SOG Tellus line offers down-to-earth outdoor blades at down-to-earth prices.
SOG has a long history of making solid military and tactical blades, and the company still makes a lot of things geared toward those markets. Its knives also have found a following with outdoorsmen and folks who are more inclined to hike, camp, and hunt than they are to assault an enemy position in some far-off war zone. If you happen to fall into the latter category, then SOG’s Tellus line is made just for you.
WELCOME TO THE SOG TELLUS
SOG’s Tellus line consists of both fixed-blade and folding options, so you can pick what works best for you. You have some color options in both styles, too, so you can pick what you like from Wolf Gray, Blaze Orange, and Olive Drab in both knife styles.
“SOG has done a great job on the design of the Tellus series…Fit and finish are very good, and the balance of quality materials to price point is excellent.”
The FX is the fixed-blade option and the FLK is the folder. Both share wide drop-point blades with a false swedge. They’re made from CRYO 440C stainless steel with a 58-60 Rockwell, and they have a high, flat grind and a stonewashed finish. SOG actually calls them clip points, but I’m going to stick to the drop-point description. Take a look and decide for yourself. Either way, it’s a nice, useful blade shape with a lot of belly and a sturdy tip.
Handles are of GRN (glass-reinforced nylon) that’s grooved for an improved grip. Handle designs are similar and incorporate a finger groove just behind the integral guard. Both knives have jimping that starts at the top of the handle and continues on to the knife’s spine. There’s another set of jimping at the pommel of the knife. A steel-lined lanyard hole is present on both knives.
The FX has a 4.2-inch blade that is 0.147-inch thick. Its overall length is 9 inches and its weight is 6.7 ounces. The handle is just under 5 inches and well contoured for a comfortable, secure grip. My example had Olive Drab grip scales.
The FX comes with a nylon sheath fitted with SOG’s UMS (Universal Mounting System) and an adjustable clip that will work on your belt, pack strap, or webbing. The Tellus positively locks into the sheath through retention around the guard of the knife. A thumb ramp on the sheath gives you a spot to apply pressure to easily pop the knife free when you want it.
There is also a series of slots and holes available for mounting or lashing the sheath in other ways or for attaching accessories such as a fire steel to the sheath. The sheath is a sage green color that I think looks fine in and of itself, but the fact that it doesn’t match the handle colors of the knives bothers my OCD a little bit.
The FLK has a 3.65-inch blade that’s just a touch thinner at 0.145-inch thick. Its overall length opened is 8.4 inches and 4.8 inches when closed. My example had Wolf Gray handle scales over a frame lock. The FLK uses an open-frame design to keep dirt out and to make the knife easy to clean. It had a nice contrasting orange spacer between the frame, and orange thumb studs. There is also a flipper that acts as a guard when the knife is open, if you prefer to use that system to deploy your knife.
The action is smooth and the blade rolls open with just a flick of either the flipper or thumb stud. You can hear the lock engage with a “snick,” and it keeps the blade safely in the open position. There is no discernible blade play when opened. The blade is reasonably well centered when closed, and the polymer spacer in the frame ensures the blade edge doesn’t contact metal when closed. A well-designed, deep-carry pocket clip is set up for tip-up carry and can be switched for right- or left-hand carry.
The MSRP on the Tellus line is very reasonable with the fixed-blade FX listing at only $59.95 and the folding FLK at $49.95.
DIRT TIME WITH THE TELLUS
The Tellus design is made for the outdoors, and these knives are listed at a price point that makes you want to use the knives, not baby them. Either one would be a good choice for hiking or camping so it really comes down to what you prefer. Some folks like the solidity of a fixed blade, while others prefer the compactness of a folder. With the same blade shape, same material construction, and similar size, one doesn’t have a strong advantage over the other in performance.
“Spending time hiking, camping, hunting, or just exploring is a great way to connect with the earth, and the Tellus knives are great tools to help you do just that.”
