Ergonomics and shapes

What is the ergonomics and shape on a knife and why. All the text is from my personal feel and research.

 

Ergonomics on a handle and blade serves the purpose for what the knife was made for.

I will talk some on the 130mm New Ranger design with evolution and grip. The handle design is made to be safe and comfortable in many different situations and for the different uses. It is made to fit as best as it can for the different positions and for all the functions. Quality is a factor = safety.

Next is how nice it looks for the eye and that one may use different colors for the personal and different situations and needs. It is important to remember that the balance between how nice it look and the ergonomics and quality must be there. The thickness and number of functions influence the ergonomics.

An ergonomic handle prevents slipping and thus prevents injuries. The handle scales on a Swiss Army Knife is usually made of strong plastics and rubber and it is responsible for all the information written above. It does not serve the purpose of giving strength and stability so much for the SAK. If so it is very minor. The handle is the face outward and holds the emblem or additional functions hidden in them.

The use of press fit scales and strong plastics are already usually the best material and design that could be used on a SAK. Plastic and rubber does not make the hand cold or to hot usually, depending on the surroundings and climate. Water is no problem for the plastic or rubber. The use of press fit scales makes it possible for the Swiss Army Knife to flex. By this I mean that the construction under more hard use may flex or bend.

The design of the blade is very important for what it is made to be used for. The steel, edge and shape are responsible for this. The ergonomics of the handle is very much related to the shape of the blade and functions.

Usually the ergonomics of a handle is made for the average hands. On the New Rangers or old Rangers for that matter the handle would fit very well from medium to larger hands.

In the history of knives we can see a multitude of different shapes and designs. Enormous amounts of materials used. The shape and design of the handle are not always made to be the most ergonomic. This can be because of traditions or for other reasons as well.

If we look on a traditional scandi then we see a very good handle made to be as best as it can for use for most tasks. The handle is very important on a traditional knife. There is no need to make the “tollekniv” handle better. It is already perfected by history.

When Wenger changed the design of the little red Swiss Army Knife then people reacted. If we look upon the result of making the evolution handle then many would agree it was smart and useful. It is very difficult to make the ergonomics and design to be perfect on a large SAK because of the use of many functions in one pack.  On a medium thick 130mm RangerGrip the ergonomics is very nice and comfortable. It looks very good!

It is not so that Wenger just changed the shape of the SAK because they needed a running change and that the economy was down. It was done to make it better.

The ergonomics and handle shape very much influence the safety and comfort. If the design is correct it will prevent fatigue in the hand.

Update stability

In the text about on ergonomics I wrote: “An ergonomic handle prevents slipping and thus prevents injuries. The handle scales on a Swiss Army Knife is usually made of strong plastics and rubber and it is responsible for all the information written above. It does not serve the purpose of giving strength and stability so much for the SAK. If so it is very minor. The handle is the face outward and holds the emblem or additional functions hidden in them”

I will explain.

Wenger used different types of attaching for the plastic scales in history. The normal little 85mm Swiss Army Knife can under hard use bend or flex slightly. I believe everyone that have used a SAK know that it is a very useful and well made. This is a philosophy that Wenger incorporated in the design of the knife and handles. I believe they used different attaching types not only because of production and economy reasons. I believe the different types of attaching are related to the ability for the plastic to flex or bend without warping or break.

When Wenger made the new Rangers they really boosted up everything and made one of the strongest knives possible. This knife is made for extensive use. The use of steel and aluminum liners makes this knife more sturdy also. This construction may under hard stress or use also flex slightly. This means that the plastic must be able to flex with it without damage.

The plastic scales itself does not make the knife stronger in the sense that it make the construction of the SAK stronger. If I do it is only very minor.

What is very important with the handle is the design, ergonomics and shape of the plastic handles is the stability it gives in the hand. The Ranger is very comfortable and stabile in the hand. It is a very good design. It also allows the use of stronger gripping when it is needed.

handle update

The Wenger scales are sunk in a way that hides the side plates or liners. By doing so the problem with sharp edges or the small factory warping is avoided. The design and ergonomics of the handle can be made better because it allows a larger design.

Press fit

In the ergonomics and shape text I did mention:

“The use of press fit scales and strong plastics are already usually the best material and design that could be used on a SAK. Plastic and rubber does not make the hand cold or to hot usually, depending on the surroundings and climate. Water is no problem for the plastic or rubber. The use of press fit scales makes it possible for the Swiss Army Knife to flex. By this I mean that the construction under more hard use may flex or bend”

I will explain:

I would first like to mention open rivets or press fit scales. For production reasons press fit handles is the best. Open rivet knives with plastic scales are still made today and it is a good design. What is most important is the ability to change the handles if damaged or if people like to have a different color on their SAK. This would be very difficult with the open rivet design.

Water or moist is never a problem with plastics and rubber and it can take different liquids without discoloration and it can flex.

assembly update

On the Wenger Graft knives the complete handle is made of a plastic type. It is a cost effective design and strong.

