SOG Knives: SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife Review

If I had to pick one knife to keep with me at all times, it would be SOG’s Seal Pup Elite. This knife is Sharp, VERY SHARP, and it holds its edge better than 90% of the knives on the market.

Sog Seal Pup Elite with Nylon Sheath

The Seal Pup Elite is based on the same design that Navy SEALS use, so you know this knife is designed to take a beating. During testing, I threw everything I had at this knife. After cutting everything I could get my hands, and abusing this knife beyond what would be considered normal use, I’m extremely impressed by its durability and edge retention. After years of abuse, the SOG still holds an edge just as well as the day I got it and has no noticeable fracturing or edge-chipping.

Seal Pup Knife Specs

THE BLADE: The knife has a full tang US8 stainless steel blade that’s undergone SOG’s proprietary Cryogenic Heat Treatment process. SOG says this process strengthens the steel on an atomic level, increasing the blade’s durability and edge retention. While I can’t scientifically confirm the truth in that statement, I can say that my testing confirms that this was one tough blade. After going through their proprietary treatment process, the knife is then coated in titanium nitride which is supposed to help further strengthen the knife.

Close up of the Seal Pup Elite Blade

THE SIZE: The overall length of the blade came in at 4.85 inches, with the whole knife measuring in at 9.5 inches long. It weighs in at a comfortable 5.4 ounces, making it easy to carry for just about anyone.

Close up of the Handle of the Knife

THE HANDLE is made with a glass-reinforced Zytel, with added finger grooves to give it a better ergonomic feel. It’s very comfortable in the hand and the design helps prevent fatigue and hot spots even after long periods of use. The textured scales make it extremely easy to grip, even in the water or during wet conditions. It’s my go to knife when I’m out on the water because the grip is probably one of the best I’ve found when wet.

The Seal Pup Elite Sheath with a multi-tool in the pocket

THE SHEATH

It may sound weird, but I absolutely love this sheath. I can’t tell you how many sheaths I’ve gone through on some of my other knives, but I can tell you this one has outlasted them all. I updated this review to let the readers know that six years later this thing looks almost the same as the day I got it. It’s made with reinforced Nylon, with a Kydex insert that protects the blade and stops it from moving around inside the sheath. It also has a pocket that is large enough to hold a multi-tool and a small flashlight or lighter.

This Knife has held up to everything I’ve thrown at it including,

  1. Cutting wood, meats, leather, rope, and basically anything I’ve needed to cut over the years. When I first posted this review, I did so after only a couple weeks of using the knife. Six years later and it’s still one of my favorite and most used knives that I own. For the last six years, I’ve used this knife to do everything from cut materials down in my shop, to using it as my primary blade when hunting and fishing. I’m still impressed with the blades ability to hold an edge over time.
  2. Using it on numerous occasions for Batoning. I love its ability to double as a pretty decent bushcraft knife. In my opinion, every survival knife should be able to hold up to this type of abuse, otherwise, what’s the point of carrying it. After years of abuse, and using it numerous times for splitting log after log, the knife still holds its edge with no visible damage to the blade.
  3. Using the blade point to open cans, notch wood, and jamming it into chunks of wood to see if it would break (it hasn’t!)
  4. Wet Conditions. I use this knife when fishing all the time so it’s always getting wet. I’ve also done a few salt water tests, letting it sit for weeks at a time in a bucket of salt water, and it’s never caused any damage or rust on the blade.

Why I Recommend the SOG Seal Pup Elite

  1. The knife is extremely sharp right out of the box and holds its edge without needing a whole lot of maintenance.
  2. I believe its hands down one of the best survival knives I’ve ever seen or used.
  3. It’s lightweight and a great knife for those looking to keep their pack weights down.
  4. I have seen some complaints from people, who didn’t like the nylon sheath, but you won’t hear any coming from me; in fact, I actually really like the sheath. It’s durable as hell and can take a beating. It also makes a nice little EDC survival kit, with the pocket giving you enough room to stash a small multitool, a lighter, and flashlight.
  5. The handles grip is top notch, and I really like the way this knife feels in my hand. The handle, which is made from glass-reinforced Zytel, has a textured feel that makes it literally stick to your hands. On a side note, I like the Seal Pup Elite’s handle over the normal Seal Pup because of its thicker and deeper finger grooves.

Looking for a Good Sog Knife? I recommend one of these Sog Knives.

27 Comments

  1. Nico
    May 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Buck knives are still made in the USA and have some great knives to choose from. I have several and have been very happy with their quality ease of use. Give them a try.

    • Kym
      February 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Just bought a buck and the dang thing says made in china on the back.

    • JohnG
      March 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      If you are looking for a great knife from Buck, check out the CSAR-t. It designed by Buck and Tops out of Idaho. Just got the fixed blade version and its a sturdy tool.

  2. ztar
    May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    here another thing, american made products ,the machinery to make them was almost certainly made in china.but i forgot about buck my dad owns one or two and he says there great.

  3. Gene Busbey
    June 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Nico, if you do a double check, you will find not all Buck knives are being made in America. They are in fact farming out production as well to overseas plants. Sad but true.

  4. Novice Survivalist
    June 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I love SOG. I don’t buy any other knives if I can help it. They are a bit pricey but I’ve had my Sog twitch (fold knife) for many years and it’s still durable and good at whatever I throw at it.
    I also bought the SOG Tactical Fusion Tomahawk. It’s great as a multi tool and clearing camps and doesn’t take up much room. Fun to throw too. I have not bought a SOG PUP yet. But definately plan too.
    Great review.

  5. The (Navy) Chief's Wife
    August 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Sounds like the knife to have – I believe we have at least one…

    Just one little note —- its SEAL when refering to the Special Navy guys…..

