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SOG Kiku 1

SOG Kiku Small Fixed Blade Knife Review

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SOG Kiku Small Fixed Blade Knife

The SOG Kiku is a 4.9 inch fixed blade knife, beautifully crafted from stainless steel. The shape and feel of the handle is well balanced and feels solid in your hand. The knife is so impeccably crafted I found it hard to use because I didn’t want to damage it in any way; I wanted to keep it in mint condition. However, after I overcame my initial hesitation to use the knife, I was impressed by the durability and the sharpness of the blade despite many uses during a three-month testing period.

SOG Kiku Small Fixed Blade Knife
SBM Gear Editor Isaac Tait with the Kiku on his hip – Photo by Abigail Tait

Unfortunately, this beauty of a knife comes with a beast of a sheath – although the fairy tale was charming, this combo left me scratching my head. Given the price point, it would seem that SOG could have made a better companion for the Kiku than a clunky, falling-apart-out-of-the-box, ugly sheath. I switched the knife over into my Benchmade sheath and tossed the other sheath into the depths of my gear closet.

I used the knife exclusively for my Tenkara fishing trips to fend off thorny bushes and rabid beavers, to gut fish and even to ward off an attack from a very large flying insect (the bug won, but it wasn’t the knife’s fault). My favorite feature of the knife is its handle. The light olive color darkened when wet but did not get slippery; in fact, the knife handle felt even grippier when it was wet.

The biggest complaint that I had with the knife was with the satin finish. After several months of testing in the wet and humid field environments commonly found in the mid-Atlantic, I would pull the knife from its damp sheath to find it covered in rust. I had left it in the sheath wet overnight, so I doused it in WD-40 and cleaned off the rust with some fine steel wool. The next time taking it out, I kept the knife coated lightly with oil but still, at the end of the day, the knife had rust on its exterior. No matter what I did I could not keep rust from forming on the blade. It would appear that the satin finish is more suitable for drier environments. If you are going to be getting the knife wet or using it in damp environments, I would consider getting the Hardcased Black Tini finish instead.

Bottom Line:

I would recommend this product for its excellent design, but would suggest using it in a dry environment.

Tech Specs:

Manufacturer: SOG Knives & Tools

Date available: Available Now

MSRP: $188.00

Listed Weight: 8.50 oz

Actual Weight: 8.50 oz

Materials: AUS-8 Stainless Steel, Satin finished blade

SOG Kiku Small Fixed Blade Knife

$188.00
SOG Kiku Small Fixed Blade Knife
7

Craftsmanship

9/10

    Durability

    5/10

      Quality

      7/10

        Pros

        • Beautifully crafted knife
        • Grippy handle
        • Well balanced

        Cons

        • Low quality sheath
        • A rust prone blade

        Isaac Tait is the Gear Manager for Seattle Backpackers Magazine. Since he was a child he has been an avid outdoorsman and enjoys backpacking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, Tenkara fly fishing, canoeing, and canyoneering. He is also a US Marine with two tours overseas under his belt. He is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), Access Fund, and Trout Unlimited. In his spare time he can be found exploring the wild-lands and guiding Tenkara, skiing, and Mount Fuji trips in Japan.

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