No one can deny that the economy has been taking a beating in 2012, and many companies have trimmed their product lines and hunkered down with hopes of riding through to better times. However, others have taken a different approach and added new products in an effort to think outside the conventional box. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools is in the latter group and have been introducing new designs since the start of the year. The Blade Lights are an outstanding example of this.
The Blade Light line offers you the choice of either the Fixed (BLT10-K) or Folding (BLT50-N) models, with both having a built-in LED flashlight. The fixed-blade has a 5.7-inch satin finished blade of 9Cr18MoV stainless steel, hardened to a 58-60 Rockwell. The handle is glass-reinforced nylon with a translucent bolster and butt cap. The bolster forms a lower guard and houses six LEDs, with three mounted on either side of the blade. A two-position switch acts as the pommel and is removable to replace the single AA battery. The overall length of the knife is 11.3 inches and it weighs only 7.1 ounces. The folder is fashioned from the same materials, and is a right-handed liner-lock with dual thumb studs. The blade is 3.9 inches, the overall length is 9 inches and the weight is 4.3 ounces. The folder also has three LEDs on both sides of the blade, a buttcap switch, and is operated with two AAA batteries. The light output is 25 lumens for the fixed-blade, and 34 to 37 lumens for the folder. The Fixed knife is supplied with a Kydex sheath and retails for $115. The Folder has a nylon belt pouch and a retail price of $85. Both knives are designed by SOG and manufactured in China.
Many of us have seen the concept of adding a light to a knife before, and if you are like me, you have to wonder about the usefulness of such a combination. We know the value of carrying a good knife. We also know how handy a small light can be, but is the combination an asset, or a gimmick? Too often, when an effort is made to combine products, the quality of both suffers. To answer the question, I thought the best solution would be to test both models as knives, and then as lights. At that point I could have some idea of how well the combination would work out.