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SOG or Cold Steel

Sep 13, 2000
I'm currently in the search for a good field/fighting(if it should come to that) knife. As the username suggests, I work in a lot of crappy places. My Gerber Mark II is now in two very distinct pieces after a minor mishap. With my paycheck comming mostly from your tax dollars, I am on about a 80-120 buck budget. I have been looking into the SOG Government model and the Cold Steel Bush ranger. Either of these guys look and feel as if they will fill the bill.
Does anyone know of anything that would make one better than the other?
Is there anything about either that lists them in the "Can't cut it" category?
Are there other knives out there in this price range that I should be looking at?

Please remember when answering that my life and my Marines lives may depend at one time or another on what I choose.
Corpsman Up! Answering the call for 120 years 8404 recon.
The oldest knife in my collection is a stainless (440A) SOG Government that has seen some moderate use in some pretty hostile tropical weather. Its been soaked many times by sudden rainstorms without rusting and the cordura sheath dries quickly. A well balanced knife for its size, and holds an acceptable edge. I wore this knife back when I used to accompany my dad on his rounds inspecting dams and drainage canals in remote locations around the country.

What I don't like is the tacky rubber-coated handle which pulls on your skin when you change grips causing blisters. SOG also makes a blued carbon-steel version called the Recon Government which you may prefer if you ever have to use the knife as a prybar. Also, if you decide on this knife, you may want to have somebody make up a custom pouch-style sheath for it. The original has a keeper strap which I dislike as you need two hands to free the knife - which is more than a nuisance in an emergency.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 10-06-2000).]

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 10-15-2000).]
If you need modern fighting knife please take your look onto new SOG Recondo in BG-42 steel. This blade design seems to join penetration abilities closely comparable with double-edged dagger and near-tanto tip strength. Think the price will match your limits.

You can find it here: http://www.sogknives.com/recondo.htm

I'm going to publish my initial impressions literally within nearest days.
I think you should look at the BK&T Campanion. It's as solid as a rock. Also, in the same price range, the BK&T Machax.

Although it does not mindfully keep guard in the small mountain fields, the scarecrow does not stand in vain

Both knives have comfortable handles and are light weight for their blade length. The SOG is an exceptionly light feeling knife for its size. It would also double as a big stake if needed for tie down purposed, etc... If you need a good penetration knife or a big stake, get the SOG Gov. Agent, but don't pry anything with it. The blade is fairly thin and the tip is extremely sharp and fragile looking.

The Cold Steel would likely be the better chopping knife based on handle feel and balance. The Cold Steel also comes in carbon V which will probably hold a better edge than the SOG 440A or CS AUS8. Your choice of steel is one that always comes up. The stainless will last longer, but the carbon V will likely perform better during its lifetime.

I have a SOG Tech I, but haven't used it... I just look at it and wipe it down! However, I do use a Becker Companion... practically indestructible. If the blade length is enough(4.5 in), and you don't need a blade style with good penetration capability, get the Becker.

Check your mail. I think I have what you need and want.

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo
Recondoc, judging from your post strength and corrosion resistance are important to you. While I hesitate to recommend anything I have not personaly tried, I think you should take a look at the Falkniven A-1. It is in a blade shape similar to the CS SRK, so it should be a good utility knife even for light chopping and prying. It comes in a stainresistant steel (VG-10) that has established a good reputation. It is available in a "blackened" version and I believe it can be had with a kydex sheath. Lastly, I think it is in the price range you are talking about. Check out the search feature for there are a number of good reviews on the Falkniven product. I think the A-1 will be my next working knife and it sounds like it may be just the sort of TOOL/weapon you are lookin for.

[This message has been edited by hat (edited 10-07-2000).]
What you REALLY NEED is a Cold Steel Recon SCOUT! (This is the "shortened" version of the Cold Steel Trail Master Bowie, and is an EXCELLENT knife!).

As far as the Cold Steel Bush Ranger goes, (I have one in Stainless), you would be shocked at how light that knife is for its' size!

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663

[This message has been edited by glockman99 (edited 10-07-2000).]
you have my greatest respect and admiration, shared I'm sure by ALL Marines. And no, I'm not an ex-Jarhead, but an ex-Sailor who is familiar with the respect and affection ALL Navy Medics get, and deserve, especially from Marines. And yes, that DOES automatically include Army Medics, who need no words of praise and gratitude. The feelings for ALL these guys is first among ALL servicemen, both serving and finished with their moral obligation to serve.

I desperately wish that I could GIVE you a knife that will meet your needs. Of ALL people, I think you deserve that as a gesture of appreciation. But while I'm financially unable to do so, hopefully a grateful ex-Marine will express his gratitude that you would do what you do so unselfishly (and incredibly dangerously).

While I can understand if you don't like the idea of "charity", whether YOU recognize it or not, we OWE you this small gesture, a token of our combined recognition and appreciation for your dedication and sacrifice, which you no doubt dismiss as "part of the job". So, who will stand up and speak with a deed, rather than my own admittedly unfulfilling words? Perhaps Danbo's offer has already answered this question. I hope so. If he cannot, understandably so, manage this, maybe somewhere, a grateful and eventually successful ex-Marine will "do the right thing". And with something that will last, and do the job. A Randall "Survival" should do the job nicely, FWIW.

My very best to you, Recondoc.
I remember.
Take care.

On second thought, an ICU or Air Assault from Newt livesay would be really excellent. If you could go to $150, his Company knife is outstanding. The perfect thing for you
Folks here always have great things to say about the Cold Steel fixed blades, I would check them out before SOG.

Here's a new twist for you - if you're looking for a beater that will take lots of abuse and that you won't mind so much losing in the field - some here have had good things to say about the Cold Steel Bushman. It's about as simple as you can get, cast from one piece of steel (no seams or scales), and you could get 10 for the $ you're budgeting. Just a thought.

