Friday, December 16, 2011

Update & Final Thoughts on the SOG Spec Elite II


One of my most often read posts is one about my experiences in carrying a truly large folder, specifically the SOG Spec Elite II. It is a 'combat' folder with a monstrous 5inch recurve blade in the excellent VG-10 steel. I have carried it on and off for several years and I have decided to retire this knife from carry permanently.

One of the main reasons for carrying a big folder is for possible self defense use and honestly the only other reason is for woods craft like batoning or chopping. Otherwise a small blade is generally going to be less expensive, less legally problematic, easier to carry, and less likely to scare other folks. But the Spec Elite is simply not strong enough to deal with those things.

From day one, I've have problems with the screws holding the pivot point together. They want to work loose during the operation. The weight of the blade only aggravates the situation. Tightening them enough to stop it, would only keep the blade from smoothly opening via thumbstud, lock manipulation, or just a hard flick of the wrist. Loctite I think will only cause more of the same. The blade has a good amount of wobble when untightened enough to open normally. As already said tightening it doesn't work either. As it stands I do believe under heavy duty use, in an emergency, I do not have faith in the screws not to work out and for the blade to come free. The frame is not strong enough to maintain integrity alone.

In fact, I discovered that two of the small screws had indeed worked out and been lost a few weeks ago when I went to carry it IWB. On the upside, I emailed SOG, and they had two replacement screws in my mailbox within two weeks.

The blade sharpness and sturdiness is excellent, the pocketclip is good enough for IWB, the lock system is secure, and the grip is at least passable. I can only rate this one for medium use on the condition that you are very careful on keeping an eye on the screws. Therefore, the 5inch blade is practically decorative. This one is going into the old knife box. It is retired.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Hmm, interesting RK. Too bad about the screws, I was going to suggest locktite but it looks like you have already considered that option. I've been playing around w/ some large CS folders (mainly the XL Voyager) and it's got a 5" blade too. Really it's just way too big for what I'm trying to do. Interesting experiment however, always nice to hear results of long term testing and evaluation.

Thomas Manning said...

Did anyone happen to catch what the thread size/pitch is on these? Mine need to be replaced.