Founded in 1986 out of Santa Monica, California. SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. Known as SOG, are a knife and multi-tool manufacturing company. SOG started gaining popularity in the knife industry when they released their reproduction SOG knife inspired from the Vietnam War era.
The original SOG knife was known as the MACV-SOG, it was issued to covert personnel during the Vietnam War. It was intentionally designed to be untraceable to any country or place of manufacture, this was to give deniability by any covert operators found in possession of the knife should they be captured or killed in action.
SOG now manufacture a wide range of different knives and multi-tools. As well as some of the original military inspired knives, SOG also have a large range of everyday carry (EDC) knives.
There is a collectors market for rare and discontinued knives manufactured by SOG. With only a few remaining from the small amount of early knives manufactured, prices and demand can be high. Take the S1 Bowie model as an example, there was only ever 50 pieces made and is valued at around $1,000.
The company was founded by Spencer Frazer and his wife Gloria, he remains to date as the Chief Engineer in a very hands on role. Spencer was inspired by the MACV-SOG knife, the knife of choice for US Special Ops during the Vietnam War.
He made several changes to the original design of the MACV-SOG model. Most noticeably a better gripping handle made by resin-impregnating the leather, and using thinner stock and grid lines. The company and product was launched with a one-page ad in the Soldier and Fortune Magazine, and the journey began from then.
Today the company has expanded to around 200 employee and boasts an impressive catalogue of EDC knives, reproduction of military designs and an ever growing range of multi-tools.
SOG Knives are used by military personnel, outdoors enthusiasts, survival experts and casual pocket knife users. Some of the more well known models include the SOG 2000, which has a 7” blade and is manufactured for and used by the United States Navy Seals.There is a range of SOG pocket knives for EDC users, most notable being the SOG Aegis. Other military style knives include SOG tactical knives, tactical knives feature one or more military designed features, making them capable of being used as a combat weapon.
SOG have operations in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the USA. When a bulk of the production was moved from Japan to Taiwan and China to save costs, there was a backlash from loyal customers complaining about a drop in quality. Multi-tools and some special edition models are manufactured in the USA along with the folders used on most the SOG knife range. And a few special edition knifes are still produced in Japan.
With a large share of SOG business being geared towards the EDC market, it is no surprise that they would follow in the footsteps of many other well known knife manufacturers. The current economic climate allows for lower production costs in Taiwan and China, keeping the playing field competitive, and being passed on to the bottom line at retail.
Over the last 20 plus years SOG have received numerous awards from many prestigious players in the knife industry. Here are some of the awards that stand out, and the models they were awarded to:
- Outdoor Life Editor’s Choice Survival Knives – Seal Pup Elite
- Field and Stream Best Utility Knife – Vulcan Mini
- NTOA Tested and Approved – Seal Pup Elite
- NTOA Tested and Approved – Trident
- Collaboration of the Year (Spencer Frazer & Kiku Matsada) – Kiku (discontinued)
- Blade Show; American Made Knife of the Year – TOPO Meridian (discontinued)
- Field and Stream Best Knife – Field Knife (discontinued)