The term “aegis” has ancient roots. Commonly used in Greek mythology, aegis means “protector” and has been often symbolized in the form of a shield. In many ways the SOG Aegis is emblematic of a protector as well. If ever needed the Aegis could certainly offer its user security – be it helping in some emergency utility task. or perhaps by performing in a more tactical role. And while the knife was not imbued with any mythical powers, the light weight and wicked blade are quite enchanting, and are among many reasons to consider adding this knife to your collection.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Aegis has a 3.5″ blade, an overall length of 8.25″ and a weight of 3.1 ounces. This is a medium sized folder and depending on who you are, could be on the larger side for EDC. The weight of only 3.1 ounces is exceptionally lightweight so if carrying a bigger blade appeals to you this is a good option.
The blade on this knife is a long leaf shape and comes with a plain (non-serrated) edge. Made from 1/8″ stock this blade terminates with a needle sharp tip. Seriously, the tip on this thing is incredible. The full flat grind and absence of a swedge enhances this feature and the blade shape is excellent for thrust cuts and piercing. However, you will want to be careful with prying or stabbing into hard materials as the unenforced tip could break. This isn’t necessarily a negative, you just want to bring the right tool for the job. If prying is your modus operandi go to the hardware store and pick up a crowbar. The edge came absolutely razor sharp with a beautiful job done on the grinds. As an emergency tactical knife I think this blade shape is highly effective. For EDC tasks there is ample belly and great slicing capability with the full flat grind.
As you can see in the photographs, you have a couple different options for finishes. Shown here are the satin finished blade (with matching silver hardware) and black titanium nitride (TiNi) coated versions. Both are beautifully done. I love the satin finish SOG puts on their knives, but the TiNi coating wins points for hiding finger prints and the general “stealth factor”. I have found the coating to be very durable – this isn’t some inexpensive coating that will rub off. It will wear with use, but expect it to hold up favorably to cheaper painted teflon coatings.
The Aegis comes in AUS8 stainless steel – a very nice mid range Japanese stainless steel. I love the keen edge AUS 8 takes and the ease of sharpening. I haven’t noticed any issues with rust and the steel resists chipping. SOG cryogenically heat treats their AUS 8 which provided enhanced toughness and better edge retention. I think AUS8 was a good choice and SOG really knows how to work with this steel.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
Like the Flash II, the Aegis has a glass reinforced nylon (GRN) handle and lacks metal liners. The GRN on the Aegis is of high quality and feels good (not cheap and plasticy). This is a closed back design. Due to the absence of liners, it’s a very lightweight handle.
The ergonomics of the Aegis is also very nice. With a 4.75″ handle there is plenty of room for my larger hand and it naturally offers a comfortable 4 finger grip in both forward and reverse positions. I love the flowing lines of the handle, it fills the hand and provides great visual balance.
Grip has further been enhanced with “digital” texturing and all the corners have been smoothed and rounded. SOG embedded rubber inserts into the handles which provide extra feedback and grip. Additionally, the back of the handle and spine of the blade have been given some jimping. Oddly, the jimping faces towards the tip but it does offer grip (especially the TiNi version – I think the satin finish has rounded the “bite” off just a little). Personally, I think it would offer more grip if the jimping was oriented in the opposite direction, but the current configuration does provide some traction. The choil area has been given some texturing, a sort of enlarged jimping or “scalloping” if you will. This helps lock the index finger in place and provides more tactile response. All in all I love the ergonomics on the Aegis – it’s obvious a lot of time was put into designing the handle.
The pocket clip is SOG’s bayonet style clip. The clip allows for ambidextrous tip up carry, rides ultra low, and provides excellent retention. “SOG” has been cut into the clip, which I don’t mind, especially on the blackened version. All in all it’s a discrete carry.
Deployment and Lockup
Like many of SOG’s folders, the Aegis is an assisted opening knife. The spring on the assist is very good at shooting the blade out with a satisfying snap. The thumb studs are large and ambidextrous. It’s easy for me to get my thumb behind the stud and the knife flips out effortlessly.
Lockup is done through SOG’s Arc lock. This style of lock is similar to a Benchmade Axis lock or the ball lock found on the Spyderco Manix 2. It is essentially a type of bolt lock. It’s a secure design that can be easily engaged. Lockup is quite secure on both of my Aegis knives with a microscopic amount of bladeplay in one and none in the other. This is a great accomplishment from a linerless design, and I was really impressed with how tight these knives locked up. One minor complaint (or wish perhaps?) would be to get the arc lock positioned on both sides. I know SOG does this on some of there more expensive folders, and would probably drive the price up (while providing a diminishing amount of utility). As a left handed user it would make the knife easier to close with one hand.
Also, like many of SOG’s assisted openers, there is a built-in safety. The safety is a nice option and I believe it’s part of the reason why SOG can offer this knife in tip-up carry (my preferred form of carry).
I have really enjoyed owning both of my Aegis’s (Aegi?) and believe that they could live up to their namesake.
Whether it’s helping you build shelter from a storm, or working as a tactical knife, the light weight and smart design is an excellent blend of form and function. And I have to admit, I love the form aspect of this knife. This is an awesomely balanced knife combining a big blade, fast deployment, robust lockup with a light and easy carry weight. Fit and finish is excellent, and the price (around $50) provides a lot of quality knife for your money.