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October 22, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


SOG Contractor Knives Review

To be the best tradesman, you have to be properly equipped for the task. As the old saying goes, “a craftsman is only as good as his tools”. Well, there are a lot of different types of craftsmen. And there are a lot of different types of knives. So what do you do? SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has attempted to come up with a series of Contractor Knives to address the cutting needs of tradesmen, electricians, mechanical contractors, handymen and even the DIY user. Each of these four knives have features and designs that make them not only handy to keep in your pocket, but also useful for the types of tasks that you perform on a regular basis. All of the knives in the series feature 6Cr12MoV stainless steel blades and the handles are made of either machined aluminum or durable textured G10 material. These knives follow more traditional pocket knife designs and sizes which make them familiar to use and easy to carry.

SOG Contractor Knives Review
SOG Contractor Knives retail
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools Contractor Knives

To be the best tradesman, you have to be properly equipped for the task. As the old saying goes, “a craftsman is only as good as his tools”. Well, there are a lot of different types of craftsmen. And there are a lot of different types of knives. So what do you do? SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has attempted to come up with a series of Contractor Knives to address the cutting needs of tradesmen, electricians, mechanical contractors, handymen and even the DIY user. Each of these four knives have features and designs that make them not only handy to keep in your pocket, but also useful for the types of tasks that you perform on a regular basis. All of the knives in the series feature 6Cr12MoV stainless steel blades and the handles are made of either machined aluminum or durable textured G10 material. These knives follow more traditional pocket knife designs and sizes which make them familiar to use and easy to carry. Since each of the knives in the series are different and unique, we will look at each one individually.


SOG EL10-CP Contractor 1 Folding Lock Back Knife

  • Name: Contractor I
  • Model Number: EL10-CP
  • Blade Length 2.625″
  • Overall Length 6.25″
  • Weight: 4.3 oz.
  • Edge: Straight
  • Steel: 6Cr12MoV
  • HRC: 52-55
  • Handle: Aluminum
  • Price: $27
  • Buy the Contractor 1 now

SOG EL10-CP Contractor 1 Folding Lock Back KnifeIn an age when everyone is carrying a giant tactical knife (presumably to open cardboard boxes and strip Romex wire) a truly sturdy smaller-sized folder can be hard to find. This is where the SOG EL10-CP Contractor I folding lock back knife comes into the picture. This knife has a simple lock back design flanked with sturdy machined aluminum handles. There are three different size holes in the handles that are intended to be used as wire strippers. With the blade closed, you can insert a piece of shielded wire into the hole and let the blade rest against it. With one quick rotation of the knife body around the wire, the shielding pulls right off. We tried it on both 12 and 14 gauge solid copper wire and it worked remarkably well.

SOG EL10-CP Lock Back Knife wire stripping
Stripping 12 Gauge wire with the SOG EL10-CP Contractor I Folding Lock back

Blade deployment on the Contractor I knife was effortless thanks to the thumb stud on the blade. Using the thumb lock on the back of the handle to release the blade was also effective and easy to use. There is a pocket clip on the handle that can be repositioned to the opposite side if you loosen the three mini Torx screws that hold it in place. This knife has a solid, quality feel and, thanks to its smaller size, it won’t take up all the space in your pocket either.

SOG EL20-CP Contractor II Folding Utility Knife

  • Name: Contractor II
  • Model Number: EL20-CP
  • Blade Length: 2.5″
  • Overall Length: 5.75″
  • Weight: 2.1 oz.
  • Handle: G10
  • Price: $27.00
  • Buy the Contractor II now

SOG EL20-CP Contractor II Folding Utility KnifeThe SOG EL20-CP Contractor II Knife is the smallest knife in the series and for good reason. The blade is a thin sheepsfoot style. This is a good choice for this knife, since the back edge of the blade is dull all the way to the point allowing your fingers to assist in giving you the most control for your cuts. The blade shape name of “sheepsfoot” comes from long ago when this style blade was used to trim the hooves of sheep. This particular knife does not have a manual blade locking mechanism, but since it will most likely be used for opening boxes and manually stripping wires, there’s little chance that the blade will close on your fingers. The handle of this knife is made of textured G10 which is an extremely durable and stable material. On the back end of the handle is a lanyard loop that makes it easy to clip this knife to your key chain or tool belt. We liked the sturdy build quality and the small size that makes it a very handy, very portable little knife to keep in your pocket.

SOG EL30-CP Contractor III Electricians Knife

  • Name: Contractor III
  • Model Number: EL30-CP
  • Blade Length: 2.875″
  • Overall Length: 5.75″
  • Weight: 2.1 oz.
  • Handle: G10
  • Price: $32.00
  • Buy the Contractor III now

SOG EL30-CP Contractor III Electricians KnifeThe SOG EL30-CP Contractor III Folding Electricians Knife comes with two different blades. One of the blades is a straight edge blade designed for stripping wires that actually has a number 1 flat head screwdriver end on the tip. The other is a slightly curved edge blade that is more utilitarian. Both blades have finger nail grooves so that you can pull the blade out of the handle and each blade has traditional thumb locks on the back to ensure that they don’t accidentally close when you’re using them. The handle scales are made of tough G10 materiel that is lightly textured and there is a lanyard loop as well on the bottom of the handle. We found this knife to be no replacement for a true wire-stripping tool and screwdriver, but when you factor in all that you can do with such a small device – there’s a real argument for just having it on your person at all times. It’s a matter of “when” it’s going to come in handy, not “if”.


SOG EL30-CP Electricians Knife
The SOG EL30-CP Contractor III Electricians Knife being used as a screwdriver

SOG EL40-CP Contractor IV Hawkbill Folding Knife

  • Name: Contractor IV
  • Model Number: EL40-CP
  • Blade Length: 2.625″
  • Overall Length: 6.75″
  • Weight: 3.7 oz.
  • Handle: G10
  • Price: 30.00
  • Buy the Contractor IV now 

The SOG EL40-CP Contractor IV Hawkbill Knife is good for cutting textiles, insulation, rope and even… um… shrubbery. This style of blade originally evolved out of the nautical world where sailors found its design easy for cutting rope since the blade shape prevents the rope from slipping. For today’s tradesmen, they find that the hawkbill is good for tasks that use pull-cuts and slicing motions. Tasks like cutting carpet, insulation, rope and/or cord are made easy by this super sharp blade. Blade deployment is easy due to a convenient thumb stud and there is a thumb lock on the back of the handle that must be pushed in so that the blade can close. The handle of the Contractor IV is also made of textured G10 material. Overall this knife has a very thin profile so it fits well in your pocket when it is folded. It was one of our favorites – if only to see the look on people’s faces when we flipped out the aggressive-looking blade. For more info visit the SOG website.

Conclusion

The Specialty Knives and Tools series of the SOG Contractor Knives offer quality and value to a specific market segment that is sometimes overlooked by knife companies. Sure you can carry a tactical style knife or a folding replaceable blade utility knife, but we know for a fact that there are many tradesmen out there that are traditionalist when it comes to their pocket knives. With these models, SOG is attempting to reach out to this group of guys that appreciate simple folding knives that have useful features for the line of work that they are in. These knives not only look good, they work well. Add in SOG’s lifetime warranty to back them up and you’ve got something that deserves a second look.

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