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One Blade, Dozens of Uses: SOG Tellus FX Review

Slice, chop, hammer, pry, dig, baton — the $60 SOG Tellus FX does it all.

SOG-Tellus-FX-design(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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Full transparency: It’s tougher for me to test and review fixed-blade knives compared to folders. With a folder, you can throw it in a pocket and use it when the situation arises. But a fixed-blade knife is a whole other vibe.

In modern society, fixed blades have a very specific vibe that relegates them to the woods, a campsite, or stuffed in your pack, out of sight. Otherwise, you could become the center of attention for brandishing a weapon — even when it’s safely stored on your belt. (Been there, done that.)

Because of this, I spend more time with SOG Tellus FX for this review than I would with a folding knife — about 9 months now. At 9 inches long with blaze orange handle scales and a multi-mount, pivoting sheath, the Tellus FX has become my camp knife, lawn-mowing knife, chores-by-the-river knife, my just about everything — except wearing-it-in-public — knife.

In short: The SOG Tellus FX is a big belt knife designed to put in a lot of demanding work without breaking the bank. It’s become a staple in my life, at home and out in the woods.

SOG Tellus FX Knife


  • OAL 9”
  • Blade length 4.3”
  • Blade steel CRYO 440C
  • Blade shape Drop point
  • Grind Flat
  • Hardness 58-60
  • Sheath Nylon w/UMS
  • Weight 6.7 oz. / 8.4 oz. w/sheath
  • Price $60


  • Cryogenically processed 440C
  • Great ergonomics.
  • UMS sheath for multiple carry options
  • $60


  • UMS bolts can slip out of their channel

SOG Tellus FX Knife Review

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Design and Features

SOG designed the Tellus as a budget-friendly, bushcraft-style knife. It measures 9 inches of solid cryo-treated 440C. Cryogenically processing steel helps break down imperfections in the alloy to improve things like corrosion resistance and edge retention.

Though a stainless steel, the 440C is not impervious to rust. And while putting this drop point-style blade through the cryogenic process doesn’t eliminate the possibility of rust or corrosion, it makes it a heckuva lot harder for it to happen. As long as you put it away clean and dry, you won’t have any issues.

The Tellus FX has an arched spine with jimping and an oversized choil. This allows your hand to index the knife in a variety of positions while making it easy to maneuver. Based on its overall size, this knife is easy to appreciate with bare hands or in gloves.

On the handle, thin, textured GRN handle scales aid the ease of operation.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Show-Stopping Sheath

Meanwhile, the sheath of this knife is part of a new series that SOG uses on a variety of its other fixed-blade knives. It’s made from nylon and has various lashing points that allow you to carry it however you please. But it’s the sheath’s innovative, removable Universal Mounting System (UMS) that really steals the show. This lets you wear it on your belt or pack strap in a variety of orientations.

By design, the UMS is fairly simple. At the core is a triangular piece that bolts to the sheath itself and has been slotted so that the metal belt clip can be loosened and adjusted limitlessly along the path of the slots, and then tightened back down once you reach your desired configuration. If that’s not enough, the entire mechanism can be adapted to fit into the available rivet holes or slots on the sheath.

First Impressions

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

SOG really reinvented the brand recently by expanding its color palette and processes. I talked about how the cryogenic processing can improve the steel’s edge retention and corrosion resistance, but it also allows SOG to employ some classic steel.

The Tellus FX’s 440C is a giant in the knife industry and has been around forever. This steel has proven its worth so much, in fact, that it has been imitated and upgraded tenfold. That’s significant because it brings down the overall price while the steel retains its desirable characteristics. All that’s to say the Tellus FX has the goods for well under $100.

In terms of color, SOG is the last company I would expect to see a sage green sheath from, but I dig it. I think it fits really well with the blaze-orange handle scales, helping the knife stand out. This kind of color play drew me to the Tellus FX initially, and you can find these combinations sprinkled throughout SOG’s current lineup of fixed-blade and folding knives.

Aside from all the aesthetics, this is a big knife with a thin profile (5/8-inch) that allows it to nest nicely in your hand. But it’s not so thin you can’t swing it around to slice, chop, or break down kindling like any other bushcraft-style knife.

Overall, I like this take on the design, as the Tellus FX is a tall knife. Its handle can get a hair over 1.25 inches, and the blade tops out at 1.5 inches tall. If this were a thicker knife, it would be hard to wrap your hand around it and use it efficiently.

In the Field

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Honestly, I never expected this knife to become what it has to me. It started while I was doing yard work last summer, replacing the rope guides my hops grow along. I needed a solid knife that could cut and pry, so I clipped the Tellus FX to my shorts.

Not only did it help me remove the old rope and install new rope guides, but I also found myself clearing out the deck of my lawnmower when it got clogged. I used the exposed butt to hammer down markers for my tomato plants and new blueberry bushes. I also used the Tellus FX to spontaneously prune and clean a broken branch on one of my small apple trees.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

I used it remove some old fliers, popping staples tacked into telephone poles. Connecticut also saw a wicked storm sweep through that snapped branches from a massive ash tree in my yard, stabbing them into the ground. I used the Tellus FX to make a little wiggle room in the dirt to coax the branch bits out so that the dog, myself, or the kids didn’t end up getting hung up once the ground was covered with leaves and then snow.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

And on a couple of camping trips, the Tellus FX proved a capable tool around the fire, camp kitchen, and while out roaming around. The blade is easy to clean and wipe down when switching from task to task. This made sure there was no tree blood on it when I was slicing up peppers and steak for dinner.

Possible Drawback

I only had one hitch while testing the SOG, and it might have been a bit of a fluke. Some series of events led the UMS belt clip to come loose on me.

I was wearing the Tellus FX horizontally on my belt across my back. I believe I twisted the knife a bit when pulling it out, and one of the bolts that holds the clip in place popped out. Looking back, I believe this was likely a case of overtightening on my end.

The nylon material on the UMS is soft, which allows the clip to glide around the channels smoothly. However, this can also cause a bolt to walk its way out of that channel.

SOG Tellus FX Knife: In Conclusion

SOG Tellus FX
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

In the course of a couple of seasons, the Tellus FX became a great knife that worked just as well as a camping knife, bushcraft blade, and utility knife. After all of this use and abuse, the blade shows a little wear and tear but it’s still sharp and rust-free.

From a knife that has been used to pry fresh-cut grass from a rusty lawn mower deck to digging holes and batoning to split kindling, I would expect to see more damage than there is. But all the knife really needs is a good cleaning.

This is a big knife with a big blade, but it’s not unruly. From tip to tail, there is an arc built into the design that aids in ergonomics and how the knife makes first contact. Even in hammering, the curve helps hit the target and makes the otherwise slender hammer effective.

Still, I won’t wear the Tellus FX on my belt when I walk into the food store or stop somewhere for a beer. The blaze orange handle scales draw too much attention, to say nothing of its large form factor.

But I will gladly keep it handy for future yard work and adventures out in the woods. A $60 knife should not be doing all of the work this knife is doing as well as it’s doing it. Who knows, maybe it’ll be on hand when I build my new deck in April. The law of averages leads me to believe it will.

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