By: James Veldt
As kind of an EDC gear geek, I am normally pretty loaded down. Between my favorite pocket knife, Leatherman, compact flashlight, phone, and wallet my pants are, well, busy. While this load out works fine for most days at work as a technician, when it comes time for a more formal event I pretend not to notice the look of exasperation from my wife when she sees everything on my belt or keep the little lady happy and go without.
Enter the SOG Bladelight Folder Mini. While I still have to suffer through an evening without the comfort of a true multi-tool on my side, the bladelight fills its role admirably. On an evening out or other situations that call for a low-key approach I can still have a knife and light (the two tools I use most) in a compact form factor.
The Bladelight Folder Mini features a 3” blade, liner-lock and a reversible deep carry clip. All in all pretty standard until you notice the two LED lights on either side of the blade. The lights put out 45 max lumens powered by 4 cr2032 batteries concealed in the handle and switched by a small button on the left-hand scale.
When I first received it I was somewhat skeptical about if I would really want to use it, I have grown accustomed to having a full-sized folder with me as well as a powerful flashlight. Nevertheless I committed to going a full week with the Bladelight taking the place of two tools. As the week went by I continuously found this little guy to be endlessly useful. The blade was plenty sharp for all of my day to day tasks and held its edge well. Although I didn’t have many occasions to need the knife and light at the same time, the one time I did I was happy to have the combination in one hand, saving me from having to hold a light in my mouth while working with my hands. I also started to realize that though there are times I need a high-powered light, most of my tasks don’t need anything more than what the bladelight offers. The handle isn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever held, but it definitely wasn’t uncomfortable for everyday use either. It is rated at IPX-4 for water resistance, and I used it out in the rain with no problems arising.
The light is said to have a runtime of 240 minutes, which ought to be plenty for the short times of use it is generally designed for. However, I either left the light on while putting it away, or it got bumped on while in my pocket and the next time I pulled it out the lights were very dim. Hard to criticize the knife for my mistake, but was still inconvenient seeing that I don’t generally have a lot of button cells stocked, and there are a lot of screws (10) to remove to replace them. The only other criticism I can offer is that although the clip is reversible, actuating the light button while holding in my left hand was an awkward movement.
I ended up really liking this small knife/light combo and though I don’t know that I will continue to use it every day, it will certainly give my belt some reprieve on evenings and weekends.
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.