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Review – SOG’s BladeLight

My love for gadgets is well known, and I try to lean towards the useful over the peculiar, the multi-functional over the one-trick-pony.When I got the chance to fool around with this new offering from SOG Knives, I jumped at it.

This is the BladeLight, from SOG. From just looking at it, you might be forgiven in thinking that it is a fairly standard dive-knife looking blade. It is a not. It's is a knife and a flashlight, and it is more utilitarian than first you might think. The hard molded sheath features a button release but will also allow a hard-pull draw. Most importantly, it has six cut-outs. This allows the LEDs to be used in flashlight mode without unsheathing the blade. Built with belt loops and a well as a hefty built-in belt clip to secure it to your gear, the knife as a whole can be used as a flashlight without waving a blade around in peoples faces, be it campsite or road-side. The LEDs are activated by a stiff push-button mounted on the tail cap. Via some clever engineering the LEDs back-scatter some light through the blade and illuminate the acrylic ring that circles the base. The battery is fitted by unscrewing the tail-cap. The whole knife is IPX-7 rating for water resistance to full immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. Perhaps this makes it less than ideal for a dive-knife, but certainly fit for water-borne activities and other wet tasks.

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My thoughts immediately went to dressing game. I've only needed to field dress game a couple of times in the dark, but it wasn't a lot of fun. I can imagine that having a light that IS my knife, would have made that messy task just a little easier. With slight jimping along the back, and the molded grips set into the glass reinforced nylon handle, this blade is a little on the free-and-easy in the hand. I prefer something with a bit more grip to it, especially if I am going to be doing something slick and messy. The blade also doesn't feature a full tang, and as a result, is both very light (to the point of feeling a bit effete) and also having a weird balance. I don't tend to go for big knives (if you can put aside my KA-BAR Zombie Killer collection), but this knife just doesn't have the heft I wold have expected for its size. At 28.7cm (11.3″) overall, with 14.5cm (5.7″) of blade, this piece weighs only 201g (7.10oz)

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Its an elegant looking piece, well matched to its sheath and well thought out. The sheath offers a selection of pretty standard mounting options, with rivet holes as well as belt loops top and bottom. A nice afterthought is the little removable nylon pouch, which came with spare batteries for the LED's, but could easily be re-fitted with a stone, compass or other survival kit.

I used the knife as my fire-side cooking knife a few times to get a feel for how well the LEDs illuminate, not only where I was going, and what I was doing, but also to see how much of a help it was when I was right up in the fire, (or in fact carving). For both at-the-coals work, where smoke and heat may make it difficult to check how things are going, and back at the camp-table,where carving and jointing needs to happen quickly and neatly, I found the LEDs to work just fine, in or out of its sheath. The chickens and rabbits I roasted turned out a treat, and having those twin sets of LEDs running right down the blade meant I had zero guesswork about how the meat was done or where fiddly joints sat. I even stabbed the blade into a log for a little area illumination as I moved the coals about.

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It's a bit gimmicky, but it's certainly well put together and thought out. For the light use I put it through, the SOB BladeLight did exactly what I expected of it, and did so admirably.

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Read more about the BladeLight features and look at other styles of SOG's lighted knives here. Here's a look at SOG's product video if you want to check out some of its features.

About the Author: Josh Orth is a second generation expatriate; having lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world, he now calls the civilized suburbs of Melbourne, Australia home. Having lived out of carry-on in a variety of places, and with a keen sense of the speed in which the trappings of Western living can vanish, Josh has in the last couple of years taken to writing about his interests and observations in prepping, self-reliance and being equipped for whatever life might throw at him.

Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.

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