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It’s a pity that even at an outdoors show, too many people view knives as something other than the tools that they are. A good knife comes in handy for preparing food, sharpening a stick for roasting marshmallows, cutting rope or twine, and a variety of other tasks. I personally carry a small pocketknife for opening boxes and packages on a daily basis, and it comes in handy when doing some work in the yard or cutting up old shirts to make rags for applying wood stain. (One of my hobbies is woodworking) SOG recognizes the utility of a good blade, and offers a couple of new models that may be of interest to campers, or outdoor enthusiasts in general.
First up is the BladeLight. The premise behind this knife is simple: take a general use blade and combine it with some LED lighting to create a knife with its own light source. If you’ve ever had to cut something at night, or prepare a campsite meal in low light, you’ll immediately see the appeal. There are two models, both of which have a glass reinforced nylon handle. Six LEDs, three on either side of the 9Cr18MoV stainless blade (HRC 58-60), allow you to see what you’re cutting, without awkward shadows. With a 3.9 inch blade, the folding liner lock version is an even 9 inches when open. A pair of AAA batteries allow it to put out 34-37 lumens, and run for up to 260 minutes. The fixed model has a 5.7 inch blade, and an overall length of 11.3 inches. Output is somewhat lower, at only 25 lumens, but the runtime is an impressive 175 minutes on a single AA battery. An IPX-7 rating ensures either light will work when wet, or even under water. Included with the folding model is a nylon sheath, while the fixed model comes with a rigid Kydex unit. MSRP varies from $80 for the folder to $115 for the fixed BladeLight.
Each year, manufacturers figure out how to make our gear a little lighter or pack down smaller, and SOG is no exception. The SOG SlimJim can boast that it’s the slimmest assisted-opening knife available. These knives are each made from a single piece of 420 stainless, and boast a profile so slim they’ll make a supermodel jealous. Currently, there are two sizes to choose from. With a 3.18 inch blade, the 7.4 inch overall model weighs in at only 2.4 ounces. The SlimJim XL comes with a 4.18 inch blade for an overall length of 9.36 inches, and 2.7 ounce weight. Both have reversible pocket clips for ease of carry, because a knife isn’t useful unless it’s at hand. Of course, it’s the SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) which sets them even further apart from the competition. Smooth, fast, and reliable, these easily open with one hand, and have a safety to lock it in the open position, or keep it from accidentally opening.
SOG has plenty of other knives for every day carry that are great camping companions. Additional tools include the SOGfari machete in 13 and 18 inch sizes, a folding camp saw, entrenching tool (folding shovel) and a nice hand axe with G10 scales. If you’re looking for lighting that matches your tools, the DarkEnergy line of flashlights might be of interest as well. Check out sogknives.com