Pros: Materials, Overall Quality, Finish, Sheath/Scabbard, Weight, Blade Material, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, None
Heirloom Worthy Warrior
After a year and four months, I'm back for my follow up review. I'll get this out of the way: it has secured it's place as my favorite knife that I've ever used. The sheath, which I originally quipped about being leather and possibly too fragile (still would prefer a plastic or kydex sheath just for durability's sake), performs it's job admirably. The drainage hole does it's job, and I've never had a problem with the snaps for the blade or stone come undone. The stone, as well, is extremely good; it's all I've ever used for this knife, and it still keeps the out-of-the-box shaving sharp edge. (Note: While technically the entire blade is 7.2 inches in length, because of the large ricasso, only the first 6 inches from the tip are sharpened) The rear serrations are decent enough; I normaly prefer more saw-like teeth, but these do just fine as long as you have the sharpening rod for them. The weight is exceptional for a medium- large knife, allowing for good maneuverability and speed in hand (While this is my favorite "general use" knife, it is also my favorite fighting knife: it's reach, weight and sharpness make it superior to some other knives in it's class). The handle itself I was just a little disappointed in. While very comfortable to use, both dry/ wet and with gloves, after a few weekends of hard usage at my campsite (batoning wood, gutting/ skinning all check out good with this knife, btw), I noticed a slight rattle in the handle. It started as just noise, than advanced on to a tiny bit of movement. The SOG standard of using a custom, flush fitting nut to secure the handle to the tang of the blade was slowly and surely coming undone. I had to use a jury rigged set of allen wrenches to unscrew the nut, apply Lock-Tite, then re-tighten. There is still a tiny bit of noise, but since that day almost ten months ago, nothing more has become of it. The finish on the blade is astoundingly good, holding to it's still beautiful black sheen after all this time. Only in the last few weeks have I noticed any rusting on the uncoated sharpened part of the blade. However tiny of a spec it was, and however easy it was to remove, just thought I'd share it. IN SUMMARY, this knife, if I live long enough to do so, will be handed down to my son when I no longer need it. It has the potential and the capabilities to last that long and dish out plenty of damage between now and than. While expensive, you will never regret this purchase. Collectible because of it's historical significance (Vietnam, OPLAN 34 Alpha) and very usable because of it's excellent design and execution in performance.