After carrying the SOG Trident Elite for several weeks, using it for everyday utility tasks—opening or breaking down boxes, unsealing various packages, and even cutting my steak and chicken on occasion. The blade performed flawlessly, as expected for those tasks. I had several guys that I work with notice the knife and ask to see it. Once they held the knife and then opened it using the SOG Assisted Technology, they were amazed to say the least. The blade opened with such authority that they wanted to know where to buy one and how much. Well done, SOG!
For me though, the everyday utility tasks were not enough. I wanted to really push the SOG Trident Elite further to see what its true capabilities were in the event that this might someday be the only knife I had on me in an emergency or survival situation. Folding knives are obviously not as strong as a fixed blade, but not everyone carries a fixed blade. With that in mind, I decided on the following test parameters:
- Submerged in mud and water to test mechanical operation of the knife in inclement field conditions
- Piercing through a metal can to test tip strength
- Cutting through a metal can to test edge strength
- Batoning through smaller pieces of wood to test lock strength
- Processing wood to make a small fire, which tests edge retention after cutting through metal
- Producing sparks from a ferro rod for a fire. For this, I used the Tanto edge in order to preserve the primary edge. You don’t typically use the cutting edge of your knife for this, but in a pinch, it would work.
After running the blade through these tasks, bringing its edge back was quick and painless. For quick sharpening in the field, I use a Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener. It’s a very simple pull-through sharpener with a large area to hold, which is nice in inclement weather or if you’re wearing gloves. To bring the edge back, all I did was run the blade through the carbide side approximately five times, followed by the same procedure using the ceramic-rod side.
Another advantage to the SOG Trident Elite is its ability to be de-assisted. In the event that the internal spring that deploys the blade breaks, the knife will still function. It can be easily disassembled and the spring removed. At that point you have a manual folder, but it will still lock and be just as tough and reliable. I’m a big fan of knives that are resilient when pushed to the point of failure, and SOG achieves that with the Trident Elite.
One addition I made to my SOG Trident Elite was to add a short lanyard with a Special Forces skull bead on it to highlight the origins of SOG. Not only does it look cool, but it allows me to pull the knife from my pocket more easily and more quickly, especially if I am wearing gloves.