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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by sliceofaloha, Jul 20, 2020.
Needs more jimping.
I have not had the inclination to own one, but this knife looks pretty decent.
I concur. My first two SOG folders were great, a Pentagon Elite liner lock in 1997 and a mini X-ray Vision in 1999 with the "new" arc lock. Both had ATS-34, and I felt they were a good deal. Certainly well made, I still have the mini X-ray Vision. Somewhere. Only failure was a pocket clip which they no longer make.
I had a few of their assisted knives, but aus-8 just didn't compare to ATS-34. They started going downhill 15 years ago IMO.
Oh and that XR might be cool were it not $170 and a whopping 8.25 ounces!
In the late 1980's SOG was one of the brands that was innovative and putting out some designs that were different and made very well compared to the competition. At that time there was not as much competition. They were up and coming in the knife world and I liked and owned a lot of their products. They were up there with Al Mar, Pacific Cutlery and a couple of others. By the late 1990's or so they lost their way, started producing knives in Taiwan instead of Japan and the USA and came up with some real BS designs and discontinued some of the best ones. Now I would not give a cup of warm spit for most of the SOG Knives unless I wanted something for the tackle box or to just trash in the field. The only one that I still have is an original Tigershark that I gunblued, cut the Kraton handle off of and plan to put a Micarta handle on someday.
By the way I don't think that the SEAL XR folder is made in the USA. Info I have says china.
SOG Seal XR
5.25" closed. 4" black Cerakote finish S35VN stainless clip point blade. Black textured GRN handle. Extended tang. Lanyard hole. Thumb pull. Pocket clip. Boxed.
Country of Origin:China
blade hq and knifecenter both have it listed as USA made, the sog website also has it listed as usa made
Was that when they stopped shooting their knives with bullets?
I agree. Their product quality dropped. I don't really look at SOG much any more for knives, but I do pay attention to them with their multi-tool line which I feel are well made. My last was the Power Pint and I like it.
I have one of those and it's well made. It is a very simple knife and I suspect that's why it was discontinued.... low price point in a market that was becoming more complex in design features.
SOG took a noticeable downhill plunge when they shifted manufacture to China and came out with a knife very similar to a Spyderco. That ended it for me. Some I believe are still made in Japan, but I am not interested enough to even try to figure it out anymore.
Ah yes. The infamous Sogzilla.
IMO that is the one that killed SOG for most enthusiasts, and especially killed their market for any knife above $30.
My first "big" knife purchase was a SOG Vulcan in around '07-'08 ish. I researched the hell out of the knife and the brand. Mostly positive reviews all around.
Fast forward around 5 years. I lost my Vulcan due to the horrible pocket clip. So I had to replace it. I didn't want another Vulcan (bade was too thick), but I wanted something a bit better yet had the modern look. Of course the first brand I check out was the one that served me decent for those 5 years. Now the SOG reviews were very much like, "yeah, it's ok, but your much better off with a ZT, Benchmade or Spyderco". Even a few "stay away!" reviews. (except Nutnfancy, that guy just looved his Flash) Eventually all my searching led me to find my way here to BF, and the guys here were not being kind to the brand. Mainly because of the Sogzilla. After I saw the comparisons to the Delica/Endura, I walked away from the brand.
I have always kept an eye on what they've been doing. Kind of like still following an old friend you had a falling out with on IG. Just hoping they get their act together and turn back into who they were before.
I can say I like what I've seen these last few months with SOG. Not enough to buy one.... for now.
The fact that I was even considering it speaks a lot for the direction they seem to be headed though.
Very similar story to mine. After many years of having lost it, I was considering buying another Pentagon Elite. Was researching VG-10 when I came across bladeforums 8/2013.
I ended up buying a Spyderco Gayle Bradley and have never looked back.
When I first started collecting I bought two SOG knives. One was a Flash 2, and the other was a cheap Fielder from Walmart. Because somehow even as being someone who knew nothing about knives I had heard of the brand name before. So thier marketing must have been working...
The Fielder quickly fell apart. But classic you get what you paid for. It was only $20cad, and gas station junk is the same price in my town. But because it was a "SOG" I was expecting more out of it and felt disappointed at the time.
The Flash started off great. I wanted an assisted knife and it was the easiest one to deploy in the store. But I quickly came to the opinion that it just felt cheap! Then after a year it started malfunctioning. At the time I didn't know about lock tight in knives and the cheap screw quickly broke.
I had on a whim also bought a CRKT ignitor at the same time as the flash. When the fit and finish is way better on a CKRT for approx the same price that's kinda saying something.
If I came across a vintage fix blade I'd likely grab it. But nothing new from them is even remotely interesting anymore.
Yep, the Sogzilla.... that knife was brought out as they were transitioning to Chinese manufacture from Taiwan and Japan. I have both the regular Vulcan and the Mini-Vulcan. The steel was a bit thick.... the knife also had hotspots for me. I believe that the Vulcan was my very first flipper. I still like the Mini Vulcan but I have mostly moved past that knife. I was actually excited when they introduced the Mini Vulcan. That was back when Spencer Frazier would be at the Blade Show and I bought that knife there. All part of my knife education.
I still own most of the SOGs I purchased back prior to 2010. The last SOG knife I bought was the sheepsfoot Access Card 2.0 which was done in VG-10 (Japanese manufacture). It is one of the sharpest knives I have gotten out of the box. At the time, I felt it a bit expensive, but I bought it anyway and I don't regret buying it. It still sees use from time to time.
I have owned several of the Flash series and purchased them to be a work knife. I honestly disliked that knife after using it a bit. I bought them for my helpers and after one day's use, I never saw them again. I didn't miss them in the least. That was the last knife I purchased for my helpers. I only handed them utility knives after that point in time.
I bought a SOG Terminus XR. I like the knife.
I was in the jewelry business for thirty seven years. Companies that made costume jewelry,( cheap gold & silver electroplated jewelry would commonly used the best boxes. It made the jewelry look more expensive.
Er, that’s the way most knives, and so many other things, are sold. Marketing, smoke and mirrors. A very simple point: How many Hinderer, Microtech, etc. are sold as a result of forums such as this one. With and without forum/internet sales, that’s the point. We don’t live in a vacuum and the www in particular generates sales like crazy by sheer peer pressure, whether we like to admit it or not.
I have a few SOG knives, purchased a few years ago. They're okay, but a bit pricey for what they are. Some of their troubles may indeed be due partly to poor "branding", as I can't even recall the names of the SOG knives that I have. One is called something like SEAL Team or SEAL PUP. Not only that, but they mostly look the same too. 5 or 6 inch blades with serrations and black plastic handles, made in Taiwan. The quality, I can't complain of, but how many of these knives does anyone need? In the end, their designs, materials, and quality/price ratio aren't anywhere near as good as other "tactical" knife companies, like TOPS, Busse, Blackjack (the Bark River models) or even Spanish knives like Muela and Nieto. These other companies are turning out better products, and it seems the market reflects that fact.
[The James Brand and Gerber* disliked this comment.]
* with their slick new urban Portland marketing campaign
I like seeing everyone's take on SOG. They've strayed for the most part from their 80s fixed blade roots which to me were impressive. I like big bowie fixed blades! I have not tried any of their multi tools and seems a few here think they are worth looking at. I just have a Leatherman Juice for now.
There are many knives that I own that I do not recall the name. It is why I started keeping a list after about 10 years here. I have the Seal Pup and it's not a bad knife. It is very tough. I just don't much care for plastic or plastic-like handles. I say, different strokes for different folks. It is all just part of the evolution of things. In general, SOG's problem is value. There is a tremendous amount of competition in the knife industry and for the most part the cost of SOGs don't often justify the price any more. But that is the impression by people who know versus your average buyer wandering into Bass Pro and looking at knives.
A Flash 2 is the only SOG folder I have left. Got it while I was on my honeymoon. Love the blade geometry. But, you are right, it feels cheap.
Also have a SOG Paratool around here somewhere.
I have no plans to purchase but, I would carry a Sogzilla if I had one.
I own some older Seki-made SOGs. IMO, the nicest is the Tsunami. I also have a Seal 2000 and a Seal Pup. All are nicely-made. The least comfortable of the those three is the Seal 2000. I always felt the Tsunami was ‘too nice’ to use. The Seal Pup is good, but the edge is short for the blade length.
As far as folders go, I have an old Pentagon Elite II, also Seki-made. It’s made fine, but always felt clunky, and a little dangerous and uncomfortable to use.
I have nothing against SOG and hope they rebound again. I’m keeping the SOGs I have, but I have no further interest in their products anymore, and haven’t in a long time.
I believe you. The source I used may not be that reliable.