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OWNER REVIEW- SOG Flash II

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  • abrowland719
    Hi there- I emailed this in last night - not sure if I had to post it as well, so here it is. Thanks! ABR Owner Review #1 SOG Specialty Knives Flash II
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 29, 2009
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      Hi there-
      I emailed this in last night - not sure if I had to post it as well, so here it is. Thanks!
      ABR

      Owner Review #1
      SOG Specialty Knives Flash II Partially Serrated FSA-98

      Reviewer Information:

      Name: Andy Rowland
      Age: 38
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 5" (1.96 meters)
      Weight: 200 lbs (90.7 kilos)
      Email address: abrowland719@...
      City: Monument
      State: Colorado
      Country: USA
      Date: April 28. 2009

      Backpacking Background: Family and work commitments make me a true "weekend warrior" backpacker! Back in the days when I had more time, trips were often 4-6 days in duration. In the last 10 years, all of my trips have been 2-3 day, get-it-in-while-I-can, hard-charging adventures usually in pursuit of trout or big game above 9000 feet (2700 m). My mom always told me I was "special" - what she really meant was "special order". My height and weight generally make it extremely difficult to find good fitting gear.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: SOG Specialty Knives, Inc.
      Year of Manufacture: 2009
      Manufacturer's Website: www.sogknives.com
      Listed Weight: 3.1 oz (88 g)
      Weight as delivered: 3.1 oz (88 g)
      Steel: AUS 8 stainless steel
      Overall Length: 8" (20.3 cm)
      Closed Length: 4.625" (11.8 cm)
      Blade Length: 3.5" (8.9 cm)
      Handle Width: 0.5: (1.27 cm)
      Handle Material: Glass Reinforced Zytel
      Pocket Cli Yes
      Serrated Option: Yes
      Warranty: Lifetime
      MSRP: US $72.00

      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

      The SOG Flash II is a folding everyday carry knife suitable for general outdoor use, hunting, fishing, backpacking and personal protection. The Flash II comes in a variety of colors, blade styles, blade coatings, and handle materials. All of the Flash II knives incorporate SOG Assisted Technology (SAT), which allow for quick opening of the blade using either hand. SOG knives lock firmly upon opening using a piston locking design and will close only after sliding the blade release and folding the blade simultaneously. The Flash II series of knives come with a blade safety lever, which when engaged, prevents accidental opening of the blade. The safety state can be viewed through a small window in the handle (black for safe and red for off safe) and can also be determined simply by feel. This particular knife also features a bayonet mounted belt clip, lanyard loop, hex screw construction, fully checkered handle, index and middle finger handle contour, ambidextrous blade knob for single hand opening, 1-2-1 serration pattern, and fully enclosed blade axle.

      FIRST IMPRESSIONS

      The Flash II arrived in a small, easily opened box with limited instructions and warranty information. I'm right-handed with XL sized hands. With the blade closed, the Flash II fit well in the palm of my hand with good grip between my fingertips, palm and thumb. The checkering on the handle varies in size from the spine to the belly of the handle, which not only enhances the appearance of the knife, but improves the user's grip as well. The belt clip appeared to be in the way of my fingers, but SOG has placed a detent in belt clip that provides a solid rest for the tip of my ring finger. SOG shipped the knife with the safety in the ON position – a nice attention to detail by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about this safety feature of the knife and was slightly frustrated when I couldn't flip open the knife despite significant thumb pressure. After a few failed attempts and a red face, I realized the engaged safety was preventing me from opening the blade. In retrospect, this was a very good unbiased test of the strength of the safety mechanism of this knife. With the safety OFF and my ego restored, I was able to flip open the blade with the tip of my thumb. It is understandable why this knife is named the Flash II. The blade flips open in well under 1/10th of second and firmly locks into place with a resounding "click". The blade has a rather aggressive cutout for the locking piston to engage making this a very stable knife. The safety cannot be engaged with the blade open.

      With the knife open, my index finger and middle fingers fell securely into the molded detents in the handle. SOG has placed a rather aggressive curve in the index finger detent, which does a great job of holding the index finger in place, keeping it safely from the blade. My thumb fit nicely at along the spine of the handle, and found a grooved rest which further aided in securing my grip on this knife. The knife is balanced exactly between the index and middle finger detents. This balance allows for very fine index finger / thumb control when maneuvering the knife.

      The knife was razor sharp right out of the box, easily shaving the hair off my arm. (If you're unsure how to perform this sharpness test, test the blade on something a little more forgiving like a thumbnail.) The serrations on this particular model take up about half of the blade and use a 1-2-1 pattern of one large serration followed by two smaller serrations. SOG has laser etched their logo and Flash II on one side of the blade and the patent number on the other side. The spine of the blade is a full 1/8" (3.175 mm) thick, making it very stiff. The spine begins the taper to the point about 2/3 of the way down the blade.