If I needed a real hard user, I think I would go for the Beckers. they just look so bulletproof !
In my opinon SOG has better quality control than CS's carbon V blades. SOG's stuff is usually more expensive for the same sized item, so you should expect more precision in the grinds and the straightness of the lines. Some of the carbon v blades I have ordered were very disappointing. For example, I bought a culloden and the handle was bent sideways at the base, my first master hunter was ground more on one side so that the tip of the blade was not in line with the handle. I bought a bushranger a while ago and it was fine except that the brass rivet holding the handle on kept comming out while chopping.
The stainless coldsteel stuff is not made in the US and to me it seems like the japanese factory is more careful with their production. My Safekeeper was flawless despite it's huge double edge and the oyabun I had was perfectly done. I asked people about the peace keepers a while ago, and people said that the carbon v models have wavy grind lines due to the grinding difficulty of the double edge. The stainless ones were supposed to be much better. As for sog, I have a seal 2000 and had a mini pentagon and both were perfect. This is just my experience with these two companies. I should also mention that I sent in my CS master hunter and got a new one that is absolutely perfectly ground, and with it's kydex sheath it is the best fixed blade value out there for 45 dollars--if you get a good one.

[This message has been edited by generallobster (edited 10-10-2000).]

I have a total of 13 Cold Steel Knives, and EVERY ONE of them is PERFECT!. No wavy, un-even grinds,, they all have even, sharp points,, and the blades are all RAZOR-sharp.

It sounds like you have had some bad luck in getting good ones.

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663
I own a CS Recon Tanto and once owned a SRK as well as a SOG SEAL 2000.

The SEAL 2K is a VERY solid knife. The glass reinforced Zytel handle is as hard as metal and rock solid. Grind lines are perfect and is more attractive over all than my Cold Steels. Unfortuantly, it doesn't come out of the box very sharp. The 440A blade wouldn't hold an edge very long either.

The Recon Scout and SRK have a rubbery Kraton handle which SOG also use on many of their knives. This handle is okay, but feels cheap. It also tear up a little when you try to hammer the butt with a rock. The blade is where Cold Steel shines. It's not as nice looking as SOGs, but they sure hold an edge much longer and sharpen easier than the SEAL 2K. Carbon V will rust though if you spend a lot of time in salt water.

Despite of it's short comings, the CS SRK is IMHO, a superior field knife than any stainless steel SOG knife.

However, I wouldn't bet my life on any of the above knives. If I had that need, I would spurge to get a Strider. Having handled a few, I am very much impressed.
recondoc-For me, it will hav eto be the CS Recon Tanto, mine has been with me for 5 years. The blade is strong enough to be ill-treated, no worries.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I do believe that the job is it's own reward but when the days got long and boring, a couple of well placed words got me going again. I owe you one.
Corpsman Up!!! Answering the call for 120yrs.
Semper FI
I'll double the vote on the Camillus BKT Campanion!!

But if you must have one or the other...go with the SOG Gov't in tool steel...not stainless.

To quote the Greatful Dead; "What a long, strange trip it's been" I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their input on this topic of choosing a field knife. I commited the cardinal sin of ordering a knife without handling one first. I ordered an SOG Recon Government with the blued carbon steel blade. The fellow who sold it to me gave me a great price. When I received the box I performed the ritual of dragging out the opening and removal of the knife as long as possible. This is kind of the adult version of Christmas morning. What I found truely dissapointed me.
The knife just plain felt small. I was expecting a true Bowie style knife with a little weight to it at least. What it was, was very skinny. This knife was thin enough to fit well in the left over sheath from my lost Gerber Mk II. It just didn't feel like much of a knife at all. On top of that, it had about a 20degree bend at the blade to handle juncture.
I don't understand how this knife ever made it off the inspection line in Washington.

The saving grace of this ordeal came when I called a friend at my local knife shop. I don't usually do a lot of business there due to their rather proudly inflated prices. He was able to help me on this one and instill in me a sense of why it can pay at times to pay a little more at a local business. He offered to exchange the knife with me for a CS Bush Ranger for a 10 dollar difference. As I have a training mission going out this week, It sounded like the best deal I'd heard all year.
The CS is just what this Doc ordered.
It is light in weight at 8.8oz but feels much heftier.(is that an actual word?) The old Paul Hogan quote ran through my head "Now that's a knife". There is really nothing fancy about this knife. It just says "all business". The grip fits my hand perfectly and stays there. The epoxy powder coat on the Carbon V blade is rugged, and the edge is shaving sharp.(My wife gave me a rather strange look after seeing my forarms).
I took the CS home and of course, had to play with it a little. I wanted a knife that can take abuse well, and I think I found it. On my honey do list at home, was the removal of a sapling that died during the summer draught. Say no more.
I promptly took the BR out to see how it would do. The dead tree was about 21/2" in diameter. I started with some of the smaller branches and the severed clean without a rustle of the rest of the tree. I then finished the job as I whacked away foot long sections until I reached the base. This knife felt great for chopping and bit deep into the thick stuff well.
After I finished the job, I wiped the blade clean with a damp cloth and it showed no signs of use. I then went to the other forearm without sharpening the knife and it shaved a patch clean with one stroke.
I had always been a bit leary of Lynn Thompson's claims about CS knives but this has changed my mind.
Thanks again to all who put their proverbial two cents worth in. I'll update next week when I get back from this OP.
Corpsman Up!! Answering the call for 120years. Semper Fidelis
I have one of those CS Bush Rangers also, but mine is in the process of being rehandled. I am going to put some nice stabilized walnut on mine. I just flat out loved the style of this CS. I'm glad you came out ok on the deal.

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo