When I think about the best knives for each brand, a small number of truly outstanding knives always pop into my head.
With SOG, narrowing down their best knives to 10 was harder than I expected. It wasn’t necessarily because SOG has so many great knives but because many of their top knives are on par with one another. This means I undoubtedly left out a few good SOG offerings. For example, the Pillar is a relatively recent offering that will likely supplant one of models on this list in the future, but I just can’t put it as one of the best quite yet.
As always, this is a subjective list (that only includes current knives) taking into account personal experience as well as reviews/commentary from across the knife community. Let me know if I missed any in the comments.
SOG Super Bowie
It seems blasphemous to leave the original SOG Bowie (well it’s now the Bowie 2.0) off this list, but the SOG Super Bowie is just superior. This is a reworking of the original knife that started the company except bigger. Instead of the 2.0’s 6.4-inch blade, the Super Bowie has a 7.5-inch blade and a larger handle that propels the knife into another category.
The fit and finish and overall design of the Super Bowie have been praised from users everywhere. The knife is darn sexy and carries a little bit of history with it.
The SOG Trident is a workhorse of a knife. It has a blade design inspired by the original SOG Bowie and comes in at 2.75 inches. The handle has a Digi-Grip pattern that keeps the knife firmly in your hand. I really enjoy the Arc-Actuator lock because it’s easy to use. It has an integrated seat belt cutter in the handle and a deep carry pocket clip.
The Trident has branched out to include such spinoffs as the Trident Elite and Trident Mini. Overall, it’s a solid knife.
SOG Tomcat 3.0
The first folding knife from SOG debuted in 1988 and won the Overall Knife of the Year award at BLADE Show that year. Now in its third iteration, the Tomcat is every bit as functional and sexy as it was all those years ago.
The Tomcat is a tank of a knife with a long 3.75-inch blade made with VG-10 steel. That SOG Bowie clip point profile always looks good. The handle is Kraton with steel bolsters where the Arc-Lock mechanism resides.
SOG Twitch II
The Twitch II is an unlikely addition to this list because most of the SOG folders are either expensive, have a tactical bent, or are built like a tank. The Twitch is kind of an awkwardly designed folder that doesn’t stand out but offers a ton of value.
It has a small 2.65-inch blade (well small compared to the others on this list) that opens with SOG Assisted Technology and flipper yet locks with a lockback mechanism. The steel is AUS-8 while the handle material is aluminum 6061-T6.
There are a ton of Twitch options, including the I, II, and XL in different colors/handle materials. However, the Twitch II remains one of the best.
The Tomcat spawned a number of folders that are built like it. Most of them are (or were [RIP Arcitech]) gems, but the one that’s still in production that deserves a spot on this list is the Vulcan.
The Vulcan is named after the M61 Gatling-style rotary cannon used by the U.S. military and tries to mimic the strength, power, and versatility of the large weapon. The knife is an evolution of the Tomcat but doesn’t feature the Bowie blade profile. Instead it comes in a standard clip point or tanto. The blade is 3.5 inches of VG-10 steel and opens with a flipper and locks with the Arc-Lock. The highly textured handle is black glass-reinforced nylon.
This is a tough knife that’s cheaper than the Tomcat but provides many of the same advantages.
SOG Flash II
The SOG Flash I has become a sort of a cult classic thanks to unbridled praise from Nutnfancy on YouTube. However, the praise has been met with some backlash. Many of the design complaints are not present in the Flash II, which is why I argue it is superior to the Flash I.
The Flash II boasts a bigger design with an overall length of 8 inches (3.5-inch AUS-8 blade). The larger size gives the design more room to breathe and the user more comfort during use. The Flash family uses assisted-opening technology and a nice piston lock to keep the blade firmly engaged.
When it comes to a budget tactical EDC folder from SOG, the Flash II is hard to beat.
SOG SEAL Pup Elite
As the little brother of the SOG SEAL Team, the SEAL Pup packs a whole lot of punch in a smaller package. To make things even better, SOG makes the SEAL Pup in an Elite version with all the stops. The SEAL Pup Elite comes with the SOG clip point blade stretching 4.85 inches. The edge is either straight or partially serrated while the spine has a sawback.
The handle is designed to handle (see what I did there?) all types of weather conditions, which is why it’s made from glass-reinforced nylon. Texturing and an ergonomic grip keep the knife firmly in the hand. It comes with a Kydex and nylon sheath.
SOG Spec Elite I
The Spec Elite knives are meant to be a last-ditch tool for military and law enforcement personnel. However, the knives make excellent EDC tools as well.
Both Spec Elite models are solid, but the Spec Elite I is just a little better. The 4-inch clip point blade has a bead-blasted finish and is made from VG-10 steel. The automatic versions feature quick deployment.
The assisted versions of both knives are also worth your time.
The Aegis shares many similarities with the Flash. While it almost seems a shame to include a knife that’s so similar to another on this list, it’s hard to ignore all the praise this knife gets, particularly the tanto version. The blade is 3.5 inches long with a partially serrated edge. It is a spring-assist blade that uses a piston lock to keep the blade engaged. The handle is glass-filled nylon with DigiGrip texture.
There’s not too much to say about this one.
For a company founded on a fixed blade, this list is populated mostly with folders — especially tactical folders. According to SOG, the SOG-TAC series is an invigorating new design. The knives were originally conceived as automatic knives with finger-fitting aluminum handles and lightning-fast blades.
You can pick up the SOG-TAC in a ton of variations and different blade shapes. There’s even one for those of us in California who can only carry an auto with a blade under two inches. The design, function, and execution have been praised by knife enthusiasts of all ilk.
If you can’t have an auto, the SOG-TAC was even turned into an assisted opener called the Zoom.