SOG has some what of a cult following. When I mentioned I had a SOG Trident for review a few folks piped up and claimed how much they like SOG’s stabby devices. I was a bit surprised because SOG is a huge player in the game and typically this type of fanfare is reserved for smaller or obscure knife makers. Tonight, we’ll be looking at the SOG Trident Elite Tanto. Sit back, put on your leather gauntlets and get that hair into a proper pony tail…lets go.
The Trident Tanto Elite seeks to solve the problem of carrying multiple tools. The knife has 3 main functions. The first and most obvious is the blade comes in a Tanto point. If you get caught in the knife point debate some will wave the flag of having a tanto point for it’s increased strength towards the tip and others will say the tanto has no real every-day advantages and is a pain in the ass to sharpen. There is no denying however that it looks cool-as-fuck and will get the cutting job done. The second function is a small glass breaker tip which is found towards the front. Normally a glass breaker is on the rear of the knife. It’s fairly small but gets the job done (unless you have Mad Duo Merrill around cause he’ll just throw his elbow through the car window. True story.) The last feature is an integrated slot cutter / seat belt cutter that actually uses the knife blade instead of a dedicated blade. SOG doesn’t call it a seatbelt cutter and maybe that’s not it’s intention but we’ll be looking at it as a seatbelt cutter. When you sum up all these functions the Trident Elite has the makings of being a great emergency folder for a vehicle go-bag. With that said, I set out to use the knife as part of a vehicle kit for my truck. The knife saw various action including, breaking down cardboard, trimming twine and rope for various chores as well as varied cutting duties one might encounter. The one or two things it didn’t do was cut through my seat belts or smash my truck window, but I set out to try out these functions which we’ll get to.
I’m a simple man. I like my knife handles simple. The Trident has a very elaborate handle. First, the overall handle is made up of nylon and then for extra grip SOG uses a TPR (a Thermoplastic Rubber) in a few panels. THEN…to add more strength there are two stainless steel clips. The handle is very sturdy with little to no signs of flex. The downside to the handle is that the TPR panels made it hard to draw from my pant pocket. The handle would stick in the pocket and require a bit of coaching to remove. This problem was only noticeable when wearing jeans. When wearing cotton pants the problem wasn’t pronounced but still was present. Now, lets talk about the locking mechanisms. The blade has a lock switch right on the handle and then a piston lock that helps keep the blade in place once it’s deployed. The blade has an assisted opening function which is quite robust. If you aren’t familiar with assisted opening blades, it works similar to a switch blade but instead of pressing a button you use your thumb to start the blade movement and then the spring mechanism flips the knife completely open. This function is great for one handed operations and cool party tricks.
The knife blade
The steel is AUS-8 with a hardness of RC. 56-58 and then the blade is TIN coated black for enhanced durability. Overall decent blade material for the buck and will hold an edge and be easy to sharpen. The blade edge is flat ground to keep sharpening simple.
The handle has a cutout which is similar to a seatbelt cutter. SOG doesn’t call it a seatbelt cutter because typically a seatbelt cutter is a dedicated blade and the opening is a bit larger. Seatbelt cutters protect the person trapped under the seatbelt from the actual blade. The SOG Trident slot cutter isn’t designed for seat belts but I wanted to try it. The slot cutter didn’t cut through a seat belt with ease and the small opening was only good for cutting paracord sized cordage. I rather use the knife deployed for cutting duties and that seemed to work the best when comparing the use of the slot cutter versus the actual blade.
Bust that glass
On the front of the knife where the blade comes out is a tiny glass breaker. Don’t let the size fool you though cause it gets the job done. One quick strike and tempered glass explodes into a spiderweb of cracks. Great for having inside a car if shit goes south and your only exit is through the window.
Studies and Observation Group
SOG has a large selection of knives and multitools (which I’ve been thrashing about for an upcoming review). They just released some new products for 2016 and its worth checking out.
For more info and specs on the SOG Trident Elite Tanto visit them here.