We don’t normally review edged tools at Range365, but a solid EDC knife is a tool nobody should be without and something you have to work into your concealed carry payload.
SOG has reinvented itself, getting back to its roots in a way with a new version of its name, S-O-G: Studies and Observations Group instead of SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. With this change in image came many changes in their product lines, including the reinvention of some of their classics with updates intended to make them more useful and attractive for every day carriers who aren’t members of a SWAT team or elite operators. One of these knives is the Flash AT.
So let’s start with the looks of the new Flash AT. This is a handsome damn knife all the way around. When closed it has a silhouette reminiscent of some Benchmade folders, and the blade sits deep in the handle—which helps protect the finish on the blade over time as the knife rubs against junk in your pocket or wherever it ends up being stowed.
The straight back 3.5-inch blade has a titanium nitride finish and is made of hearty Cryo D2 high-carbon tool steel. It is cryogenically heat treated and has an excellent balance of edge retention and durability. That means, unless you’re breaking down multiple animals a day with it or cutting cardboard for hours, you will only have to sharpen it lightly every so often to keep a razor’s edge on it.
The knife SOG sent me was viciously sharp with an excellent grind on the edge.
The matte finish matches the greenish-gray of the handle perfectly and just plain looks great together.
At the pommel is an angled pocket clip that lets the Flash AT sit deep when your carrying it and it’s angled to better match the edge of a jeans pocket. This lets the knife sit straighter and a bit more securely and move around less.
The very comfortable, ergonomic handle is made of GRN polymer.
Being an assisted-open knife, it’s under spring tension when closed and once you start opening the blade via the thumb stud, the spring takes it the rest of the way, snapping it open and engaging the AT-XR locking mechanism.
SOG says their AT-XR lock can withstand 1,500 lbs. of force, and I believe them. The blade is more than rock solid in the open position.
There is a manual safety on the spine-side of the handle in the form of a flipper tab. Press down the side with the red dot for safe, if the red dot is showing, the knife can be opened.
This keeps the blade from springing open in your pocket or in a pack when you don’t want it to, but after carrying the knife in my pocket and jacket for a couple weeks without the safety on, it hasn’t opened on me once. The closed-hold is fairly substantial and it’s difficult to pinch the blade with your fingers and get it to open without using the thumb stud. But when you open it the way you’re supposed to, the tension is just enough to be solid but not difficult to overcome—sort of like the perfect trigger pull weight.
But the safety is there if you want it.
The lock is released by pulling back on an ambidextrous pin.
The blade shape is excellent for most any cutting task, and overall, this is an excellent utilitarian knife that is, as the same time, very easy on the eyes, and on the budget. All these features come with an MSRP of $74.95.
- OVERALL LENGTH: 8.29″
- CLOSED LENGTH: 4.67″
- BLADE LENGTH: 3.45″
- WEIGHT: 4.49 oz.
- BLADE STEEL TYPE: Cryo D2
- BLADE THICKNESS: 0.12″
- HANDLE MATERIAL: GRN
- HANDLE COLOR: Urban Grey (also available in black or cyan)
- FINISH: Titanium Nitride
- LOCKING MECHANISM: AT-XR
- SAFETY: Ambidextrous Spine-Mounted Safety
- OPENING MECHANISM: Assisted Thumb Stud
- EDGE TYPE: Straight
- BLADE SHAPE: Straight Back
- MSRP: $74.95