made outside of North America, which does keep manufacturing costs down, but may affect the purchasing decision of prospective buyers. The SOG WD-01 Woodline, large fixed blade knife as reviewed by TPF, has an MSRP of $60USD and is available with many Canadian retailers including various Canadian Tires stores across Canada.

The question, as always, posed to you, the reader, is whether this item is Tactical, Practical or Fantastical?


Multi-Tool Accessories? SOG has some options…

As we have seen in previous reviews, SOG makes a very substantial multi-tool in the form of the Power Lock. They are also one of the few multi-tool manufacturer’s that TPF has seen which offered individual components for their multi-tool. That means that the end-user can truly customize their SOG Multi-tool to whatever is most appropriate for the user’s application. These components are normally classed as replacement parts despite some components have never had an associated product line. One of the biggest surprises to TPF was the availability of the “Robertson Drive” tool arm does not come standard in any catalogue model.

Reviewed Accessory Kit

SOG's addition to make your multi-tool even more versatile

Unfortunately, as those items are individually ordered as parts only, TPF decided to do a quick review on an accessory package which is commercially available from SOG. The Hex Bit Accessory Kit (HBA Kit) is a selection of 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits and a driving socket (1/4″ Square) all contained is a single plastic moulding for ease of storage and access. Designed specifically for use with SOG Multi-tools which have the 1/4″ driver included in their repertoire of tool arms, the HBA Kit’s driver socket snaps securely onto the multi-tool driver and contains a magnet to ensure positive retention of any inserted bits.

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A 1/4" Driver socket and 12 various bits in the plastic holder/lever

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Designed for use with SOG's 1/4" driver, or was it the other way around?

There are a total of twelve (12) driver bits included in the kit and that encompasses four of the more common styles of driver, or at least common to our neighbours to the south. There are three Philips bits (#1, #2, & #3), four Torx bits (T20, T10, T8, & T6), two hex bits (2mm & 1.5mm), and the ever common trio of standard flat driver bits (1/8″, 3/16″, &  9/32″). All component bits are the typical 25mm (1″)  long bits similar to those found in most screwdriver kits. The HBA Kit, when coupled with a multi-tool such as SOG’s Powerlock, gives a much broader range of available tasks and a more dedicated platform for doing more precise assembly/repair work.

AccessKit-04

The 1/4" hex bit adaptor mounted on the Powerlock 1/4" square driver

The small black plastic bit holder is small and compact and linear in nature. All 12 bits and the adaptor driver are held in place by friction and driver bits are grouped in pairs which makes insertion and withdrawal easy. The high impact plastic also allows for the tool  holder to be utilized as a small light-duty pry bar. Included on the end of the holder, opposite to the adapter end, is a lanyard loop-hole. Yet the HBA Kit is more apt to be carried with the multi-tool itself  in order to assure instant availability should the need arise. The HBA kit is a compact and can be loaded with different bits which the end-user would prefer, such as a #2 Robertson square bit which is prevalent in Canada.

AccessKit-05

The HBX-01 can be carried with ease with SOG's multi-tool in its nylon sheath

SOG’s Hex Accessory Bit Kit, model HBX-01 as reviewed has an MSRP of $20.00 USD and can be acquired from stores such as Camouflage International Military Surplus & Supplies, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, or direct from SOG themselves.

Under which category should the SOG’s Hex Accessory Bit Kit fall under? Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical.


A general workhorse knife? SOG may have it already!

The title easily sums up what the focus of this instalment of TPF will be regarding. It has been called the most most popular item produced by SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. However,  isn’t some fancy multi-tool, which TPF does enjoy reviewing by the way. Nor is it some flashy folding knife with all sorts of carry options, which TPF also likes to see. It just happens to be a simple solidly built fixed knife titled the Field Pup I.

FP3-001

From the box imagery, 3D modeling was used to design the Field Pup

Now here at TPF, we cannot fathom why SOG chose to label this blade the Field Pup, but when introduced in as a new product in 2002, the Field Pup was hailed as a very good all around knife. It’s larger brother the X-42 Field Knife, won in 2003 for Field and Stream’s Best of the Best for design and overall capabilities for a conventional and utilitarian blade. While the X-42 field knife is no longer produced, the Field Pup mimics most of the features that were so highly appraised on it’s bigger brother.

