SOG’s Tomcat — the company’s first folding knife — won Knife of the Year in 1988, with innovations that set the bar for large lockbacks. This updated model called the Tomcat 3.0 Carbon Fiber is a limited edition of 450 knives with the same improved features included in the new production model plus high-tech carbon fiber handle slabs.
The Tomcat 3.0 is heavily built for a pocket folder with a large stainless steel bolster and strong stainless steel liners. The strength is the Tomcat’s best feature, with higher quality components extending throughout the build. A 3.75-inch VG-10 blade forged in Seki City, Japan and hardened to Rockwell 59 to 60 gives the knife a totally functional clip point shape.
The blade opens with either hand using the left and right thumb studs at the blade’s base. The opening system includes some of the best safety features available. This isn’t the usual liner lock knife depending on a thin sheet of carbon steel to lock the blade open. SOG’s Arc-lock locks the blade both open and closed with a tempered steel rod. Shift the lock to either end of the lever’s slot to change the Arc-lock’s function. In independent lab tests, this bar-lock supported over 1,000 pounds of force. Few of us will exceed that when using the knife. The knife self-adjusts as the action wears, so with normal maintenance, you can expect the SOG Tomcat 3.0 to perform as well next year as it does today.
Either version of the 3.0 weighs only 6.5 ounces, but that’s still a lot of weight to carry loose in the pocket. The Tomcat 3.0 should be handier carried in its black nylon belt pouch.
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