My journey with SOG started back in 2008 when I snagged one of the brand’s Twitch XLs on an industry pro deal while working for Thule. I eventually blew out the spring-assist spring, but that knife served as my ride-or-die for a solid year.
More recently, I had the opportunity to test out SOG’s Terminus XR. More premium in materials and build, and featuring SOG’s XR lock mechanism, the Terminus XR was a turn toward premium, both in materials and build.
According to the SOG website, the Terminus XR was “setting a new bar for EDC.” With the release of the One-Zero XR, someone should tell SOG’s marketing team to amend that. Because if the Terminus XR set a new bar for EDC, then the One-Zero must be setting a new bar for all pocket knives in general.
Featuring sculpted aluminum handles, cryo-dipped S35VN steel, and SOG’s proprietary XR crossbar lock, the One-Zero XR is a study in opulence, ostensibly built for whatever you can throw at it.
I spent a month with the One-Zero XR and though it’s an ounce or two heavier than what I am accustomed to, it’s worth that weight in gold when you consider the fact that it’s built to last. In a world where lightweight knives seem to be all the rage, it’s nice to have a big fatty that you can use and abuse.
- OAL 7.80”
- Blade length 3.10”
- Blade steel S35VN
- Blade shape Clip point
- Grind Flat
- Hardness 60-62 HRC
- Lock type XR (Crossbar)
- Carry Right or left hand, tip-up, deep carry
- Weight 3.9 oz.
- Price $299
- Cryogenically processed S35VN blade steel
- Overall design and ergonomics
- XR crossbar lock
- The $300 price tag is going to cause drama for the diehards
SOG One-Zero XR: Review
Design & Features
The One-Zero XR builds off of a steel frame with sculpted and stylized aluminum handle scales. Its clip-point blade is made from cryogenically processed S35VN. Standard S35VN is known for its edge retention, corrosion resistance, and abrasion resistance. Cryo-dipping refines these qualities to make the S35VN on the One-Zero XR even more robust.
As referenced in the name, the One-Zero XR utilizes SOG’s XR crossbar lock-style lock. This lock aids in the opening and closing of the knife, and keeps it reliably locked open until you’re ready to close it.
The One-Zero XR has a thumb hole cut into the blade, but I found it undersized. Using the lock button to deploy the blade offers “near-automatic” speeds in deployment, so I think most users will prefer this over the thumb hole.
And you won’t find any screws on the One-Zero XR; they’re hidden. This feature bolsters the knife’s design, making it suitable for any occasion. Topping the whole thing off is a deep-carry pocket clip that can be easily reversed — once you figure out where the screw is (more on that below).
Yo, Mr. White … Science!
Cryogenically processing blade steel isn’t a new process, but it’s the right process if you want your knife steel to exceed expectations.
It involves traditional heat treating, but then, by cryogenically freezing the steel, it removes any imperfections on a molecular level. For example, depending on the steel, it can break down carbon strands to make the steel more corrosion-resistant.
Overall, “cryo dipping” increases both durability and wear-resistance.
Visually, the One-Zero XR is sexy.
From the somewhat sparkly smoke-gray handle scales to the polished steel surfaces, and even in the gold washer around the pivot screw, this is a nice knife to look at.
But, it also functions smoothly. Using the lock to swing the One-Zero XR open and closed exemplifies this smooth action.
By current standards, this knife is heavy, although not horrible. It’s not even bad, but it is noticeable if you’re used to using EDC knives that hover around 3 ounces. To me, though, the knife’s robust construction takes all the attention off the added weight. There’s no flex anywhere, and the closed backing makes the knife feel more whole compared to a knife that uses stand-offs.
I think this might turn off some outdoor trend chasers who are forever hunting for a lightweight knife. Someone should let them know that there’s some sacrifice in what that knife can do when you start taking weight away from it.
The One-Zero XR is a bombproof knife. It can take a beating. You can hammer on it. And for me, that’s worth an ounce or two.
In the Field
Typically, knives with deep carry clips and no lanyard hole are a pain in the ass to pull out of your back pocket. However, in the case of the One-Zero XR, I think a lanyard hole would have ruined the look and feel of the knife.
That said, it’s a bit of a crab-grab to retrieve from my back pocket, which leads me to believe that the One-Zero XR might be better suited for folks who carry their knives in their side pocket.
Out in the field, the “automatic opening” feature of pulling back the XR lock button and flipping your wrist is fantastic. It’s equally great for closing as well. Nothing quite beats a knife that you can feel and hear snap open so well. The cutout works well for opening but not nearly as well. In fact, I rarely used it.
As far as using the knife in your day-to-day life and the outdoors, I say go for it. And when I say that, I mean go big!
I carried the One-Zero XR for a month as my EDC and it still looks and feels brand new. S35VN is great steel and after being cryogenically processed, it’s even greater.
To prove it, I did a little batoning to see how far I could take the One-Zero before the lock popped or got stuck. Happily, neither happened and I am really glad. I wanted this knife to be as beefy as it looks, and it is.
Pocket Clip Flip
Being that the One-Zero XR features hidden hardware to maintain its clean lines, it might seem impossible to flip the pocket clip for left-hand carry.
Fret not, fellow knife carriers. If you flip the knife open and look into the cavity, toward the back, you’ll see a T5 screw. Loosen that little bugger up and flip your clip.
You’ll need to unscrew and flip the bracket holding the pocket clip as well, or else you can’t reinsert the clip back.
SOG One-Zero XR: Conclusion
In 2023, $300 for a production knife represents an investment. Some of the diehards will say it’s too much and that they wouldn’t pay for it if it had MagnaCut steel. Cool beans — those folks do not take into consideration the extensive build, advanced ergonomics, or even the cryo-dip enhancements to the blade steel. On the plus side, this means you can easily find one waiting for you (and your pocket).
So far, this year continues to serve up some really impressive knives to test. And the One-Zero XR provides another great example that will vie for the best of 2023.
The way the knife tapers and angles makes it very comfortable to use. The XR lock signifies that the knife won’t fail and fold in on you. And the enhanced knife S35VN knife steel may not beat MagnaCut’s level of edge retention, but I feel like it bests MagnaCut in toughness as well as abrasion and corrosion resistance.
The SOG One-Zero XR exemplifies form and function coming together to redefine a line of knives. It offers utilitarian functionality, along with looks that finish the knife off — putting it in a class of its own.