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Fixed & Folding Knives

Buyer's Guide

OPENING MECHANISMS

Folding knives have a variety of opening mechanisms including spring-assisted, fully automatic and manual.. Note that not all opening mechanisms are legal in all states. Consult your local knife laws for more details.

Locking Mechanisms

  • Liner Locks

    Liner locks use a leaf spring built into the liner to lock the blade. It is a simple lock that is probably the most common. If not built correctly, liner locks suffer from excessive blade play and failure over time. They can also only be released from one side and are, therefore, not ambidextrous.

  • Pisto Lock

    The Piston lock, or bolt-action lock, are very strong and easy to use. They employ a movable bar wedged between blade tang and knife handle to lock the blade. When pulled back against the spring tension, the tang is released.

  • Cam Lock

    The Cam lock, or arc lock, uses a pivotal block to lock the blade in place. Considered one of the finest locks available, it is ambidextrous, extremely strong, safe, and easy to use.

  • Lockback

    Lockback is one of the oldest locks in use today. A lever on the back edge of the handle catches in the tang of the blade and locks it. To unlock, one presses on the back of the lever. Ambidextrous and safe to operate, the Lockback can be a great mechanism that locks your blade very securely.

BLADE OPENING FEATURES

  • Thumbstud

    A Thumbstud is used in many folding knives to open the blade with one hand. Often mounted on both sides of the blade for ambidexterity.

  • Thumbhole

    A Thumbhole can be used in place of a thumbstud to allow easy, one-handed opening.

  • Nail Nick

    A Nail Nick is a notch carved out of the blade used to open the knife. It is the original opening system for folding knives. Today it is not as popular - or easy to use - as a thumbstud.

  • Kick or Flipper

    The Kick, or Flipper, is an extended tang, which passes through the handle of the knife when closed. When pressed, this feature "kicks" the blade open.

FIXED BLADE FEATURES

  • Rasping

    Rasping, or thumb groves, are a series of small teeth sometimes found on the spine of a fixed blade. These teeth give greater purchase for a thumb, provide superior control, and greater down pressure when cutting.

  • Double Tooth Saws

    Double Tooth Saws are saws with different sized teeth. They are designed to cut a variety of material well and to clear the saw kerf of cut material.

FIXED BLADE SHEATH TYPES

  • FIXED BLADE SHEATH TYPES

    Kydex sheaths are made from a tough, rigid material and offer superb protection for fixed blade knives. These sheaths are excellent for diving applications and tactical use. Certain models offer a grooved exposure point for cutting cord or belt without exposing the entire knife blade. (The groove is a proprietary feature found only on select SOG products.)

  • Nylon

    Nylon, like Kydex, is an excellent choice for tactical applications, as most offer the versatility of MOLLE compatibility (military mounting). Many of our nylon sheaths use Velcro retention and safety straps. Nylon tends to be more comfortable to carry than Kydex.

  • Leather

    Leather sheaths are a classic choice in fixed blade carrying options. Extraordinarily versatile and sturdy, leather - once broken in - assumes almost a custom fit. There is nothing like the patina of a properly cared for, aged leather sheath.

Heat Treatment

There is more to knife performance than steel or blade profile. Perhaps the most important component is the heat treatment applied to the steel. Heat-treating steel will strengthen a blade. And generally speaking, the harder a blade - provided there is no embrittlement - the more abrasion resistant the steel will be and the longer an edge will hold. In fact, a good, solid heat treatment on a lesser steel often results in a blade that can outperform a higher grade steel with inferior heat treatment. It's that important.

That's why SOG has spent years perfecting our heat treatment process. We've even gone so far as to develop our Cryogenic Heat Treatment to provide superior edges. SOG's unique cryogenic heat treatment process slowly decreases the knife temperature to -300°F, then brings it back up to room temperature again. This process relieves the blade material on an atomic level, resulting in an overall increase in toughness and heightened wear-resistance. Additionally, knife edges stay sharper longer and demonstrate a significant decrease in micro-fracturing and edge-chipping.

It's this dedication to making your knife "SOG sharp" that helps set us apart from the rest.