SOG’s new collaborations with Jason Brous offer excellent value in personal tactical blades.
The ergonomic finger wells on the Growl are extremely comfortable.
The Snarl can be carried on the belt or inside the waistband, in multiple positions.
The tip of the Growl is surprisingly fine for so broad a blade.
The jimping on the Growl is comfortable and well-machined.
he Snarl can be held with the index finger in the front hole. Users with large fingers may find this less comfortable for the middle finger.
A two-finger grip on the Snarl is both secure and stable thanks to the jimping on which the thumb is braced.
Jason Brous, CNC machinist and knifemaker, has been covering a lot of ground recently. His distinctive and often provocative designs have made his blades popular in their own right. The prices are reasonable, too, but there will be those in the market for tactical knives who aren’t ready to pay the prices commanded by an individual maker’s shop.
Those consumers may now avail themselves of the latest collaboration between Mr. Brous and SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, which has long been prominent in the industry. The result of this partnership is a pair of factory production blades dubbed the Snarl and the Growl, which take their cues from the Brous Silent Soldier neck knife and the Brous Triple Threat tanto respectively. Each blade retails for just over half the cost of the top-selling, non-factory version while continuing to deliver both function and quality.
SOG Snarl Naturally, there are variations from the original Brous blade. The Snarl is roughly the same size as the Silent Soldier, from which it is derived, with an overall length that is roughly 2/10 inches shorter while being 1/16 inches slimmer. The 2.3-inch blade steel is made of satin-finished 9Cr18MoV steel, a high-carbon stainless steel that’s comparable to 440C and used by several manufacturers for blades of this type. SOG’s website says the knife is hardened to HRC 58-60, typical of this blade steel. The blade pattern is an elongated Wharncliffe or sheep’s-foot with a pair of indentations that suggest a swedge.
Notably, the small, integral guard of the Silent Soldier’s design has been trimmed in the Snarl to streamline its blade. However, the Snarl still incorporates a scallop at the bottom of the knife, between the two finger holes. This means the knife can be held in one of two ways: with two fingers through the holes, or with the index finger through the lead hole while using the rest of the knife’s body as a grip. Your middle finger will naturally rest over that scallop, while your thumb will find the grooves along the top of the knife. This jimping has been increased in the SOG collaboration. “I think it’s good that they made more of it,” comments Jason Brous. “It fits good. It feels good on the thumb.” Brous also has good things to say about the finish of the Snarl, particular the finger holes. He notes the difficulty in getting into such holes during the manufacturing process in order to clean and smooth them. The finish and ergonomics of the Snarl are quite good, with no rough edges. Even the cutouts between the finger holes, which were probably added to reduce weight (the Silent Soldier has three small, circular holes, while the Snarl’s two openings are enlarged), show that considerable attention was paid to this detail. Users with very large hands may find that using the two-finger grip, rather than one finger in the hole and the rest wrapped around the knife’s body, is the more comfortable option. (Large fingers will tend to push against the corner of the scallop.) Either grip, however, affords excellent traction when the thumb is braced on the jimping…
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Jason Brous, CNC machinist and knifemaker, has been covering a lot of ground recently.…
by Len Waldron / Sep 19, 2013