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Sporting a minimal recurve edge, SOG's Field Pup I is a sleek blade for nearly all outdoor usage

Sporting a 102mm (4.0″) blade whose spine is an impressive 3.3mm (0.13″) thick the Field Pup shows off it’s primary feature quite well. The flat ground blade has a slight drop point profile with the back edge being nearly linear, and featuring a slight recurve cutting edge which adds to the utilitarian design of the knife itself. A recurve blade feature is supposed to lend itself to aid in slicing (draw-cuts), and on larger blades allows for more mass to be closer to the tip of the blade and promote higher chopping ability.

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With large, moulded grip and checkered texturing, the Field Pup is very comfortable to wield

The grip of the Field Pup is manufactured from Kraton, a synthetic substitute for rubber, and is moulded around the full length tang of the blade. With better chemical, wear, and thermal resistance than rubber, the Kraton grips are a natural choice for a field knife that could be exposed to any environment and a large variety of tasks. The thickly moulded grip incorporates a trio of shallow finger grooves and has a very slightly compressible surface which, when added to the checkered pattern on the grip sides, makes this knife extremely comfortable and affords a very secure means of holding the knife. An aggressive thumb ridging on the spine of the knife enhances the ability for imparting force and control through any heavier cutting work that may be done with the blade.

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The thumb serrations may be too aggressive for some

Overall this knife measures 216mm (8.5″) in length and masses 212.6 grams (7.5 oz) which is fairly lightweight as an all round field utility knife. The blade is manufactured from 7Cr17MoV steel, which TPF has been told is the equivalent of 440A stainless steel, and receives very well regarded heat treatment processes, which enhance both the wear resistance and edge retaining properties of the blade. 

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The current fold-over sheath

Over the many years of production, the only alterations other than the text and logo have been the once included para cord lanyard loop and a selection of sheath designs. The two previous sheath for the Field pup reflected the trends of the times. A riveted, simple leather fold-over belt sheath and a larger nylon sheath with retaining snap loop and an accessory pocket. The current sheath is a fairly simple leather fold-over design which uses 2.4 – 2.8mm (6-7 oz) leather and has the retaining edges stitched. Recall that the older version was riveted, however, unlike the past version, today’s Field Pup sheath comes with a retaining snap loop. A generously sized, albeit thin, belt loop completes the sheath.

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What may be the weakest component of the entire Field Pup package. The belt loop is not a heavy/robust design

A single variation of the Field Pup is available and the only difference the satin finish, as reviewed, is replaced by the blade being coated in a black titanium nitrite finish. Due to the immense popularity of this knife design, SOG also created a slightly larger version which is nearly identical in manufacture. These upscaled 121mm (4.75″) blade versions are called the Field Pup II.

Overall TPF finds the Field Pup I a very solidly constructed knife and understands why it has been such a popular knife for hunters, campers, and outdoors-men in general for all these years. The Field Pup I, model FP3 as reviewed, has an MSRP of $62.25 USD and can be readily found at a variety of stores, such as Warriors and Wonders in Vancouver, B.C.

The one true question that only you, the reader, can answer. Is the Field Pup I fixed blade knife, from SOG Specialty Knives and Tools; Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

FP3-008

Since 2002, SOG's Field Pup I has been a staple for outdoorsmen everywhere


Compound Leverage Multi-tool – It has to be an SOG!

Now the author has long carried a multi-tool as part of his EDC for over a decade. The SOG which has been at my side for so long is still there, but today TPF has the opportunity to review the bigger brother to the SOG Power Pliers. If there is a single thing which stands out with the majority of SOG multi-tools, it is the innovative, geared, jaw assemblies of their multi-tools.

The compound leverage system, as marketed by SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, does the following:

With the same hand pressure you will generate twice the wire cutting and gripping power than all other conventional designs.

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Closed the massive SOG PowerLock measures nearly 12cm long

Nearly every model of SOG multi-tool utilizes this technological feature. Now that exact statement cannot be quantifiable by TPF, but the author has used his EDC SOG to perform operations which would have been more difficult if not for the compound leverage system so there is some truth to the claim. The product reviewed in today’s instalment is SOG’s Power Lock Multi-tool; specifically the EOD version with optional V-Cutter. One may ask why the feature is for an EOD version, and for the unknowing, EOD is an acronym for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. In truth, unless the 2.0 version is ordered, the EOD model designations only differ from the standard models by the use of black oxide finishes.

