Re: [BackpackGearTest] OWNER REVIEW - SOG Flash II Knife
- <Ding!> Tall Boy!!! Sign him up!!!
No, seriously. Welcome to the group. I hope this is a good fit... and
your 6' 5" status could expand our range of testers.
Best wishes for the future at BGT...
BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com wrote on 04/28/2009 10:23:47 PM:
> Hi folks. Here's my first attempt at an owner review. Any and allconfiguration.
> feedback is greatly appreciated!
> Thanks much!
> Andy Rowland
> 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
> 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
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> 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.
> 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
> 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
> 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.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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