I Said, “Wow!” When I Touched It – SOG Seal Team Elite

SOG Seal Team Elite Survival Knife - Review
It was my first SOG knife and I was pretty excited, to say the least. So, I slowly opened the box and lifted the knife in sheath. Carefully I donned this SOG and I couldn’t help myself… as I heard, “WOW!” come from my lips as though I were a child again, looking at my first bike on Christmas morning.

I know, I’m a dead giveaway… and I bet you can you guess where I’m going to end up with this review…

So before I get ahead of myself, let’s back up and start from the beginning…

SOG was founded in 1986 by Spencer Frazier with a one product in a one page ad that was placed in Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

Since then the Seattle based company has grown to become a household name among knife lovers by crafting high quality, innovative knives and tools for military, tactical, law enforcement, outdoors men and the general public.

Not long ago the SOG Seal Team knife won a competition that was put on by the Naval Special Warfare center and recently SOG upgraded this line with the addition of the SOG Seal Team Elite. But is the Elite as worthy as its predecessor? Let’s find out…

A knife is only as good as it’s steel… so let’s start here…

SOG Knife Steel
The SOG Seal Team Elite blade is made out of AUS-8 Stainless Steel which is comparable to 440 A stainless.

AUS-8 is an excellent high-end stainless steel with good edge holding capabilities, overall toughness and wear resistance when heat treated properly.

SOG uses a special cryogenic heat treatment process which involves deep freezing the knife steel at temperatures lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This process significantly strengthens and toughens the blade steel.

SOG Knife Blade
The SOG Seal Team Elite has clip point style blade and is coated in a black Titanium Nitrite finish… which makes the steel even more resistant to rust.

SOG Seal Team Elite Knife Blade

Clip point blades have a back that is concavely formed to make the tip thinner and sharper. See that…?

Clip point blades add the additional usefulness of excellent piercing, picking and cutting in tight places.

About two thirds of the blade is a fine edge and one third serrated. Out of the box this blade is very sharp and can shave the hair off of the back of my hand.

The serrated edge is helpful for sawing, chopping and cutting through cord, limbs, wire and light sheet metal .

The SOG Seal Team Elite has a huge 7 inch blade that is nearly a quarter inch wide. There’s a lot of steel on this knife.

The overall length of the Seal Team Elite is 12.3 inches.

The knife weights 10.3 ounces which is surprisingly light considering the size of this knife and the thickness of the steel.

One of the major differences between SOG Seal Team and the Seal Team Elite is the addition of the serrated rasp on the spine of the blade steel.

SOG Seal Team Elite Spine Rasp

The rasp serrations go from the handle to nearly the tip of the blade and vary in thickness and distance between each serration.

And check this out… the back of the knife is NOT straight… it has three different concave serrated segments.

These sloped areas increase the knife’s bushcraft capabilities and provides sure impact points for using a make shift mallet with this knife, in a survival situation.

The curved rasp closest to the handle is designed so that you can extend your thumb onto the back of the blade to better control the knife.

The spine rasp is also great for notching and rough filing of wood and metal.

SOG Handle
The handle of the SOG Seal Team Elite is made of Glass Reinforced Nylon (or GRN). The handle is notched in a diagonal checkered pattern at all the right places for maximum grip.

This is a hard and very durable handle… that is not going to damage easily in the field regardless what you throw at it… or throw it at…. but it may be a little rough on your hands if you use it for an extended time.

The handle is surprisingly comfortable and provides an excellent grip even in wet conditions.

The SOG Seal Team Elite Handle is Tough

The SOG Seal Team Elite Handle is Tough

The knife is well balanced and with the center of gravity falling right under where my four finger naturally wraps around the handle.

The handle is great for large or small hands… like mine.

The knife is full tang construction which mean the knife steel extends the full length of the knife through the handle. Full tang is regarded by most knife experts as the strongest possible construction technique.

At the butt end of the SOG Seal Team Elite the blade steel extends beyond the handle giving us a nice pommel to break, smash and hammer things.

