By TC WORLEY
If I had to describe SOG’s Flash II Tanto pocketknife in one word, it would be “tough.” With an unapologetic tactical look and feel, the $75 knife is built for serious, hard use. At first, the tactical characteristics were a turn-off to me, but the performance of this knife has now made it one of my favorites. Its 3.5-inch blade is 1/8-inch thick and backed by a spring-loaded, blade-assist opening mechanism that is nothing less than addicting. I give this pseudo-switchblade the “quickest-to-open-with-one-hand” award!
It has a glass-reinforced nylon handle. The AUS 8 steel blade is a good quality material for a knife in this price range. It holds an edge well and sharpens easily, too — I’ve had no problem keeping it sharp with just a little upkeep.
Bulk is the only hangup I have with this knife. Its size makes it bigger than I want to carry most days, but this is only my personal preference. A smaller, straight blade version is available in the Flash I, which has a 2.5-inch blade and costs $60.
Of course, any woodsman worth his salt knows that for possible survival scenarios, a fixed, not folding, blade is the better choice. The Flash II Tanto is not designed or intended for survival use. However, if an affordable, burly, everyday-carry knife is what you seek, I feel good about recommending this one.