SOG Terminus SJ

If you have restrictive knife-law needs, this is a stellar offering.

I’ve long had my eye on the Terminus line from SOG — the design looks classic and the prices really solid. What held me back was the flipper design mechanism, as I know I am not a flipper kind of user. Recently, SOG released the ‘SJ’ variant — same knife, but with a Slip Joint design and a nail nick opening.

Stellar price too, and a really nice offering.

Blade & Size

This was one of those knives that I didn’t read too much about before I clicked to order. So when it arrived, I was a little shocked at how large the knife is.

Next to iPhone 13 Mini.

This is a full sized knife — like a full sized normal EDC knife. It has a 2.9” blade and clocks in a 2.8oz. It’s a very stout size and weight for the knife, nothing here feels weak or cheap.

The blade on this model SOG’s “Cryo D2” which is a treatment applied to D2 steel to essentially try to make it a ‘better’ steel. (Read more here if you care.) My take: it seems marginally better than D2 for edge resistance, but nothing to seek out in and of itself.

The handle is G10 with great texturing. This is not a small knife at all in hand, but the dimensions and configuration are what SOG calls “Universal Knife Law Compliant”. Which they define as:

Developed from the ground up to provide users with a knife that can be carried almost everywhere, the non-locking slip joint design and sub-3 inch blade complies with most requirements for global legal carry.

I don’t care to test that claim, neat though.

In Use & Carry

There’s a danger with this knife: it feels so close to a normal locking blade knife, that you will forget it’s not locking. About 99% of the time, that will be fine as the lockup here is very strong and the blade isn’t prone to unintentional closing. But that 1% is going to end poorly.

I can see why people love the Terminus line, it feels really nicely in hand. The scales are excellent, and the clip is also very good. I love the way the knife feels in hand, and have no complaints.

SOG chose to keep jimping on the spine of the blade, which means it’s a natural place to apply force to the blade. Which would be fine, except this isn’t a locking blade and that’s really the last thing you want to do.

It’s a touch bulky to carry in your pocket for the size. The comfort comes from the thickness, but the tradeoff is pocket bulk. The G10 is grippy enough to keep the knife in place when clipped to your pocket, or anything else.

I found the edge retention of the steel to be fine, and sharpening to be very easy. That means it is an easy to maintain blade, but it also means it will require frequently stropping or touch ups. All in all, low effort knife to own, use, and carry.

The nail nick presented no issues to opening, and keeps the knife relatively snag free when sliding in and out of your pocket. The blade shape is ideal for how I like to use knives, and it really is a pleasure to use.


SOG sells two variants of this knife: one for $60 (shown here) and another for $145. The difference is the scale material, but mostly the steel. The extra cash gets you S35VN steel — which is objectively a better steel.

Past me would have only bought that more expensive steel, but for $145 I think it’s a poor value proposition for not a lot of upside. Having used both SOG’s Cryo D2 and S35VN steels, I can say that it is not worth upgrading to S35VN for the steel alone. It’s not that much better, and more than a 2x price jump is silly — especially given how not-top-of-the-line S35VN is these days.

I really like this knife, it’s very clever. But I doubt I’ll use it much. I have almost no knife restrictions where I live and work, and thus there’s very little reason for me to carry this knife over a like-sized locking blade. If I did have restrictions, then this would be a top contender to take with me. It’s very good if what you need is a great non-locking knife.

Don’t get sucked into the more expensive version, the $60 one is great. In fact, this is likely the best $60 knife I have ever used — impressive.

Buy for $60.

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