SOG Extraordinary Tools and Blades is a knife company of long standing. Kicking off operations in 1986, the name “SOG” was taken in recognition of the “Studies and Observation Group” of MACV (Military Assistance Command—Vietnam). MACV/SOG was also the moniker of a covert special warfare group—Special Operations Group. The more innocent Studies and Observation Group handle was simply a blind; a way to keep prying eyes away from the clandestine mission of SOG.
SOG created their own knife for the harsh field in which they worked, a knife that launched a knife maker. SOG founder and chief designer Spencer Frazer worked in the aerospace defense industry in Black Projects Division as an R&D tool/die and model maker. The first time he held a Vietnam-era SOG “Bowie,” he was struck by the feel and power of the knife.
Now known as the “Agency,” the veteran of the Southeast Asia war games is back in another form. Originally a design for special CIA types in the early days of our involvement in RVN, it was meant for those who lived and worked in the field for months on end. It was a tool and a weapon for close quarters engagements. The lines of blade and handle are faithfully reproduced. Stain finish and epoxy filled leather washers are modern improvements.
The 7.5-inch blade is made of AUS-8 steel, finished in a satin polish or coated in Black TiNi. The blade is straight edged. The cross guard and pommel are of stainless steel. The handle is epoxied leather. Supplied with a leather sheath and sharpening stone, it’s appropriate for collector, fieldsman or working cop.
If you’re after something more easily carried, as quickly brought into action, but in a smaller envelope, take a look at the SOG-TAC Automatic, it is big but slim. The blade travel is fast. Once open, the blade is locked into position. The handle is of machined 6061-T6 hard anodized aluminum inset with G10 type textured inserts. This is meant to reduce slipping in the hand when wet with rain, sweat or blood.
A safety button double locks the blade into its open or closed positions. The knife is 8 inches long with a 3.5-inch blade of AUS-8 Stainless. The blade is hardened to Rc. 57-58 and is finished in either Black TiNi or Satin polish. The SOG-TAC is available with a straight edge blade, like the Agency, or with a half-serrated blade. The knife weighs in at less than 4 ounces. The clip is reversible.
I was recently reintroduced to the SureFire Folding Delta Combat/Utility Knife. Known as the EW-04, this knife has a blade of Crucible CPM S30V steel. The frame halves and liner lock are made of expensive titanium.
A real “working knife,” the Delta is a knife but it’s also a screwdriver, wire cutter/crimper, parachute cord/seatbelt cutter, and wrench. It has a reversible pocket clip and a window-breaker point.
A good name for something that is tough, digs in and hangs on through adversity, the Tenacious is a premium folder that is value-priced and made by Spyderco.
Our sample of the Tenacious has a 3.38-inch 8Cr13MoV steel blade with a smooth edge. The blade locks open by use of the Walker Linerlock. The G10 scales are milled for grip with a lined lanyard hole aft.
The knife handle is drilled for a 4-Way pocket clip, tip up or down, right or left-handed. The one-handed opening hole in the blade is enlarged, a good idea if you wear gloves. The spine is jimped for hold when cutting. A 4-ounce cutter, the Tenacious is 7.75 inches long overall and 4.44 inches long when closed.
Spyderco advertises the Tenacious as a knife with features and finishing expected of pricier folders on a knife that “won’t set you back a fifty.” For the Tenacious, that would be a low price indeed. When I opened the box and tried to get the Tenacious free of its plastic bag, the knife bailed out and hit the floor. A quick inspection for damage and finding none, I proceeded to get some beauty shots. It is Tenacious. It lends pride of ownership as well as practical value. Give the Tenacious a look.