SOG Seal Team Elite Pommel is Great for Breaking Things

SOG Seal Team Elite Pommel is Great for Breaking Things

And there’s a pretty big lanyard hole that will take some pretty thick paracord or thinner rope.

Ballistic Nylon Sheath
The standard SOG case is made of a heavy duty ballistic nylon. It’s very rigid and just feels durable.

The sheath is triple stitched and reinforced with 7 rivets at key stress points. Four of the rivets have grommets holes through them… this is cool for lashing the sheath to stuff or tying the bottom of the sheath to your leg to keep it from flopping around.

There is a handy pocket on the front of the sheath that can take a small multi-tool, sharpening stone, fire steel or an extra 9mm magazine.

The knife can be inserted into the sheath for left or right hand carry.

The SOG Seal Team Elite Sheath is Great for Left or Right Hand Carry

Inside the sheath we have a polymer sleeve.

This sleeve is form fitted so that when the knife is stowed, it is held snug in the sheath. Theres no thumb lock or catch… you simply slide the knife out of the sheath… like this…

For traveling with the knife, there is a nylon strap that uses a Velcro type closure.

For military and tactical applications I don’t like Velcro straps. They are noisy and can get gummed up over time.

Fortunately SOG offers the SEAL Team Elite with form fitted Kydex sheath complete nylon strap that secures with a snap… not Velcro.

Unfortunately the Kydex sheath is not MOLLE compatible so it’s not going to as easily strap to your tactical vest or pack but is excellent for belt carry.

Other than the Velcro closure system, the SOG ballistic nylon sheath is well built, very functional and light weight.

The SOG Seal Team Elite is MOLLE Compatible and Easily Attached to Any Belt

The nylon sheath offers multiple carry options and works great for belt carry and it is MOLLE compatible.

Owner Reviews
Most owners comment on the SOG Seal Team Elite’s sharp, edge-holding blade, it’s quality build, and the excellent nylon sheath. Survival knife collectors often hold the SOG Seal Team Elite as their best knife and overall ratings of this knife come in well over 4 out of 5 stars.

Our Rating

We rate the SOG Seal Team Elite knife at 5 out of 5 stars for design, innovation, quality of build and materials, durability, edge sharpness and retention, the rasped spine, and how good this knife feels in the hand and performs in the field.

We rate the SOG Seal Team Elite SHEATH at 4.5 out of 5 stars for it’s quality build and thoughtful design but take off a half star for the velcro closure system on the handle strap. It would have been nice to see a snap there instead of Velcro.

And it would have been a nice touch if SOG had included a pocket knife sharpener or fine and medium sharpening stone in the front pouch.

Who is this Knife for?
The SOG Seal Team Elite is an excellent choice for those who want a great all around knife for military and tactical applications, diving, hunting, camping, backpacking or anyone who wants a great survival knife for their bug-out bag that is designed to last a lifetime with minimal care – just in case.

A great all around knife for military and tactical applications.

What’s the Cost?
Well the SOG Seal Team Elite is not the cheapest survival knife on the block at around $95 online for the knife with Nylon Ballistic Sheath and around $110 for the Seal Team Elite with Kydex sheath.

Other Alternatives
If you want to save some money or want a smaller knife, look at the SOG Seal Pup, the Gerber Prodigy or Gerber LMF II.

Also check out the Gerber Prodigy, SOG Seal Pup, Gerber LMF II and NEW SOG Force

If you want a comparable survival knife for bushcraft with an even tougher drop point blade and no blade serrations, look at the NEW SOG Force.

If you want an award winning knife that has been troop tested in environments all over the world… and you want a knife that is going be ready for action when you need it, I highly recommend the SOG Seal Team Elite for your consideration.

