When I think of the great American specialty cutler, SOG Knives, I usually think of the martially oriented blades that they are well known for like the topflight replicas of the legendary Vietnam-Era Studies and Observation Group combat blade or the Navy issue SOG SEAL-2000. Often, pocket tools come to mind, as SOG was also a pioneer in that area.
Now SOG is displaying a full-featured lineup of push-button auto knives and I am sure they will appeal to the folks who often buy SOG knives for their value, overall quality and thoughtful design.
The new SOG-TACAutos are an updated version of the well-proven button lock “Black Knife”-style aluminum-handled switchblade. They are nicely made and lock up fairly snugly. The blades fire quickly and they are well polished and ground with just a hint of grabbiness at the edge—a perfect everyday edge in my estimation. SOG has wisely chosen to build a full-size auto line of auto knives that are thinner than almost all others on the market. The comfortable size means that the SOG knives are easy to carry, lightweight and don’t sacrifice any strength over other similar knives.
The sliding safety, positioned on the right scale opposite the button-lock, locks the blade in the open and closed position for extra security. Nice work, SOG—the ability to securely lock the blade in the open position along with the normal lock gives this knife almost fixed blade-style performance if needed. It is also easy to access the safety with your trigger finger if you are right-handed. A handy deep-pocket style clip lets the knife hide low in the pocket and away from curious eyes. This is a feature that most knife people really appreciate.
A TAC For Every Mission
The SOG-TAC is the flagship of the line and sports a unique, big belly “bayonet” blade, recurved “tactical drop point” or squarish tanto tip. All blades boast some very effective serrations and much cutting power. The G-10 inlay provides decent grip and the glow-in-the-dark SOG crosshair logo will allow you to find this knife in pitch-black darkness as long as it is exposed to a bit of light earlier that day. All SOG-TAC blades are AUS-8, the fine Japanese steel that is somewhat equivalent to 440-C on the performance scale and highly corrosion resistant.
The smaller SOG-TAC Mini line retains the bayonet blade shapes and tanto into a smaller 3-inch-blade package, sans the G-10 inserts. An appropriate-sized knife for everyday, “business class” use. In lending out a few SOG-TAC’s, I got similar feedback—“lightweight but still full size,” “snappy” and “comfortable to carry.” The light weight of the full-size models at 3.5 ounces is appreciated by all the users who carried a SOG-TAC. The Mini is a feathery 2.5 ounces. The smoothly radiused edges and slim shapes really reduce the overall weight. On the downside, one tester’s knife developed some blade play and no one liked how the small safety was free to rattle a bit when not in use.
When I think of the great American specialty cutler, SOG Knives, I usually think…
by Len Waldron / Jan 1, 2011