SOG Super Bowie Review

Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
25
A week or so ago I wrote a psuedo review on my new SOG Super Bowie. I got a chance to suck it up and use it some this weekend and since we have a tropical storm hanging out overhead and I'm bored, I'll write more of a "real" review-
I was in the market for large, heavy duty bowie. I shopped around a lot, mostly online. I read reviews and stats for a lot of makers knives, customer reviews where I could find them ect. I like to do my homework before buying any tool, be it a saw, drill, saddle, gun, knife or whatever.
I finaly decided that the SOG Super Bowie was the right choice for me. I liked the classic look of the knife, tactical while not ultra modern. Gracefull yet stong and lethal lines. I knew SOGs reputation for a quality product and this being one of there flagship models I knew it would be nice. I also liked that it was based on the sterile knives made for and issued to the MACVSOG operatives of the Vietnam War. These men were the best of the best doing hard work against tall odds without complaint and the brief brush with history I get owning and using this knife is a mini charge in and of itself.
First the sheath- I have always believed that sheaths are frequently underated in knife reviews because while not exciting like the knife itself, without a good carrying system, a knife is kind of useless.
The sheath that ths knife comes with is a good leather sheath, well made and sound. Sewn and riveted it should hold up well. No looseness, the leather is quite snug on the blade- very stiff to get the blade in and out when brand new but it has and will loosen up with use. The retaining snap is strong and solid, doing its job well. The sheath also comes with a little pocket on the front with an arkansas white stone in it closing with a flap and snap. The stone is quite adequate as a field sharpener. On the tip is a double grommeted flap for a leg tie. The Belt loop is of a good size though sadly a bit small to easily get on a military pistol belt. I have yet to try aggressivly. There is a small hole at the tip of the sheath for drainage.
All in all, a simple but tried and true set up made of decent quality materials and workmanship. I would prefer it came in brown but as I understand it the originals were black.
Now the knife itself- WOW! This is a big, beutifull, brutal knife. In the hand it just feels SOLID. It has great heft and (for my taste) perfect balance. The leather stacked handle while smooth is not slick in my hand and while large in diameter to my relativly small hands is very, very comfortable. The fit and finish is outstanding, parts fitting together perfectly. The white washers in the grip are very aesheticly pleasing and just scream SOG. The handgaurd is very comfortable and smooth with no pressure points- perfect fit to the hand in any grip. The pommel is solid and heavy, balancing the heavy blade wonderfully.
The blade itself is stunning. The scalloping on the spine is awsome, the size and thickness ratio of the blade is perfect, the tip, while needle sharp just plain looks strong. The gracefull lines of the blade accentuate the well engineered geometry of the blade. The TiNi coating on the blade, crossguard and pommel is beutifull.
Thats nice, its pretty, but how does it work you may ask?
again, WOW. As I wrote in my first post, I was almost afraid to use it as it is so beutifull I didn't want to mess it up. I got over it. While I didn't work it hard, I did play with it some. I brought it on a day fishing trip into thr bush, partly to play with it and partly because of gators. I wanted something large and lethal on my belt just in case of gators and do to the local, my 45 was just not appropriate. (I'm a yankee and just can't wrap my mind around the presence of dinasoars waiting to eat me in the bush! Snakes too!)
It clears light brush very well. The shaving sharp edge it came with combined with the heft of the blade and the geomatry of the blade makes it slice and hack very effectivly. With proper cutting technique it easitly cut through inch and a half saplings.
I will reitorate here that the stacked leather handle, while smooth was never slick in my hand even when wet, do I imagine to the porus nature of the material. The handle did darken a little with use from sweat and water but this did not negativly affect the knife at all and in my opinion just adds to the aesthetic apeal.
Just for chuckles I split some hunks of two by four. It tore them up into kindling with suprising ease and almost no marking on the TiNi coating.
Then came the part that scared me the most- I thrust the knife strait into pine boards several times. No marring whatsoever. I was carefull to thrust straight in and pull straight out. I will not be puting any lateral stress on this tip. There is no need to anyway. I drove the knife into PT six by six post, chopping in with the belly. It sink deep, almost burying the blade but do to the blade geometry and thickness, withdrew with ease. This for some reason created a half inch hair thin scratch in the coating :( .
It cuts meat like a laser. The meat, chicken, fish almost parts at the coming of the blade. While it actualy cuts meat well, do to the thickness of the blade, it is really unsuited to and clumsy for this task.
All this and is still shaves hair off my arm at the belly (the part that did almost all the work)
I did not throw this knife, nor will I unless I have no choice. While I'm sure it will throw well and sink deep, it is not made to be thus abused and I feel confidant that while stronger than it looks, the tip would not withstand that kind of abuse.
There is no overall in this review- For what it is and what its meant for, this knife is in my opinion perfect. One has to understand its limitations though-
In 1968, there likely was not a better material for knife grips. Unfortunatly, lots of water and leather grips do not a great pair make. Would I use this as a dive knife? No. There are better materials available now. Would I reach for this knife if I knew I was going to be wading around up to my armpits in swamp for hours on end? Again, No. See above.
Would I take this knife camping? Absolutly. While it may get wet, it wouldn't be submerged for long stretches and and that makes the difference. I'm confidant that it (the handle) will withstand casual wetting but it would pass no immersion test.
Would I subject the tip to prying, throwing, twisting, and all the other atrocities some people (Myself sometimes included) subject there tips to? No. While it is a tough knife and a tough tip, it is not made for that. Hence the reason that such things are not covered under warrenty.
Would I deploy in a combat zone with this knife? As long as the climate was temperate or dry, absolutly though I would have to adjust to a different carry style than I prefer. Would I reach for this knife to "fight bad guys" This knife would rank up there with my tried and true Cold Steel Recon Tanto and my big, nasty Cold Steel Kukri. Depending on the circumstances, it would rank above either.
And the big question, would I let my USMC little brother take this knife to the sandbox with him next month? Absolutly though I would recomend something else. (I have, in certain situations, always prefered tip up, left side on the chest carry for my combat knives- do to the size of the knife and style of sheath this knife comes with, this would not be ideal. I will add that my little brother is much larger framed that myself, the size likely wouldn't affect him the same as it would myself)
Again, for what it is, this knife is perfect in my opinion. It is absolutly the pride and joy of my knife collection as well as my entire melee weapon collection, second only to the high quality, made to be used tenth century viking sword repro that my wee daughter got me. Sorry SOG, nothing trumps that! :D
Now that I have taken the plunge and given it some use, only to have it laugh and say "is that all you've got?" I will feel confidant to use it more and with pride!
Thank you folks at SOG for making such an outstanding product!
Peace
John
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
25
LOL, sorry, it didn't occur to me to bring a camera, plus, I'm not too computer savvy and don't know how to post them. If you want to see knife porn though, there is plenty of it online! :)
Peace
John
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2002
Messages
1,346
Nice review !!

I bought a SOG Super Bowie about a year-and-a-half ago ..... and I'll second everything you wrote. Great Knife, I beat the crap out of it chopping on my favorite super-dry hardwood chopping log. The knife took the punishment, no damage. A few scuffs and such, but it didn't break.

One "problem" I had was that the little nut on the end of the pommel came loose. I removed it, put a few drops of blue Loctite on the threads, re-installed the nut, and tightened it really really tight. Hasn't come loose since.

Great Knife !!!!

Cheers,

Carl
 
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
357
Hello, I just bought the SOG Super Bowie knife myself. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and it will be my 3rd SOG knife, as I already own the SOG S37-K SEAL Teams knife and the SOG Tigershark Elite knife. Being an ex-SEAL and also to celebrate the recent killing of one pathetic loser Osama Bin Laden by the Boys, I could not help but buy the SEAL Teams knife! Now, in respects to the Super Bowie and water on the handle and ruining it issue, I have an idea. When I get my Super Bowie, I am thinking about putting some clear waterproof sealant on the handle of it. The sealant is clear and totally water resistant. I think that would make for an improved handle as well as make it more resistant to water, should water get on it! Of courdse, I don't want to ruin my coming brand new Super Bowie knife, especially for what I paid for it. So I am going to do some research on the idea and see if there is any way at all that this would mess the handle up! Thanks for your great review here on the Super Bowie!


