Thursday, December 13, 2012

SOG Forge Review


This will be the first blade review on the site.  I'll also review some Japanese Chef Knives some of which are amazing and some suck. So hopefully I can help drive an informed decision on a niche product.

12/12/12 - Just got this beautiful knife yesterday so I can only provide initial thoughts which I'll do and then follow up as needed.

The SOG Forge was introduced in 2011 and its listed as a related item to SOGs ultra-premium Kiku knife on, which shows in the hammered design cues, blade style, and handle.  I'd rather have a Kiku but the SOG Forge seems like a more reasonable alternative.  The SOG can be had for around $178-300 with a median price of $200. 

Overall the knife is solid with a full tang 10.87" x .2" slab of VG-10 on a hand machined blade.  Supersharp out of the box and well oiled. The VG-10 san mai made in SEKI prefecture blade is a very good stainless steel that gets very sharp easily and stays that way.  As far as the knife goes it seems like a 10/10 or very close.  Strong workable blade, supersharp, well balanced in multiple holds.  Compared to a SOG SEAL 2000 the blade is about an inch and a half shorter (~.5" of the SOG SEAL Blade is not a cutting surface), the Forge's blade actually seems thicker, but they are different knives.  The Forge is more of a fine knife, the SEAL 2000 is more of a tool that you'd use to cut line out of your props or put a hole in a Mercedes without inflicting damage to the blade, handle or tip.  I'm not saying the SOG Forge knife wouldn't be good for that but I wouldn't want to find out either.   The SOG Forge makes the SEAL 2000's AUS-6A  seem dull.  The one area where the SOG SEAL 2000 is hands down better is the sheath which is surprising.
Sog Forge Sheath

The SOG Forge sheath is well made out of beautiful leather; however, the strap that secures the knife naturally rubs off the sharpness of the blade as you unsheath it.  It's unfortunate because otherwise this thing is perfect.  I'd encourage SOG to spend a bit more and use the original Forge Sheath pictured on or re-engineer the sheath strap -- its just going to fail in time and compromise the performance of the blade in the interim.  You can remove the blade without touching the retaining strap if you utilize the utmost care but your probably not going to pay attention if you need to use the knife.

Update 1: Added product links to buy from Amazon for the first time.  Due to price fluctuations they aren't always the cheapest but I've found they always have the best service and a great informational resource as well.  I do not write paid reviews, and I do not write reviews to sell things: I hope adding product links enhances user experience and if you want to support this blog please do use these links to buy or research.  Thanks!

Update 12/14/12: Prayers go out to Fairfield County CT Shooting. As far as the SOG goes I now keep the sheath sitting on top of the strap and knife out of the sheath to help it get out of the way of the blade. I've also done some paper tests and the blade is sharp but too thick to be awesome at this test. It sliced through box and tape material with a minimal amount of smooth effort. I then decided to top the knife off, so to speak, and the blade sharpens incredibly well. I thought it was sharp out of the box, its not.  Its my sharpest blade and thats comparing it to Aogomi Super Steel and Hattori pieces as well as traditionally forged vintage Japanese katanas. 

Update 1/31/13:  Just wanted to say great job to the 2012 Redskins and that if you place this knife on a table the handle keeps the blade completely off the table.  The blade sharpens very well and its easy to get a sticky sharp lasting blade.  It's a great material for a knife this size and so far it is nice but I do get the occasional scratch on the shiny finish of the blade which could be buffed out but it is a knife.

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