The SIG name has stood for reliable and accurate firearms for many years. Now, SIG Arms has branched out into the world of duty knives with a new product line called SIG Tac Gear.

SIG Tac is an abbreviation of SIG Arms Tactical Gear. Currently, the SIG Tac knife line consists of a neck knife, a tactical folder, and an automatic opening knife. All three knives come with either a plain or partially serrated blade.

Since this is a law enforcement publication, we decided to review the SIG Tac Tactical Auto. Because it's an automatic opening knife, in many jurisdictions its sale is limited to military and law enforcement personnel. SIG Arms only sells these knives through law enforcement vendors.

SIG Arms takes its SIG Tac knives as seriously as it does its handguns. The Tactical Auto's handle is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which is hard anodized for durability. ATS-34 steel is used in the blade because it is easy to sharpen and holds a good edge. To increase the knife's resistance to the elements, the frame and blade are Nitron coated, just like SIG's handguns.

Aside from the knife's really good looks, what caught my eye was the SIG Tac Auto's size. So often anything with the "tactical" name is as big as possible...and for many folks it's too big for daily use or carry. But the SIG Tac Tactical Auto bucks that trend and is truly sized for daily carry. It fits well in a front, back, or thigh pocket.

Like other SIG Arms products, the SIG Tac Tactical Auto is built to survive the day's worst activities. Its aircraft-grade aluminum handles are secured to each other with three stainless steel screws, one of them being the blade axis. To increase the strength of the knife's frame, SIG uses a frame insert instead of small frame spacers just at the screws. This insert is approximately half the length of the back of the knife. This design adds rigidity to the knife and spreads any stress over a greater surface area, not just the area immediately around the screws. It is worth noting that despite this sturdy design, there is not a sharp edge to be found on the knife's frame.

SIG keeps its design elements tried, true, and simple, as well as easy to maintain. This is a daily use knife. A modified clip point, the blade is easy to sharpen, not as heavy as others, and is quite strong because of the machined groove on the flat edge of the blade.

One area of concern to users of sharp-edged auto opening knives is the what-if factor. You know, what if it opens in my pocket? Yes, this is a concern-one that SIG addresses.

Not only is the blade release/locking button recessed into the frame, a frame lock is incorporated into the back of the frame. This lock works when the knife is open or closed to prevent accidental opening or closing of the knife. It lies right under your thumb when holding the knife so you don't have to worry about finding the lock under stress. The lock is also simple to engage or disengage. Simply slide forward to lock, slide to the rear to unlock. Like the rest of the SIG Tac Tactical Auto, even the blade lock adheres to the K.I.S.S. principle. It's also easily operated when wearing gloves.

After carrying the SIG Tac Tactical Auto for a few months to the range, on road trips, and pretty much everywhere I went, I can say I was impressed, especially with how comfortable it was to carry. The knife traveled well in the front pocket of my SIG Tac BDU pants. Unlike other knives I own and carry, it never rubbed into my hip or upper thigh.

When needed, the knife was up to the task of cutting everything from a sub sandwich to banding on cases of ammunition. I am sure the knife will meet most daily use and duty requirements, save for acting as a pry bar. The SIG Tac Tactical Auto is a bit too small for that task, so just use the real thing.

The SIG Tac Tactical Auto is a good knife and will serve its owner for many years to come.

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.