Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking here…”a knife with a flashlight on it, big whoop”. That was my impression at first as well to be honest. There are a bunch of hooky flash-light / knife designs out there, but none seemed to have really nailed a good functional design. Until now that is. I’m being serious when I say that the SOG Bladeknife is a pretty cool knife that I would actually use on a camping or hunting trip…and maybe even in self-defense situations.
My only real complaint for this knife was with the glass-reinforced nylon handle. It was super smooth out of the box, which would probably not be a selling point for most hunters or anyone using the blade in a wet environment. The handle would give you zero gripping surface and could be somewhat dangerous for newbie knife users. The SOG cutout is cool looking, but it serves no purpose in providing a textured grip, etc.The sheath was actually really well put together. Its made from ballistic nylon and has a very nice retention system that actually locks the blade in place. This would be a perfect sheath/blade combo for a molle-equipped vest as the blade will never be able to fall out on accident.SOG states on their website that the Bladelight is water resistant (IPX-7 Rated). I did not test it to see if it was truly water resistant, but I wouldn’t doubt it was. I wouldn’t fully submerge it however, I just don’t see the handle holding up to the pressures of a good dunk.The placement of the lighting is actually very useful and the lights are fairly bright (at approx 25 Lumens) for what they are. It’s patent pending technology employs 6 LEDs molded into the GRN handle on either side of the knife blade, providing shadow-less light when cutting or flashlight capability (while sheathed or closed). With a burn-time of 175 minutes off of one AA battery, you won’t really have to worry about running out of juice during your camping trip…those little LEDs are very efficient.
I ended up solving the slippery handle by stippling the handle to give it a textured gripping surface. Now it is perfect for whatever use I want to throw at it. Whether your bare handed or wearing a glove, the stippled grip will not fail or slip. I hope that SOG later redesigns this handle surface to come with a better gripping texture.
The blade of this knife is a clip-point design with a nice sharp edge straight out of the box. It is actually quite nice. It’s relatively thin too at 0.18″, however it cut very well during our testing. I even tested the knife’s cutting ability during an edged weapons class taught by Force Options Tactical in Tempe, AZ. We were all surprised at how well the blade performed on the target/cutting dummie.
Overall, I really like the knife. First impressions were it was cheap, but after using it and putting it through the cut test, I was mildly-impressed. It is made in China and has the look and feel of a blade made there, so don’t expect too compare it against a high end blade. The big selling points are the blade design and sheath. My negatives are the slippery handle surface and the clear end caps on the handle, they make it look cheap and toy-like. If they were black it’d hide the LEDs better until they needed to be used. Still, it’d be a great camp, backpack or hikers blade. I’ll give it to SOG for coming up with an actual usable new design to an old multi-tool idea. With all of this being said, I’d give it a rating of 3 stars out of a possible 5 stars.
[Rating: 1 through 5 Stars] = Overall Rating: ★★★
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