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The hefty PowerLock spans almost 18cm when deployed

The first thing noticeable is the shear size of the Power Lock multi-tool. Massing in at 272 grams (9.6oz), and having a closed length of 117mm (4.6″) the Power Lock is a massive multi-tool and fills the hand completely without even being open for use. Obvious are the geared teeth of the compound leverage system and when opened for usage, the tool measures 178mm (7.0″) In length. SOG notes that there are a total of 22 tools incorporated into their standard , aka non-2.0, versions of the Power Lock and before TPF starts listing all of these excess tools, TPF will concentrate on the tool’s primary feature. The jaws and the associated compound leverage system.

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PowerLock's combination jaws

The jaws of the PowerLock are typical of SOG, a stainless steel forging, which is precision machined for accuracy and quality. These pliers incorporate several jaw features. Primarily a set of needle nose pliers, whose fine teeth have seamless meshing, the jaws are stout and designed to be able to withstand much abuse and applied force. Also included in the jaw set are a set of wire cutters and a large aggressively tooth oval opening. It is this combination jaw and the associated compound leverage system which is the mainstay of this multi-tool. The geared pivots incorporated into the handle design, mesh with the corresponding one on the opposite handle, and it is this special design arrangement which allows for the force multiplier to be used when squeezing the handles together. Now TPF could go into the technical details and geometric equations, but unfortunately that does not make for good reading. As also marketed by SOG and the variety of multi-tools which utilize the compound leverage arrangement, the PowerLock can be opened and utilized one handed to deploy the combination jaws. The obvious mass of the arms/handles and practice, plus the loosening of the joints/gearing over time, allows for vary fast opening by one hand.

SOG-PP-04

Just behind the gear cover/pivot plate is the crimping portion of the jaws

Some of the other features of the PowerLock other than the obvious main jaws, are the included crimping spikes/posts located on the inside of the handles when in the deployed position. These two crimping areas allow for fuses to be crimped into blasting caps as well as crimping of wires with connectors. This is present on ALL PowerLock versions as the specialization of a separate jaws assembly would be inefficient from a manufacturing/cost perspective. There are two fairly heavy and rigid flanges which cover the gears and act as pivots for opening and closing the jaws and generating the additional force multipliers to the grasping, cutting and crimping sections of the jaws.

Nearly ALL the remaining tools are nested under  moving cover plate on each handle. This is the sole obvious drawback of this tool design. You need to deploy the jaws in order to access any of tools located in the handle. The reason for the cover is two fold. It primarily is for reducing the exposed edges and allowing a more comfortable grip while exerting force on the handles. Secondly it protects the additional tools from inadvertent movement from the stored position.

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Access to the nested tool arms is via pivoting away the cover panel on the handles

Under the panels are the plethora of additional tool arms. As mentioned to access these tools you need to pivot the covers away from the handles. As the covers are literally secured by a small indent, accidental removal of the covers is easily remedied.

The listing of tool arms is as follows.

SOG-PP-06

TEN tool arms are nested into the PowerLock handles (one is hidden in the handle)

  • V-Belt Cutter: This cutter is used for quick severing of flat belts and small diameter fibre ropes. Very sharp blades are riveted in place on this arm.
  • Scissors (Standard Model): The scissors replace the V-Cutter in standard versions of the PowerLock, The scissors utilize a torsion spring to keep the scissor blades open.
  • 1/4″ Socket Driver: This odd shaped arm is actually a driver for standard 1/4″ sockets. The spring around the perimeter of the arm is used to secure the driven socket to the arm and minimize any fumbling. This arm can be locked into position 90° from the handle.
  • Bottle Opener: One of the most common “tools” on all encompassing multi-tools. This one has a medium sized flat blade screwdriver head on the tip of it.
  • Blade: This 190mm (3.5″) partially serrated blade has a drop point and variation of a chisel grind which has the blade’s back side featuring a concave profile similar to that of a hollow grind.
  • Can Opener: The obligatory can opener to go with the aforementioned bottle opener. Also incorporates a small flat screwdriver tip.
  • Philips: A true size #1 Philips screwdriver head. Comes with a small wire stripper feature built into the nail nick for opening the blade.
  • Flat Screwdriver: The large flat head screwdriver.
  • Awl: A chisel designed and very pointy awl/punch.
  • Saw Blade: This double toothed saw blade is very aggressive in design.
  •  File (Not visible): The three sided file which include single and crosscut files on opposite flat sides and a coarse file on a single edge. In addition the file tip acts as a large flat screwdriver.

