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Re: [BackpackGearTest] OWNER REVIEW - SOG Flash II Knife

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  • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2009
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      <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 all
      > 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.
      > 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
      > 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.
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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.
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > ------------------------------------
      > To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
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