  6. JG
    September 8, 2011 at 7:26 am

    BADASS! Wonderful blade. Mine was forged in Sekia, Japan so its doubly badass. SEAL approved so it will save ur live a few times over! Great for SEAR & E&E & a mean lil death dealer she is too! Only others I’d be caught dead with is the larger version, my TOPS Tom Brown Tracker, & my CRKT M-16SF!

  7. Ken
    September 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Great knife, but I have a personal affection of my KA-BAR.

    • R
      June 20, 2015 at 8:38 am

      I’ve had my kabar for 15 years and I’ve taken it everywhere, and it has taken a pounding. I love it and it is my favorite of my 20 knives.

  8. Russ
    September 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    The SOG Seal Pup Elite, with TiNi coating, kydex sheath, and plain edge, is the absolute best knife you can get – for the money (about $85 on Amazon when I purchased it about a year ago).

    One caviat: DON’T get the serrated version of any knife. The serrated part just gets wrecked, especially if you use the knife to chop wood.

    • Billy
      July 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      I myself am a big fan of the Becker Crewman. I have had mine since about 2003 and have no complaints what so ever. Its a little big and slightly heavy but I knew that before I bought it. Great nylon sheath with kydex insert and front pocket with slight bellow big enough for a GI magnesium fire starter.

  9. Donald
    October 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    For the record the US Navy SEALs do not have an official SEAL knife. In BUD/S they use the Cold Steel SRK. SOG may be American owned, but may of their knives are made in Japan and other Asian countries. I would rather have a Kabar or Kabar BKT some alleged Specwar knife.

    • chris
      November 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Well, as a survival / prepper knife I would go with Kabar as this is missing several key features including a workable quillon to protect your hand when stabbing, or blocking and enough of a pummel on the handle to get positive pressure when extracting the knife.

  10. Jake
    October 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    this knife is one of the best if not the top. ive had my eye on this for about three years and its still top of the market. ive used it many times and ive yet to sharpen it. another great tip for this knife is to wrap some 550 paracord around the handle. makes the handle even more comfortable than before and having extra 550 cord speaks for itself. GREAT KNIFE!

  11. Marcus
    October 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I have carried my seal pup elite for 5 years now and put it through absolute hell for abuse. Though well maintained it has seen very rough times. There is no other like a seal pup. This knife is the definition of tough and reliable. It holds an edge extremely well, hasn’t rusted in the least bit even being covered in mud and shoved back in the sheath for days at a time on long adventures in the woods. Very comfortable handle, Great size of both handle and blade, tough sheath, and black TiNi finish is the most durable I have ever seen! Over all I would recommend this knife to absolutely anyone! and IF something were to happen to the one i currently have I would not hesitate to own another.

  12. Odinson
    December 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Between the SOG Seal Pup, my KABAR, my Cold Steel Recon 1, and my Leatherman Supertool, I’m ready to take on anything. admittedly, the Seal Pup is going to be my last resort knife. The KABAR will still be the work horse of my knives.

  13. brian kudalis
    January 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I like this knife too. But I think it could be a little longer. About an inch. If you have the money. I’d say Randel knife Co.Florida makes the best. And for a really good cheap knife that is strong and can take a punishing it is the Buck knife hunter with the Black grips and bowie style blade. It comes in three different sizes. Chuck noris had one attached to his web harness in one of those Vietnam movies he did when he went back and rescued some POWs. But definitely stay away from the Gerbers. Their blades are brittle and the tang is just epoxied into the handle. The guards on the aluminum handles even snap off under pressure.

  14. brian kudalis
    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I went back and read all these tweets or whatever you call them. Yeah I too agree that the K-bar is a great workhorse. I had one from world war II that I refurbished . It was practically indestructible. But you know you can still get a Buck knife sharper. And a Randel looks great on your belt.

  15. Shane
    January 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    SOG’s are great knifes, but anybody who knocks gerber(Brian kudalis) hasn’t tried the LMF 2 ASEK, or just simply the LMF2. But none the less that’s why I have both a SOG seal pup and a Gerber so I don’t have to worry about that. But a lot has to do with your knowledge of bushcraft. It wouldn’t matter if you had a million dollar knife with you in the woods. Your ability to use it will determine whether you survive or not

  16. PeterAV
    February 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t trust Gerber any more.
    They refuse to tell you what type of steel they use and they do break. No thanks. I will stick to my USMC KA-BAR. Looks like the SOG is a winner as well, but I don’t have one yet.

  17. Tim Harp
    February 5, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I got the KaBar BK&T BK7. Handle fits my paw better than the SOG. I like the 1095 steel better then the AUS8.

  18. Maddog
    February 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Gerber BMF Big and tough Rember 2 is one and one is none

  19. Hawk Eye
    February 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Knife brands… “which one is better?” is the common thing I hear. It really depends on the model. I have the seal pup elite with a kydex sheath and it is a good one. I can use it in the backcountry or at depth in the ocean, with equal ease. Most of my knives are different brands, because in each knife type category there are a couple companies that make the best options. In fact, most of these companies have more than one designer, and some even have joint collaboration with others. This can make for some really great models. What exactly do you expect your knife to do, and what are you going to use it for. Answer these questions first, then you will make a better decision.

  20. Don
    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I have a SOG Pentagon. I love it and have carried it for years…horrible thing is that the leather sheath finally wore out. Anyone know where i can get just the sheath for it? Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Nunya
      July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Try ebay. Or you could contact a leatherworker to make one for you.

    • Justin
      January 28, 2014 at 12:53 am

      2 years late, but try sogs website they sell sheaths for all their knives

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