With all the tool arms and jaw features, SOG decided to add in another couple of items that might be useful, which includes  imperial and metric rulers and a lanyard eyelet.  SOG Specialty Knives and Tools also has the ability for consumers to order replacement blades and tool arms for the nested components as well as some more specialized non-standard components. The one which caught the attention of TPF and may spark interest in the Canadian market is that of the Robertson screwdriver.

SOG-PP-10

The simple and effective belt pouch

The final component of the entire package is the nylon case. With a Velcro backed flap to secure the tool into place in the pouch, the universal clip on the back will hold the pouch in a vertical position on belts up to 38mm (1.5″) wide. Simple and effective and with easy access to the tool. The non-EOD version have an option to have a leather pouch which has a positive retaining snap button but forgoes the universal belt clip to a more traditional belt loop style of attachment.

A heavy and solid multi-tool with an impressive number of features and attachments, the PowerLock as reviewed (model B63) has an MSRP of $124.25USD, and is available at many retailers and online stores throughout Canada.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, PowerLock – EOD version with V-Cutter with nylon pouch; is it Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


SOG Twitch-II: A classic lock back upgrade?

Once again Spring Assisted Openers are featured on TPF. In this case, SOG Specialty Knives & Tools offered up a small everyday carry knife labelled the Twitch II. The original Twitch I, was introduced into the market many years ago and its small 48.3mm (1.9″) blade, with Spring Assisted Technology was the result of the imagination of Mr. Spencer Frazer.

For those that do not know, Mr. Frazer is the founder of SOG (originally an anagram from Studies & Observations Group) and as a result, SOG has been designing, manufacturing and producing knives for the last 25 years. Having many patents with his name attached to them has helped SOG grow into one of the top dozen known companies for quality, innovation and customer satisfaction with their lines of blades and multi-tools. Fast forward to late 2005-early 2006, and the Twitch II was introduced into the commercial marketplace. A bigger brother to the original, the Twitch II is literally an up-scaled version of the Twitch yet it is not the largest in this design family. That title is held by the Twitch XL. However, for this overview TPF focuses on knife which sits in the middle of the pack.

TwitchII-01

The Twitch II by SOG

Featuring a flat ground, drop point blade, which measures 68.1mm (2.68″) in length; the Twitch II is a fair sized knife for EDC. The biggest difference between this design of knife and other spring assisted opening knives is the use of a modified spine lock to secure the blade in the open position. Mounting dual thumb studs on the blade and a kick on the opposite side for opening allow for easy ambidextrous opening of the knife via thumb or finger. Part of the design is the formed lock back which fits around the kick when the knife is in closed position. The opening of this knife using the kick is very fast (see the attached video at the end).

The Twitch II is not a grand knife designed to ohh and ahh people who see it, but is meant for users who may need a knife for everyday cutting tasks. Tight, simple controls, and possessing a smooth appearance from the use of aluminum grip panels; the Twitch II appears to be a logical choice for upgrading from the classic folding, lock-back pocket knives that were carried by many.

TwitchII-03

Non-Reversible pocket clip for tip up carry.

Similar it may well be to those older knives, but the same it is not. The Twitch I & II have non-reversible pocket clips due to their sculpted shape, the bigger Twitch XL uses a clip similar to that of the previously reviewed SOGZilla. That being said, the Twitch II clip orientation allows for tip-up carrying while in the pocket and the clip is very small in profile to not have a significant visibility factor.

TwitchII-02

The formed lock back lever and safety switch.

Already mentioned was the innovative design style of the lock back lever which surrounds the kick yet allows it to move freely. In order to open the blade, the resistance imparted by the lock back lever must be overcome but this is accomplished easily and the blade opening speed is very fast. The folded sheet metal locking lever design is accompanied by a small safety slider which secures the locking lever into position. This enables the knife to have a blade secured in both open or closed positions. The safety has a definite mechanical stop in both engaged and disengaged positions so that it will not accidentally shift into an undesired position. Be aware however that the safety, while preventing the blade from fully opening, does not prevent the tip from extending past the handle by 3mm (1/8″) with direct force on the opening protrusions. Such an occurrence was tested and proven with the reviewed Twitch II, but did take a directed effort on either the kick or the thumb studs in order to open. Research into this shows that this is a rare occurrence and that the vast majority of Twitch II users have no such issues. Overall this SOG appears to share a hallmark feature that TPF has seen of other SOG products, a durable design meant to be well used.

