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.

24 Comments

  1. Justin Levi
    February 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    the regular SOG seal pup is made in taiwan.

    …is the elite U.S. made?

  2. Aj
    March 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    They use a whole array of knives. There is no “official knife,” contrary to what you read. Good knife though.

    • Chris
      November 28, 2012 at 9:55 am

      I hope you are right. I would like to think a military unit would use more of a fighting oriented type of knife. If you really want to know what goes into a combat knife you should check out maineprepper on youtube and his videos on what makes a knife combat capable.

  3. Justin
    March 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

    The seal pup elite is a great knife, I just ordered a second one. a couple issues though, the article states that the seal pup is based off the knife that the SEALs use, this is inaccurate, the standard dive knife issued at BUD/s is the Cold Steel SRK, once in the teams the knife used is largely up to the individual operator. Also, the new kydex sheath is not set up for LBE as it has no lashing points, it comes as a belt compatible only unit.

    • Justin
      March 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Also, the seal pup is a great LBE blade, but sucks as a dedicated survival knife since it’s a little on the small side, and is quite lite. the seal team elite (which I also own) is much better suited for a survival bladt, though I prefer a full flat grind such as the RAT-7 or KA-BAR heavy bowie.

  4. Jay
    March 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    So far, this knife has been great for me. The blade really does hold an edge, even after putting it through its paces. Yesterday was a great day outside, so I came home from work, and got to work. Built a fire, split some big timber, got out my gear and cooked supper over the fire. Good practice for me, and good test of the knife. My only complaints, are the nylon sheath, the knife sometimes wants to skip the sheath, and go between it and the nylon, so I have to be careful when putting it back in. And, I wish for a bit more of a flat spot on the top instead of the rasp. Just a bit less rasp, and enough of a flat edge to get a good strike on a ferro rod. Other than that, I love this blade so far.

  5. Matt
    April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Hey i waas just wondering if someone has the SOG seal pup (just the regular version) and can give me some advice on it. Thank-you

  6. Chase
    May 1, 2012 at 6:07 am

    This knife is CRAP. I have been in Afghanistan for 11 months and bought this knife before I left. 6 months in, the blade split apart! It is a cheaply made knife and would definitely not buy another for survival reasons. The only thing I was used for was cutting pomegranite’s open, shaving off bark on trees, and making inscriptions into wood. Total garbage knife.
    DO NOT BUY!

  7. Mike414
    July 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Esee 5 or the cold steel rsk much better the rsk is the real knife the seals use and the esee 5 is the survival knife created by air force sere instructors if any one needs to survive its pilots it’s a quarter inch thick and it has a hole in the hilt for a fire bow

    • Mike414
      July 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Not too mention esee also makes arrow heads out of the same steel ready to attach to home made arrows

  8. Nunya
    July 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Thanks for the suggestion but I think I’ll stick with my 3 Chirra kukri.

  9. BimBam
    October 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    The knife would be perfect if it had a little teeth on the upper edge.

    So many knives I want don’t have this.

    The perfect outdoor/tactical knife would be big, designed like a Bowie knife and have teeth on the upper edge, be black, have a tough handle, and come with a hard sheath option.

    Smaller version for stealth ok too.

  10. Mark
    October 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I have Gerber,several Bucks–and cheap Jim BOWIE KNIFE– For hiking puposes-NOT SURVIVAL–the purpose of the knife is to abuse it-and not to mount it on top of the alter of the fireplace and pray to it–Get a cheap Jim Bowie type of knife to lend to your friends so they can damage it–You can chop wood with it –and dig holes for can garbage and bathroom.

  11. Marcia L
    February 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    How about a knife that fits a woman’s small hands?
    I wear about a size 6 glove. It would have to be light, with very defined finger grooves, well balanced.

  12. Preppers Canyon
    February 19, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I prefer the Gerber Bear Grylls series knives. Has serrated edge, stays sharp and takes a lot of abuse.

  13. Harald
    February 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I have a issue British Gurkha Regiment kukri. It works for me.

  14. bahran
    March 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

    i love my sog and gerber survival knives and they are best

  15. Mike B.
    April 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I am currently awaiting my Seal Pup Elite right now but I have owned the Seal Team Elite for a while. I am buying the Pup Elite with the straight edge and kydex sheath as I do a lot of waist deep fishing with my knife at my side. Also, municipal law in my area prevents me from carrying my Seal Team Elite on my side in city limits. If the “Pup Elite” performs even half as well as my “Team Elite” then it will be more than sufficient for me. The AUS8 blade is suited for my Northern B.C. climate better then the carbon steels and still holds an edge near perfectly. (I absolutely hate rust on my blades and oil is no guarantee in as moist a climate as I live in). I have owned the BK2 and gave it up for my Elite and never looked back. SOG to me, is by far my favorite knife maker and they do a damn fine job in the craft. I will own SOG for the majority, if not the rest of my life.

  16. Mike B.
    April 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Well my Seal Pup Elite came in and upon initial opening of the box I was impressed with it. Upon closer inspection though I noticed the grind on the blade is out; 20 degrees on one side and about 30-35 degrees on the other. I don’t know if I got the knife that was ground by a worn out stone or what. I also noticed that near the tip of the blade (About 1/2 inch back) there is a little “striation” on the blade where I can see the grain of the steel to be much more pronounced than the rest of them. I hope this will not be a weak spot and break as this is not a cheap knife and I have not had to test SOG’s lifetime warranty yet. One of the spine rasps on the “tip” of the “wave” design on the spine of the knife closest to the point sticks up above the rest and actually shaves pieces off of the kydex sheath when I pull it out and put it back in. I may be scrutinizing the knife too closely but I will have to test the knife out to know for sure if it holds up to the Seal Team Elite I purchased a while ago. I am however greatly impressed with the kydex sheath and the handle of the knife fits my hand like a glove. Please let me know if anyone on here has had similar characteristics on their knives. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

  17. Mike
    May 4, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I like my blades, and have many different ones, ESEE, Ka-Bar, Cold Steel, Gerber, Mora, Bark River, Fallkniven, and now I finally got the SOG Seal Pup.
    The Mora is on the low budget end with the Bark River on the higher end with the others in the middle.
    The SOG Seal Pup is a good knife, and I would rate it comparable to the Cold Steel Master Hunter performance wise. However, for a survival / bushcrafting setting I prefer the Bark River Bravo II over any of my other fixed blade knives, followed by the ESEE-5 and then the Fallkniven F1 as my top 3. The SOG Seal Pup would fall in 5th or 6th.
    On a side note, I understand from reports that the Bark River Bravo knife made in Michigan is now the knife of choice for the Marines Recon units.

    • weaponkid
      May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      just wondering where would the kabar becker bk2
      rank in your list?

  18. Mike
    May 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Agreed, ‘knowing’ how to effectively use as a tool and a weapon is critical. Similar to shot placement… some people with their .45 Colt’s laughed at me years ago when I went to the range with a Walther .32, that was until they saw my consistent 3-shot placement at 50-feet.
    For me, my knife is primarily a tool for batoning, skinning, filleting, carving, cutting… and selecting the tool that performs the best is entirely subjective by the user based on edge retention and durability. If it comes to hand-to-hand, which will get bloody for both as a last resort.

  19. Sam Woods
    May 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I have 7 or 8 SOG knives and multitools. they are pound for pound the most durable and best built knives on the market. I carry i trident folding knife and a DET tool with me at work and I can’t bust em.

  20. Tim | Adventure Strong
    July 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    The SOG Seal line of knives are among my favorite. Like you noted, it stood up to anything you threw at it. They’re a great value and equally good at survival and defense.

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