SOG Gives Kiku Model the XR Treatment

SOG has revealed a third knife outfitted with their XR Lock mechanism. This time around it is the Kiku, a folding knife designed by Japanese maker Kiku Matsuda.

The Kiku XR makes several changes (other than the obvious swap in locking devices) compared to the previous Kiku folder. It shrinks the blade length down from 3.5 to an even 3 inches, but the general blade shape retains the hybrid harpoon/tanto lines and compound grind seen on the original. Instead of a thumb stud, SOG and Matsuda implemented a thumb cutout, and gave a big upgrade to the steel: CTS-XHP instead of AUS-8. “It provides another glimpse on the more refined product direction SOG is taking in 2020,” says the company’s Matt Crawford. “The XHP blade has been described as a ’super steel’ and the XR Lock is freakishly strong.”  

Ergonomics have been carried over intact as well. The Kiku XR sports the same textured green/brown linen Micarta with the fossil-like scallops and ridges cut into it. One visual difference however is that, whereas the standard Kiku had visible hardware holding the scales in place, the new Kiku XR does away with the some of that; only a single screw is visible on the show side scale.

SOG’s XR Lock made its debut in 2018 on the Terminus XR. It is an ambidextrous mechanism operated with a sliding tab located on both scales. That tab is attached to a horizontal metal pin that functions as the main locking component. Back when the XR Lock was first revealed SOG told us that the feel during opening and closing was an important factor in the design, as well as durability and strength.

The Kiku XR will be the third knife in SOG’s lineup outfitted with the XR Lock. It follows the Terminus XR, which has already released, and the Seal XR, which was announced at the beginning of this year and is expected to release in July.

Knife in Featured Image: SOG Kiku XR