S0G put the Terminus everyday-carry knife on a carbon diet as part of its new LTE line. With carbon fiber liners and spacers, the redesigned knife now weighs 30% less and is just one example of how the brand is updating its lineup.
The Terminus debuted in 2019 just before SOG began a brand refresh to reevaluate its key technologies and designs. The fact that a new and well-received EDC was revamped is a testament to the brand’s new approach.
We previously covered the beefier outdoorsy Kiku XR LTE knife, which uses carbon fiber liners to cut weight yet maintained much of its original design. Below, we’ll see how the Terminus XR LTE adopted those same liners along with other improvements that reflect the brand’s new vision.
We talked with SOG Vice President Jonathan Wegner to see how the brand is updating its catalog with new technologies and designs for modern consumers.
Like many blade- and tool-makers, SOG saw a boost in sales in March 2020 as news of the coronavirus grew dire. The initial interest was in survival items, like the axe and multitool. And, on paper, that may not have been an ideal time to draw attention to significant changes to its catalog of knives. But the enthusiasm that began with hatchets and tools eventually moved to knives, Wegner said.
One of the latest arrivals is the Terminus XR LTE, ushering in the Light Edition of SOG knives using carbon fiber liners. You can expect to see more LTE versions, which makes the new Terminus a talking point for things to come from SOG.
SOG Terminus: A New Beginning
The Terminus quickly became a bestselling daily-carry knife for the brand even before the refresh. Perhaps still on designers’ minds, SOG gave the Terminus an internal review as part of its new approach.
Essentially, that means enforcing its mission slogan: “We design essential gear to provide enhanced capabilities for human potential,” with different end-users in mind. The result was several tweaks to a knife that already showcased new tech.
The original Terminus debuted SOG’s XR locking mechanism, a new tech now used across its new folding knives. With steel liners, the XR’s lock-up strength withstands 3,500 pounds of pressure — arguably overbuilt for realistic use.
As part of the update, designers considered customer requests for an even lighter version (much as they had in the Kiku XR). So SOG chose to make the switch to carbon fiber liners, to drop weight while accepting a trade-off for lower lock-up strength (1,500 pounds). But that strength should still withstand real-world use and abuse.
Not everything is shiny new materials, though. SOG replaced the spacer in the back to balance the knife but chose G10 (a fiberglass laminate), which is often just as light as carbon fiber but much cheaper to make. SOG also made smaller adjustments to the Terminus, like a redesigned clip, for example. And this has trickled down to models throughout its catalog.
What Is the Terminus XR LTE?
In short, it’s a lightweight, midsize daily-carry knife made from high-quality materials available at a low price.
Beyond the carbon fiber liners that shaved off nearly an ounce, the Terminus XR Light Edition received an updated handle and clip design. Carrying over from the original is the XR Lock, which can handle more weight pressure than you should ever be able to apply.
Finally, the Terminus’ marquis feature is its cryo-treated S35VN steel blade with a titanium nitride coating — available with gold and graphite finishes.
SOG Terminus XR LTE Specs & Price
- Blade length: 2.95″
- Closed length: 4.18″
- Weight: 2.2 oz.
- Steel: Cryo-treated S35VN
- Handle material: G10 and carbon fiber
- Finishes: Gold, brass, graphite
- Reversible pocket clip
- Price: $140
Blade geeks: If you’re more of an aficionado or collector, there’s a limited-edition model with a brass handle, and it still weighs only 3.3 ounces.
Things to Come
New updates and some models coming to market this fall will have new geometries with blade edges to match the user intent of the knife. The XR Lock continues to make its way into new folding and automatic knives.
There are aesthetic changes at play too. The Terminus comes with different finishes, but you can expect more knives to also have colorful handles, like orange and crimson, to make them easier to find inside a pack or when dropped. That’s the practical reason, but Wegner admits bright colors can speak to the user.
An everyday carry like the Terminus XR LTE will do most things around the house and prove competent for light tasks in the field, yet Wegner dismisses the notion of a do-everything knife.
“We found out from our user insights that a lot of people, more often than not, will be picking the right tool for the job,” he said.
When you want a lightweight EDC, consider the Terminus. Beyond that, check out what else SOG has designed to meet that purpose.