Studies and Observations Group (SOG) announced the retirement of Spencer Frazer who founded the company in 1986. Frazer, one of the most prolific inventors in the knife industry, will be stepping away from his full-time involvement in the company but will maintain an advisory role moving forward.
Frazer, 64, was the driving design and engineering force behind a wide array of SOG knives and multi-tools, beginning with the company’s first knife, the S1 Bowie that paid homage to the knife U.S. special forces used in Vietnam, eventually naming the company in honor of the unit that originally developed the knife.
Responsible for bringing a high-tech design sensibility to a rather traditional industry, Frazer was one of the leaders in the modern era of knife manufacturing. He combined aesthetics and mechanical function into successful, sophisticated products, many of which have become classics.
“Spencer has been the heart and soul of SOG for 34 years,” said Joe Mc Swiney, CEO of SOG. “He started with the modest goal of reproducing the original MACV-SOG Bowie and from there grew SOG into the flourishing company that it is today. It’s impossible to overstate the influence Spencer has had both on his company and the knife industry as a whole.”
After launching the company with the S1 Bowie, Frazer grew the company’s product line by offering multi-tools, developing collaborations with other noted knife designers and securing military supply contracts. The fixed blade SOG SEAL Pup was designed for the US Navy SEAL knife trials in 1992 and has been used by special operations forces in some of the most dangerous conditions on Earth. He secured a number of SOG’s patented technologies, including Compound Leverage used in most of SOG’s multi-tools, as well as various locking and opening mechanisms. His knives and multi-tools have won numerous awards and accolades driven by his uncanny ability to understand what the knife market needed and through this propelled SOG to be a leader in innovation.
Frazer’s retirement comes as the company completes an aggressive directional change in product and brand which is finally being revealed to the public this month. Frazer said he leaves knowing the company remains in good hands.
“SOG’s future is pushing into an even greater extension of the original intent when it was founded,” Frazer said. “I cannot be prouder of what the company has grown into.”
An artist whose oil paintings have been shown in galleries across the country, Frazer intends to spend his retirement focusing on philanthropy and art, as well as ongoing innovation. He and his family reside in Seattle.