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New SOG Standout: Terminus XR LTE Folding Knife Review

sog terminus xr lte
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Every knife brand has a blade like this one: midsize and midprice. But still, SOG’s Terminus XR LTE rises above.

SOG Knives’ new Kiku folder is a high-end offering with lots of cool touches. But in our opinion, another new knife has it beat: SOG’s premiere midprice and midsize folder — the Terminus XR LTE. This knife is a substantial upgrade to the Terminus XR from 2 years ago.

Naturally, we wanted to get our hands on one to put it through its paces — and to see just how far SOG has come when it comes to stellar blades.

In short: SOG took the solid foundation of the OG Terminus XR and made everything better (and lighter, too). The new blade got lots of upgrades (from everything from the blade material, to the liners, to the scales).

The Terminus XR LTE still has a design reminiscent of the first model, but with brand new steel, an amazing grind, and a great price.

SOG Knives: A New Horizon

First, a bit of background. SOG Knives is the brainchild of Spencer Frazer. For many years, Frazer was not only the president of the company but also the designer for all the knives. After Frazer retired, there was a time when SOG obsessed over getting clam shells into big-box stores.

Cookie-cutter designs with dregs-level steel were incredibly unappealing. Add to that the fact that most of these knives had both partial serrations and assisted openers, and it’s easy to see why people serious about knives were not taking SOG seriously anymore. But slowly, SOG has gotten better.

Refocusing the brand was a three-part process — keep what works (in SOG’s case, their immaculate grinds), fix what doesn’t (too many and overly complex designs), and invest in better materials.

The result of this three-step plan? A rebirth of the SOG brand, with a handful of exceptionally competitive new knives.

terminus xr lte

SOG Terminus XR LTE Specs

  • Steel: S35VN
  • Grind: 3/4 hollow grind
  • Lock: Sliding bar lock (aka axis lock)
  • Blade length: 3 in.
  • Handle length: 4 in.
  • Total length: 7 in.
  • Weight: 2.2 oz.
  • Price: $139
  • Country of origin: China

The Terminus XR LTE is a knife swimming in crowded and dangerous waters. Every company that matters has a knife that is around this size and this price.

The Benchmade Bugout swims here, as does the Spyderco Native 5, the Kershaw Leek, the Gerber Fastball, the CRKT M16, and about two dozen other knives from a variety of brands.

sog terminus xr lte review

Terminus XR LTE: An Outstanding Blade

Here’s where it gets interesting. The remarkable thing is that despite the dangerous waters, the Terminus XR LTE really stands out.

The design of the original was already great, but the steel upgrade and weight reduction, thanks to carbon fiber liners instead of steel ones, make the LTE one of the five best knives for most people. (Who would’ve guessed that the knife business would finally use carbon fiber for its intended purpose?)

The flipping action is as good as you will find on a sliding bar lock knife, the clip is stout and sensible, and the grind is keenly sharp and as steady as clockwork.

sog terminus xr lte

This is an outstanding blade. Normally, I try to give some sense of drawbacks, but here there is nothing to complain about. I guess if you are André the Giant’s larger brother, this is too small for you — but that is really a fault found in your genes and not in the Terminus XR LTE.

At $140, this is also a great value in addition to being a great knife. If you are looking for a no-brainer EDC or want to sample what the new SOG is about, start here. You’ll look forward to dropping this in your pocket every morning.

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