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SOG Twitch II

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by enderwiggin, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. enderwiggin


    Nov 18, 2006
    Well, I was supposed to hold off on knife purchases, and pick up one of the new Carbon Fiber Natives when they're more readily available. But I ended up picking up a SOG Twitch at a home improvement warehouse on a whim.


    Apologies for the poor pic quality, the lighting isn't all that great where I'm at!


    Blade is a nice flat grind, and came razor sharp out of the blister pack. The back lock is an interesting folded piece design, and the back spacer is fully enclosed with metal plates. Which adds some interesting detail to an otherwise very simply designed knife.


    The integrated safety is another nice touch. The safety can be activated both in the open and closed position. I'm not 100% sold on the integrity of the mid lock on the SOG. There's a little bit of give in the lock with the safety engaged in the open position. I don't feel it's enough to release the lock, even after some wear, but it's enough to mention.

    The lock is rock solid vertically, but there is some slight side-to-side blade play when locked open. I don't know if this is more a side effect of the assisted open feature, or the fact that I'm comparing the midlock of the SOG, which is a $40.00 knife, to a Spyderco Caly 3, which retails for over $100.00. And, of course, is a Spyderco! ;)


    The side-to-side blade play becomes more noticeable on closing, and the blade will actually scrape the liners if care isn't taken to close it evenly.


    The assisted opening spring has plenty of kick to it, and the knife opens with authority. However, the knife has been put through at least 50 open/close cycles, and even with scraping against the liner the blade shows very little wear. What does show is no more than is to be expected from normal use.

    The assisted opening feature strikes me as more of a novelty on this knife than a practical feature. For one, the safety is too small and "fumbly," and the travel distance for the index finger to flick the safety off, then pull back on the flipper is takes longer than simply flicking open a comparable thumb stud or spyderhole knife.

    The "Thumb Studs" on the knife are somewhat deceiving. They serve as stop pins to keep the blade from hitting the back spacer. However, they're dangerous when used to open the knife. I've cut myself several times without thinking, and trying to open the knife slowly like a regular folder.

    This is more a combination of me being clumsy and idiotic than any design failure in the knife!

    In Summary:

    Fit and finish are very good but not excellent.
    AUS 8 is a great steel that gets VERY sharp, and holds its' sharpness reasonably well,
    The A.O. is a nifty feature, but a little impractical. It strikes me as being more for show than anything else--which I'm perfectly OK with!
    The "Thumb Stud" stop pins could stand to be replaced with honest-to-goodness stop pins that don't look like thumb studs. Unless I'm missing the technique, of course.
    I can figure out any way to close the knife one-handed. The placement of the mid-lock, combined with the size of the knife and the tension on the assisted open, make it impossible to close one-handed.


    Here are some photos of the knife disassembled:



    This is the spring and ball-bearing combo I described in an earlier post. As you can see, if you disassemble the knife to this point, you'd better take care not to lose these two!


    This is a closeup of the spring opening mechanism, tension released:


    More thoughts:

    After about three weeks of carrying, I have a few more things to add to the original thread.

    From a non-afficiando perspective, it could easily be mistaken for a more expensive knife. The fit and finish are very good, and the blade has a somewhat damascus-like appearance, as if it's been poured and congealed. The blade is also finished with some vertical polishing marks. A little hard to describe, and it's too bad I don't have a better camera. But suffice it to say, the blade looks very nice, and doesn't show wear very well at all, even though it looks polished.

    Another nice thing about the appearance is that it doesn't look entirely tactical--even with the assisted opening mechanism, it doesn't seem to draw negative attention.

    It packs a relatively large blade into such a small handle. The full-flat grind really shines when being used as a utility knife, and the Aus-8 touches up to a nice, keen edge. The pocket clip is nice and tight, and it hangs on to a cargo pocket quite nicely without giving me any fear of it falling out.

    The anodizing on the handle scales has impressed me. I have a metal bead on the lanyard, which sometimes falls inside the pocket where it's being carried. Instead of scratching the handle scales, the anodizing has been hard enough to actually rub metal off the bead, like chalk, but the metal markings rub right off. The knife has also been dropped on various surfaces, yet shows no marring.

