SOG Knives: SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife Review

SOG Seal Pup Knife

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. In fact, we originally wrote this review back in 2009 and now 14 years later this same knife in the photos is still my go-to everyday carry!

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


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.

Shirts of Liberty

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  1. I have no ideal why so many are claiming the Sog Seal line of knives are made in China.I own a Seal Team Elite,Seal Pup Elite,and also a Sog Force,and a NW Ranger,and NONE of them were made in China..ALL of the Sog’s i own are made in Taiwan.And i didn’t start buying any of them until 2 years ago,and last i checked they are still Taiwan made.Now Sog does have several knives made in China,and the specs say so,but so do a lot of brands.Buck,Boker,Cold Steel,CRKT,Kershaw,to name a few all have knives that are produced out of China.If you think made in China is junk,go check out a Steel Will brand fixed blade,in particular their Druid series and hold it and actually use it,and then check back,because those are just as good as ANY fixed blade i’ve ever used for their price range.Origin means nothing anymore,it’s all about quality.If you think the US makes better knives than other countries,you’ve never seen up close or used an Italian,Russian,German,and other European made knives.Even Taiwan made is on par with American made now days.Japanese made is overrated and is still being considered the best based off the mythology of centuries ago.Japan made is good,but no better than any other country that produces quality made knives.If you pay enough money China can produce a good knife.If you want average to junk made,they can do that as well.It all depends on how much you want to spend.

  2. I am glad someone brought up the fact that orininal Sog knives were manufactured in Japan and then in Taiwan, not China. Taiwan, (some of the limited edition blades made in Japan, one limited to 40 or so, will never hit the market as they are so collectible. I mean does anyone think knives used for a long period of time (beginning with the Vietnam war would be made (much less purchased at that time from China). I Even at present we, as well as other countries are intruding on these claimed waters which are actually international water. On another matter, and please correct me if I am wrong I was told the SOG folding blades {not exactly inexpensive for the most part) are still made in Japan (or maybe someone before me mentioned this and I was not paying attention (if so sorry).
    I have had over the years a number of knives and at present when I camp with my son’s I personally prefer the Seal Pup Elite. I realize there are more expensive Sog knives for survival and camping but I like the feel of this particular knife, as well as some other features those who have them likely appreciate Moreover price does not even jump that much with a custom Kydex sheath. They are compatible and actually better than many lower priced knives (and higher priced ones until you get into steel and hardness on the high end, which I don’t require for everyday camping or hiking. They keep their edge, like every knife you should take a good sharpener, especially if using to cut large branches with brute force.
    I realize this is just personal opinion and I am not arguing with other people’s choice of blades as use dictates what is needed, comfort and even weight which are important for everyone.
    What impresses me is not many knives have been used by our brave special forces (and others early on) for this length of time. Why? Quality control, first Taiwanese have excellent quality control on their own as well as following to the letter US guidelines or they would be out of business quickly. They follow US Specs, combined with the fact that many plant managers and quality control experts are from the US and elsewhere. If a quality control expert says a batch does not meet standards, if never leaves the plant.
    Their quality control on ships is astonishing, even with owner’s representatives present.
    The original design was also the first to be used in Vietnam buy the way. I also like their assortment of fixed blades, and I am sure many are aware some large companies simply do not think as much about ultimate use desired by customers (I understand Sog also makes some great great specialty diving knives as well as ones found on popular knife sites).
    I am not going to discuss other fixed blades as they all have their good and bad points. I have tried very expensive blades with great steel and hardness but sometimes they lack features I find necessary. However, the steel and hardness of the higher end SOGs compare with some of the best blades in most any price range unless you want to spent big dollars.
    Sorry I went on so long, I did not mean to but knives are sort of a hobby at this point in my life and I appreciate quality and for my uses do not require anything more. Take it for what it is worth, just an opinion on a forum and once again I do not mean to offend anyone who finds they are more comfortable with other fixed blades as everything for size to handle feel can make a big difference (among other factors such as usage).

  3. I bought this knife when it first came out, My opinion Is 1) the handle is too stiff and has no grippy feel. 2) After the blade is dull it is almost impossible to sharpen and I have sharpened many knifes. 3) The cheap Kydex sheath broke almost immediately and when I called to complain I was told that the sheath is not warrantied only the knife and I could spend $20 for a new one or $40 for a nylon one which would “stand up” I did neither and SOG lost a customer for life. Buyer beware

  4. The real seal knifes are the Mission Knifes titainium MPK-TI they won the Seal contract when the others proved to be rusted junck. I have a A2 steel version same military quality. They don’t advertise because they are an areospace co.

  5. Mission knifes are the knifes the real teams use. Made out of titanium they also have A@ steel, made in the USA. They also make titanium mine probes.

    • They also use SOG, Ka-bar or just about anything else. They are not confined to a specific brand.

  6. “the knife is then coated in titanium nitride which is supposed to help further strengthen the knife.”

    BS! the coating doesn’t strengthen anything. It’s just there to protect the blade from corrosion and to make it non-reflective.

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