This post was first published in June 2018 and updated in August 2022.
When I think about the best knives for each brand, a small number of truly outstanding knives always pop into my head… and SOG Specialty Knives is one of them.
This post was first created in 2018 when SOG was going through a transition year. Almost all of the knives from that original list have gone through a transformation or are no longer available.
These past few years, SOG has been trying its best to recapture some of the magic that made SOG such a powerhouse in its earlier years. So, we thought it would be important to give this list an overhaul and redo the best SOG knives you can buy.
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 Tech Bowie
It seems blasphemous to leave the original SOG Bowie (well it’s now the Bowie 2.0) off this list, but that knife has lost some luster and is priced way too high.
That’s why the SOG Tech Bowie now occupies this spot. The Tech Bowie is a reworking of this classic knife design with a 6.4-inch black TiNi blade and a more comfortable Kraton handle.
The fit and finish and overall design of the Tech Bowie have been praised from users everywhere. The knife is darn sexy and still carries a little bit of history with it.
SOG Flash AT
The original Flash I became a sort of a cult classic thanks to unbridled praise from Nutnfancy and other early knife YouTubers. However, the Flash I and II have been discontinued and reworked into the new Flash AT.
Aside from the name, the Flash AT is almost completely different than the original. It still has an assisted-opening mechanism and the Flash II’s 3.5-inch blade. However, it’s now upgraded with D2 steel and uses SOG’s AT-XR locking mechanism.
With less dramatic angles and fewer hotspots, I dare say that new Flash AT is an improvement upon the original designs.
SOG Ultra XR
We skipped the Trident here because the reviews are still a mixed bag, but the Ultra XR definitely earns a spot on this list. This knife is kind of a bizarre design that reminds me of the credit card knives from Boker.
This is an ultra-lightweight folder at just 34 grams and super thin. The blade is 2.8 inches long and made from S35VN steel. The carbon fiber handles are sleek.
The knife works well as an EDC, but it’s so thin and carryable you can use it as a money clip. I argue this is the second-best knife currently available from SOG. If you’re wondering what the first is, read on.
When I made the original list, the Pillar was brand new so it wasn’t included. However, the Pillar is arguably SOG’s best knife available.
Not only is this knife made in the United States but its 5-inch long workhorse blade is made from premium S35VN steel. This is the knife that has overtaken the tired SOG Bowie design for all-around outdoor use. When you combine that with a Micarta handle and exposed pommel, you get a nearly flawless fixed blade.
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. Surprisingly, this is one of the few holdovers from the earlier SOG era.
It has a small 2.65-inch blade (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 on this version is Rosewood.
SOG Terminus XR
The one knife that has put SOG on its current trajectory is the Terminus XR. This knife was the first SOG in years that sparked interested in the brand. It was also the first to introduce the XR lock.
If you hold this knife for a few seconds, you’ll understand how unbelievably fun it is to fidget with. You can flip it open with the flipper then flip it shut with the XR lock — it’s almost meditative.
The knife itself if pretty good at everyday tasks. The 3-inch blade comes in a few different steels and the handle comes in a few different materials. This version has D2 steel with a nice crimson G-10 handle.
SOG Kiku XR
The Kiku series from Japanese designer Kikuo Matsuda has been a mainstay of the SOG lineup. SOG brought a different kind of Kiku folder to the table with the XR lock and a smaller yet beefier design than the older, slimmer, almost prehistoric looking designs.
The results have been excellent.
Despite commanding a premium price, the Kiku XR is an impressive knife with a 3.03-inch CTS XHP blade and linen Micarta handle. This rugged knife works well as a work folder, an EDC knife, or both.
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. The SEAL Pup comes with the SOG clip point blade stretching 4.75 inches.
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 or nylon sheath.
Not all of SOG’s knives need to be expensive. The Instinct G10 is a great compact fixed blade you can carry wherever you go. Thanks to its included sheath, this can be carried around your neck, on your belt, or even in your boot.
This is the regular-sized version with a 2.3-inch blade and G-10 scales that make it comfortable to hold.
The Aegis is another earlier design that underwent a change. It now boasts a wider blade that’s 3.1 inches long with D2 steel and a drop point profile. Like the other new folders, the Aegis AT uses SOG’s AT-XR lock, which is admittedly fantastic.
This knife is designed for outdoor use, but it works well as an EDC around the house too.