One to Watch-SOG Terminus XR
Tony Sculimbrene 09.22.18
In the past two years we have seen a lot of stalwarts of the production knife world turn their attention to EDC knives. Hipsters on Instagram and folks that just like having a little tool to help them through the day, have started carrying pocket knives and the market has expanded beyond the normal hunting/outdoors/military/emergency responders. As a result, we have seen both Spyderco and Benchmade release smaller, thinner, lighter, and more discrete blades. For example, less than a year after introducing the truly massive Crooked River, Benchmade followed up the knife with the Mini Crooked River. Most of Benchmade’s showing at SHOT this past January was smaller versions of last year’s new knives.
Spyderco, of course, has always been a proponent of small knives and the Dragonfly is my favorite EDC of all time, but even Golden has started to pay attention to the EDC market. The Chaparral and its many variants my great knives for folks looking for their first knife to carry daily. The recently released Spyderco Brouwer was explicitly designed with everyday carry in mind, and Spyderco stated as much in the product literature.
SOG, on the other hand, has made a lot of tactically oriented knives. There are, of course, great EDC knives in the SOG line up—the Flash series, the Aegis series, and the Twitch series, for example, all do well has everyday carries (of that bunch my favorite is the Mini Aegis). But a quick glance at the SOG product catalog shows a distinct and clear emphasis on the four traditional knife markets. With sawback fixed blades and giant folders, the EDC knives in the SOG line up were few and far between.
But they recently announced the Terminus XR looks to change all of that. First, it is a flipper, one of the few in the SOG line up. Flippers, because of their ease and speed are excellent for everyday carry. You can quickly open your knife, use it, and slide it back into your pocket before drawing too much attention. Second, the knife sports carbon fiber and G10 handle scales, a nodding to EDCers’ preference for light, high tech materials. Third, the knife sports a deep carry clip, again a nod to the desire to carry discretely. Finally, the knife comes in under the magic 3 inch limit, a frequently used number in knife laws.
The Terminus XR sports a few other features that show that SOG is raising its game. Time and again, SOG knives had exposed rear tangs, a sharp point of exposed steel when the knife was closed. The Flash series and the Twitch series were especially bad in this regard, but the Terminus’s blade spine is flush when closed. The knife also sports a new, easy to use lock design. Finally, the knife sports a very good modestly priced blade steel—CTS-BD1z. Unlike many recent SOGs, this is an American made steel and vastly better than the Cr series of blade steels they have been using.
The Terminus is a sign that SOG, like Benchmade and Spyderco, recognizes that the market is changing. This is their first EDC-focused knife and it looks quite impressive.
What: SOG Terminus XR
When: Soon to be released
Specs: 2.95 inch blade, 3.2 ounces
Made in the USA: No, Made in China
Highlights: New lock, flipper, deep carry clip, and CTS-BD1z steel