SOG SEAL 2000 vs. Buck Nighthawk

Hi, I'm fairly new to the knife world and am looking for a good fixed blade knife for both general purpose utility and defensive use. After reading some publications, I like the looks and seemingly good quality of the SEAL 2000 and the Buck Nighthawk. I know that the SOG is more expensive than the Buck, but is it that much better? Any advice or comments you can lend would be appreciated. Also, I'm open to other manufacurers. Thanks.


Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
May 28, 1999
Now ill admit to being tempted to buy both these knives at one time or another, but in my opinion there are much better knives out there for the price, in terms of both performance and looks. The sog is plenty well enough built. just that the 440A stainless isnt the greatest for edge holding. The buck with the 425 is even worse. Check into some of the offerings from Ontario, the blades are made of carbon steel + they are coated with epoxy so they wont rust if you take care of them. Another option would be to look at cold steel's bushman or recon scout or the srk. Though i dont like the companys advertising strategy, or their warranty for that matter they make pretty good knives. Just shop around a bit more. If you still like the sog it is a good knife... just that there are better ones out there

One with the Force you must be...WISH NOT TO BE A JEDI!!NO PENSION YOU SAY!! Hmph! a Jedi desires not these things.
Ohy yeah... some other good manufactures would include Randall(bit on the pricey side if you think that sogs expensive) or if you can find one, a carbon steel Blackjack. The BJ's were exceptional knives for the price, however they are no longer in buisness so getting one might be difficult at a good price.

One with the Force you must be...WISH NOT TO BE A JEDI!!NO PENSION YOU SAY!! Hmph! a Jedi desires not these things.
I have to agree. Neither knife is in a very good steel - at least Buck doesn't ask an arm and a leg for theirs. Blackjacks, if you can find them, are fantastic for non-stainless choices. Cold Steel is another good place to look, with offerings in a very good carbon steel (Carbon V = 52100?) and a decent stainless (AUS-8), both reasonably priced. Katz knives definitely deserve a look in the stainless department, though they're a bit pricier. I knife is never any better than the steel that goes into it, and I feel you could do better than 440A or 425.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
> After reading some publications

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

> I like the looks and seemingly good quality of the SEAL 2000 and
> the Buck Nighthawk

I'll give you a big "it depends" here.

You'll find among the more hardcore testers and users here that neither of these knives will win any popularity contest here, though each has small pockets of support. Each knife has its problems: SOG's mediocre steel, square handle, insufficient guard, etc.; and Buck's mediocre steel, uncomfortable-to-some handle, so-so edge geometry, etc..

So will you be happy with either knife? Maybe, it depends on your expectations. If you mostly just carry it around, and every now and then slice some food or cut a rope, you'll certainly be happy with either knife. The harder you use the knife, the greater the possibility you'll want something better (but nothing is guaranteed -- some people love their Bucks; go figure!)

The SOG is just too expensive for me to recommend. The Buck is a reasonable starter's knife. If it works for you, great. If you notice problems with ergonomics, edge geometry, edge holding, chopping or slicing ability, etc., then perhaps it will serve as a cheap lesson for you, and your next purchase will be better.

Other knives I'd consider first in this price range and in this class of military-style knives: your standard 1095 Kabar (*not* the expensive Next Generation Kabar) at around $30. A Cold Steel SRK at around $50(?) A Cold Steel Bush Ranger at slightly more than that (this is my top recommendation for all-around use unless you really need some serious tip strength). The Fallkniven A-1 (give that one some serious consideration also -- it's much more expensive though, at $110).


PS A quick note about "looks". When I bought my first pistol, I came very close to passing over my ugly Sig P226 in favor of another pistol that I thought looked better. Having shot that P226 for years, I pat myself on the back every day for choosing that ugly P226 over the prettier pistol. If you're mostly buying this knife to hang on your belt and play SEAL while watching Rambo on TV, by all means consider the looks of the knife (note this isn't a put-down -- I myself openly admit to playing SEAL occasionally). But if you're looking to use it, there's nothing better you can do for yourself than to forget about aesthetics. A knife that works well for you is a thing of beauty in itself -- you will quickly come to appreciate it and forget about any erstwhile aesthetic flaws it has, I guarantee it.

[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 29 May 1999).]
I have to second Joe's suggestion that there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned Ka Bar. And as a matter of fact (shameless plug here) I am selling a NIB Next Gen model in the for sale area at a very reasonable price if you are interested.
I owned a Seal 2000, it was a decent enough knife if you don't plan on doing any hard use with it. The grip doesnt inspire much confidence. Next time you hold one JMB, imagine trying to hold onto it with sweaty or wet hands. That was the main reason I sold it.
Buy yourself a Cold Steel Recon Tanto or SRK. I have seen those around $60 at gun shows, and they were not seconds!

BTW another thing to consider are the local knife laws regarding blade length, and style. If you plan on carrying it for defense and some utility, this is important so as to avoid any legal hassles.

Thanks for the responses so far. I actually just got a Cold Steel catalog in the mail yesterday and I must admit I'm now looking heavily at the SRK and Recon Tanto. I'll probably go with the SRK because I like the drop point better than the tanto for general purpose use.

I carried a Spyderco Delica all through high school, and I recently upgraded to an Emerson E1-B Raven. I like the tanto point on that knife since I carry it as a defensive piece first and a tool second. But this is my first time around with fixed blades. I plan to use it, but probably not carry it. Here in Minnesota I've written the attorney generals office to try to find out what the knife laws are, but they just referred me to a vague law that defined nothing.

As far as looks go, they aren't important, I just want something that works. That's why my handgun is a Glock 19. It may not be pretty, but it ALWAYS works.
Well, say what you will about the Nighthawk, I like it. I don't think you can get more knife for the low cost this can be found for. Ok, maybe it's not the best steel available out there, but it works just fine and is not a problem to resharpen. I don't worry about useing mine hard, it has stood up very well. I think this level of knives actually has quite a few good users on the market, as the examples given above show. Which is best is well, that's why there are horse races eh?