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Discussion in 'SOG Specialty Knives' started by 3Guardsmen, Jan 16, 2010.

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  1. nutz_about_knives

    nutz_about_knives

    386
    Aug 21, 2005
    As quoted from the SOG website:

    In 2009, SOG partnered with MCC Capital Partners, a private equity firm specializing in the growth of micro and middle market branded consumer products companies. MCC will provide financial and management experience to the company, as well as access to capital

    I'm not sure what this would mean, but maybe SOG really needs the money. They may have been pressured to make some very drastic changes. :grumpy:
     
  2. ml100

    ml100

    736
    Jul 19, 2005
     
  3. dl351

    dl351

    690
    May 5, 2006
    Well, maximizing profit usually means more, cheaper products. The glory days of SOG are probably gone unless they turn good profit and then try to appeal to their customers of the past. I understand that businesses need to continually grow, but I don't like it when they get to the point of being fairly large and lose track of their die hard customer base. Look what's going on with Toyota now that they're the biggest auto manufacturer in the world. More products = more problems.
     
  4. ml100

    ml100

    736
    Jul 19, 2005
    I am afraid with an private equity partner there is no way back.
     
  5. Fletcher Knives

    Fletcher Knives STEEL BREATHING BLADE MAESTRO Moderator

    Aug 30, 2007
    I think that you guys might be focusing on the wrong things here. You guys DO know that they still have a bunch of high dollar extremely high quality knives in production, right? It's not like SOG stopped producing any high end stuff. They just also added a bunch of budget stuff in addition to the high end. You guys are acting like everything they produce now is Chinese pot metal folders. Their high end knives are still made out of very good steels and the quality control is there. Even if something does go wrong, they're backed by a pretty good warranty. As far as where the stuff comes from, I don't see how the country of origin is playing a huge role. I mean it's not like SOG has been producing all their stuff in the U.S. forever and they're just now going over seas. They have ALWAYS had knives produced in the orient. It's nothing new. Now you've discovered their partnership with someone who will help them make money. Now that's a bad thing? I'm just saying that I think you guys are so focused on the perceived "negative" stuff going on, that you're forgetting all the positive high end products still being made. I'm certainly not saying that I disagree with all of you when it comes to designs being copied or anything like that. I completely understand where everyone is coming from on those issues. I can also understand how that may turn many people away and cause SOG to lose some customers who understand the ethical rules of intellectual property. So, don't think I don't feel you on that stuff. I do. I'm just talking about the tunnel-vision approach to bashing that is apparent in many other's points here.

    I don't necessarily think that the glory days of SOG are over. There's a whole lot of evidence to the contrary right there on the website. Just look under the fixed blades and folders sections and pick out everything that goes for "old SOG" prices. I personally will keep buying SOG products until they no longer produce anything that care for. Just like I'll keep buying stuff from Buck, Case, Marbles, Cold Steel, and every company that used to specialize in high end tools that now also produces budget products in an insane scheme to actually try to make money and expand.

    Please know, I mean no one disrespect with this post. I'm not attacking anyone. I'm just expressing my opinion.
     
  6. nutz_about_knives

    nutz_about_knives

    386
    Aug 21, 2005
    Interesting view point. However if you had been around long enough and had enough Seki Japan SOG knives you will know what we are getting at.

    We have seen a drastic fall in knife quality since the Seki Japan days. If you compare the number of knives breaking/having quality issues in those days compared to those today, you will easily see why we think the shift to Taiwan was a bad one. For me I am impartial to it, but despite my ramblings on the poorer quality (due to the breaking Taiwan knives), I still see the future for Taiwan knives as I continue to read good reviews on the new SOG bowies, namely the Super SOG Bowie, Seal Pup Elite, Seal Team Elite and the Tigershark Elite.