    Minor Gripes:
    I'm not sure if all the models are like this, but it's possible to accidentally prevent the spring tension from opening the blade by pinching the handle too tightly between your middle finger and thumb, while using your index to operate the flipper. This may be a side effect of disassembling the knife, as I've found the screws need to be adjusted carefully, or liner tension prevents proper opening.

    All in all, it's a very nice little knife at the price!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  2. p_mcmanis

    p_mcmanis Banned BANNED

    Aug 18, 2008
    do what hugh laurie does and press the lock down and use your forhead to close it.

    impractical, but hey, it is technically one handed. and technically is the best kind of right.

    nice review, well organized, and good pictures. and I 100% agree a/o + thumb studs = BAD.
  3. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I for one am a big fan of the "flipper". Thumb studs used to open AO knives can lead to cut fingers if you aren't familiar with pressure needed and the speed of the blade.

    I picked up a SOG Trident over the holiday weekend that is AO and only has the thumb studs. I really, really like the knife. Nice blade size, I really like whatever SOG does to AUS8, filled the tacticool niche in my collection with its Titanium Nickle coating and tanto edge:eek::foot:, and it's really light for its size.

    However, unlike all of my Kershaws with AO and a flipper, this is one knife that i watch open every time I use it. I want to keep an eye on it. Since my thumb has to press it open, I worry about random drag of the blade or it catching something and not popping open. Part of my worry is that I stropped it up sharper than the devil's tongue;) It'll just take a little time to get used to it. It took me the better part of a month to open my SOG Blink without worrying about cutting my piggies:D

    Great review and pictures:):thumbup:
  4. SPXTrader


    Dec 26, 2006
    The horizontal blade play seems to be common in most SOG folders. My belief is because they use nylon pivot washers, not PB like most other makers. For this very reason (and the zytel handles), my experience with SOG folders has been limited to two knives, both of which are long gone.
  5. 83Venture


    Aug 10, 2006
    I carry one of the SOG Twitch II Black Tie Folders to work. One of the flattest knives I have. It clips behind my belt and you dont really know its there and if you angle it a little the clip will not show past your belt. Being black & gold it looks pretty enough that so far no one has been "offended" if they see me using it.
  6. Krustynutz


    Jul 8, 2006
    Sorry you're not happy with your SOG 2. I will be glad to take it off your hands. Very easy to close one handed. My Wife showed me. She has one also. Perhaps you are a little new in the cutlery world, just don't state something as fact when its just your inability to operate simple machinery. Others may read that and believe it. Its Not as IMPOSSIBLE as you think. Keep trying.
  7. pinetree


    Jun 24, 2005
    Though I am mostly a traditional carrier, I picked up a Twitch II on a whim. I love this knife. Solid, sharp, and easy to carry. I do not have any need for the thumb studs, but I really don't care that they are there. I have no blade play. I do find the AO to be of value. It took a while to get use to with my big mits, but now it is natural and quick.

  8. SCme


    Feb 2, 2007
    I picked up one of these about a week ago. Nice little knife that I believe I will carry as my casual knife. I can close it with 1 hand, the way I do it is press on the lock, lay the back of the blade against my outer thigh and push to close the blade. Then since it's close to your pocket, just reclip and you're ready to go.
  9. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    This is how i close most A/O.:thumbup: I know you can get them started then sort of scissor them closed with your thumb and little finger, but I have visions of my finger slipping, it being sliced in the process, and then a bloody springloaded knife flying out in God knows what direction:eek:
  10. enderwiggin


    Nov 18, 2006
    That's how I've been closing the knife. Don't get me wrong, I've been carrying the knife since I bought it!

    I'm thinking of trying to find some replacement washers to maybe reduce the blade play, if it's the cause as SPX Trader suggests.

    Krustynutz, you're right, it can easily be closed one-handed, it just took some getting used to.

