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Knife Review: SOG Mini Instinct G-10 Neck Knife

Knife Review: SOG Mini Instinct G-10 Neck Knife

Posted by SD on Sep 8th 2020

The SOG Mini Instinct G-10 Neck Knife

The story of SOG Specialty Knives does not begin with the founder, Spencer Frazer, and his love of knives, although that does play a big part of it. It actually all started in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit. This unit was known as MACV-SOG and the member had to carry a unique combat knife because of their covert missions in the jungle. It was in 1986, years later, that Spencer Frazer happened across that bowie knife and founded SOG Specialty Knives. His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie Knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it.

What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools are field proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. From protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, to facing your most extreme conditions yet, your SOG knife will stand up to the demands needed. So, no matter your situation, you should lead the way with SOG. These knives are “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.”

Spencer Frazer is not only the founder of SOG, but also the chief designer. He has always been a creative person and since he was a young boy, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. Throughout his life he has graduated from UCLA as a math and science major, started his own company in the professional audio industry, worked in the aerospace defense industry, and has been involved in the modern art movement. Spencer says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment he first saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie. Spencer has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Mini Instinct G10 neck knife, which is available at BladeOps.

The Blade:

The blade on this neck knife has been made out of 5Cr15MoV steel. This is an all-around stainless steel. It has similar qualities to that of the 440 series of steel. This sir because both the 5Cr15MoV steel and the 440 series are going to have good edge retention, high corrosion resistance, and will be easy to sharpen.

This steel is actually a popular option on kitchen knives, because the corrosion resistance levels are up to par. This steel is often hardened to around 54-56HRC. Typically, the bigger the blade, the softer the steel is going to be when it comes to this steel. The blade on the Mini Instinct is tiny though, so it will be hard enough for the tasks that you need it for.

The blade has been finished satin. The satin finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasingly fine level of an abrasive, such as sandpaper. This works to showcase the fine lines in the steel as well as highlight the bevels of the blade. Both of these characteristics do lend themselves to looking more traditional than other finishes.

SOG Mini Instinct G10 Neck Knife, Satin Finish

The satin finish falls in the middle of the luster spectrum. It is neither reflective, nor matte, although it does cut down on some glares and reflections. The last major benefit to the satin finish is that it does increase the corrosion resistance of the blade slightly. While the satin finish does give the blade some serious character, it does not steal the show in any way.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This style of blade is the second most popular blade style, falling only behind a drop point blade style. The clip point and drop point have much in common: they are perfect for tasks and they both sport lowered points, which gives the user extra control when using the knife.

The shape of this knife is created by having the spine of the knife go from the handle to half-way up the blade. At this point, it angles down toward the tip of the knife. This section of the blade is referred to as the clip and looks as if it has been clipped out, which is actually where the knife got its name from. The clip on this blade style creates a lowered tip, which is why you are going to have so much control when you are using this knife. The clip point blade style excels at stabbing, because the tip is controllable, very sharp, and thin. These characteristics are perfect for reducing drag during insertion and faster removal.

This blade style is a great all-purpose knife because it does have such a large belly, which is ideal for slicing. Of course, this is a neck knife, so you probably won’t be needing it to assist you in any every-day tasks. That being said, it can hold its own if the opportunity should arise.

The clip point blade style does feature one major disadvantage though: because the tip is narrower than the rest of the knife, the clip point blade style is prone to breaking if used on hard materials.

The Handle:

This is a full tang. The handle scales that are attached to the metal are made out of G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material is extremely similar to carbon fiber, except that it is a little bit inferior. To create this material, the manufacturer is going to take layers of fiberglass cloth. The manufacturer will then soak them in resin, compress the layers, and lastly bake them under pressure. This process creates a material that is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong.

Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G-10 is considered to be the strongest. Tactical knives and fixed blades benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is a durable material that is lightweight while also being non-porous. The non-porous part is one of the biggest advantages, because it is not going to absorb any liquids that you do work with. This means that maintenance is going to be a breeze, because all you have to do is wipe down the handle. The pros to a G10 handle are that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. However, it is also going to be brittle and some people complain that it lacks the elegance they want out of a knife.

The G-10 handle scales are a great option for a knife that needs to be durable, but lightweight enough for you to wear it like a necklace.

The spine of the knife is straight, but the belly has three finger grooves. The first is outlined with jimping, which will give you a little bit more control. The others will simply create a comfortable and secure place for you to hold onto while using this knife. The butt of the knife does have a large lanyard hole.

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade neck knife. This means that there is not any mechanism that will open or close the knife. All you have to do is pull it out of its sheath and it is ready to go. The first thing about a fixed blade, especially this one, is that it will be easy to bring into play. That is the most important aspect of it. There will not need to be any fumbling as you try to open the knife, because all you have to do is yank on it. This is important because in situations that you are using this, every second will count.

The second big advantage of this fixed blade is that it is a full tang. This means that the metal form the blade extends throughout the entire length of the knife. But, more importantly, it means that there are not going to be any weaker spots where the blade has been welded or where there is a hinge. This knife is going to be strong enough that it will not snap when you are relying on it most.

The Sheath:

The sheath on this knife is made out of nylon. The nylon sheath is one of the more commonly used knife sheath materials. They are often compared to leather, because they are very common and have been around for longer periods of time. Just like leather, nylon sheaths are known for being tough as well as strong. However, nylon does take the lead because they are resistant to rot and mildew as well as not being as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths are. As we all know, leather’s biggest enemy is the sheath or the water. Next, nylon sheaths are not easily scuffed or torn because of how durable the material really is.

Of course, the sheath material is going to have its disadvantages. For example, nylon sheaths are not going to last as long as leather sheaths are. Plus, the longer you have a leather sheath, the better your knife is going to fit in it. When it comes to nylon, it is almost the exact opposite. Nylon sheaths get stretched out over time, which means that while the sheath will continue to work, it is not going to give your knife a snug or secure hold. In some cases, the sheath will get so stretched out that it is much safer to just go out and buy a new sheath.

SOG Mini Instinct G10 Neck Knife, Satin Finish

The nylon of this sheath is a hard-molded nylon, which does mean that it is going to act slightly more like Kydex than your traditional nylon. This will allow it to stay securely inside of its sheath while hanging from your neck. It will also keep the knife slightly more protected than if it were not in a hard-molded nylon sheath.

The Specs:

This is a neck knife, so all of the measurements are going to be quite a bit smaller than you would typically see. For starters, the blade itself measures in at a mere 1.9 inches long. Even though that does seem rather small, it will get the job done when you need it to. The blade has a thickness of .16 inches thick, which is definitely on the thicker side. The overall length of this small knife measures in at 4.8 incehs long. This is ideal, because you can easily hide it underneath your shirt, but you won’t have to worry about it being able to perform. SOG really did hit the sweet spot when it comes to this self-defense knife. The Mini Instinct weighs in at a mere 1.6 ounces.


The SOG Mini Instinct is a compact, wearable fixed blade designed for those moments in time where the situation demands your full attention. With a satin finish and a G10 handle, the Mini Instinct is easy to carry in a variety of positions including around your neck with a lanyard. Comes with a multi angle adjustable clip on the hard-molded nylon sheath. When your instincts cry out for a knife, consider the SOG Instinct your go to tool.

This knife is a great one to have with you at all times so that you don’t have to be afraid when a bad situation arises. This one is available at BladeOps, but the quantities are going quickly. If you want to secure one of your own today, click here.