    We are not saying that the knives made in Taiwan are absolute junk. They are overpriced but we ain't complaining much about that. Hell even a sharpened piece of discarded metal can function as a knife. So nothing is junk if it cuts. Furthermore if you look a few months back there have been QC failures with their "high-end" Seki-made serialized knives.

    Also, we are ranting because of the latest chain of events that has led to the view that SOG is going downhill. From the shift in production to Taiwan, followed by the breaking of Taiwan knives, followed by the breaking of Fusion products, blade play issues, poor customer service etc... If we as customers do not express our dissatisfaction sooner or later SOG is going to lose some of its important customer base here - the easiest form of reviews and feedback it can get - in the form of online forums/communities. Try going to the streets and asking people how SOG knives are. It is going to be difficult.

    Granted that SOG has to keep up with the times and as it expands in size, quality and customer satisfaction must still be its number one priority. We can overlook the minor defects and falling QC controls, but what this thread addresses is the blatant copying of other companies'/custom makers' patents and designs. We are not saying that SOG is producing junk. That has other threads on that topic.

    Benchmade did copy the 'Spydie Hole' but NOT the whole knife like SOG did. This is what disgusts me, even if you want to make some more money for your company you don't do it this way without any originality and innovation.

    Sadly it really shows how low SOG goes. The least they could do was to change the materials and designs a little more. Hell even the product descriptions as others pointed out sounded the same.

    The fact remains is that we have to suck it up and SOG is going to get its way. The very minor tweaks it made to the 2010 knives are enough to get SOG out of harm's way, backed by its legal team. We will move on, and as a SOG fan I am disappointed, but all hope is not lost.
     
  7. dl351

    dl351

    690
    May 5, 2006
    I just read that Benchmade actually had permission to use the round hole. When that permission was no longer there, they made an oval hole. On to the SOGs, it is a chain of events that has led some of us to where we are. I have an old SOG Tech II and its quality is amazing. There are little things SOG used to feature on knives that they don't any more, such as soldered cross guards. The attention to detail made them seem near custom quality. Also, I just liked the old designs better. The original Tomcat, for example, was a very distinctive knife. My brother has one and I want one every time I look at his. The newer designs just don't do that so much for me. I did sign up for the pass around, so maybe that will change my opinion. We'll see. As for the copying, that's just low.
     
  8. Fletcher Knives

    Fletcher Knives STEEL BREATHING BLADE MAESTRO Moderator

    Aug 30, 2007
    Good points all around. One thing I wan to note, just for background. I bought my first SOG in 1995 and have owned several of their Seki, Japan made knives. Just didn't want you to think that I just discovered them a few months ago and didn't have a wide view of where they've been. So, I was around in the "Old days".
     
  9. rramjet

    rramjet

    139
    Oct 2, 2009
    Dylside, you have summed it up for a lot of us SOG fans. Hell, all I own are the Seki Japan-made folders so it is hard for me to perceive them as making junk. I will still continue to be a loyal customer for their good stuff.
     
  10. riz_aaroni

    riz_aaroni Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    I do like some of their products, though this move truly is sad. I don't think they are a doomed company, nor is it even that hard for them to get back in the game. Just need some new thinking.
     
  11. nutz_about_knives

    nutz_about_knives

    386
    Aug 21, 2005

    Dylside, good to know that you have some of their Seki Japan knives and have been around much. At least I know you aren't just jumping in on the topic without much research. But like I mentioned do check up on the archives and you will see all the issues I raised in the various threads, including the customer service issue and the Seki Japan folder QC issues.

    Grab your Seki Japan knives before this ---> On the other hand, when I hold my "SOG Tech 2" next to my "Tech Bowie" I feel the difference. The newer Tech Bowie is not so beefy, it's blade is not as thick, and the handle feels small. This does not mean that the Tech Bowie is lower quality. It just shows the cost-cutting measures that SOG has taken but more importantly the innovation that SOG has developed that makes it a more lightweight, lean cutting tool.