    I've added a lanyard, and I think it helps the overall usability of the knife. I'm also loving the AUS 8 blade's polished finish. It doesn't seem to mar as easily as some finishes and/or other steels.
  11. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    If you find any aftermarket washers that fit your SOG, please let us know. I'm thinking about doing the same thing with my Trident. I really, really like the knife, but if I can do a minor tweak like replacing the washers with something a little more robust, then I'm all for it:thumbup:
  12. Krustynutz


    Jul 8, 2006
    Enderwiggin, Thats Great. Knew it wouldn't take long. Also, the lanyard is a great idea. The lanyard can be used as an extension of the handle by slipping it between your pinkie and third finger or middle and third finger. This gives a little more grasp and control on the rear part of the handle. I know the lanyard on mine has kept me from dropping the knife quite a few times. The concrete floor in my shop could give your blade a beating. I bet you cant wait to get that CF Native. Ya got good taste in knives. Best Wishes, Friend.
  13. enderwiggin


    Nov 18, 2006
    About the washer replacement:

    I recently disassembled the knife to see what size washers it would take.

    To my surprise, the Twitch II seems to be a washerless design. There is a raised ring on the non-clip-side liner which functions as a washer, but that's it. In fact, the knife will no longer open fully with just oil, it needs to be both adjusted properly and greased with a heavy-duty lubricant for the spring to overcome the friction of the liners.

    I'll get some photos up of the disassembly when I get a chance.

    A couple of things of note real quick:
    There are a TINY ball bearing and spring combo that may drop out if the clip-side scale is removed.

    Adjusting the screws that hold the knife together will change how the A/O feature functions.

    The main A/O spring is surprisingly easy to remove and replace when cleaning and re-lubing the pivot area of the knife.
  14. No_b00st


    Aug 10, 2008
    so that's what that knife is!! :)
  15. rough rider

    rough rider Banned by Moderators Banned

    Jun 18, 2008
    Just bought one yesterday at lowes to replace messing up my benchmade 960 osborne at work! So far i myself thinks its a great little knife for a knock around no frills knife for work:)
  16. UpChUcK


    Sep 17, 2008
    Hey all, new to the forums...

    This knife was my first decent quality knife I've purchased other than the Vitorinox and multi-tools that I have. It has actually sparked my 'interest' in more knives :cool: . I got this one about 6 months ago.

    Here's my assessment:
    I do not have the play in the blade that was reported by the OP. Mine is actually a very, very solid feeling knife. Almost jewel-like in operation. I too can close it one-handed using the 'against the thigh' method mentioned above. Also, I haven't experienced any issues opening it using the thumbstuds. As long as you only give it a little push and let the AO do the rest. Opening it quietly (w/o the AO 'click') does take a degree of concentration and care to compensate for the spring though which is pretty robust for the size of the knife.

    I concur with the comments regarding the steel. I've never heard of Aus8 before but I like it. It takes an edge nicely and stays sharp. I can't attest to the durability since I have not really abused it. Boxes, plastic strapping, stretch wrap, hang nails, paracord, etc. is pretty much the duty cycle.

    This is my EDC that I use at work. Since I'm in an office environment, the size and inconspicuousness of it is perfect. Plus when I do whip it out, its design is very subdued and understated which does not draw a lot of attention... at least until I open it. The AO gets people's attention :eek: .

    I use my Benchmade Mini-Griptilian tanto as my EDC on the weekends when I can wear more casual clothes. While I think the 154CM Mini-Grip holds an edge better, the Aus8 Twitch II is pretty close.

    Overall, the SOG Twitch II is a great little knife.
  17. robicon


    Jun 9, 2008
    I abuse the hell out of mine. It gets regular edc duty when I don't want to mess up a "nice" one.

    no problems to report as of yet and I've been carrying it almost daily since Christmas '07.

    Very small, very unobtrusive, blade steel can get very sharp and seems to retain it rather well.

    just a good size folder with decent steel that won't break the bank.
  18. enderwiggin


    Nov 18, 2006
    Double-post, see the opening thread above for the disassembly photos!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  19. itseasyforyou


    Jun 8, 2008
    Thanks for showing the disassembled knife, I have the same model, it's pretty nice.
  20. morisboeuf


    May 19, 2014
    Can confirm SOG twitch 11 has no washers...somehow it works but the opening and closing is not smooth and that is a direct consequence of the lock back system. I am amazed NO washers. I am not very happy with mine and find that it is rather a pain to get it to open in a flash...The thumb stud is very small and the flipper tab rather hard due to the locking system.
    It is cool looking knife that could have been better built.

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