Something I learned early in life, probably in the Boy Scouts, was to always Be Prepared. Part of that included a good knife. Another way I learned about knives was at Christmas Time. Uncle Darrel always had a pocket knife. As the family opened gifts, inevitably there was a box that needed opened or tape cut, Uncle Darrel always had a knife and saved the day. It was a good lesson that even if it is just for opening a box, a knife is a good tool.
After college I joined the Army. At that time Swiss Army Knives were still en vogue and seemed to be what every good soldier carried, and my Uncle Ben who is a Vietnam Vet gave me one for a gift saying, “of all the gear I had in Nam this was the one I used the most.” Shortly thereafter the Leatherman came out. This all in one tool had one thing the Swiss Army Knife did not, a set of pliers. This was soon followed by the Gerber Multi-Tool. In fact the Gerber Multi-Tool is now standard issue, and for my money a better tool than the Leatherman, but Leatherman got there first with the name; so, like ordering soft drinks down south where everything is a “Coke”, every multi-tool is simply called a “Leatherman”. I do like the Multi-Tool and carry one in an ammo pouch on my body armor, but for use of a knife every day, I prefer something that opens quickly.
Before my second tour to Iraq, I was walking into the Post Exchange, and SOG had a display table set up. The sales people were explaining what an awesome tactical knife it was. On a total impulse buy, I bought one. Turns out it is a fantastic piece of gear. I’ll go over a couple features.
The knife is a folding lock blade knife that has a 3.75 inch blade. Half the blade has serrations, and the other half is smooth edged. The knife comes very sharp and is easy to maintain a blade on. When unlocked, the knife has a spring action, that opens like a switch blade by simply pushing a small peg on the blade and the knife opens. This feature is great, because you can work the action with one hand. This comes in handy while holding an item with one hand (a rope for example), and retrieving and opening the knife for cutting with the other hand. I once had an EMT tell me he preferred butterfly knives for the same reason, as he could hold a seat-belt with one hand and retrieve and cut with the other.
Speaking of seat-belts, the back edge of the handle has a detent that exposes a portion of the blade. When locked, this feature allows the knife to be used as a seat-belt cutter. I have never actually tested it on a seat belt, but have used it on 550 chord, and it works. This is a feature that really sold me on the day I bought it, fearing some sort of rollover into the Tigris River. Days later when we drew our gear we were all issued seat belt cutters to attach to our body armor. Regardless, I always have my SOG in my pocket, and I may not always have my seat belt cutter on me, so it has cross over benefit for me to civilian applications.
Finally, I love a knife with a good pocket clip, which the SOG has. I don’t like to have to search for a knife in my pocket amongst coins, cigarette lighter, chapstick or any other item. I simply like to grap the clip and pop it out. SOG also has a hole in the handle which lets you dummy chord the knife to your person should it fall out of your pocket. SOG lists this for MSRP as $114 on their website, but I paid $79 for mine that day at the PX. The dummy chord really helps to keep you from throwing $79 out the window. I consider this a fair price, but probably would not have paid over this amount for the knife.
In closing, the SOG Trident is a great knife. The Tiger Stripe pattern is the only thing I would change (they make other colors). As I said, it was an impulse buy, so I just grabbed whatever they had. The knife is sharp, easy to operate, and has cool features that make it a great addition for everyday carry. If you don’t have a good knife to carry everyday, I recommend you check with the good folks at Lincoln Tactical (shameless plug for contest entries), and pick yourself up one. As they say in the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared” and “A sharp knife is always safest.”