A week or so ago I wrote a psuedo review on my new SOG Super Bowie. I got a chance to suck it up and use it some this weekend and since we have a tropical storm hanging out overhead and I'm bored, I'll write more of a "real" review-
I was in the market for large, heavy duty bowie. I shopped around a lot, mostly online. I read reviews and stats for a lot of makers knives, customer reviews where I could find them ect. I like to do my homework before buying any tool, be it a saw, drill, saddle, gun, knife or whatever.
I finaly decided that the SOG Super Bowie was the right choice for me. I liked the classic look of the knife, tactical while not ultra modern. Gracefull yet stong and lethal lines. I knew SOGs reputation for a quality product and this being one of there flagship models I knew it would be nice. I also liked that it was based on the sterile knives made for and issued to the MACVSOG operatives of the Vietnam War. These men were the best of the best doing hard work against tall odds without complaint and the brief brush with history I get owning and using this knife is a mini charge in and of itself.
First the sheath- I have always believed that sheaths are frequently underated in knife reviews because while not exciting like the knife itself, without a good carrying system, a knife is kind of useless.
The sheath that ths knife comes with is a good leather sheath, well made and sound. Sewn and riveted it should hold up well. No looseness, the leather is quite snug on the blade- very stiff to get the blade in and out when brand new but it has and will loosen up with use. The retaining snap is strong and solid, doing its job well. The sheath also comes with a little pocket on the front with an arkansas white stone in it closing with a flap and snap. The stone is quite adequate as a field sharpener. On the tip is a double grommeted flap for a leg tie. The Belt loop is of a good size though sadly a bit small to easily get on a military pistol belt. I have yet to try aggressivly. There is a small hole at the tip of the sheath for drainage.
All in all, a simple but tried and true set up made of decent quality materials and workmanship. I would prefer it came in brown but as I understand it the originals were black.
Now the knife itself- WOW! This is a big, beutifull, brutal knife. In the hand it just feels SOLID. It has great heft and (for my taste) perfect balance. The leather stacked handle while smooth is not slick in my hand and while large in diameter to my relativly small hands is very, very comfortable. The fit and finish is outstanding, parts fitting together perfectly. The white washers in the grip are very aesheticly pleasing and just scream SOG. The handgaurd is very comfortable and smooth with no pressure points- perfect fit to the hand in any grip. The pommel is solid and heavy, balancing the heavy blade wonderfully.
The blade itself is stunning. The scalloping on the spine is awsome, the size and thickness ratio of the blade is perfect, the tip, while needle sharp just plain looks strong. The gracefull lines of the blade accentuate the well engineered geometry of the blade. The TiNi coating on the blade, crossguard and pommel is beutifull.
Thats nice, its pretty, but how does it work you may ask?
again, WOW. As I wrote in my first post, I was almost afraid to use it as it is so beutifull I didn't want to mess it up. I got over it. While I didn't work it hard, I did play with it some. I brought it on a day fishing trip into thr bush, partly to play with it and partly because of gators. I wanted something large and lethal on my belt just in case of gators and do to the local, my 45 was just not appropriate. (I'm a yankee and just can't wrap my mind around the presence of dinasoars waiting to eat me in the bush! Snakes too!)
It clears light brush very well. The shaving sharp edge it came with combined with the heft of the blade and the geomatry of the blade makes it slice and hack very effectivly. With proper cutting technique it easitly cut through inch and a half saplings.
I will reitorate here that the stacked leather handle, while smooth was never slick in my hand even when wet, do I imagine to the porus nature of the material. The handle did darken a little with use from sweat and water but this did not negativly affect the knife at all and in my opinion just adds to the aesthetic apeal.
Just for chuckles I split some hunks of two by four. It tore them up into kindling with suprising ease and almost no marking on the TiNi coating.
Then came the part that scared me the most- I thrust the knife strait into pine boards several times. No marring whatsoever. I was carefull to thrust straight in and pull straight out. I will not be puting any lateral stress on this tip. There is no need to anyway. I drove the knife into PT six by six post, chopping in with the belly. It sink deep, almost burying the blade but do to the blade geometry and thickness, withdrew with ease. This for some reason created a half inch hair thin scratch in the coating :( .
It cuts meat like a laser. The meat, chicken, fish almost parts at the coming of the blade. While it actualy cuts meat well, do to the thickness of the blade, it is really unsuited to and clumsy for this task.
All this and is still shaves hair off my arm at the belly (the part that did almost all the work)
I did not throw this knife, nor will I unless I have no choice. While I'm sure it will throw well and sink deep, it is not made to be thus abused and I feel confidant that while stronger than it looks, the tip would not withstand that kind of abuse.
There is no overall in this review- For what it is and what its meant for, this knife is in my opinion perfect. One has to understand its limitations though-
In 1968, there likely was not a better material for knife grips. Unfortunatly, lots of water and leather grips do not a great pair make. Would I use this as a dive knife? No. There are better materials available now. Would I reach for this knife if I knew I was going to be wading around up to my armpits in swamp for hours on end? Again, No. See above.
Would I take this knife camping? Absolutly. While it may get wet, it wouldn't be submerged for long stretches and and that makes the difference. I'm confidant that it (the handle) will withstand casual wetting but it would pass no immersion test.
Would I subject the tip to prying, throwing, twisting, and all the other atrocities some people (Myself sometimes included) subject there tips to? No. While it is a tough knife and a tough tip, it is not made for that. Hence the reason that such things are not covered under warrenty.
Would I deploy in a combat zone with this knife? As long as the climate was temperate or dry, absolutly though I would have to adjust to a different carry style than I prefer. Would I reach for this knife to "fight bad guys" This knife would rank up there with my tried and true Cold Steel Recon Tanto and my big, nasty Cold Steel Kukri. Depending on the circumstances, it would rank above either.
And the big question, would I let my USMC little brother take this knife to the sandbox with him next month? Absolutly though I would recomend something else. (I have, in certain situations, always prefered tip up, left side on the chest carry for my combat knives- do to the size of the knife and style of sheath this knife comes with, this would not be ideal. I will add that my little brother is much larger framed that myself, the size likely wouldn't affect him the same as it would myself)
Again, for what it is, this knife is perfect in my opinion. It is absolutly the pride and joy of my knife collection as well as my entire melee weapon collection, second only to the high quality, made to be used tenth century viking sword repro that my wee daughter got me. Sorry SOG, nothing trumps that! :D
Now that I have taken the plunge and given it some use, only to have it laugh and say "is that all you've got?" I will feel confidant to use it more and with pride!
Thank you folks at SOG for making such an outstanding product!
Peace
John
 
