I have been a long time fan of anything to do with Cold War clandestine operations, Tech-Ops, and tradecraft, I have every book, documentary or magazine that even remotely mentions this; lined up in the library at DVM HQ.
Minox cameras, pens with hidden Garrotes, tape recorders hidden in briefcases, microdots and poison tipped umbrellas are just a few of the pimp gadgets the OSS threw together in some “Q-Like” Skunkworks lab no doubt hidden in a basement somewhere in Northern Virginia. When it came to hiding tradecraft tools into everyday objects the OSS was the golden standard.
I guess it was a combination of growing up during the ass-end of the Cold War in the late 80’s and Q in the James Bond movies that really sparked my interest in spy tools used by the OSS and CIA.
One of the neatest OSS Toys was the OSS Thumb Dagger, a small double edge knife meant to be used as a last ditch weapon or E&E tool. The OSS Thumb Dagger has a thin leather sheath that could be sewn inside a Lapel or Sleeve making it hard to find if someone frisked an agent.
It was really a clever little idea, and recently a few versions based on it have popped up here and there. Most are small double-bladed knives that require a sheath just like the original OSS Thumb Dagger. But one version made by Triple Eight Professional called the S.O.L. Knife has a cool handle that rotates completely to enclose the blade [sort of like a folder] negating the need for a separate sheath.
Just like the original OSS Thumb Dagger the 888 Professional S.O.L. Knife has a small double edged blade [1.25” Heat treated AUS8 Stainless Steel]. But unlike the original OSS Version, the S.O.L. Knife is completely blacked out and has a partially serrated side giving it a slick and updated look. The handle is made of 420 Stainless Steel and features a key ring/lanyard ring and pocket clip.
What really makes this knife interesting is the unique rotating action called the “T8P Spinner Action” that spins around and encloses the blade. It is hard to explain how it works so take a look at the pictures and check out the video review below to see it in action.
When you first get the S.O.L. Knife the Spinner Action is a bit stiff, but after opening and closing it for a while it becomes smooth as silk. If you want to accelerate this process all you need to do is give it a shot of WD-40. I really like the T8P Spinner Action, in fact it is sort of addictive, as I find myself flicking it open and closed when I am just sitting around. After a bit of practice you can come up with a bunch of different ways to open and close it one handed [it sort of reminds me of playing with a Balisong].
I have been carrying a S.O.L. Knife daily here in Iraq for 3 months now and it has held up great. I generally use it for opening packages, screwing and unscrewing stuff, wedging things open, popping the tabs on MOLLE Clips and the usual EDC tasks you would use a knife for.
Throughout the past 3 months of field testing no pieces came loose, bent, chipped or any other problems. Pretty kick-ass especially considering how bad I beat the shit out of knives here in Iraq.
Besides using the S.O.L. as an EDC it would make for a good last ditch and/or easily concealable weapon for E&E just like its predecessor the original OSS Thumb Dagger. I am aware of some EP/PSD guys who carry these stashed behind their tie or in other places
I actually carried this concealed in my shoe for a couple of days when I was in Amman, Jordan last month. I thought it would be a handy thing to have from an E&E perspective because you just never know what could happen when you are an “Infidel” like me traveling in the Middle East. It clipped perfectly to the inside of my Chuck Taylors and was so comfortable I didn’t even notice it even after walking around all day long.
Overall the 888 Professional S.O.L. Knife is a really cool blade with an interesting pedigree stretching back to Old School Cold War Spies during the birth of modern clandestine operations.
One other neat thing about the 888 Professional S.O.L. Knife is you can have your company, unit, agency or club logo laser etched onto the handle by 888 Professional at the factory. We went ahead and had a handful etched with the DVM logo, the laser etching looks way clean and really pops against the black handle.
888 Professional S.O.L. Knife
Around 30 bucks
Founder – Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and watching spy flicks. James G. on FACEBOOK