The Twitch II can be ordered as reviewed (TWI-8) but can have two other versions if so desired. A partially serrated blade can be found (TWI-98) or a standard blade but with all components having a black titanium nitrite finish. (TWI-12). As reviewed by TPF, the Twitch II has an MSRP of $72.50 and can be found at a variety of Canadian retailers such as Warriors & Wonders located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As always the final say is yours; the reader’s.
SOG’s Twitch II: Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


SOG Flash II – It is quick…

In between the author’s federal party volunteer work, getting taxes complete, paying employment, and shooting hobbies, as well as family on top of that; TPF is pleased to be able to take a look at SOG’s Flash II, assisted opening knife. The model we are looking at today is the black polymer handled, drop-point, straight-edged version; specifically the FSA-8.

SOG - Flash-II

SOG’s Flash-II

SAO knives (Spring-Assisted-Opening) are perfectly legal in Canada. As has been described to the author by those with far more knife knowledge than TPF; as long as you have to mechanically or physically move the blade before the spring takes over and finishes opening the blade to full extension it is 100% good to go. Ones that do not move the blade are the automatic, and ones which you can open with the “flick of the wrist” or through centrifugal force are considered prohibited devices. So your old 1980’s lock-back knife that is loose to the point that the blade falls out of the handle when you hold it certain ways is a bad thing in Canada. Our laws make about as much sense as giving a murderer three-for-one credit for time served while waiting for trial…

SOG - Flash-II Clip

Single cap screw for reversible clip & safety lever

Back to the SOG Flash II. The knife uses the patented SAT opening mechanism (SOG Assisted Technology) for its mechanism for completing the opening once the thumb stud on the blade is engaged. It is fast and solid in operation. The model reviewed was equipped with black Zytel handles and includes a reversible pocket clip. This clip actually protrudes past the handle and allows for the knife to be carried in one’s pocket with the most minimal visual clues. As SOG states, the clip allows for “the lowest, most discreet carry possible.” TPF has to agree, and the clip is mounted to allow for minimal hand repositioning or manipulation, when withdrawing it from the pocket and opening the blade.

Now for the operation of the Flash II. Opening the blade is a two-part process. Firstly the safety must be manipulated into the unlocked position, which is denoted by a bright red indicator. This safety appears to have a detent as it does require a decent amount of effort to shift and there is a noticeable mechanical “unlock/lock” when used. The safety was included as an additional measure to prevent unwanted blade opening, which sounds like a CYA statement to TPF. The opening of the blade is accomplished only through the use of the blade mounted thumb studs mounted on opposite side of the blade itself. For closing of the blade, the pivoting stud located in the handles is pulled back and unlocks the blade, allowing for closing. This pivoting stud is easy to use and allows for one-handed closing by using the thumb to unlock the blade and then pressing the back of the blade against any object, such as a pant leg, and into the closed position.

SOG - Flash-II

The most basic version of the Flash II

Both the safety lock and the blade release are located on the same side of the knife, the only true issue with the knife is if you reverse put the pocket clip. Manipulation of the safety looks as though it would become much more difficult due to how close the clip sits to the safety lever. The 89mm (3.5″) stainless steel, straight blade is housed in the encompassing and surprisingly comfortable and firm grips. At 97 grams (3.1 oz) this knife masses very light for its size due to the thorough use of Zytel.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has numerous variations available for this knife including tanto shaped blades, black TiNi coatings, partially serrated edges and numerous colour options for the handle similar to the SOGZilla reviewed earlier by TPF. Also available is an aluminum machined handle version which increases the Flash II’s mass to 131 grams (4.2 oz), and a rescue version which has a serrated sheep’s foot contoured blade with a black or orange Zytel handle.

The SOG Flash II reviewed (FSA-8) has a MSRP of $75.00 USD and is available at a great variety of knife stores across Canada. SOG’s website can help prospective buyers to decide on the option they like best and even purchase it direct, but be aware that shipping costs may be unbelievably high. Most versions of the Flash II have MSRP’s under $90 with the exception of a few select configurations which top out at nearly $145.00 USD.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools’ Flash II – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?