SOG GROWL ReviewBrous is a custom knife maker who has designed a few models of knives for SOG like this model, the GROWL. The first thing that strikes you is how heavy the knife is at 5.4OZ, being fully stainless steel with a satin finish and sporting glass reinforced nylon handles, which is a material similar to GERBER SOG axe handles. I personally prefer micarta as this glass reinforced nylon tends to be smooth and slippery when wet if they don't have a lot of ridges or stippling, but on the other side the smoothness can work in your favor when it comes to carving as it's much easier on the hand over a knife that does have a lot of stippling.

SOG GROWL ReviewI do like how SOG has included removable bolts so the slabs can be removed if you like your knife to have that "Strider knives" look - all you have to do is just add some paracord. I tend to steer away from knives that have just rivets for retention of the handle slabs, over the years I've found many knives that use rivets tend to become loose over time and will even become dangerous to use, and can be a pain to replace, not to mention they are nearly impossible to repair or replace in the field without tools.

The GROWL blade is full tang with some nice grippy jimping along the back of the blade. I do like a tanto blade, it gives you multiple points for cutting and this way if your main point gets dull you can use the other points to make sharp fine cuts such as in carving. And when cutting in a self-defense aspect it's far more devastating over a one-point blade when it comes to slashing.

SOG GROWL ReviewThe blade is also beveled on both sides, which not all knives are. This is something I like and I feel when the blade is only beveled on one side it tends to look like the knife isn't finished, which is something no one wants! The blade steel is made from 9CR18MOV, which is Chinese steel, and this is something that is debated a lot in knife controversy, many people don't like Chinese or Taiwan steel and many of the SOG knives are being produced in these countries.

I do find that the steel becomes duller faster than most high carbon steel blades but I've found this to be the case for most stainless steel blades. With stainless you're getting a trade off over high carbon, with high carbon you have to do more oiling and maintaining the blade to make sure it doesn't rust but with stainless steel you have pretty much pain free wear around water and bad weather resistance, but like with any compromise, with stainless you get less edge retention and durability of the blade edge and you spend more time sharpening!

The sheath of the GROWL is adequate, but I'm not 100% happy with it. The injected molding sheath tends not to hold as securely as the molded kydex, and even though it does have a strap for the handle I wouldn't say it's jump ready. I feel a sheath should be able to hold the knife even if you fall off a cliff! This is a must in a good knife as in a fall or hard jerking motion your knife should be able to hold on; after all, in most cases you could lose some or all of your gear in the water or in a fall, and your knife and means of making a fire should be on your person at all times and secure enough to stay there in an emergency. If not, circumstances from falling in water and not having a knife and firesteel could surely be dire!

SOG GROWL ReviewCutting with the GROWL is fantastic, it cuts like a dream and even carving or preparing food is very easy. It feels kind of like a large kitchen knife in the hand and this is great for chopping and preparing food. As a cross between a utility knife and tactical knife I feel GROWL is quite good, but you need to remember with all products you often don't get one that will do everything perfectly. There are compromises with all knives such as, weight, cost, kind of steel, purpose of use, and all factors need to be taken into account when picking which knife is right for you!

SOG GROWL ReviewIf sharpening is easy for you and you don't mind doing it often, then the Growl is a great all around knife. The steel is quite good for a sub $100 knife, but if you're not big on sharpening or don't know how you might want to go with a high carbon blade, where you can get away with less sharpening.



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