Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SOG Aegis

First of all...the specs:
Blade Length:          3.5"                                                               
Blade Thickness:    .125"
Blade Material:        Aus 8
Blade Finish:          Black TiNi or Satin
Blade Type:            Spear Point - Full Flat Ground
Weight:                   3.1oz
Closed Length:       4.75"
Overall Length:       8.25"
Handle Material:     GRN (With Black Rubber Inserts)
Pocket Clip:            Right or Left Handed - Tip Up Only
HRC:                      57-58
Price:                      $66 (TiNi Coated Blade),  $57 (Satin Finished Blade)
Extremely lightweight - It's easy to forget that you're carrying this knife. This is not a blade that you'll leave home because of the weight. I just got done with a 20 mile bike ride before finishing up this review. I didn't even notice the Aegis in my cargo pocket ( stretchy bicycle shorts for me).
Blade Material - I like AUS 8 steel. It holds a decent edge and I really don't enjoy sharpening knives. The TiNi coating gives good corrosion resistance and I carry this knife a lot when outside or riding the bike. It gets exposed to a lot of perspiration. I haven't seen any rust along the edge. That's about the only place on this knife that is exposed.
AUS 8 is a Japanese steel that is supposed to compare to the Chinese made 8Cr13mov. If that's the case then it should hold an edge OK, be pretty easy to sharpen and have so so corrosion resistance. I've heard that the AUS 8 is a little better than the Chinese steel but I'm still glad that I got the knife with the TiNi coating. I've seen 8Cr13mov rust before and if AUS 8 is similar I would always prefer some added corrosion protection.
Blade Length - You get a nicely shaped 3.5" full flat ground blade. I almost always prefer the 3.5" blades  since you get a bit more knife without adding a lot of extra weight. They're still usually easily concealed.
I will say that if you have shorter pockets (Like in women's jeans)  you may have to go with a smaller EDC knife. I learned this when I got my daughter a Benchmade Mini Griptilian and found that it didn't fit very well in skinny jeans. I knew that there were different issues for women and guns but never considered that they may have a harder time carrying some pocket knives. Live and learn.
I don't have any trouble with the folded lengths of most knifes with a 3-4" blade so why not carry as large as possible? 
Blade To Handle Ratio - I HATE it when you get a short little blade coming out of a large handle. My Cold Steel Mini AK-47 is annoys in this regard. The SOG Aegis doesn't have any wasted handle length and the blade to handle ratio is just about perfect.
Pocket Clip - In my opinion SOG sets the standard for how pocket clips should be done.
The clip looks very pen like in your pocket. I like that. I don't really care if anyone knows I'm carrying a pocket knife but then why advertise it. A stainless steel clip will really shine against when sticking out of a pocket. 
Some people may work in an environment that's not very knife friendly. It's sometimes better to go low profile and the deep carry, dark clip and pen like appearance helps to cut down on the aggravation. It's funny. Some personality types will worry themselves to death about a coworker carrying a pocket knife yet they never even notice the fire axe in the hallway.
The blackened pocket clip is just about perfect. The Aegis carries deeper than my other EDC knives and I find myself comparing everything to the SOG.
It's also reversible for left or right hand carry. It is however only positioned for tip up carry.
Handle- The Zytel handle is lightweight and gives pretty good traction. There are a lot of interesting shapes and grooves molded into the grip. I don't find it all slippery. The small rubber inserts help a little. There is a little jimping on the back of the handle. It's OK. Every little bit is appreciated. 
The handle fits the hand very well and it's a comfortable grip. I can't imagine this sliding around in my hand even when wet.
Blade Shape - It's a good blade shape for normal use. I wouldn't say that it would work well for everyone. I don't know if I would pick this knife if I was a paramedic.
 My stepfather looks at every knife shape and judges it by how good of a skinning knife it would be. I haven't hunted in years so that's not an issue with me. I wouldn't use an assisted opening knife for that task anyway. The point is everyone has different criteria when buying a knife.
I just need an EDC (Every Day Carry) blade for normal jobs in an urban lifestyle. I haven't run across a task that this knife and blade shape cannot handle (Yet).
Blade centering is perfect BTW. There's also jimping on the back of the blade. I'd like it better if the jimping ran a little further down the blade but it's decent enough.
Deployment - Blade deployment speed is OK. I've seen other knives that were faster but I have no complaints. The thumb stud is easy to get to and the blade deploys with a normal amount of effort.
Ease Of Use - One handed operation is no problem. That's not always the case with EDC knives. There are a few brands on the market that are hard to operate single handed.
Sharpness - The SOG Aegis came very sharp from the factory. It's held a edge very well so far and all that I've had to do is touch it up a little.
Lock - I really like the Arc Lock on the SOG Aegis. Of course I'm a little biased since I prefer the lock in that position.
The blade locks out tight, it's easy to disengage the lock when you want to but I can't see myself unlocking the blade by accident.
Blade Tip - The tip is thin and delicate looking. I think that it's strong enough for normal tasks and for jobs that need a  more precise point (Digging out splinters for example). This knife isn't the best choice for anything  requiring a hard use blade.  I don't think that I would pick this SOG for a camp knife and I definitely wouldn't use it to pull staples out of 2x4's or fence rails.
Lockup - Lockup is just a little loose from side to side. Front to back is pretty tight. Tightening the pivot screw on my Aegis slows down deployment so it's a bit of a balancing act between speed and lockup.
I recently gave a Mini Aegis as a gift and there was a little side to side movement in the blade on that model as well. I wouldn't consider that a deal breaker.  It is somewhat disappointing since I have knives (Kershaws) that cost a third of the price and still lock up tighter.
Strength - I haven't tested this knife that hard. I've cut up some cardboard, old nylon straps and used it in day to day tasks for several months. It's done fine but I make it a point to grab something like a CRKT if I need something more solid.
I see this knife as something like a gentleman's folder for the black gear crowd. That's the niche that I envision for it. Think of it as kind of like a CRKT Ripple for the guys that like the tactical (Looking) gear.
There are no liners and there's a little flex in the handle material if you try to squeeze them together. 
My CRKT M16-13Z only weighs 4oz more yet locks up much tighter and still has liners. It's kind of like comparing apples and oranges but I think that the knife could be a little stronger. Of course the weight would no doubt increase and I'm sure that the price would change.
Safety Lock - This is not really a con. It's there and some will hate it. It's unobtrusive enough that it doesn't bother me.  I don't use it and I've never accidentally found it locked when I needed it. The safety lock engages and disengages easily without being able to move on it's own when shifting around in a pocket.
As this knife only carries tip up some might like idea of having a safety. I have only had one assisted opening knife (S&W) accidentally open in my pocket but it was a shorter blade. I had spent the day rolling around under some furniture that I was sanding. Other than that one instance I've never had a blade open accidentally. It might be worth using the lock if you're changing your oil, crawling around under the house, etc. 
No Lanyard Hole - I don't really care about that but some might. I guess it depends on what you're using it for. You could get some paracord around the clip if you needed to.
There's not a lot that I don't like about this knife. I could have gotten other lightweight models such as the Benchmade Griptilian if I needed more strength in a folder. 
The Aegis lineup includes a tanto bladed model for those that need a stronger tip so that shouldn't be an issue if you use your knife a little harder than I do. 
As I said earlier, I see this as kind of a gentleman's folder. I don't see it being suitable as a  great tactical knife but it could easily be pressed into service for defensive use in an emergency.
I knew what I was getting when I bought this blade and am satisfied with it overall. I probably carry this about 50% of the time and rotate the rest of my EDC blades. I'd recommend it.
I guess the test would be if I would replace it if it were lost or broken. The answer is yes.
SOG Aegis on top, Mini Aegis on bottom

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