I’ve owned a lot of knives over the years. One of the first ones I bought was the small, light, handy and pocketable SOG Flash. I carried it for a couple of years before, sadly, I lost it somewhere along the way.
That was long ago and I haven’t owned anther SOG since. Until now. As I mentioned as part of our SHOT Show coverage, SOG has relaunched itself over the last year or so. They’ve vastly improved their build quality, their steels and their designs.
I still own a lot of knives. Yes, it’s a problem, one I’m working on (though not very hard). So I don’t add new blades very often. But SOG’s Flash AT has made it into my pocket lately.
The Flash AT is an assisted opener that features SOG’s new base level steel – D2. The blade on my old flash was AUS-8…not bad, but clearly a lower grade, low carbon steel that needs sharpening more frequently. D2 is a clear step up, a good mid-grade steel that’s slightly less rust-resistant, but holds an edge noticeably better under use.
Like all of SOG’s new and updated folder designs (the company now emphasizes that SOG stands for Studies and Observation Group), the Flash AT features their ambidextrous XR lock. If you’re a fan of Benchmade’s venerable AXIS lock (and who isn’t?), you’ll like the XR. It’s basically the same thing now that the AXIS patent has expired. The XR lock makes one-handed unlocking and operation a snap.
Like my earlier Flash, the Flash AT has a safety. Unlike that earlier version, this one is much better designed and more intelligently placed. It isn’t likely to engage when you don’t want it to. It’s a plastic rocker switch that’s mounted just behind the blade pivot and engages with a solid click detent in either the open or safe position. It doesn’t get in the way when you use the knife in any typical hold.
The assisted blade takes a good nudge on the thumb stud to open. You won’t likely trigger it accidentally, but if you’re worried, that’s what the safety is there for. And the Flash AT’s blade swings open with authority.
The Flash AT’s build quality is quite good for a mid-priced EDC blade. Edges and joins are clean and smooth and the knife has a very solid feel to it. The blade is perfectly centered between the liners when closed.
The grip is GRN (glass reinforced nylon) and big enough to provide a full-handed grip. The serrations give you a little more grip when the knife is wet.
The 3.45-inch drop point blade (it’s also available without the serrations) has a tough titanium nitride coating. I’ve used it on rope, wood, and cardboard and the finish has stood up well.
The grind on the D2 blade was very clean and wickedly sharp right out of the box.
The Flash AT is 4.67 inches long closed (8.29 inches overall) and weighs a beefy 4.49 oz. It could have benefitted from the liner being drilled to reduce its weight a little.
Like its predecessors, the Flash AT has a deep carry clip that conceals the knife well in your pocket.
This is a very substantial-feeling knife in the hand that is tough and will stand up to hard use. The blade isn’t at all flimsy…it’s .12 inches thick at the spine. In other words, it should hold up well to years of everyday carry and the kind of use you expect from an EDC blade.
The Flash AT is made in Taiwan (that’s the democratic China, if you’re keeping score). It’s just started hitting stores in the last couple of weeks and has an MSRP of $74.95.
All images by Dan Z. for TTAG