      With practice, the blade can be closed with one hand as well, but it is designed to be closed using both hands. The lock release is a 1/8" x 1/4" (3.175mm x 6.350mm) textured steel button on the same side of the knife as the safety lever. With a leather glove on for protection, I attempted to force the locked blade closed. I was unable to overcome the strength of the blade lock. The lock release is firm, but slides easily with your thumb. During closing, the SAT spring decreases in tension through roughly 120° of blade rotation. After passing this point, the spring tension is reduced to zero and the blade easily flips closed. Once the blade has fully closed, the safety mechanism can be engaged, returning the knife to a safe configuration.

      TESTING

      My testing strategy consisted of cutting performance, deployment and grip, and extreme temperature performance.

      Cut Testing
      Cutting performance of the Flash II was outstanding through all phases of testing. My rope tests were completed using nylon parachute cord, 1/4" (6.350 mm) nylon and polyester rope, 3/8" (9.525 mm) nylon and polyester rope, and 1/2" nylon (12.700 mm) nylon rope. These materials were chosen as likely materials used in camping, backpacking, climbing and around the house. All rope was easily cut on the first pass with the blade. The Flash II performed equally well on 1" (25.400 mm) strap material commonly used in rafting. The knife was never sharpened during testing and held a superior edge throughout all the various tests. The serrations on the blade do an outstanding job of cutting through all types of cordage.

      Following cutting various types of ropes, I checked the cutting performance of the Flash II using various types of meats: hot dogs (if this is indeed meat), steak, pork, fish, and chicken. Both cooked and raw meats were used in my testing. The knife worked extremely well, easily cubing all types of meat. The raw meat cut test was performed after all of the rope tests (without sharpening), again a testament to how well the knife holds its edge. I used the knife during many "leftover" lunches at work, and it easily cut through all meats.

      Deployment and Grip Testing
      My knife deployment testing was designed to simulate how well I could hold the knife and deploy the blade when it really mattered – like being caught in rigging on a boat, trapped underwater in a raft strap, or after being punched by some punk trying to get my wallet. Testing was conducted with a wet knife or wet hands and in various body positions (standing, sitting, upside down). If I was indeed upside down, underwater with my leg was hung up in a rope, could this knife get me out of my jam?

      In this testing, it became apparent that the Flash II bayonet clip is a mixed blessing. The bayonet clip is small and nondescript, making it great for discrete every day carry in your front pants pocket. Unfortunately, because of its low profile, the knife can be rather difficult to remove from a pocket. In fact, in the "raft" test, many attempts were required before I could get the knife out of my pocket – the bayonet clip holds that well. With practice, I was able to develop a technique where I grab the end of the knife with my thumb and pry the clip up and out with my index finger. While my index finger became sore after multiple attempts, the technique did work quite well. I think this result just goes to show that with any weapon, proper training and sufficient practice is critical to effectively using it in a pressure situation.

      The knife deployed underwater without issue, although it did appear to deploy slightly more slowly. I only tested the knife in still water. My grip was never compromised despite my hands being wet, snowy, or dirty. Grip performance has been good in all test conditions – including the meat cutting testing. I was never concerned with losing my hold on this knife.

      The blade has never deployed with the safety ON despite multiple intentional drops on carpet, concrete, dirt, metal and wood.

      Extreme Temperature Performance
      Through my daily use of this knife, it is quite obvious that it performs very well in temperatures from 40° F (4.44° C) to 80° F (26.6° C). I've never had the blade fail to deploy or close, the safety has never failed, and the locking blade has never failed.

      My first extreme temperature test, was conducted by throwing the knife in a snow bank, retrieving the knife and placing it in my kitchen freezer at 15° F (-9.4° C) for 15 minutes. After retrieving the Flash II, the blade was firmly frozen in the handle and could not be deployed. I placed the knife in my front pocket and attempted blade deployment at one minute intervals. After six minutes, the knife thawed out enough for the blade to deploy. The safety mechanism could be moved throughout the test, but it could not be determined if the safety was engaged or not. Once deployed, the knife cut a hot dog just as well as if the blade was at room temperature.

      To test performance at the other end of the thermometer, I placed the knife in 150° F (54.4° C) oven for 15 minutes. While warm to the touch, the Zytel material remained basically unchanged. The knife was easy to hold in all positions and during blade deployment and closing. The bayonet clip was a little bit hot and did affect my grip slightly as two fingers were in contact with it while in use. The knife cut the same hot dog without problem.

