I purchased a SOG Tellus FLK a while back because I couldn’t resist what appeared to be a very good deal for a large folding knife. I was also intrigued by its surprisingly lightweight given its size and the way SOG executed the frame-lock (more on this later).
- Blade Length: 3.65″
- Closed Length: 4.80″
- Overall Length: 8.40″
- Blade Steel: CRYO 440C
- Blade Finish: Stonewash
- Pocket Clip: Stainless Steel (Tip-Up, Right/Left Carry)
- Weight: 5.8 oz.
- Pivot: Ball Bearings
- Made in China
Observations from Use
SOG states that the Tellus FLK is an “outdoor workhorse,” which is certainly the vibe I get from this knife. The blade shape, size, and overall feel in the hand remind me a lot of past Zero Tolerance/Rick Hinderer collaboration knives and that is a complement. The knife feels like it is ready to work thanks to SOG’s design choices.
The first thing I noticed about the Tellus FLK is its weight. Now, I am not saying this is a lightweight knife but it one of those knives that messes with your head a bit. When you pick this up, you expect it to feel much heavier than it does. It feels very light for its size. This is thanks to SOG’s choice to mill out very large voids in the liners and likely the use of polymer for several parts of the knife including the scales, backspacer, and even the thumb studs.
Those polymer thumb studs are actually very comfortable to use and the blade deploys easily when using them. In fact, I greatly prefer them to the flipper tab that this knife also includes.
The scales have diagonal, grooved texture that offers a ton of grip without being aggressive or hard on your pockets. They are relatively thick and well-contoured. The polymer scales are affixed to the steel liners via internal, nested screws. SOG also chose to affix a small section of scale to liner-turned-frame-lock which improves the comfort in this area. This is the kind of innovative thing that can and should be done with polymer handles!
The 440C used in the Tellus FLK’s broad, drop point blade is easy to resharpen and seems relatively tough. The height of the blade, coupled with a nearly full-height flat grind allows the blade to really thin out behind the edge. This knife cuts better than a lot of knives with even thinner stock thanks to this cutting geometry. It is impressive in this regard.
The pocket clip is reversible and offers a ton of clearance for pockets with chunkier fabrics. The position is somewhat low on the knife which, for me at least, allows it to fall in a comfortable part of my grip rather than being way out toward the edge of my hand.
The blade locks up solidly though there is some slight side-to-side play which is typical for larger bladed folders with ball-bearing pivots.
All of that sounds pretty good (and it is) but there are a few design choices that leave me scratching my head. First, I am little confused by the use of a ball-bearing pivot given the “outdoor workhorse” intentions of the Tellus FLK. Boring old PB washers would like stand up to fouling more readily and might have even been cheaper. Second, the pivot screws on this knife are fairly large but they went with a T6 driver… and that fits kind of loose. Be careful when adjusting the pivot on this knife. Again, different hardware might have made more sense for this design.
This knife offers a combination of features that make it very attractive at the price: standout ergonomics, tough stainless steel, great cutting geometry, and multiple deployment methods. It is also significantly larger than a lot of knives in this price range and that is worth something if you need a larger knife for your application.
I like the Tellus FLK so much that I could see choosing this over other classic, low-cost work knives like the RAT 1 just based on just how much knife you get for the money. I’m impressed.
I purchased the SOG Tellus FLK with my own money, from Amazon: SOG Tellus FLK