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.

The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide

21 Comments

  1. Whoa! You let this baby sit in salt water for 3 days?! Harsh.

    I’m looking at some of the Esee knives out there too. It’s a tough choice…I might have to get one of each. It’s never bad to have more knives!

  2. After a lot of youtube watching, I got the Schrade SCHF1… It is a great survival/combat knife for the price, and did better in extreem abuse testing than the Chris Reeve which the patent and blueprints were sold to and is made in Tiawan now and. I have a Gerber milti-tool that is great and the knife is so sharp, so now I need a smaller full tang non serrated knife and thinking a wood handle, for cooking and eating and fine carving. I do not think a plastic handle would be good to get hot in a fire when eating or something. And I am not sure about powder coating or duracoating or teflon coating for eating. I am thinking stainless steal, no coating. The schf1 is great for chopping wood, batoning, feathering, and combat etc.. it will go through the roof of a car, and even chop concrete or puncture steel.. it can baton a 4×4, and punch a hole through a 2×4, or hack one in half. For about 50 something bucks, its better than the 300 dollar Chris Reeve project knife. It’s all 1 piece, hollow handle (and removable tool kit in the handle) So no weak points. I am searching for a great smaller full tang wood grip knife, drop point or spear, not sure but maybe a clip point, non serrated stainless steel.

    • Thanks for the leads. Those bark River knives are nice. Going to check out cold steel next. Really expensive though. Still looking for a good sharpener and firestarter for the pocket on the sheath of my SCHF1. Also, I like Blackhawk and Tru-Spec tactical gear, pants and vest with lots of pockets and water resistant.. plenty of places to put survival items in. The true spec vest has a place for a water bladder, but I want to get a canteen and something for boiling water. Maybe even a canteen with a metat top to boil water in the canteen itself.. maybe a small eyelet to hanf it from a piece of wire over a fire.. but I am still working on my survival kit and have some great must haves so far. back pack, need to find a smaller pup tent,I liked the one that opens up like a car window sun screen.. or maybe just a few tarps and some rope. fishing rod that comes apart in 3 pieces.. gotta thing about the weight because the more you carry, the more calories you burn.Also need durable long lasting all weather shoes or boots. Yes, it is personal preference and what climate you will be in, and what the knives are for. The spearpoint hollow handle schf1 I think I can carve and jam a stick in it and use it to spear fish or other spear hunting, or tie it. It’s def a pig sticker.

  3. Ok so it’s a great knife !? Mine snapped clean in half… Emailed sog and they sent out one because they told me it was probably an inconsistency in the metal :) still love the knives and have abused it so much already

  4. I love my SOG Seal Pup Elite knife. Got it for Xmas a few years ago from my father-in-law. Great gift. That’s what started my fascination with survival knives in the first place.

    The SOG Force is another good knife. Maybe a step up from the Seal Pup Elite

  5. I was issued that same SOG knife. They break when used for batoning and carve guys hands open. Our instructors in fact told us to never use the SOG SEAL Pup Elite for hard use and gave us an ESEE knife catalog. Sorry to burst y’all’s bubble but the SOG SEAL Pup is not full tang. They are razor sharp, look really cool, and have the SEAL name attached to them, so all the civilians think SEALS carry them. Literally no Navy SEALS rely on those that I am aware of. It was a bogus government contract that screwed us all over. Buy an ESEE.

  6. I bought the one with the serrated blade segment. It lastet one weekend and then the serrations were done. It also got dull as quickly as any other knife by handling wood – yet is an absolute nightmare to sharpen (specially while in the hills). However one might like or dislike the feel of the grip, it’s not a full tang! This knife sells for 60 usd now, that’s why I bought it. In my opinion it’s worth less – let alone the original price… sorry but I wasn’t impressed at all.

  7. I hate to argue with this, but i own this knife. It was an awesome knife that worked well in all but one arena. I used it to skin a mule deer. Sadly the blade would not hold the edge long enough to even do half the animal. I had to re-sharpen it 4 times. If you are wanting to use it for self defense or as an all around knife, it would work well. If you are relying on it as a survival, you better have a sharpener with you. I still use mine, but I have invested in a better quality knife to use for hunting. Hope this helps some people out.

  8. Does this knife’s blade stem run through the handle and what as the specs of the metal on the blade and it’s design specs?…TIA

  9. I bought a Seal Pup last Saturday as an addition to my bug-out bag! Really nice knife – just wish it was made in America! and not Taiwan!

  10. I recently bought a few blades with a long held give card from Christmas. I purchased the Schrade SCF9 and SCHF10 because they have thick, sturdy blades and a Kershaw Antelope Hunter 2 to serve as a Mora substitute as it’s light, simple and very sharp. I also own two vintage Kabars, a Buck Woodsman and a Cold Steel Recon Tanto. The SOG Seal Pup offers the size and utility of the larger tactical/survival knives, very close to the Recon Tanto but it’s light and handy like my little Buck or Kershaw. At the price I paid (Under$40) I would buy a dozen for a family or group and even for bartering if things get chaotic.

  11. I absolutely agree. For a knife right around $50 (the partially serrated one, the one pictured I think is about $10-15 more) you really can’t beat it for durability and edge retention.

    Though a Mora is much cheaper, this knife acts like it should be in the $80-120 category.

    Not quite as nice as my Ontario SK-5, but the Seal Pup is definitely good for a backup/secondary knife.

  12. I have 2 SOG knives: Seal Pup, and a Field Pup. Both are great knives especially for the money. Have a KABAR Marine, Had the Becker. All are good as well but more money. If money is not the real object go with a Benchmade. No question of manufacturing origin. 100% USA made.

  13. All SOG knives are full tang…not sure where Tyler gets his info, but I own 5 different SOG knives and they are all full tang, so I would find it difficult to believe that SOG would change their standards on the SOG Seal Pup Elite. SOG makes some of the most durable knives I’ve ever used. I own the Jungle Primitive, the Kukri, and three throwing knives. Out of all of them, I’ve only ever had to use the wet stone once on the Jungle Primitive and that was because I was batoning a limb that had a nail in it that I couldn’t see…even then the knife cut through it, but it did ding the edge slightly….a little wet stone work though and the ding was repaired. It’s held it’s edge ever since though. The other knives have held up just fine. Can’t say enough about how well they’ve held up to significant abuse.

  14. FWIW SOG no longer uses the word Zytel because another company owns that name. However the handles are still injection molded reinforced glass and are now referred to as GRN.

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