      FIELD USE

      Locations tested:
      Daily use – at work, at home
      Arkansas River, CO fishing trip

      This knife has been my daily carry for the last 3 months. I take it everywhere I go – to the office, ball games, church, school, restaurants, around the house, etc. Because of the discrete clip, and slim profile, the knife has never been noticed by anyone while I carry it. I've also carried this knife in a fishing vest, backpack, cargo pants and waders. It has always stayed in place and cut everything I've put in front of it.

      I generally carry the knife with the safety OFF. I have noticed that the safety tends to work itself into the ON position while clipped into my pants pocket. While some think users may think this is a good thing, I have found that this condition results in delayed deployment. SOG should improve the knife so that the safety mechanism stays in the last commanded position.

      I used the spine of the blade to strike a flint while sparking a fire. The knife throws a good spark. Bear in mind however, that sparks are formed by burning iron in the blade. A burr will form on your blade when you do this. The Flash II is no exception to this rule.

      I have sharpened the knife quite easily using a precision sharpening system. With the serrated edge, care must be taken while sharpening the straight portion of the blade. But, I feel the benefits of the serrations are worth extra time it takes to sharpen the knife.

      PROs
      Sharp blade that holds an edge
      Easy to carry
      Very secure clip
      Fast opening blade
      Single hand operation
      Well designed finger cutouts and grip pattern
      Safety lock mechanism

      CONs
      Safety sometimes works from the OFF to the ON position resulting in delayed blade deployment
      Clip takes some practice to learn to manipulate when removing the knife from a pocket

      SUMMARY
      I am very impressed with the workmanship, the performance and most importantly the cutting ability of the SOG Flash II FSA-98 knife. SOG has taken a lot of time to ensure the knife is well balanced with well placed grip cutouts and patterning. The SOG Assisted Technology opening mechanism makes one hand operation a breeze. The blade opens quickly with this technology and has always resulted in a solid blade lock in my experience. The blade lock has never failed in use. This knife goes with me wherever I go.
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 5 , May 2, 2009
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • Jamie D.
        ROGER - Andy Rowland(1) - SOG Specialty Knives Flash II - Posted Apr 29(msg#77607), Taken May 7, Edit May 7 (77650), Follow up sent Jun 11, Hello Andy,
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 11, 2009
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          ROGER - Andy Rowland(1) - SOG Specialty Knives Flash II - Posted Apr 29(msg#77607), Taken May 7, Edit May 7 (77650), Follow up sent Jun 11,

          Hello Andy,
          Following a review of our Owner Review queue at BackpackGearTest.org I noticed you have not responded to the Edit notice given for the above Owner's Review, which was posted by Roger back on May 7th. Please refer to message number 77650 at
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest/messages

          Are you planning to continue with the OR? We are here to help so please don't hesitate to ask if there is something we can assist you with so you can complete your Owner Review?

          Please let me know how you wish to proceed with this review so I can inform your editor and update the queue.

          Regards
          Jamie DeBenedetto
          Edit Administration Manager
        • Andy Rowland
          Hi Jamie- Sorry for the long delay.  One of the comments was I needed field testing in the woods, and I just now have been able to do that! I m sending an
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 29, 2009
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            Hi Jamie-
            Sorry for the long delay.  One of the comments was I needed field testing in the woods, and I just now have been able to do that!

            I'm sending an email back to Roger tonight with my rewrite.  Hope my delay didn't cause too many problems.




            ________________________________
            From: Jamie D. <jdeben@...>
            To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:48:03 PM
            Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Follow up for Andy Rowland Re: OWNER REVIEW- SOG Flash II





            ROGER - Andy Rowland(1) - SOG Specialty Knives Flash II - Posted Apr 29(msg#77607) , Taken May 7, Edit May 7 (77650), Follow up sent Jun 11,

            Hello Andy,
            Following a review of our Owner Review queue at BackpackGearTest. org I noticed you have not responded to the Edit notice given for the above Owner's Review, which was posted by Roger back on May 7th. Please refer to message number 77650 at
            http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/BackpackGe arTest/messages

            Are you planning to continue with the OR? We are here to help so please don't hesitate to ask if there is something we can assist you with so you can complete your Owner Review?

            Please let me know how you wish to proceed with this review so I can inform your editor and update the queue.

            Regards
            Jamie DeBenedetto
            Edit Administration Manager







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jamie D.
            No problems here Andy. Good to know you were able to get some field testing in and now have some really valuable info. to add to the OR. Don t forget to post
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 2, 2009
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              No problems here Andy. Good to know you were able to get some field testing in and now have some really valuable info. to add to the OR.
              Don't forget to post to the yahoo list too.
              Jamie D

              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Andy Rowland <abrowland719@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Jamie-
              > Sorry for the long delay.  One of the comments was I needed field testing in the woods, and I just now have been able to do that!
              >
              > I'm sending an email back to Roger tonight with my rewrite.  Hope my delay didn't cause too many problems.
              >
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