SOG and the Seki Connection

Tracking down the Hattori TV series, I had been under the impression that
there were 3 models, the TV1 (SK5, Blued/Leather) like the SOG S1 without
the commemorative details, the TV2 (Aus8, Micarta) like the SOG S2, and
the third TV3 an Aus8 with leather handle.
But I have now found an earlier designation of TV3 for a model I never knew existed, what appears to be an SK5 blade in PLUM (like some of the original MACV-SOG knives) with Leather and Brass guard/pommel. Anyone ever seen this before?


I remember that ad, my favorite is the TV-3. Straight up cool factor. :thumbup:
Which TV3? The Silver blade or Plum one?

Plum blade with brass guard and butt. Too bad there aren't any manufacturers in the US that could put out the same product. When I have to pay more for a Hattori blade than for a Randall . . . . well, you get the point. :eek:
Plum blade with brass guard and butt. Too bad there aren't any manufacturers in the US that could put out the same product. When I have to pay more for a Hattori blade than for a Randall . . . . well, you get the point. :eek:

Apart from Murphy Knives putting out some commemoratives, I can't think of
single US made SOG leather handled Bowie.
Wow...a Mike Stewart SOG?? The grind is very interesting to anyone who has looked at the originals. Never knew about it but with only 100 made
I guess that's not strange at all. Thanks for that!
Hattori offers this custom TV series SOG knife, by order only.
Model HD-7
Overall: 280 mm
Blade: 160 mm
Weight: 335 g
Blade material: VG10 - 97 Layer Nickel Stainless Damascus

Apart from Murphy Knives putting out some commemoratives, I can't think of
single US made SOG leather handled Bowie.

US factory made would be a rare bird indeed,
FYI, Ek Knives of the late 80's had a SOG Bowie profile Ek model once...
no leather on that one though.
images EK Sog...there's a company known for serious military knives. But you're right I don;t think there are
many more if any US factory Sog knives. If we talk about custim makers, I can think of Steve Voorhees and
Gary Hicks.



And of course if we simply expand the definition to "Sog style or Sog like blade design". we have Strider and the Busse Hell Razor.


all very nice handmades.
but they are in another league.
more like works of art
less of a the rawness
of a factory made repro
which makes it less than an actual look alike replica
of an original nam era sog.

some factory made reproductions like that from al mar
is more of a tribute than an outright 100% reproduction.
it's nice too, but it doesn't capture the likeness in totality.
Be that as it may, vintage factory mades does not escape the interest of collectors...


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Well, my humble opinion when you talk about custom & factory in Japan, at one end you have the individual
knife maker who, like custom makers elsewhere, do each indivudual knife by hand from start to finish. Then you have
the factory, like the largest knife compay in Seki; Kai. But between the two extremes, there is the style of manufacturing
that Hattori does. Everything is hand made, but the shop is comprised of a group of individual knife makers who handle different components of the manufacture. The "oyakata" (master) oversees the process and utlimately gives approal of the final product.
Is this what we call "semi-custom" or "mid-tech"?

i wonder who made these Al Mar SOG bowies. Everything that Al Mar had made in Seki was done by G.Sakai. But G.Sakai has in the past and even now have some work done by individual knife makers. The grind is different from most Hattori made SOGs, BUT- he did do this type of grind for Boker's commemoratives.

In my view ALL SOG knives no matter which model are tributes. After all, apart from historical military knife afficianados, who would buy an exact replica of those awful looking originals? Cool as hell for sure, but pure functional disposable knives.

Yup! Agreed.
I think it is or was the same at some point in solingen and sheffield.
Or at any laour intensive manufacturing centres that did or does things the old fashion way.

The thing is original sog knives are sought after for its lore.
That, and the fact that they are somewhat rare
Making them highly collectable and open to price speculation.
So yeah, they may be less than perfect
And out of reach to the great majority;
But collector interest with such a knife
Spans more than for the sake of collecting.

Yeah, i guess any factory coming out with too close of a reproduction
Will create havoc with fakes passing off as the real deal.
Modern repros act as stand-in collectable representations
Of the unobtainable, or at least until otherwise.
On the otherhand, the majority of knife buyers simply
Have little or no inclination towards historical aspects
But are spurred by the aesthetics of a design.
So that any artistic licence rendered
Is purely to entice wider market interest with form and function.
Everyone loves the spectacular
more so if there are design aspects which makes for a better working product altogether.

Al mar is the father of premium pricing japanese imports.
I guess he knew how to create exclusivity and prestige.
His seki connection runs all the way back to his days at the old gerber.
Just who were the craftsmen involved in the production of these knives
Will never be common knowledge
They are the faceless unsung heroes
Responsible for creating superb quality factory mades.
In the world of rivalry, trade and company secrets
Will remain so for the longest time yet...
I agree that few knife collectors and even less just plain buyers have much interest in the history behind the knives
they purchase. Those who collect original miltary knives are in my view a very special class, as much military history buffs
as much as knife colectors, often even moreso. I admit that the scope of collecting such and prices which go with it are beyond
my own personal interests. But my little collection of reproductions have a history of their own, and I enjoy digging up as much
as I can on any knife I buy. I am still up in the air with doubts regarding the Al Mar SOG bowies. Yes Al Mar's connection starts
in the late 70s with Gerber when the Silver Knight folder he designed was contracted to with G. Sakai (Then just Sakai Cutlery).
This model put G.Sakai on the global map. The Wiki entry cites from a book which mentions Hattori as one of Al ar's OEM makers. And there are a few people, quite knowledgable in the knife world, who hold the position that Al Mar's SOGs were also made by Hattori. However, I am sure you would agree that the geometry is rather quite different from all the other Hattori SOGs, not just the grind line which does not prove anyting, but the disproportionate handle thickness and size. Some owners have complained that this makes the knife nearly useless. This, is something I find very difficult to believe could come out of the Hattori shop, even if it was Al Mars design. The other issue is that the the wiki entry is a bit suspect in it's mention of Hattori, as it also mentions Kencrest which is not a manufacturer, and Fujita which I .suspect may be Fukuta. But you are right in that the exact details and players of that tme period may never be known, especially since the original craftsmen are reaching old age and the younger ones have no first hand knowledge of those years. For example. Mr Seizo Imai passed away last year. He was a prominent OEM knife maker in the 1980s and you can still find
knives labled "Parker-Imai" out there. He also made folders for Blackjack, before giving up OEM work to pursue complete custom
knife making. Yet few if any younger knife collectors, even in Japan, know of his role during the bug Seki boom of that era.
My personal belief is that nothing can be hidden forever, eventually all truth comes out, even decades later. And I do intend to unravel
the mystery behind Al Mar's SOG bowies eventually.
Those oversized al mar handles and guards made those knives distinctly al mar I guess...
Would have been just the thing for use with thick leather gloves.
It's probably just styling the al mar way.
I doubt anyone back when it was introduced,
Would have had real use in mind...
Considering the hefty price for what appears to be more of a commemorative.
It has it own appealing features.
But I would think it's eventual interest today would be more for die hard al mar collectors.

The Parker's knife tang is marked " sog knife bench made by tak fukuta"



Source of pictures :
You're probably right in that most people don't buy "commemorative" knives to use.
I like those Parker-Fukuta knives.They have a profile and grind lines that come pretty close to some
of the original "non-commemoratuve" MACV-SOG knives.

Same knife with a different handle. Don't know if Parker sold them that way or it was done later.

Agreed that the fukuta is more in the spirit of the originals.

Fancy handle.
Only those highly familiar with fukuta sogs
Would know what variations if any were then available.
The proper identification in regards to the handle is beyond me.
So now that we've looked over the old and good stuff, here are some current offerings, some maybe not-so-good. Boker of Germany, who once offered three "SOG" commemoratives (if we include the Marine Recon) made by Hattori for the European market, now offers under their economy class made-in-China brand "Magnum" line, a few "SOG" types. One of them has a blade length larger than most
at 8.1 inches. The other models are a far more conventional at 6 inches, but they do offer a blacked out "midnight" version as well as
two fancy handled versions.





These range for between $25 to $30 for the 6 inchers and about $35-40 for the big one, which makes them a very affordable
entry into the "SOG"style knives. In fact I find the handle variations to be quite attractive. If the sometimes dubious "440c"
designation that emanates out of some Chinese and Pakistani factories, and national origin is of no concern, these are something to
think about. At least I would consider these before this bargain basement offering at about $15.00: