SOG Flash Rescue, FSA-6

Posted Nov. 02, 2011, at 2:22 p.m.

Weight: 3 ounces

Length: 4½ inches folded

Price: $87

The folks at SOG Specialty Knives have produced another keeper in the Flash Rescue folding knife with its highly visible bright orange glass reinforced handle and frighteningly sharp, half-serrated blade.

It slices through rope or nylon webbing with ease and is ready for action in an instant with a flick of your thumb with the SOG Assisted Technology that snaps the blade open. Once deployed, it will remain locked in place until you release a piston lock by sliding a button on the side of the case. There is a safety lock on the side of the case as well that ensures the blade won’t open accidentally. The blade tip is blunt to prevent accidental stabbing.

SOG’s description of this assisted blade opening mechanism: “[It] works through the balance of opposing high-tension coil springs. As one opens the blade the force to propel the knife open becomes greater than the closing force and the blade will open on its own. The end result propels the blade out once the operator has initiated the one-handed opening action.

“We warn you… this blade action is addictive! Play with it once, and you’ll be opening it again and again!” says SOG. That’s not hyperbole. If you’re appreciative of a mechanism that works, you’ll find yourself flicking this blade open just to see it happen. You’ll probably find yourself trying it with either hand.

Checkering on the case and serrations on the knife back make using this rescue tool a sure thing. A reversible stainless clip holds it firmly in place on your personal flotation device and there’s a one-sixteenth-of-an-inch hole for a lanyard.

If you worry about the 3½-inch blade staying sharp, SOG says it uses a cryogenic heat treatment process to increase the toughness and wear resistance of its blades. “By taking the knife slowly down in temperature to less than -300 F and then back to room temperature, the thermal stress relieves the material on an atomic level and increases overall strength as well as edge retention. Knife edges stay sharp longer with significantly less micro-fracturing and edge-chipping.”

At slightly longer than 4½ inches folded and about 3 ounces in weight, this knife will find a home in any guide’s safety kit or life vest. It also is made with a black finish, but I would recommend the bright orange handle. It’s easily spotted should the knife be dropped.

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