Thanks to SOG Knives, we've been given the opportunity to review a great hunting knife: The SOG Auroa (AU-02) Hunting.
When the knife arrived mid-December, I was excited to test out my new knife and put up a review as soon as possible. However due to several factors, (*ahem* lack of dead animals) I am just now able to do the knife justice with a proper review after gutting / skinning an elk several days ago. (Story found here b/c I know you are wondering about Spring Elk tags!) Sure, I could have reviewed the knife simply on appearance, how it felt good on my hip or how well it worked for my culinary creations; but none of those fall under the true purpose of the knife. It is a hunting knife pure and simple.
Out of the Box Impressions
When my knife first arrived, I was really happy with the appearance of the knife itself. To be totally honest, this is the first hunting knife that I can call my own. (While I help the guys out in the field with the gutting / skinning, it is done with borrowed equipment.) I am definitely proud to have this beauty as my first knife. And it certainly isn't just for novice knife owners, I think my husband was a bit jealous as I slipped the knife out of the box. As stated on SOG's website, "we considered utility, ergonomics and comfort." I would have to agree with that. It is a light weight, fixed blade knife that is very comfortable to hold - for a guy or gal. I personally love the polymer handle. I know that many prefer the look of antler or wood handles, but the grip on this thing is amazing and I am very happy with it.
A great feature of this knife is the built in carbide sharpener in the back of the handle. Genius! I've participated in the gutting / skinning of an elk and know full well that it would be one amazing knife to make it through the entire ordeal without having to stop, switch out a knife and pass along the current knife for a quick sharpening. Having the sharpener built in the handle is great - especially for back country hunting where light weight, functional tools are invaluable.
The knife also comes with a lightweight nylon sheath. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't too excited about the sheath when I first saw it. It isn't ugly by any means. However, I just wondered about the nylon material. Would it hold up in the field? Will I be wishing for a leather sheath after the first trip up the mountain? Let me tell you - I was pleasantly surprised. When I slid the sheath / knife on my belt securely in place, it was very comfortable - sitting, standing, hiking all day was no problem. In fact, I couldn't even tell it was there which is impressive since I'm not used to having a knife on my hip.
In the Field Impressions
As stated earlier, we had the opportunity to gut & skin an elk recently. In typical fashion, we had three knives going on this guy. Each taking a turn to peel back the hide to expose the meat destined for our freezer. The SOG Aura held up great! We tried out the sharpener - just because it was conveniently in the handle and was curious how it worked. The knife didn't really need to be sharpened. Now, if it was the only knife skinning out the entire elk I'm sure that the sharpener would have been utilized more. No offense to the knife itself - I haven't met a knife that hasn't had to be sharpened while skinning an elk.
I'll have to admit that I passed the knife along to my husband to show me how to throw a quick sharpen on the knife. As he was testing out the carbide sharpener he mentioned that it would be nice to have a larger end as a safety precaution. I'm not sure if an adjustment could be made so that the entire butt of the knife is removed when the sharpener is unscrewed - if possible, it would be a great enhancement.
- Emily / FromtheDraw
Disclaimer: The reviews on FromtheDraw.com are solely the honest opinions of the From the Draw team. This knife was provided at no cost by SOG Specialty Knives & Tools for the purpose of review. FromtheDraw.com is not sponsored by SOG and receives no monetary compensation in exchange for this review.
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.