SOG Knives is known for tough, no-nonsense products, and you see a lot of them in the hands of U.S. military and law enforcement personnel. They’re also popular among the significant chunk of the civilian population that needs a good tactical blade. SOG’s Aegis-assisted opening folders and manually operated Arc-Lock Spec-Elite knives are already established contenders in the tactical field. Yet the company remains committed to making automatic knives. After paving the way with their SOG-TAC models, SOG has returned with the Spec-Elite Auto.

The Spec-Elite Auto series consists of two models, the Spec-Elites I and II. Both knives share 6061-T6 hard anodized aluminum handles, left-side firing buttons, spine-mounted safeties and reversible deep-carry pocket clips. Both mount straight edge, drop-point blades of AUS-8 stainless steel treated to a respectable 57-68 HRC. The primary difference between the two is blade size. The Spec-Elite I has a 3.5-inch blade, as compared to the Spec-Elite II’s 4-inch blade. The Spec-Elite I weighs just 2.8 ounces, while the II comes in at a still-lightweight 3.6 ounces. Both models can be had with either satin-finished or black titanium nitride-coated blades.

Strong Spring

The Spec-Elite’s uses a fairly powerful spring that kicks the blade open with authority. Make sure you have a firm grip on the knife when activating, or it might jump from your hand, as some of my coworkers found out the hard way. It isn’t a big deal once you realize the degree of kick, but when opening a firm grasp is required. That said, I really like how fast and positive the actions on these SOG’s are. There’s certainly nothing sluggish about them; when you mash the firing button, the blades snick open in a flash. SOG rates the springs as good for tens of thousands of openings, too, so you aren’t likely to wear them out when you’re just sitting there and opening them over and over again, driving your coworkers nuts. Not that I would do that, mind you.

For more on this pick up the May 2013 issue of Tactical Knives!

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