Cutlery stores are about as endangered as the Amur Leopard. Between Amazon and other online outlets, a brick and mortar knife shop is just about impossible to find.
For most of us, buying a knife means going online or buying at a Big Box store like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Dick’s Sporting Goods. A lot of the stuff they sell at these places — cheap renditions of better stuff, or items made by big brands slathered in orange and gray — is not worth your time or money.
But there are some gems, if you know what to look for.
But if you have a bit more to spend, the SOG Mini Aegis is the knife to target in a sea of garbage at your local Big Box retailer. It often sells for about $45 – $50 on the shelf.
There are a bunch of variations — black-out versions to tantos — but the basic one is the best (as is almost always the case in the knife world).
A key to the Mini Aegis’s superior design is an amazing blade-to-weight ratio. With a full three-inch blade on a knife that barely hits two ounces, the Mini Aegis is a great EDC, a good camp folder, and a pocket companion that will never weigh you down.
AUS8 Steel Blade
The AUS8 blade is very thin, making the Mini Aegis a great slicer. Also, if you want to learn how to sharpen your own knives the Mini Aegis, with its modest price tag and AUS8, is a good place to start.
The awesome design is rounded out with a good, deep carry and over the top pocket clip, ensuring that this featherweight stays put and remains discrete in your pocket.
It’s not all roses, though. The knife has an assisted opener, something that introduces more parts to break, may run afoul of certain local knife laws (or be close enough to cause problems), and it’s entirely unnecessary in an era of bearing pivot flippers.
Assisted knives sell well, but I think their days are numbered with better designs that are cheaper to make.
Some folks might also complain about the hollow feeling that the FRN handles have, but years of ownership have proven they are plenty tough.
If you must shop at a Big Box for knives, hunt through the racks for the Mini Aegis. You won’t be disappointed with this blade.