Some more why press fit scales are the best on for example the Rangers. I have already explained that the possibility to change the handle is there. It is not difficult to remove a damage handle scale and replace it with a new. For production reasons press fit is effective and it is what I call self adjusting when it is press fitted onto the bushings. It is important that the plastic or material used will be able to hold onto the bushings without breaking loose and hence causing a warping. The Wenger material used works very well. The use of rivets with bushings is a very effective and strong assembly of a SAK. It is almost impossible to pull it apart. By this I mean the construction and not the handle scales.

Liquids update

 

I can also mention that the Wenger scales can take very cold or hot weather.

In my article i wrote:

"Water or moist is never a problem with plastics and rubber and it can take different liquids without discoloration and it can flex"

By this i mean normal foods, saltwater and water. Solvents and industrial acids it can not take. The material used on the Rangers is made to take what is expected from different use outdoors.

Oh and lock

The one hand opening blade on the Rangers is not the fastest to open but it works well.

The design and shape of the handle vs. the blade is very nice on both the plain edge and OH blade.

The push button on the Rangers is only for releasing the lock for closing the blade. It is not made to open the blade. The ergonomics and shape of the handle is correct so it is very difficult by accident to push the button emblem with the result of folding the blade. It is a very innovative knife!

Left or right hand update

 

I am right-handed but when using the SAK I can use both hands. Opening and closing the blade is absolutely best for right-handed people.

Blade

In my article i wrote:

“The design of the blade is very important for what it is made to be used for. The steel, edge and shape are responsible for this. The ergonomics of the handle is very much related to the shape of the blade and functions”

I will explain:

Wenger designed an edge and shape of the blade that can be used as a multi-purpose blade for the outdoors. Because it is a larger blade it can be used as the only tool or knife in your pack.

The shape of the blade on the new Rangers is different than on the old Rangers. I do not know for sure and I can only describe my personal feel from use that the steel on the new is better. Even if we take in the different shape and edge factors it does feel different in the ability to cut. It is very easy to sharpen!

Old and new

There are some parts on the old and new Rangers that are the same or look the same. The new was designed new from A-Z. It is a very innovative knife and tool.

The old did also have press fit scales like the new and it is a very good knife. It is boring compared to the new design.

Wenger handle scales

 

There is also one other factor about the handle scales. I did mention that the Wenger handle scales are sunk partially on the side liners. This does not make the construction itself on the SAK stronger. This is explained in my article.

The sunk handle scales:

“The Wenger scales are sunk in a way that hides the side plates or liners. By doing so the problem with sharp edges or the small factory warping is avoided. The design and ergonomics of the handle can be made better because it allows a larger design”

I would like to add that there is another factor or advantage with this. It will in some cases relieve the pressure on the bushings and during hard gripping relieve some pressure.

 

Handle design update

In my article and updates I wrote about many factors of interest:

“Wenger used different types of attaching for the plastic scales in history”

If we look upon press fit or similar attaching with for example the Wenger 85mm category we can see that they used different types in history. The normal press fit over the bushing or the one with attaching on the liner as well.

I believe for production, cost and quality reasons Wenger used different types of attaching. The reason was to have a handle scale that would be the best possible for the quality of use.

The liner attached scales are not easy to replace and require special tools or knowledge to be able to put them on. There are variations of it in history.

The normal press fit to be used over the bushings are the best for me. The handle scales are in history an important part for why the Swiss Army Knife is even greater today. Productions, cost and knife construction are factors for why it was changed. For me a private researcher it is obvious that for whatever reason they changed the open rivet to no rivet design made the SAK even more versatile and multipurpose. I really understand why this was used on the larger knives because it is the best way for sure.

 

 

 

17.02.2016

Wenger did put very much work into the handle design on the new products from 2005 and up until 2013. The design on the New Rangers and especially the RangerGrip are special to me. In the history on SAKs and the Wenger products the handle design and methods of attaching them to the construction and knives are very interesting. The counter sunk handle scales are important for the over-all construction. The durability and strength of this design proved 100% from use and functionality. Wenger designed the new Rangers from A-Z and that includes everything, the extra strength and materials on the scales are high-tech. There are much knowledge behind the counter sunk design and how they are attached to the side plates and rivet head bushings. In some sense some feel the 130mm knives that got more functions get a bit bulky in the hand. They are made to be used in all directions and for all the functions. I do agree that there is a limit for how many functions the 130mm can have to be ergonomic and functional. The 3 layer Wenger New Ranger knives are superb for functionality and ergonomics. The evolution handle design and how it is thicker on top secures a safe grip and it signals the hand for stability. For sure the handles does not make the knife itself and functions stronger, it secures the comfort, functionality and ergonomics instead. How ever the strong material and design with counter sunk design are important for the over-all quality anyhow.

 

Ergonomics of the handle influence the cutting ability in combination with the blade edge and blade geometry.

This is complicated and difficult to explain but the New Ranger blade design is super high tech because it creates an ability to cut. Basically the handle evolution design helps the cutting performance and how much force you have to apply to make a cut. This proves that handle design and ergonomics play a role in the cutting performances.

 

 

 

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