Many people on forums have complained about the shift of production of SOG knives from Seki, Japan to Taiwan and China. There has been a decline of discussions on the SOG forums lately, as compared to forums of other knife manucaturers. There are also calls for SOG to bring back the old vintage models and old Japanese steels (eg. Sk-5), which many SOG collectors would agree was the golden age of SOG knife production.
Though SOG has argued that they are doing this so as to save on labour costs, some have complained about the difference in quality of SOG knives. Complains of Gov-Tacs' tips breaking now number 3. SOG knives breaking was something unheard of in the olden days. Maybe it is due to the design of the knife, but many doubt so. There have also been complaints regarding SOG folders having lateral and horizontal blade play on the forums. Some of the knives with blade play include the SOG Trident folder and the Flash 2. Even though these folders are Made in USA, there seems to be some quality issues - something quite shocking especially to long time SOG fans.
What SOG has done now is to move their main production to Taiwan, while retaining production of multi-tools in USA and some exclusive limited edition models (eg. SOG Commemorative Bowie and SOG Vulcan) in Japan. The sad truth is, the price of the exclusive models are quite highly priced (even for SOG Collectors) compared to their original models. One would hesitate using such models keep them for collection sake, a far cry from 20 years back where high quality Japanese-made knives were meant to be used as reasonably-priced knives.
SOG is in a league of its own, very much geared towards the casual outdoor user and military personnel, unlike Busse, Benchmade, Swamp Rat etc. It does not just specialize in fixed blades (which it started off successfully in) but has now diversified into folders and multi-tools. This may explain why SOG may not be following in the footsteps of other knife manufacturers like Bark River Knives and Benchmade, both of which use modern materials like G-10, micarta and high quality (though slightly more expensive) steel.
Recently SOG has been pulling up its socks and has been engaging its consumers and users instead of having a manufacturer and end-user relationship. It has also been trying to engage the SOG Collectors by producing quite a few limited production models such as the 'Stingray with stingray hide inlay' and 'Blunto (Red)', though priced quite dearly. It also recently held a "Customer Appreciation Day" where people could come down to see what SOG was about and they offered free sharpening services at the funfair.