For town or trail, a trio of slick-handling folders in a choice of blade and handle options to fit your needs and your hands.

SOG Specialty is fast moving to expand into the EDC market with selected new models in hopes of gaining higher visibility in the “big box” stores. New for 2010 and intended for affordable carry, are the three “SOGZilla” folders developed with that especially in mind.

The new SOGZilla is intended to ride low and light in the pocket and handle most normal, simple cutting needs encountered during the day. Manufactured in China, the 3.8-inch hollowground blade is crafted of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a mid-handle lockback and skeletonized steel liners inside Zytel panels on both “dark” models (full edge and half-serrated edge), and solid steel frame sections in the all-stainless model. (There’s also a smaller size along with black TiNi-coated blade versions.)
These are thin knives, with the blades stamped from .10-inch stock, the Zytel-handled frames roughly 5/16-inch thick, and the stainless frame just a hair over a quarter inch. SOG’s website describes the textured panels as “dual directional armor plate,” and, hyperbole aside, that translates to three longitudinal sections with serrations along the top and bottom angled to resist slipping from forward pressure while cutting, and a center section with serrations angled just the opposite way to resist slipping in the hand while pulling backward. The all-stainless SOGZilla has smooth satin-finished slabs, but all three versions use either molded or milled serrations along the top and bottom of the frames, and those are repeated on the lockbar in the thumb cutout in the frames and extended forward as thumb-rests at the top rear of the blade spines. The handles are aggressive in hand without being abrasive, comfortable in extended use, and the workmanship is actually quite good, regardless of price.

The SOGZilla opens one-handed from either side via an elongated oval thumb-hole with almost a 1/8-inch cutout in the bridge, which I’m not particularly fond of, but we’ll get back to that shortly. The blade configuration aside from that is a practical one, with consistent grinds on all three samples and a modified drop point that leaves the tip reinforced and not quite as subject to breakage as other “tippier” patterns. One feature I always like to see in a folder of this type is that it’s held together with screws (torx in this case), not rivets, since that gives you the option of either taking it apart completely for cleaning if it gets thoroughly gunked up in the barn or on the trail, or merely adjusting tension here and there as necessary. Another aspect that many like is SOG’s reversible low-ride clip that allows the SOGZilla to drop farther down into the pocket than with competing designs. This one provides left-side or right-side tip-up carry, and there’s also a lanyard hole for those who use them. Weight on the two Zytel SOG’s is a feathery 3.5 ounces; 5.5 ounces for the stainless folder.

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For town or trail, a trio of slick-handling folders in a choice of blade…