The SOG Flash II Rescue Assisted Knife
SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a United States knife and tool manufacturing company famous for their reproduction SOG Knife from the Vietnam era. SOG manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. The company also produces a line of multi-tools.
The company was founded in 1986 by Spencer and Gloria Frazer and was inspired in its choice of name by the Joint Services Special Operations unit known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group or MACV-SOG who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.
Changes were made to the original design of the MACV SOG Fighter, like resin-impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine for the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date (only 1 of the original 39 knives produced has survived till this day). Author Greg Walker considers knives such as these and many of the SOG models produced prior to the shift of production from Seki City, Japan to Taiwan to be the best knives SOG had ever made.
A second "maritime" version of the Bowie (S2) was made utilizing a black micarta handle and stainless-steel blade known as the Trident.It was decorated with the US Navy SEAL emblem as opposed to the Special Forces Crest found on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori of Seki Japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp. also of Seki until 2007.
OG Specialty Knives manufactures an array of tools available for military personnel and casual outdoor users. SOG also makes several other military style knives including a tactical switchblade which is only available to military/law enforcement personnel. SOG has developed fixed blade knives for survival and outdoors such as the Tech Bowie as well as folding knives, many of which feature assisted opening technology such as the Aegis, Twitch and Trident. SOG also manufactures multi-tools including the Paratool, PowerLock, and PowerAssist.
Many of SOG's folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the United States, with the higher priced folders being made by G.Sakai in Seki City. The fixed blade models that were originally made in Seki are now made in Taiwan. Some of SOG's lesser priced tools, such as the Fusion line are manufactured in Taiwan or China.
SOG says, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So, whether you're protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life's everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.”
Today we will be talking about the Flash II Rescue Assisted Knife.
The blade is made out of AUS 8 steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. If you are looking to compare it to another type of steel, your best bet would be to 440B. However, AUS-8 is going to be slightly more corrosion resistant. It is also similar to 440C, except that it is a little bit softer than 440C. The extra softness does mean that you are going to have to sharpen the blade more often. This is because AUS-8 stainless steel does have less carbon than some of the higher ranked steels. The more carbon there is in a steel, the better it is going to be able to hold its edge. However, it also means that it is going to be much easier to sharpen when you do need to. It is also a breeze to get a razor-sharp edge on this steel. This steel is tough enough to get the job done.
The blade has been finished with a black titanium nitride finish. This is also known as a TiNi finish. This is an extremely hard, ceramic material that is often used to coat different products, such as blades. This coating is applied as a thin layer. It will then harden and protect cutting and sliding purposes as well as being sued for decorative purpose.
This TiNi coating is a matte black, which is going to look sleek while also cutting down on glares and reflections that happen your way. It is also going to increase the wear and corrosion resistance levels of the steel, because it is so hard, and it does protect it from any environmental factors. Many coatings are known to easily scratch off, but since this one is a harder coating, it shouldn’t scratch off easily.
The blade on this SOG has been carved into a sheepsfoot blade shape. A sheepsfoot blade has a straight cutting edge and an unsharpened spine that curves down to meet the straight edge and makes a false point. The primary purpose of a sheepsfoot is for cutting and slicing where a point is not wanted or needed. This is the perfect blade shape for a rescue knife, because you can get very close to the situation without worrying about stabbing anything on accident. For example, you will easily be able to cut through seatbelts without worrying about piercing the person who is wearing the seat belt. Some of the overall advantages to this blade shape is that it is going to give you very clean cuts, it is very controllable, and no point exists. However, the lack of point is also one of the disadvantages of a sheepsfoot blade, because it means that the blade is not as versatile as it could be.
This is a combo edge, which means that the upper 1/3 of it has been sharpened to a plain edge while the lower 2/3 have been sharpened with serrations. This is designed to give you the best of both worlds. It allows you to perform fine detail work with the plain portion while also sawing through thicker materials with the serrations. This is ideal for a rescue knife, because you will be prepared for anything that comes your way. The biggest criticism of the combo edge is that neither portion is large enough to fully utilize them.
The handle is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is the same material as FRN and is the common brand of Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is very strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, this material is incredibly cheap because it can be injection molded.
One of the key characteristics about this material is that they nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the handle which means that it is going to be strong in all directions. This is different from G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which all have their fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. The handle on this knife is black.
The GRN is going to be strong, tough, inexpensive, and require zero maintenance. This means that it is going to be a very quality knife handle material that is going to get the job done on a tough knife such as this one.
The handle is pretty rugged, while being ergonomically so that you do have the most control over it. The spine is straight, angling in toward the butt. The butt does flare out slightly, which helps you with control, because it keeps your hands from slipping off the knife. The belly has a large finger groove that is deep and wide. This will provide a lot of comfort and security while using it. The belly bulges out in the same shape and size as the finger groove. This will help it fit more securely in your palm. The face of the handle has been roughly textured so that you will never lose your grip on this in nearly any environment. There are also a few rows of jimping on the handle—one at the top of the spine and one at the bottom—that are there to give you the utmost control.
The Pocket Clip:
The Flash Rescore has a reversible bayonet mounted clip that does give you a low, discreet carry. The reversible characteristic does allow you to carry the knife in the way that is most comfortable to you, which does make this a safer knife to use. The clip is slightly skeletonized. The clip and hardware are also completely black, which does make this an all-black knife.
This SOG is a spring assisted knife that boasts the SOG Assisted technology. This is often referred to as the S.A.T. and works through the balance of opposing high tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.
Spring assisted knives have plenty of advantages. For example, they open almost as smoothly as a fully automatic knife, or a switchblade, but because they are not, they do not fall under the strict laws that switchblades do. Spring assisted knives can also be brought into play more quickly than a purely manual knife, because you do not have to struggle as much with the opening of the knife. That being said, they are going to be harder to maintain, because unlike a purely manual knife, you will now have a spring that you have to take care of.
The blade has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is the most common opening mechanism that is in the cutlery industry to date. It is a small stud that sits where the blade begins and the handle ends. To open the knife, you use your thumb to push against it. This will swing the blade open and lock it into place, ready for use. The biggest disadvantage about a thumb stud is that while you are swinging it open, it does put your fingers in the path of the blade, which can lead to accidentally cutting yourself if you are not careful. Of course, if you are paying attention, this is a perfectly safe mechanism to use. The biggest advantage of a thumb stud is that it is incredibly easy to use and to get the hang of.
The blade measures in at 3.5 inches long with a thickness of 0.125 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8 inches even when the blade is deployed. This is a lighter knife, especially for how large it is, weighing in at 3.1 ounces. This will be the perfect weight; giving you enough heft without weighing you down at all.
The SOG Flash II Rescue knife is one of the very coolest knives to hit the market. The blade snaps out amazingly fast with the S.A.T. (SOG Assisted Technology) system. You get the part serrated sheep's foot blade started, and the piston system takes over and snaps the blade out--which then locks up nice and tight. The part serrated blade has a black TiNi finish--and the sheep's foot style makes it much safer to use when cutting around people (such as cutting seat belts or other EMT type jobs). The Flash Rescue comes with a glass reinforced nylon handle that has fantastic shape and grip so you can hold on to this knife when you need it most. The Flash Rescue also comes with SOG's famous reversible bayonet mounted clip that gives you a low, discreet carry. And it has an additional safety lock for maximum security when the blade is closed. All this at a fantastic price--this is one safety tool you can't be without.