SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is known for its tactical knives. Even so, it produces other knives and tools nowadays, one of which is the SOG TWI8-CP Twitch II. This sharp little knife is meant to work as an EDC pocket knife, and it’s a handy assisted opener knife to have. It has some interesting design choices, though, which we’ll cover.
- Total Length: 4.8″
- Blade Length: 2.65″
- Blade Material: AUS-8
- Blade Shape: Drop Point
- Deployment: Manual
- Lock Type: Lockback
- Handle Material: Aluminum (Wood Optional)
The SOG TWI8-CP Twitch II is an assisted opener, and it’s fast! It’s extremely sharp out of the box to boot, and usually stays securely locked easily. It’s also easy to sharpen if it dulls.
That being said, the aluminum handle is a little slippery and I’ve had the knife unlock in my pocket. Needless to say, this wasn’t good, as the tip faces up. Did I say it’s sharp? Be very careful if it comes open in your pocket!
With better-designed manual flippers coming to the market, I’m not always the biggest fan of assisted opening knives or automatic knives anymore. The Twitch II isn’t fantastic because of its assisted opening (a feature I actually don’t like, and you’ll see why), but I like how small and unobtrusive it is. Sam included it in her post 7 Best Pocket Knives for Women because of how small it is, and I have to agree that it’ll fit in just about anything.
It also cuts extremely well straight out of the box, and the AUS-8 steel helps it to keep its edge for quite a while. I’ve only had to sharpen it once, and the drop point blade makes it very easy to do so. Also, even though AUS-8 is a harder steel, it’s not so hard that it feels punishing to sharpen.
Now, this isn’t entirely a first impression, but I feel like I need to warn you.
Carry this knife loosely in your pocket! Don’t use the clip. The SOG Twitch II’s blade can be deployed by either the thumb studs, which are very close to the edge, or by means of a trigger on the back. No big deal, right?
Not entirely. The SOG Twitch II also uses a back lock mechanism instead of the more usual liner lock. The lock normally works extremely well, and it’s surprisingly safe to open. With some practice, I could even close it with one hand.
However, I was wearing it in my pocket one day and using the clip. When you’re active and getting in and out of trucks or doing anything that might put pressure on that pocket, it’s possible to deploy the blade. So, you realize the knife is open in your pocket and you reach in to close it, and… OUCH!
I hope you have a first aid kit. You might even need to head to the ER for stitches because the knife is sharp.
The SOG Twitch II’s blade is tiny. In fact, it’s under 3″ in length, but it packs a wallop of a performance. The drop point shape manages to allow it to perform medium-duty work. I’ve never used it on anything particularly tough, but it could probably handle cutting through some tough material.
It slices very well, using a full flat grind – something many Spyderco knives utilize. This means that the secondary bevel is uniform and very, very sharp. It also has a good amount of belly thanks to its drop-point shape.
Now, the blade is made from AUS-8, which is a mid-range steel alloy. It won’t hold its edge as well as some of the better steels, but it’s not a soft, malleable steel that loses its edge after a few uses, either. The good thing about this is that anyone can put a good edge back onto the blade without exerting a ton of effort and patience. I’m confident that any sharpener will make this thing razor-sharp again.
If there’s anything odd about the blade it’s the SOG logo engraved right on it. This doesn’t bother Sam, but I think it’s kind of tacky. Basically, your mileage may vary on that one.
If there’s one thing I hate about the TWI8-CP Twitch II, besides the lockback, is its handle. The knife is ergonomic, but the handle is a little slippery.
Before I go further, I should add a disclaimer. I have the version with an aluminum handle, so that’s where I base this opinion. There’s also a version with a wooden handle that might be less slippery. Alas, I don’t have that version; at least not yet.
With that out of the way, the handle slips around a little in my hand. That’s a twinge scary because of how sharp its blade is, but just remember to play around with it and find a good grip first. Sam has no trouble with the handle and wants me to mention that.
I prefer something with a little more texture, personally. If I buy another Twitch II, I’ll probably try the version with a wooden handle instead.
Regardless of the lack of texture, the knife still manages to feel good in the hand. It feels very precise and balanced, which is something a lot of larger knives can’t say. I don’t know if this is a strength of the handle itself or just because the knife is small and practical.
This is a lightweight knife that will ride around in your pocket and you’re likely to forget about it. This is likely due to the small size, and I have no problem with that. If you’re looking for a heavy knife, then this one isn’t for you. I don’t have a preference when it comes to weight, so both heavy knives and light knives are cool with me.
Carrying and Deployment
The Twitch II has a nice little pocket clip. It’s a little on the stiff side (reasonable, given the size and weight of this knife), but it actually provides the handle with a bit of grip. This is good because, as already mentioned, the handle is very smooth and slips easily. Try and get your fingers to grab the clip to fix some of this.
The trigger works great and the blade deploys incredibly fast. It feels closer to an automatic than an assisted, honestly.
The thumb knob is a little close to the edge for comfort, but so long as you know to pull back quickly, you’ll be fine. I stick to the flipper on the back.
I carry this knife loosely, actually. This is because, while the clip will keep this tiny knife secure, the lockback feature means that the knife might deploy in your pocket. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve only had this happen once, but it resulted in a nasty cut. The blade tip is pointed up, so if it deploys, you’ll probably come into contact with the edge when you reach in to close it.
It takes some force to deploy the SOG TWI8-CP Twitch II’s blade, but when you move around and bang against as many things as I do, the flipper could be flipped.
The SOG TWI8-CP Twitch II is a small, very sharp knife that can fit into anything. It’s handy to have, but it has a couple of downsides to be aware of. The handle is a little slippery and it’s possible for the blade to accidentally deploy in your pocket, which is painful.
That being said, we at the Daily Knife Slice find this knife to be handy to have. Niether one of us carries it regularly right now, but we still find ourselves heading to the knife drawer to grab it for things.