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
357
Hello, and thanks for the suggestion here! I just might have to try that if it comes loose on mine! I just bought my Super Bowie! It is supposed to arrive at my home tomorrow and I am really excited! It will be my 3rd SOG knife as I also bought and own the SOG SEAL Teams S37-K knife and the SOG Tigershark Elite knife, which is one badass knife, let me tell you! But anyway, thanks so much for your suggestion here!

Brian

Nice review !!

I bought a SOG Super Bowie about a year-and-a-half ago ..... and I'll second everything you wrote. Great Knife, I beat the crap out of it chopping on my favorite super-dry hardwood chopping log. The knife took the punishment, no damage. A few scuffs and such, but it didn't break.

One "problem" I had was that the little nut on the end of the pommel came loose. I removed it, put a few drops of blue Loctite on the threads, re-installed the nut, and tightened it really really tight. Hasn't come loose since.

Great Knife !!!!

Cheers,

Carl
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
11
I wrote the initial post reviewing this knife and since it came up recently and I'm bored I figured I'd give a follow up. FYI, I can't for the life of me remember the password I used when I started the account and I don't use that e-mail anymore-hence the new ID :eek:
First the sheath- Its taken a beating disproportionate to its use. The pocket on the front started coming unstitched quickly. I eventualy removed it altogether. I have to be carefull as I have on many ocasions almost put the tip through the leather at the tip of the sheath, though as yet I havn't. As expected, it doesn't hold supersnug anymore but that of course is natural and to be expected. Lastly the stitching on the lower spine side of the sheath started to unravel. I restitched about three and a half inches with some artificial sinew and its sound now. The retaining snap is still very tight and crisp.
Onto the knife- It is still sharp as hell! I have over time had to give the edge some work, and I did bring the grind relief back a little bit, but it is hair shaving sharp right now as I look at it. The finish, while it has some scratches is still good showing little wear on the blade and some on the cross guard and pommel. The handle is a little slicker than I remember it being new. While I havn't used it very hard in the last several years, I have used it and it shows little sign of use. I still have the original rawhide lanyard and have found it to be indespensible.
Now onto my impresions- I am actualy less impressed with this knife than I initialy was. I like it well enough but I have other knives that I prefer for my big knife tasks. First, it is BIG, not so much in length but it is just a big hunk o steel. My biggest issue though is the grip- after it broke in some with use the grip got kind of slick and with no grooves in the leather stacked handle as in the Kabar, I am not as confident that it will stay put as I would like to be. Also, there is no kind of swell or shoulder at the pommel to aid in keeping the knife in place. Add to that that it is for my reletivly small hands a big grip and I just don't feel as confident using it hard as I do some of my other large knives. This is my personal impresion and others may feel completely different while holding the same knife.
Overall, in almost three years, the knife is still in great shape and I can't complain about that at all. I do still like it but do to comfort issues it is rarely my first choice of knives and that could be a contributor as to why its still in such great shape. Yes it shows some use and wear but it is absolutly none the worse for it. I do still like it quite a bit but by the same token I could be talked out of it fairly easily for something I would personaly get more use out of.( I would trade it for a SOG Seal Team or Seal Team Elite in comprable shape)
Definitly a good knife. If you are used to and comfortable with leather stacked handles and have bigger hands than mine, likely a great knife but for my purposes it will remain a second teir tool.
Pics to follow in a day or so
John
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
2,937
The only thing that I can see that could be improved is the finger indentations(personal preference). Other than that it's a nice blade.
 
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