SOG Pillar: USA S35vn

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by craytab, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Hi all,
    I've been meaning to do this little review for a while. Full disclosure, I haven't used this knife much. Just normal stuff around the house like food prep, lots of cardboard, opening packages, and cutting various plastics. Now that the weather seems to have turned, it will get yard work and camp task duties.

    Also, let's get the cost out of the way. This knife is a bit on the expensive side from most retails. I will say that I found it more than $40 less after looking around a bit. Not a supporting dealer so I won't mention them, and they kind of suck any way. That said, the much lower price actually makes this knife quite a value considering what you get. You can look up the specs but the highlights for me are USA made, s35vn, kydex, and Micarta. It also just looks damn good.

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    Some knives I have in similar sizes:

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    So as you can see this is more of a tacticool, utility, field knife. It's not huge. About the same size as the Seal Pup. Cutting edge is almost exactly that of the CPK Field Knife. The handles are comfortable with one major exception. In the forward finger groove there is one extremely pointy spot and a bit of a sharp spot. I removed these and now the handle is very comfortable.

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    Another issue I have is the huge pummel. It is just too damn big and sticks out way too much. I wish they would have brought it in a bunch.

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    SOG's version of the Tek-Lok is a vast improvement in my book. Still not my cup of tea. I replaced it with a G-clip and carry it inverted CM style after tightened up the kydex a bit. I think those are the last of my gripes. I wanted to change the handle scales to a different color so I removed them and gave them a Rit-Dye bath. You can see the tang is full with no skeletonization. The fasteners are hex key.

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    So now that I got the color I want, the handle shape comfortable, the sheath tightened, and the carry system I like, this thing is ready to go. Feels great in hand, carries wonderfully, and is actually a bargain from SOG (shockingly) considering what you get. Hope you enjoyed!

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    vjb.knife, WILLIAM.M, mqqn and 12 others like this.
  2. digitalaaron

    digitalaaron

    20
    Dec 2, 2018
    I think my biggest gripe about the knife is the design of the choil. It always feels like my finger is going to slide up onto the blade if I use it.
     
  3. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    I haven't used the choil much. I will say that it could be more circular.
     
  4. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    Great review but I must say I don't quite like it (as it sits now). In my opinion:
    - All those cutouts and trimming of the outher edges in the sheatk weaken it unnecesarily. Keep the slots, but maintain a semi-straight outline in the kydex. It would also help the sheath not to snag on clothes, webbing, etc.
    - Tang could be skeletonized to save weight, I don't think there is any real need for extra weight in the handle.
    - Swedge and false top edge I guess are there to aid in penetration (whenever you decide to stab something/someone) but get in the way when battoning or pushin on the back of the blade for detailed tasks. Also I feel they weaken the tip.

    Anyway, if you like it, that's what really counts.

    Mikel
     
  5. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    I'll just counter on a few points:

    -I don't think the trimming of the sheath is an issue what-so-ever. I'm not concerned with kydex sheath weakness, never had one break. In fact, I wish more companies would do this or at least make their kydex sheaths to a smaller form factor. It is not hard to do but many companies and makers don't. There is often so much wasted material around the outside of the sheath making it take up far too much space. I like my kydex to be as small and light as possible. SOG has done exactly that with this sheath and I am a hard to please kydex snob.

    -In a knife this size I don't care too much about the tang being skeletonized. I've got plenty of knives that have it and plenty that don't. Would it be nice to save a bit of weight? Sure. But not at the expense of balance or toughness.

    -On your last point I think you are missing what this knife is: a tactical/field/utility knife. Not going to be doing a bunch of batoning (not a big knife) or detailed work. I feel the tip is plenty strong even with the swedge. It also is aesthetically pleasing to me.

    This knife isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. That said, for the goal SOG put forth on this blade, I think they more than accomplished it. And as a long time SOG fan that has been calling for them to step up with better designs, USA made, Higher quality construction, and much better materials, this is an absolute win for me.
     
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  6. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Not a fan of the finger choil handles on knives, but nice review!
     
    MarriedTheMedic and craytab like this.
  7. digitalaaron

    digitalaaron

    20
    Dec 2, 2018
    I really like the sheath, but I wish so badly that at least one side of it were flat, to make attaching the Tek-Lok clip a bit better. The unevenness actually limits what kinds of positions you can attach the clip to.

    I did quite a bit of batoning with mine last weekend. I didn't have any issues with the swedge or spine. But if I try to use my off-hand to help guide the blade while carving, with my thumb helping to push the spine, it starts to hurt my thumb after a little while.
     
  8. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    I don't use the tek-lok thing but I do use rubber washers with the g-clip that makes the clip parallel to the sheath.
     
  9. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Looks like a good knife, but I also think the thin edges on the sheath would crack or break easily. I'm glad SOG upgraded some of the materials, especially the steel. With the large Tek Lock, does it make taking and putting the blade in the sheath very hard to do?
     
  10. digitalaaron

    digitalaaron

    20
    Dec 2, 2018
    The Tek Lok has a nub on the inside of the clip that is adjustable. You can make it the clip pretty snug on your belt. If you have a fairly sturdy belt, it's easy to remove and reinsert into the sheath. I find myself using the the thumb ramp to pull the knife out, though, so it's not like I have to jerk the blade out. I do sort of a similar but reversed motion when I put it back in. It clicks in and out of place.
     
  11. js1badsti

    js1badsti Gold Member Gold Member

    354
    Nov 20, 2015
    nice review ---how did you get it with gray handles? all the ones I found have black ones
     
  12. beestokk

    beestokk Basic Member Basic Member

    483
    Sep 20, 2009
    How'd you tighten the sheath up? Heat gun?
     
  13. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    From the reviews I saw it looked like the scale color varied. This grey color is the way mine came. I sort of like it this way because it was more changeable.

    A heat gun would likely be a better method but I did what I usually do with most kydex sheaths: just a lighter and a pair of gloves. Not recommend for a novice and/or if you can't afford to replace the sheath. I've done this many times with many sheaths from many manufacturers. I know what I like in a kydex sheath and I've figured out how to get them there. So long as most sheaths are agreeable to modding (kydex), I can make them exactly how I like and to fit their specific purpose.
     
  14. beestokk

    beestokk Basic Member Basic Member

    483
    Sep 20, 2009
    Thanks! Appreciate that!
    Yeah I've got a couple that I'd like to tighten up. Tops website has a good little tutorial on how to tighten their sheaths.
     
    craytab likes this.
  15. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    Good review.

    If you find that it rides too high:

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    digitalaaron likes this.
  16. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Thanks. I do like your sheath extension idea. However, I've found with a knife this size I like the g-clip and inverted CM carry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    jux t, skyhorse and chiral.grolim like this.
  17. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Good review, it's been awhile since I've looked at the SOG line. :thumbsup:
     
  18. joe90

    joe90

    313
    Aug 17, 2001
    "Another issue I have is the huge pummel. It is just too damn big and sticks out way too much. I wish they would have brought it in a bunch."

    I think I agree with you on this. Grinding if off could be an option ... if you don't mind losing the lanyard. :)

    Pretty cool looking knife though. I had the SOG Seal Elite some time ago but let it go after I sat looking at it more than actually using it. C'est la vie.

    Joe.
     
    craytab likes this.
  19. beestokk

    beestokk Basic Member Basic Member

    483
    Sep 20, 2009
    One for sale right now in the knife exchange FYI
     
    craytab likes this.
  20. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    There sure is! Good price too :D
     
    beestokk likes this.

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