Knife review: SOG Spec-Elite II (lots of pics)

Knife review: SOG Spec-Elite II (lots of pics)

This is a discussion on Knife review: SOG Spec-Elite II (lots of pics) within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Recently, I noticed that my trusty old Spyderco Endura was starting to feel its age. It was developing some play in the locked postition (both ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Knife review: SOG Spec-Elite II (lots of pics)

    Recently, I noticed that my trusty old Spyderco Endura was starting to feel its age. It was developing some play in the locked postition
    (both lateral and vertical) that was more extensive that what I'm comfortable with. While I like the Endura and consider it to be a great "bang for the buck" knife, there are a few things that I'm just not crazy about (handle shape, blade to handle angle, etc.). As a result, I decided it was time to try something different...the search for a new knife was on.
    My main criteria was that the knife be roughly the same size as the Endura (4" blade), that it have metal liners (for durability), a good lock like a frame-lock or Axis lock (or equivalent), and that the handle would be comfortable in a variety of grip styles (forward, reverse, edge in or out).

    After doing some looking, I narrowed my choices to either the Cold Steel Recon 1 or the SOG Spec-Elite I as both of these knives had the features I wanted and they are both reasonably priced. While looking for around for the best deal, I stubled across a Spec-Elite II for a great price (good enough that I could make my money back if I didn't like it) and decided to give it a try even though it was bigger that what I originally wanted. After receiving it and playing with/carrying it for a few days, I'm glad I decided to go with this one.


    Here are the specs:
    -Blade: plain-edge 5" re-curve clip with 2" false edge
    -Blade thickness: 5/32"
    -OAL: 10.75"
    -Weight: 7.1 oz.
    -Steel: AUS 8, Rc. 57-58
    -Handle: Zytel reinforced with Kevlar

    (with my poor ol' Endura and a P'kal for size comparison)


    As you can, this thing is a hoss!
    However, due to a very well-executed design, it doesn't handle like the monster that it is. I've handled a variety of big folders in the past but didn't really care for some of the more common ones. I find Cold Steel's offerings like the extra-large Voyager, or Gunsite to be unconfortable and insecure due to the thin handles. Money was also a factor so, as nice as they are, I didn't want to shell out the cash for a Blackwood Skirmish or Ruckus (not right now anyway). The SOG feels a lot better in my hand than the CS models and is 1/2-1/3 of the price of the Benchmades.

    Overview...
    The ergonomics of the handle are great and due to the "neutral" design, it feels very comfortable in any grip.


    The balance-point is right behind the thumb-stud cutout on the handle. This, at least for me, makes it feel very light and fast in the hand despite its weight.. Also, unlike some designs, the knife feels very good in the closed position. Because of the shape of the handle it would be a good fist-load. Also, since it protrudes from the fist on both ends, it would be excellent for "kubaton type" strikes for those situations when you may not have time to deploy the blade.


    I was pleasantly surprised at how secure this knife feels in the hand. When looking at the handle from the top, you can see a slight swell at either end, tapering toward the middle. This aids in preventing the hand from sliding off in either direction. There is also jimping on both the top and bottom of the handle near the blade.


    The pocket-clip is set up for tip-up carry and is not reversible (no option for tip-down), however, it can be moved to the other side to
    accomodate the southpaws out there.
    The clip is well positioned; the knife rides high enough to obtain a good grip, yet not so high that it is any more conspicuous than other, more "normal" sized folders.

    The lock is what SOG referrs to as the "Arc Lock." It appears to be very similar in operation to the Benchmade Axis. Between the lock and the metal liners, I'm confident that this will be a very durable knife. I like this lock design because it makes for a very smooth opening. In fact, this knife practically begs for a kinetic opening. Between the smooth lock and the weight of the blade, all it takes is a little twitch to get the thing open.


    On to the blade...
    At 5" long, 1 5/8" wide (at the widest point), and 5/32" thick, this is a pretty substantial piece of steel.
    I like the recurve style blades due to their great slashing capability. I also personally like the fact that the point is basically in line with the centerline of the handle which makes it good for thrusts.

    The blade is equipped with dual thumb-studs and also features jimping on the spine to rest your thumb if you want to "choke up" on the blade a little. One thing that is just "icing on the cake" with a new knife is when it comes out of the box with a good edge. This one was capable of shaving right out of the box.


    The only thing I do not like about the knife is that it uses three different types of screws. The main pivot screw and the main pocket-clip screw are T-10's, the 4 little bitty ones along the top of the handle are a smaller size (maybe T-7), and the two smaller screws on the pocket-clip are Phillips-head. I don't understand why knife makers persist in doing stuff like this.
    At any rate, this is a small gripe...Considering that's the worst thing I can say about this knife, I'd say that's pretty good.

    This is definately not a knife for those that won't carry anything larger than a Kershaw Scallion. However, if you appreciate a big knife, you might want to give this one a look. They do have a smaller version, the Spec-Elite I (4" blade). I may pick up one of these myself for times when I'm in a state that may not allow this one.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with this knife. There is just something reassuring about having a big heavy blade readily available.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    That's alot of knife!

    Good review, thanks for taking the time to share.

  3. #3
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    KenpoTex is a Bad Mo with a knife. He knows his stuff.
    That SOG arc-lock system really self~polishes itself after a while.
    It keeps getting even smoother on the transition from closed to open and opened to closed but still stays rock solid in the open position.
    So......Initially you should open & close it a lot.

    I have packed a SOG Pentagon Elite II which is the exact same knife with a different 5" blade configuration.
    I've had one since they first hit the marketplace.
    I like the Spec-Elite blade style better though now that I'm looking at it.
    One flick of the thumb will send that 5" blade quickly flying open and the knife opens and closes very fast and easy with one hand.

    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array SoFloAuthor's Avatar
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    I love my SOG Flash II

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    So......Initially you should open & close it a lot.
    no worries there...I haven't put it down yet

    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    I have packed a SOG Pentagon Elite II which is the exact same knife with a different 5" blade configuration.
    I've had one since they first hit the marketplace.
    I like the Spec-Elite blade style better though now that I'm looking at it.
    I've known of the PE for several years but as soon as they came out with the SE a year or two ago, it immediately caught my eye. I like the fact that it is less "task specific" than the PE (not that you can't slash with the PE, it's just not going to be quite as good at it due to the design). With a smaller blade, I wouldn't care. However, this one has enough heft that I feel it would actually be effective in a slashing role.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  6. #6
    JD
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    Nice review, I've been eye-balling both versions, and have been having a hard time not picking one up.

  7. #7
    BAC
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    Good review. I still haven't found "the knife" yet, but maybe one day when I stop spending several hundred dollars at a time on firearms and ammo I'll get around to hunting for that perfect folder.


    -B

  8. #8
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    That is a hos of a pocket knife. That is the best review i've read , you might have a future in that.

  9. #9
    New Member Array scochran53's Avatar
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    what do you use it for. I know if I were at work and somone saw me opining a box or somthing it might look little odd because the knife is rather big for a pocket knife.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    nice knife,ive always liked sogs. ive got a flash 1, im bidding on a sog 2 now.
    Last edited by stormbringerr; May 14th, 2008 at 09:32 AM.
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  11. #11
    Member Array tabraha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoFloAuthor View Post
    I love my SOG Flash II
    Ditto.
    ______________________
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In some states a 5" blade is illegal for pocket carry
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scochran53
    what do you use it for. I know if I were at work and somone saw me opining a box or somthing it might look little odd because the knife is rather big for a pocket knife.
    I carry it for any tasks, utilitarian or social, that might require some "serious" cutting power.
    I have a little two-blade SAK that I carry in my pocket so I don't scare the sheep.

    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    In some states a 5" blade is illegal for pocket carry
    okay...
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    some states have some confusing knife laws, Texas among them.it is legal for me to own if i have a curio license, but not carry a switchblade.all switchblade laws are state by state.
    also without a button on the handle,its not a switchblade in Texas.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    ― Thomas Paine

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scochran53 View Post
    what do you use it for.
    I always tell people my knife is for opening 1 of 2 things:

    1. Boxes and other packages
    2. Muggers
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

    -Paco
    http://www.shieldsd.net

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