Until next time…



23 Responses to “I Said, “Wow!” When I Touched It – SOG Seal Team Elite”

  • cameron

    Wow, that looks like a great knife. I just recently found this website and David, I have got to say your site is really helpful

    • Hey thanks Cameron! Welcome aboard. Glad you are finding the website helpful! That’s exciting to me. I have great writers! We have LOTs of great content coming up… some make sure you subscribe to the monthly e-MAG for updates… Oh… and let me know how we can make the site better and what kind of survival stuff you are interested in… our emphasis is generally not just wilderness survival but practical emergency / disaster / crisis survival. Thanks for the comment! Have a great day! ~ David

  • Dean

    I recently found this website too and your review are great, and the information is clear and the website is good!
    Helpful and easy good work david i add this website to my Favorite!

    • Thanks Dean. Appreciate the feedback. We have a TON of great writers and articles to post yet too… I can’t seem to keep up… Later bro.! ~ David

  • Michael

    David, wow man do I love your reviews. I am subscribed, a devoted fan and I would love to e-mail you because I have a few requests for you to review and I don’t want you to have any pressure from any outside readers. If there was a place that I could contact you that would make my year.
    Happy surviving!!

    • Hi Michael, You can use the email in the Contact Us page. Take care bro. ~David

  • Thomas

    Hi Dave,

    I recently found your website by accident and I’m so glad I did. I loved the reviews and explanation of the features of each knifes. Just a suggestion to make the review even better, how about putting the knifes through their intended uses so we can see firsthand how these knifes hold up to the actual designed?



    • Thanks Thomas. This is a good suggestion. We hope to show more of our field testing in the future… I just need a cameraman / photographer who is capable talented and works cheap… We’ll get there bro. Take care. ~David

  • Lee

    AUS-8 does not compare to 440a but 440c.

    • Carin

      I believe you’re right -thanks!

  • I’ve owned this knife for almost two years now and it is tough as nails. It keeps a really nice edge and was worth every penny.

  • Zach Weston

    This has to be the best knife ever made David!

  • Lance

    Hi David. I absolutely love your videos on YouTube you have great reviews and are very helpful. But I have a question about the SOG seal team elite knife. I recently looked on SOGS website and the knife is $187.98 is this a new model is it better in some ways ? I want to know because I am looking to buy the knife and I don’t want something I can’t rely on. If i get the knife off of amazon will it be just as good or no ? Please get back as soon as possible thank you !

  • AUS-8 is a low end metal which is alright for throwing knives. But a survival knife should be made by better quality metal.

  • Scott Blanks

    I really want a knife for bushcraft but this one is just too sexy to pass up. does it handle batoning well?

    • Carin

      David: I wouldn’t recommend this knife for extensive batoning. The tip is thin and designed for piercing tasks needed in combat and the partially-serrated blade is going to grab and dig into your wood during batoning. Not fun. As a combat/survival knife in a real pinch, sure, you could baton. But I wouldn’t recommend it for primary use in utility bushcraft tasks.

  • Hero

    Hey David,
    I love your reviews and want to buy the SOG seal team elite.
    But how can you stap the sheath to your leg and with which sheath? The kydex or nylon sheath? Because I usually don’t carry a belt while swimming, so I want to strap it to my leg.
    Keep making videos and I like your website.
    Keep it up!

  • Caleb

    Hey David, I love your reviews and the extensive info on everything. But this knife is just a little too big for what I want it for. Could you do a review of the SOG Seal Pup. Thanks.

    • Boy… I thought I did a review of the SEAL Pup… but I guess not. Anyway… I have one or 3 around here. Buy with confidence. It’s good blade for sure. Hope this helps. ~D

  • I think you guys did a great review. I know that when I opened my tomahawk the sheath looked fairly cheap. But so far the sheath is doing well.

  • That s a great knife. I was looking for a survival and a tactical knife and SOG seal team elite is both. You can tell the quality of it just by holding it in your hand.

  • SOG’s unique cryogenic heat treatment process slowly decreases the knife temperature to -300 F, then brings it back up to room temperature again. This process relieves the blade material on an atomic level, resulting in an overall increase in toughness and heightened wear-resistance. Additionally, knife edges stay sharper longer and demonstrate a significant decrease in micro-fracturing and edge-chipping.

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