Over the past few years of writing this column for Police I have had the chance to examine and use several knives and pocket tools from SOG Knives. All of these have been excellent tools for hard use. The SOG Trident Sea, Air, Land folder is no exception.
With just one look at the Trident, I could see the heritage of other SOG knives in its design. The Trident incorporates features from the SOG Bowie, SEAL Pup, Flash, Tomcat, and other SOG knives.
One of the first features that you will notice on the Trident is the Groove. SOG’s Groove is a safety blade for cutting para cord, rope, seat belts, and harnesses. This is a great feature. It can be used with the primary blade closed or opened, and it will only fit flexible fibrous materials, which drastically reduces the chance of lacerating yourself or someone else when using this tool.
The Groove is not the only feature that makes the Trident’s grip a bit unusual. SOG’s Digi-Grip is a variable-density checkering that’s designed to keep the knife stable in your hand. It looks a little odd, but it works.
In addition, the trailing edge of the frame where your little finger generally rests is serrated and slightly flared to give you a secure grip on the knife. The leading edge where the index finger goes has wider, less aggressive serrations. And the top edge under the thumb has the same aggressive serrations as the rear of the knife. All of these design features combine to give you a secure grip in the wettest of conditions.
One of the biggest innovations of the Trident Folder is the knife’s blade. First off, the blade is titanium nitride coated for durability and corrosion resistance. Second, it has a versatile spear point. This style of blade is durable and strong thanks to the reverse bevel of the blade’s spine. The bevel distributes force when the knife is used for prying, or as a wedge. Yes, I know that you should never do this with a knife blade. But we all do it.
Not only is this blade strong, it’s versatile. The Trident’s 50/50 standard and serrated blade makes short work of most materials that are encountered on a daily basis.
The feature that most users will notice first about the Trident is the SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) system. Developed by Spencer Frazier, S.A.T. allows the operator to rapidly open a SOG knife with one hand, without the legal complications of an auto-opening knife (I would suggest checking with your agency’s policy before using it on duty).
The last feature that sets the Trident Folder apart from other clip-it knives is the clip itself. First off, the clip is stainless and like the blade is titanium nitride coated. Better yet, the clip is reversible to better serve the operator if he or she is left handed or prefers off-side carry. This may seem like an awful lot of attention to detail for a clip, but have you ever had a clip break, or have you ever been in the field and couldn’t manipulate your knife quickly because of the carry position? Clips are important.
If SOG’s knife makers pay this much attention to the clip, imagine how they built the rest of the Trident’s components. It’s affordable, durable, and an excellent duty knife.
Scott Smith is a disabled veteran who served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman.