11-inch Camp Knife

By T.C. WORLEY

Various normal as well as serendipitous occasions as of late have allowed me to put a new uber-knife from SOG to the full test. Indeed, during the past two weeks alone, wielding the company’s big, bad Aura Camp knife I’ve field-dressed a deer, whittled sticks for over-the-fire hot dogs, trimmed branches for firewood, conducted a knife throwing contest, cut up vegetables to cook for dinner, and chipped through four inches of lake ice in Wisconsin to make an ice-fishing hole.

SOG_Aura_2.jpg

SOG Aura camp knife

At 11 inches long, and with a 6-inch blade, the Aura is no small knife. In fact, it’s almost a small hatchet. Based on a 1838 “Bowie”-style knife, but with some redesigned touches, the Aura has a straight edge, a stainless-steel blade, and a glass-reinforced polymer handle over-molded with a rubber grip. It costs $53 and through my serious employment of the blade over the past month it has not let me down.

It cut and diced with ease, from pine bow to carrots. The knife is weighted right and feels good in the hand. While winter camping, the handle and grip survived many high-speed impacts with frozen ground during a knife-throwing contest.

Extras include a hidden carbide sharpener that unscrews from the end of the handle for touch-ups in the field. The small sharpener also has a groove for sharpening fish hooks. SOG includes a stiff, belt-looped nylon sheath to carry the knife at your ready.

SOG_Aura_1.jpg

Stow-away sharpener

Given its size, the knife will better serve the sportsman crowd than gram-counting backpackers. (It weighs a half-pound.) But during my four-day camping trip this month, the knife’s usefulness brought remarks from camp mates like “ideal for this trip,” “super handy,” and “tough!” For wilderness trips and primitive camping, the SOG knife has earned a spot in my pack.

T.C. Worley is a writer and photographer based in Minneapolis.

Posted by eric Chan - 12/09/2010 03:03 PM

a good 1/2 lb kitchen knife will work just as well

Posted by ben - 12/09/2010 03:36 PM

you’ve used this knife before eric?

Posted by brucet45410 - 12/10/2010 08:41 AM

Certainly looks like a solid knife. Priced right to me, as well.

Posted by T.C. Worley - 12/10/2010 10:25 AM

Mr. CHan,

I’d have to disagree. The blade on this knife is over 1/8” thick and held up to hammering and many other misuses that I did not list in my review. While it might fell a sapling and cut veggies- I cannot see a kitchen knife performing near the SOG.

Posted by Brian - 12/10/2010 01:44 PM

Thanks for the review. Within the SOG line I would also recommend the Seal Pup Elite as a great camping companion. It is available with a partially serrated blade which I find very useful over just a straight blade. SOG also offers the Aura – Hunting version with a zipper blade for field dressing. I like the SOG product line.

Posted by Art McConnell - 12/10/2010 02:37 PM

I have absolutely no practicle need for this knife but strangely…I WANT ONE!

Posted by Jeffzx9 - 12/10/2010 03:17 PM

SOG knives are serious tools. I’ve owned one of their pocket folding knives (that is obsolete now) and the smaller Pentagon for several years. Tough as nails. Benchmade quality at a reasonable price.

Posted by eric Chan - 12/10/2010 05:39 PM

im still trying to decipher which wild animals youd want to kill with this knife … im sure there it can probably decapitate bears in one fell stroke … however unless you want to slaughter every critter you encounter there are better choices

a kitchen knife will do any reasonable task that most backpackers will want to do in the woods … in fact most decent knives will

i guess if you want to clear cut trees this may be a good choice … leave every rather than no trace

now if this was one of those hunting or survival forums ….

Posted by Ben - 12/14/2010 10:40 AM

Chan,
who said anything about killing animals with the knife? The review is clearly written about a camp knife. And at the very reasonable price point on this SOG I’m confused as to where you are going to find a “kitchen knife” that will hold up to the same abuse in that price range?

Posted by Jim Morrison - 12/15/2010 12:19 PM

I’m glad to your comments regarding backpacking. The most use a backpacking knife usually gets is making shavings to start a fire, cutting cheese and cord. For that a pocket knife works just fine.

Posted by t.c. worley - 12/15/2010 09:27 PM

We’ve got lightweight backpacking knives being tested currently, so stay tuned!

Posted by Jocko - 12/21/2010 10:12 AM

Mr. Chan, you do realize that the site you’ve found is called Gear Junkie? That means most of us are here to see what cool new gizmo’s/gadgets/knives are on the market, this SOG clearly being one of those items. 101 uses for a kitchen knife sounds boring for a website, which is probably why it doesn’t exist. As a matter of fact, I think that I’m going to buy one of these just for kitchen duty.

Posted by Eric - 12/21/2010 06:03 PM

Junkie …. Hmmmnm

well if you must kill small pets then by all means buy all the junk ya need ;)

kinda like those soccer moms that need monster suvs to go to the mall…

Posted by Mike - 11/09/2012 05:15 PM

Eric…what kitchen knife do you recommend? You know your stuff ..I can tell.
Please help. Want to take it hunting bear or elephants.

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