I recently tested the SOG Snarl, a neck knife designed by Jason Brous in collaboration with SOG. The Snarl is a one-piece sheepsfoot blade with two generously-sized knuckle holes for a handle.
SOG Speciality Knives and Tools collaborated to make the Snarl a mass produced knife with the same attention to quality to retain the Brous name.
Designed for belt or neck carry, the SOG Snarl uses 9Cr18MoV at a Rockwell hardness of 58-60. Its overall length is 4.3” and the blade weighs 1.9 ounces. If that sounds a little heavy for the blade length, it is because it’s .25” thick. Now that you’ve heard this, go out to your garage, get your calipers and check the thickness of your favorite duty knife. The SOG Snarl is probably thicker.
Fantastic, Functional Design
Jason Brous is a young knife maker who has established himself with some of the most eye-catching and functional designs in the industry. His designs are often described as “fantasy knives” but I think they are ergonomic works of art which give the user a mechanical cutting advantage.
The Snarl locks into the hand using the finger rings and the design offers dozens of different optional grips. I found I could thrust the reinforced point through wallboard, plywood, and various other household products. It was easy to control the blade, with a significant amount of tip accuracy.
The blade is compact, but users can use all of it, and the jimping on the backbone improves the grip. The grind is steep enough to be razor sharp, and robust enough for slicing packaging or auto seats.
I have always carried a neck knife. I know that this knife comes with a belt clip option, but its intentional design is self-fulfilling. It’s a neck knife. A neck knife goes far beyond a last ditch tool: It’s one of the handiest in the kit, guaranteeing the operator will always have one-handed cutting tool.
Effective and Reliable
I rate neck knives by how safely they can be carried, how quickly they can be deployed, and how effective and reliable they are.
There are a few considerations users must know. For example, vest or plate carriers should have a layer of material between the knife and body while in uniform. I found this out the hard way when the weight of the vest drew the knife while I was in foot pursuit.
The Snarl has an effective nylon sheath that allows for several positions — this one’s not going to come out accidently.
The Snarl is asymmetric and a user can orient it quickly without looking. Starting the draw by running the thumb down the chain from the neck can easily deploy it. The molded sheath is stiff and strong enough to cradle the blade with a positive friction fit.
Neck knives don’t usually have the spine his knife has. The advantage to a patrol officer is the fact that it’s stiff enough to wedge a door or de-construct a windshield, with a little help from a nearby rock or similar tool.
The SOG Snarl is durable — in fact, it’s indestructible — and I think it’s THE neck knife for patrol.