Jan 1, 2017

SOG Flash II Folding FSA98-CP Partially Serrated 3.5" Blade


Description
According to the SOG Website, the Flash II blade is made out of AUS-8 (58-59 HRC), features a drop point blade shape which is partially serrated.  It has a reversible "low carry" style clip.   The handle is made out of glass reinforced nylon.  The Flash II has the SOG Assist Technology, for faster deployment, and it has a piston locking mechanism which allows the blade to locked in place.  



Reason for Purchase 
The Flash II took the place of the Benchmade 5000SBK Auto Presidio (Review here) which I carried on duty for a few years.  While I understand there is a valid safety reason for the locking mechanism is not something which I want on a folding knife.  I ended up replacing the Presidio with this SOG Flash II after seeing on sale at Amazon for about $42.00.  I also wanted a cheaper knife to carry on duty which I would not mind beating up or losing.  I wanted a half serrated blade since LE duty work requires, at times, to cut seat belts and other type materials.  


First Opinion

Out of the box the Flash II had a shiny blade and felt very light, especially compared to the Benchmade it was replacing.  That was no issue as the time as the blade did not flex and the whole knife felt as though it would work well for the utility work it is designed to do.  The clip initially came on the right side of the handle (blade facing down) and I carry in my left front pants pocket so I swapped the clip out with a hex tool.  




(Above image is not mine and was borrowed from kuttersknives.com)


The above image is one I did not, which shows the red safety of the Flash II.  Mine does not have it because I immediately removed it from the blade.  Which is pretty easy to do as it only requires three hex screws to be removed.  This removes the only issue I have with folding blades that come with a manual locking safety.  


The blade was sharp right out of the box and the handle gave it a semi-ergonomic feel.  The blade unlocking mechanism was very crisp and smooth, unlike the typical liner lock mechanism.  The SOG Assist Technology (S.A.T.) allowed the blade to open seamlessly and smoothly.  Not exactly auto but it works nearly as smooth.  As most state laws have different language this does not open in any sort of automatic way or at the push of a button, you have to manually push the blade forward in order to activate it to open.  


In the Field
I used this blade from late 2013 until a month or so ago.  So that is at least 20 days a month, for at least 8 hours a day, for nearly three years.  


The texture of the handle did not change, even though I dropped it, threw it and ran it over, all numerous times on numerous occasions.  There are a few scuffs but nothing serious and nothing which would impede function.


The blade was used for everything from cutting seat belts to general utility work which needed a blade during an active LE shift.  



The blade locking mechanism works pretty flawlessly.  Like any folding blade small amounts of lubricant is always good to use.  For my blades I usually coat them with SEAL CLP, helps with rust protection and lubrication.


The clip works really well, it carries deep enough so it allowed me to draw properly, after rep'ing the right draw stroke of it. 


Ownership and Usage
The blade is thin enough that I did not really notice the blade in my pocket during normal patrol activities.  The only real issue I can come up with, is the blade eventually started to get loose and I had to tighten it back up - this is a "blade wobble" effect which is common with folding blades.  I fixed it by putting some purple loctite on it about a year ago and since then I have not had any issues with blade wobble.  What did develop, however, was a creak when the blade is closed.  It is not loud and it does not impede the function in anyway, also does not stop the blade from deploying smoothly.  I did have to get the blade sharpened a few times by my buddy at Edge.Perfection@gmail.com.  The blade stayed sharp for a while each time, depending on use of course.


Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I was content with the Flash II for duty use and that is the reason why I decided to get a different blade, primarily one which had a glass breaker attachment.  Blauer was nice enough to send me one of their Invader folding blades.  Which has a glass breaker, a clip at the top of blade near the blade (reverse of the Flash II) and a better (in my opinion) grip texture.  Not saying the Blauer Invader is better, but it is different and I want to try a different style of pocket knife to see how it works out.  

A photo posted by voodoo_man (@vdmsr) on