If your thinking about combat knives the SOG Gov-Tac should be a part of that thought process. SOG makes their knives and designs the specifically for fighting and combat situations. It goes without saying that the Gov-Tac is made to be used as a tool in the field and as a fighting knife.
SOG is a company that was created by Spencer Frazer about 25 years ago and since then they have been making some of the most trusted knives carried into the field today. Companies like Ka-Bar, ESEE, and Gerber are all a producing great knives and that fact drives SOG to keep producing some of the highest quality knives possible.
We’re reviewing the Gov-Tac because we feel it’s a knife that should be recognized for its ability in combat and as a tool. It’s also one of the many knives in SOG’s arsenal that hold up to their standard of what a combat knife should be. With that said, let’s get into it and show you what were talking about.
SOG Gov-Tac Blade length, Overall Length, and Weight
When it comes to a knife that your going to be taking with you into a place where you may need to put your life in its hands it definitely helps when it’s large and looks intimidating. The Gov-Tac is anything but small, at 11.40 inches overall it’s a large knife that shows it strength at the first glance. It’s built tough enough to be used as a tool and long enough to strike an enemy just over an arms length.
The blade itself makes up over half of the knife and is sharpened to a razors edge. At 6.10 inches, the blade on the Gov-Tac is about as much blade as you’ll need in any combat situation. That is of course unless you’re in a stealth situation then you may want something smaller or something that comes in black and will be harder to be seen by an enemy.
With a black TiNi coating you can find a stealthy knife in the Gov-Tac also. You can see it pictured below.
Both versions of the Gov-Tac (Bead Blasted Pictured at the top of this page and TiNi Coated pictured here) are the same weight. Both versions weigh 9.60 ounces and for a knife this size it’s fairly light which is great because if it’s going to be carried long distances, weight does matter.
Gov-Tac Steel, Tang, and Blade Thickness
Now just because this knife doesn’t weigh a lot it doesn’t mean that it’s not strong. The Gov-Tac is made with AUS-8 Steel. AUS-8 is know for its durability and steel hardness. This steel will keep your knife in great condition when it’s being used as a tool for prying or hammering and can also hold a fine edge for a long amount of time.
AUS-8 is known to be tough to sharpen but it’s also known for its ability, when sharpened, to hold that sharp edge for a long time. Another great quality of this type of steel is that it doesn’t rust or corrode easily so it can be used in wet conditions and will need little maintenance. It’s strong, durable, and stays sharp for a long time even though it may take some time to sharpen it.
As for the tang of the Gov-Tac it’s not exactly full tang but more of a stick tang. We say “not exactly” and “more of a” because the tang is a thick piece of metal that runs down the length of the handle to the butt cap. However, its smaller than you average full tang knife and almost looks like stick tang. The “stick” itself though is very thick barring the cutouts for the handle to fit over it.
Our humble opinion would say that this is a full/stick tang knife giving it the benefits of both and no downfalls. The Gov-Tac has many videos (that we’ll include below) of it being used for batoning wood so it can be used safely for this purpose. Keep in mind that our review of the Gov-Tac is for it’s use in combat so batoning wood is not always something that’s needed in a combat situation. With that being said you may need to use it in a similar fashion to batoning wood in a combat situation which is why we wanted to address this.
The blade thickness of the Gov-Tac is about .20 inches thick and give the knife it’s strong character. At .20 inches thick it’s great for prying things open and penetrating surfaces to create a hold for whatever you may need it for. The AUS-8 steel combined with a blade this thick give this knife the strength and durability you need to depend upon in a fighting or combat situation.
Handle and Sheath
When it comes to handles the Gov-Tac may be a step above the Ka-Bar USMC in this department (Yes, we know this is debatable depending on hand size and preference). The Gov-Tac has a handle made out of textured Kraton which is a material that is similar to plastic but allows it to be very grippy when wet or dirty and it doesn’t absorb moisture.
The textured Kraton handle is also shaped in a way that allows it to contour to your hand versus the very circular handle of the USMC. We found that it felt better in the hand than the USMC and was easier to grip and use without it feeling like it was going to fly out of your hand. We were using this knife in thrusting,stabbing, and wide swinging motions similar to those used during knife fighting.
The sheath is also made out of Kraton and it’s another component that is built to last and is strong and durable. Looking at the sheath you can see various ways to attach it to a vest, belt, or somewhere on the body like a leg or arm. While its probably best not to attach it to an arm it’s still very possible.
Overall the SOG Gov-Tac is a great knife for combat and only got better as we used it during this review. If you are looking for a knife that will give you dependability, comfort, and is easy to use we can definitely recommend the Gov-Tac.