SOG Agency

The SOG Agency is a fixed blade fighting knife. Although many of SOG’s fixed blades are reproductions of the original MAC-V SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Special Observations Group) knives produced in the 1960’s, this knife is patterned from a Randall knife, the Randall 1-7, also of the same era.

SOG Agency

Randall Fighting Knife 1-7 1960'sRandall Fighting Knife 1960'sMAC-V SOG Logo

The Agency features a 7.5″ by .15″ thick modified drop point blade. This particular version has a black titanium nitride coating. It also comes in a more classic satin finish that matches the original more closely. The profile is very close to the original with a slight exaggeration of the spine profile and a smoother radius for the choil. The primary bevel is a high hollow grind finished with a secondary bevel. A long swedge meets the grind at a streamlined point. The geometry is capable at both thrust cutting and slashing. SOG uses AUS 8 for the blade steel. Hardened to around 57-58 Hrc it will be easy to maintain.

Following the blade there is a double guard (front quillon). This effectively prevents the hand from slipping onto the blade during aggressive handling. The ends of the guard slightly trail down toward the hand and seat against the first finger and thumb confidently. The 5.175″ handle is constructed with stacked, epoxy impregnated leather washers. The shape fills the hand nicely and will easily accommodate a variety of hand sizes. Bracketing the washers are black, white and red plastic washers. These add nice detailing and are fairly true to the original design. A pommel with a lanyard hole compresses the washers against the guard with a threaded, hidden tang and spanner nut construction. The 12.675″ overall length is very well balanced giving the Agency a nimble feeling.

SOG leather washer handle

The knife comes with a black leather belt sheath also styled after Vietnam era fighting knives. Made for belt carry, it comes with a small front pocket that holds an included sharpening stone. The assembly of the sheath is stack laminated, stitched and riveted.

SOG Agency Leather Sheath with Sharpener

All things considered the Agency is a nice looking knife that maintains its historical roots while including some more modern finishes such as the TiNi coating and laser engraved branding. The fit and finish are quite good but the materials could be beefed up. The .15″ blade thickness gets quite narrow at the tang’s shoulder, where it is already thinned out by the choil. The original Randall was made from 1/4″ high carbon steel which would have offered much more lateral stability. Another criticism lies with the sheath that uses plastic snaps. Metal would have been a much better choice here. The retention is also a little bit on the slack side.

That said the Agency is an interesting knife that references a turbulent, history rich era. It is here where I feel the knife has the most value: as a collectable and reminder of the past. That isn’t to say that the Agency couldn’t be used as a field or fighting knife however there are much more robust options available for professional use.

A special thanks to John Gibson for allowing the use of images from his historical military fighting knife collection. Please stop by and visit his phenomenal collection at : http://militaryfightingknives.com/collection.html

SOG Agency ChoilSOG Agency in Sheath DetailSOG Agency, Randall 1-7 Reproduction

Pros

Nice Lines
Faithful reproduction
Interesting history
Well balanced

Cons

Blade stock could be thicker at the tang shoulder.

Specs

14 Oz (397g) with sheath
9.6 Oz (272g)
total length 12.675″ (32.2cm)

Blade

Length 7.5″ (19cm)
Cutting Edge 6.75″ (17cm)
Thickness .15″ (3.8mm)
Hollow Grind

Steel

AUS 8
Black Titanium Nitride coating. Also available in Satin.

Handle

Stacked epoxy impregnated leather washers
Red, white and black plastic washers
Steel pommel with partial tang and spanner nut construction

Sheath

Leather with sharpening stone

Made in Taiwan

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The Edge Observer

The Edge Observer is a site dedicated to knife reviews, primarily focusing on folding knives.

9 thoughts on “SOG Agency

  1. Nice review, I agree with your “Con”. Fixed blade this long should have .25 thickness for fighting/survival duties..

      1. I will have to be the dissenter here. :) This knife is clearly not a woods knife. As primarily a fighting and light utility blade, it needs to be lightweight and fast in the hand. 1/4-inch stock would be tougher, but it would also add a lot of weight and would make the knife less nimble. That one fact could make a difference in a close quarters encounter. The KA-BAR USMC was/is .165″ thick for a good reason. Military personnel are already carrying a lot of equipment. Adding a heavy, “slow” knife to the mix is a formula for increased fatigue. Remember also the V-42 stiletto, the M3 trench knife, and the Fairbairn-Sykes dagger for other examples of lightweight fighting knives that simply “worked.” Sharpened pry bars don’t appeal to me, unless I intend to split logs. :)

        1. Fair enough, but I think it’s a bit cheap overall regardless. It could be thicker where the blade meets the hilt and the sheath is pretty crappy…..

  2. I’m not sure extra thickness is needed on a knife like this. Given the thick clothing and body armor worn today, the ability to pierce, thrust and parry make a long, light knife highly desirable.

    SOG knives are, in my view, vastly overpriced, especially those made with inexpensive AUS-8 steel. This knife is beautiful and it makes a great safe queen. But for actual use, there are better knives. Still, the SOG Agency has a quick, light and deadly blade, though it could have a better grip, which tends to be slippery. I don’t know why leather is so popular, but it doesn’t work well when epoxied. The epoxy does protect the leather, but it takes away the advantage of leather, which is that it’s easy to grip and hold.

  3. This is one bad-a$$ knife! I’ve owned one for a couple of years now and it is tough as nails. Keeps an excellent edge!

    1. Great to hear that it’s working out for you. When I wrote the review I was a bit concerned about the tang at the guard. Nice to know it’s been holding up.

  4. I bought my second Agency and was disappointed.The hilt was put on wrong (backward) and the sheath had only a hole on back, not on the front. I used a hole punch to complete the hole, but it’s off-center! Finally, the knife hangs up when I try to put it in the sheath. I got to where I could force it in, but it was a pain.

    Oh, did I say “finally”? The sheath is cheap and SOG is now using plastic snaps as opposed to metal snaps!

    The knife’s finish is gorgeous, and the hilt, while looking a bit off, is comfortable, so i’m keeping it. Who knows, it might be a collectors item. But SOG is certainly not keeping up with its quality control!

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