The creative geniuses at SOG Specialty Knives & Tools keep coming up with interesting ways to put functionality wherever they can fit it. They produced the Contractor, a folding blade that also featured a bubble level and integrated pencil sharpener. The Kilowatt knife included three separate wire strippers designed to handle everything from small wires to multi-strand cables. There’s no shortage of imagination at SOG – just check out the soon to be available Switchplier 2.0.
SOG’s BladeLight Series is a line of fixed and folding knives designed to add utility to your knife after dark and in low light situations. As the name suggests, BladeLight knives have integrated LEDs that illuminate either side of the blade. The user can activate up to 45 lumens at the flick of a switch. But who could benefit from a knife with a built-in flashlight at the blade’s edge?
Around this time of year, hunters may discover that the BladeLight is a tool they wished they’d never been without. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to dress your game before sunset. And if your buddy holding a flashlight is the source of light you’re used to, you might appreciate having a blade that focuses light directly on the task at hand. Even a headlamp may cast confusing shadows which can slow you down and impair the precision of your cuts.
If you’re a gearhead, you’ve already experienced the benefits of carrying a flashlight. A folding BladeLight does double-duty; even when the blade is closed, the LEDs can still be activated and perform as a flashlight on its own. But, the 2 in 1 benefits of BladeLight folders don’t come without a cost. “The fixed blades are a great product. The folders have a chunkier handle but the benefit is you don’t also need to carry a flashlight around,” KnifeCenter’s Jason Kunkler says. Though the battery compartment makes the BladeLight boxier and bulkier than what you might be used to carrying, even the 3.9” blade version weighs in at a mere 4.3 oz., batteries included.
If you’re interested in the benefits of a lighted blade, but need something in a sleeker package, have a look at the SL Pro Series made by Tool Logic, a brand also owned by SOG Specialty Knives & Tools. Survivalists might like that the light can be swapped out for a fire starter rod on these models. Some of the newer models have additional bells and (literally) whistles molded into the handles.
45 lumens isn’t quite sufficient to disorient or blind an opponent, but there may still be tactical benefits of carrying a BladeLight. The knife is disguised as just a flashlight until the blade is opened. Even as you deploy it, the blade is masked behind the glare of the light which may be difficult for an opponent to notice at all. Or start with the blade open and then activate the flashlight. Both could be startling and unexpected.
SOG first introduced the Series in 2012 with a single fixed blade and folder. Today, the BladeLight line has expanded to include a number of knives designed for specific applications; filet knifes, hunting knives, camp knives, and various folders, 10 models in total. Most of the knives require either a single AAA or AA battery.
Knife Featured in Image: SOG BLT61 BladeLight Mini Knife 3″ Black TiNi Plain Blade, Aluminum and GRN Handles, 45 Max Lumens