Pat’s Product Review: SOG Trident Folder

In all the years I’ve been around knives, there are one or two things I’ve learned about what most people think about knives. It really depends on where you live, too. Many folks in the big cities see knives, including folding knives, as a weapon of last resort, and that isn’t wrong thinking by any stretch of the imagination. Folks who live in rural areas think differently about knives. Instead of a weapon, most see a knife as a tool to use in dressing out game. Then we have Preppers, living in the city or in the country. They see a knife as a tool and a weapon. I’m in the Preppers corner on this one. First off, I see a knife as a tool and then a weapon. Very few people actually use a knife as a weapon for self-defense. Most use the knife as a tool quite often; in my case, I use one almost daily.

I like innovative knives, especially folding knives. I’m not a big fan of the slip-lock type of folders, where the blade does not lock up, because they can be dangerous when used as a heavy duty tool. The blade can close on your fingers. I, also, don’t especially like folders with a nail-pull notch to get the knife blade out. I prefer some kind of thumb stud or disc opening device because it’s quicker and easier than the nail-pull method.

So, I’ll introduce the SOG Knives folding knife into this discussion. There are quite a few characteristics that I like about the Trident folder. (SOG also makes a Trident fixed blade knife, too.) The first thing one notices on the Trident Desert Camo folder is, well, the desert camo pattern on the glass reinforced Nylon handle scales. The desert camo pattern is digital in design, which is quite eye-catching, to say the least. The blade is desert sand in color, and my sample came with a partially serrated blade, which I find very useful as a tool, as opposed to a weapon. The serrations come in handy when cutting through cardboard boxes and box straps; serrations really grip and rip through that stuff.

The blade is 3 3/4 inches long and made out of AUS-8 stainless steel, and the design has a Bowie clip-type handle. The stainless steel blade, along with the coating, resists rust. One will also notice that there is a sliding button on the right side of the handle scales – this is a lock – that keeps the blade locked in the open position, preventing accidental closing of the blade on your fingers. There is what is called a bayonet pocket clip on the butt of the handle. This allows for deep pocket carry. Also, the clip is easily rotated to the other side of the handle for left-handed carry.

Blade hardness is just about perfect for a knife blade at a Rockwell hardness of 57-58. It will hold an edge a good long time and is easy to re-sharpen. I like AUS-8 stainless steel. It’s a great compromise stainless and is very affordable compared to some of the “super stainless” knife blades. I like a bargain in a knife, and AUS-8 affords you a good blade steel at a great price. The Trident only weighs in at 3.80-ounces. It so light you will readily forget it is clipped inside your pants pocket.

Then, towards the ends of the handle, there is “that thing”– a groove milled into the handle scales. It is actually an opening that allows you to easily slice through paracord or thin rope without opening the blade. The opening in the handle scales allows just enough of the blade to be exposed, so you can place a piece of cord in there and cut it. You might wonder what the big deal is about this. This was designed by a former US Navy SEAL, who saw Zodiac boats on rough water punctured by someone opening a knife to cut some paracord, causing the Zodiac to sink. With the groove in the handle, you can cut paracord without opening the blade. It’s a nice idea, especially if you are around water much. It is also great for fishermen. It’s one of those simple designs that make you wonder why you didn’t think of it first.

The blade has ambidextrous thumb studs on it, for getting the blade deployed quickly and easily. However, this Trident folder has what is called S.A.T.– SOG Assisted-opening Technology. It’s an assisted opening folder. What SOG came up with is a VERY fast-opening device, one of the fastest assisted-opening folders I’ve run across. You only have to push on the thumb stud, and the blade comes right out of the handle scales in the blink of an eye. Some assisted-opening folders are rather slow or sluggish; that’s not so with the S.A.T. mechanism. It’s FAST!

There is a raised pattern on the handle scales that allow for a very firm grip on the Trident. They aren’t too aggressive, nor too passive. They are just right. On the bottom of the handle scales are serrations milled into the scales, giving you a firm grip on the knife when the blade is opened.

If you don’t like the digital desert camo pattern on the Trident folder, you can get one in all-black, tiger stripe camo and a few other camo colors. I personally like the digital desert camo pattern. The sand colored blade is actually a TiNi coating, which resists scratches.

For the better part of a month, my wife and I tested the Trident folder using it around my house for all kinds of cutting chores. My wife found the S.A.T. opening easy to use . Believe it or not, a lot of folks have a difficult time opening assisted-opening folders. These folks keep their thumb on the thumb studs a bit too long, which slows the blade down just enough that it won’t fully open. You won’t have that problem with the Trident folder.

I liked the Trident folder for several reasons. I like the S.A.T. technology for fast opening; I liked the clip point blade design; and I like the partially serrated blade, too. Now, the Trident is a great Every Day Carry (EDC) folder and makes a super Gent’s folder for all kinds of everyday chores. Is the Trident a survival knife? Well, that depends on your definition of “survival”. I wouldn’t want to take the Trident into the woods as my one and only knife because it’s not designed for heavy wilderness work. You can dress out game and accomplish some chores, but I’d prefer a heavier folder for that. SOG has many folders to pick from. As an EDC folder, the SOG Trident really shines. Folks will be amazed at how quickly the blade is deployed, and it will serve most of your work needs. It can also be used as a last-ditch self-defense weapon, too.

SOG advertises the Trident folder as being assembled in the USA with some parts made in Taiwan.

The SOG Trident retails for $114, and you can usually find it for less on the Internet if you shop around. It’s a great knife at a great price, and it won’t let you down as an EDC knife. – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio