SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC
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This is a knife I shouldn’t like very much. I prefer to carry something smaller, lightweight, more pocketable. I tend to like a slim, no-frills drop point blade. My EDC needs don’t usually extend much beyond opening a cardboard box with a grin printed on it or maybe slicing through the packaging on a new piece of gear to review. And yet . . .

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC

Despite myself, I really love this knife. The SOG Kiku XR flipper is a beefy, solid, substantial folding knife that’s beautifully sculpted to fill the hand.

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC

No, it isn’t a drop point. SOG calls the Kiku XR’s blade shape a “modified tanto.” OK then.

I’m not big on recurved blades. They tend to complicate sharpening. But I haven’t had a problem putting an edge back on the Kiku.

That blade is made of CTS-XHP steel which is like a much more corrosion-resistant D2. That means it takes an edge easily and holds it well without D2’s tendency to rust.

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC
The Kiku XR has a reversible deep carry pocket clip.

The XR in Kiku XR means the knife locks up with SOG’s now-standard XR locking system (think Benchmade Axis). It’s about as convenient and easy-to-use for simple one-handed operation as it gets. The knife flips open effortlessly and sliding the XR lock lever rearward closes the blade using only gravity.

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC

And then there are those scales. The Kiku sports sculpted linen micarta scales. G10 can be nice, but every knife should have micarta scales…as far as I’m concerned.

The smoothly contoured scales make this knife more comfortable in the hand than any other folding knife of its size and weight I’ve tried. It’s just a joy to hold and use in any position.

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC

Size wise, the Kiku XR may look bigger than it is. Folded, it’s about the same size as a Spyderco Delica (4.3 inches vs 4.25). But open it up . . .

SOG Kiku XR folding flipper pocket knife EDC
With its slightly longer 3.03″ blade, the Kiku XR has a 7.3″ open length.

…and you see how substantial a knife this really is. The Kiku is no lightweight. Either. It weighs a full 5.6 oz (exactly twice that of the Delica) and that’s with the Kiku’s liners partially drilled to save some mass.

That blade is 3.8mm thick. That means it will stand up to a lot of abuse (and I’ve abused it fairly well in the last six months).

In short, the Kiku XR has become one of my favorite knives in spite of what I usually like in an EDC blade. I carry it much more often that I expected to. It’s so well designed and performs so smoothly, I just can’t help but like virtually everything about it.

You will, of course, pay for all the Kiku’s features, intelligent design, and materials. It retails for about $189. That’s not inexpensive. But if you need a tough, do-just-about-anything folder that you’ll love to use and won’t mind slipping in your pocket every day, it’s well worth it.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. reminds me of a zero tolerance blade (thick grind, excessive belly with that awful recurve) with hogue scales. i’d call that a drop point. i don’t see tanto or reverse tanto origins, but they specified “modified” after which they could have referenced any blade style.
    sog is making a come back from peg hook bliter packed clamshell junk.
    there is another kiku which is less money and does have more of a tanto derived blade grind; it is an assisted opener. they are s35vn.
    these are all made in taiwan, not china, but not u.s.
    the couple of taichung spydies that i have are finished more nicely than the u.s. models.

  2. I have a hard time imagining buying any of their products, particularly at that price point after having been disappointed with TWO of their Mini Fielders. In both cases the screws for the pocket clip backed out and fell off who knows where and the plastic washers at the pivot got soft and let the blade wobble. I was really disappointed as it was a very good looking knife for use in a business setting.

    CRKT: If you make a knockoff with a half serrated blade and fix the two issues above I will buy a dozen so that I have a lifetime supply.

    • SOG has remade itself and its entire line of products in the last two years. They’d be the first to admit some of their products in earlier years weren’t everything they should have been. I’ve seen a range of their new products since then and they’re a world apart from the old stuff.

  3. “It retails for about $189. That’s not inexpensive.”

    At one-half that, I’d consider it.

    Since that won’t be happening, I won’t be buying…

  4. I’d love to see country of origin listed on all these gear reviews. It would be such a simple thing to add and, to me, it’s a pretty important factor in my buying decision. Almost 200 bucks for a folder is high; if it’s Chinese made it’s an absolute no-go (even at half that price). Taiwan is iffy for me, better than giving money to China, by far, but still not where’d I’d prefer my money to go. If I’m gonna pay top dollar I want those dollars going towards keeping jobs here.

  5. Had a SOG Kukuri machete, used it once in the yard for machete things and the blade was all sorts of rolled and nicked…for $200 just spend the extra hundred and get a microtech.

  6. SOG’s customer service is terrible, I’ve tried twice to buy a new clip for my pentagon elite 2, and its nearly impossible

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