I tend to like a fixed blade in the woods so leaned that way for any extended outings in the woods. With that said, I’d consider the FLK as a very viable option for day hikes and general EDC use. If you carry an FLK routinely and then either add or switch to a FX when you hit the woods, you’re going to have the advantage of being familiar with both the feel and performance already.
The knives came with excellent factory edges that would easily shave hair right out of the box. All of the sharp edges were knocked off of both knives, which were very comfortable in the hand. The only minor downside to that on a bushcraft-style field knife I see is that the rounded spine will not strike a ferro rod. So if you do keep one of those in your kit, make sure you have another striker for it.
I really liked the blade shape on the Tellus. There’s plenty of straight edge for slicing or carving, but it rolls into a tip with plenty of belly, which should work great for game processing, too, if you’re a hunter. The handles proved quite comfortable to me and my hand dropped onto them with my thumb resting naturally on the jimping. Both worked equally well for routine cutting tasks such as packages, cordage, tape, basic camp meal prep, and whittling and carving.
The FX is plenty strong but doesn’t have the mass for chopping. It did do well in snap cuts on branches and, while I didn’t try batoning it, I suspect that the high flat grind and blade thickness just over an eighth of an inch would work really well. I wouldn’t try it with the folder, just on principle, but I wouldn’t hesitate with the fixed FX.
Although the Tellus line seems geared toward the woods, the FLK would be a great EDC knife too if you like a bit bigger, chunkier folder. The pocket clip slid on and off the pocket lip easily and held the knife securely in place. It seated the knife deep enough that it wasn’t obvious you were carrying a big folder. At just under 6 ounces, the FLK wasn’t a lightweight, but neither was it a brick in the pocket. It carried easily enough, and I like its non-tactical appearance. Even though the handle colors are muted, the orange accents give it more of an outdoor vibe, and despite its size, I think it’s less likely to spook non-knife people.
SOG has done a great job on the design of the Tellus series. They have a design that stays consistent in both fixed and folder variations that’s well suited to general utility use. Fit and finish are very good, and the balance of quality materials to price point is excellent. The price of both models is quite affordable for most folks, and it’s priced so that you’ll want to take these knives out and use them in the dirt, just like the name suggests.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
I’m always curious about the naming conventions of knives. Sometimes companies keep it simple with basic model numbers. That definitely makes things easy, but it isn’t always catchy for consumers to remember. Coming up with good names can be hard. Having designed or worked on the design of a number of knives, I’ve struggled with that myself. Spoiler: My knife names aren’t super exciting. Other folks do better than me though, and sometimes the name can be telling as to the intended use of the knife.
It turns out that four years of high school Latin wasn’t totally useless as I recognized the name Tellus when I saw it. Tellus was an early Roman goddess of the earth, and the name itself means ground, earth, or soil. SOG gives a clue as to the intended use of the Tellus line with this name. While you could use the fixed blade, and especially the folder, for EDC use, they really come into their own out on the field. These knives are designed to be used in the outdoors. Spending time hiking, camping, hunting, or just exploring is a great way to connect with the earth, and the Tellus knives are great tools to help you do just that.
Model: SOG Tellus FX
Type: Fixed Blade
Overall Length: 9 inches
Blade Length: 4.2 inches
Weight: 6.7 ounces
Blade Steel: CRYO 440C with stonewashed finish
Configuration: Clip point with plain edge
Handle Material: Olive drab GRN
Model: SOG Tellus FLK
Type: Folding knife
Overall Length: 8.4 inches
Blade Length: 3.65 inches
Closed Length: 4.8 inches
Weight: 5.8 ounces
Blade Steel: CRYO 440C with stonewashed finish
Configuration: Clip point with plain edge
Locking Mechanism: Frame lock
Opening Mechanism: Thumb stud, flipper
Other: Reversible low-carry pocket clip
Handle Material: Wolf Gray GRN
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