    As I said we will all have to move on on this issue (SOG will be pleased with that) but...

    I'll be watching you closely SOG.

    For your 2011 catalog.
     
  12. TheFlash

    TheFlash

    483
    Oct 3, 2000
    I currently own and have owned many SOG knives made in Seki, Japan.
    As the years have progressed and manufacturing has moved to Taiwan and other lower cost sites, I have seen SOGs designs move from being "classic" and very classy, to more flashy and gimmicky.
    Remember the Tigershark? Original Trident? Original Tomcat? Original Bowie? Even the original SOG Seal 2000?
    All very classy and classic designs...

    If you look at the Seal Pup and especially many of the current folder designs, they seem to trend more towards the United and Frost-type design gimmicks and low-end 'flash' than a true "form follows function" method of design.

    I don't believe that moving the manufacturing to less expensive sites was the issue either. Look at Spydero with the Byrd line (nice tiering strategy!) and how they have maintained distinctive and classy designs.

    Maybe SOG needs some new blood in their designing pool and get back to original, functional, and innovative designs...

    My two cents...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  13. forcedestrike

    forcedestrike

    662
    Jan 14, 2008
    :thumbup: Could not have phrased it better myself!
     
  14. attej

    attej

    467
    Jan 9, 2006
    Usually when reading this forum I end up with a long list of new knives I just absolutely have to have. So in that sense its kinda nice for a change to read about knives that I dont want anymore.

    But joking aside, sad to see a respected company to lower their standards to cheapo ripoffs. Not cool. :thumbdn:
     
  15. I'm a former SOG owner and can say Amen to this, couldn't have said it better myself. :thumbup:
     
  16. dl351

    dl351

    690
    May 5, 2006
    While I don't care for the direction SOG is going, I did recently get a Vulcan from the lady as a Valentine's Day gift. It's a nice knife! Of course, it's made in Seki. I still have faith in the folders that are made in Seki, but I don't have much desire for anything else from SOG. I have the Revolver/Salute pass around knives, and the Salute seems like a pretty good "beater" knife, but it's nothing like my Vulcan or Night Vision. Oh well. Hopefully sales patterns point SOG back in a direction that we'd all like to see. Oh, and I love my old SOG Tech II!
     
  17. c.irroratus

    c.irroratus

    34
    Apr 4, 2009
    I still like SOG myself. I actually find myself agreeing with SOGs statement regarding this issue. There's nothing new under the sun. If Spyderco had invented the thumbstud and other companies used that many people seemingly would be offended, but it would still be used because it's a logical way to open knives. There aren't an infinite number of ways to do it. Spyderco's trademark is on the round hole, which is not what we're seeing here. Good handle design is dictated by ergonomics. Do detractors of these new designs expect all companies but Spyderco to design uncomfortable knives because Spyderco made comfortable ones first? I agree that these knives are somewhat derivative, but it doesn't really call for us to swear off buying from SOG forever. I for one intend to purchase a Trident or a Vulcan in the near future. I don't see the appeal of the "zilla" knives, as frankly they aren't distinctive enough to be worth the money, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the knives SOG makes that are.
     
  18. sharpwind

    sharpwind

    4
    Jun 24, 2009
    Actually when you have a Zilla in hand, you will find it even better than that from Spyderco.
     
  19. attej

    attej

    467
    Jan 9, 2006
    I see your point, but I have to disagree... just by doing a google search on "folding knife" one can find pictures of literally hundreds of different folders with usable yet distinct design. Spyderco knives are very well known even by average Joes (=non knife enthusiasts) so there is a real risk of someone bying said SOG based on Spydercos good reputation. In any case, IMHO that particular knife design shows poor taste, and does affect on how I see SOG as a company.

    This does not mean that SOGs original quality designs would be any less functional. Im sure they make plenty of really nice knives.
     
  20. attej

    attej

    467
    Jan 9, 2006
    Can you be more specific? How is it better?
     
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