Locking mechanism



The Wenger packlock mechanism is a very interesting  part and it got variations in history. Our date on this is from 1979 and in catalogues from this year there are many knives with this lock.


I would not be surprised if it is a Wenger invention from 1977 and please feel free to share information if you have inputs.


This lock is only made for the purpose of preventing accidental closing and it is a safety feature for normal use. The release button is easy to see and one only needs to press it down and move the blade into the body of the knife. When the lock is released and blade is in the body the lock serves no purpose. The blade is also held in and out by the spring like usual; the lock is only active in out position.


It is normal that one can move the release button up and down some when the blade is in and out.


On the picture you can see part of the tang on a knife to the left, this is on a wenger knife I have been researching and it got very high precision because there is an extra step, if it is better I do not know.


The packlock is a very incredible invention because it requires miniature precision on an 85mm knife. It is not easy. Only imagine the precision one need to make a normal Swiss Army Knife and now one get the additional parts and locking. And this was done in the late 70s! To make the spring fit into the "tang" part of the blade requires precision. The release button is pressed down to lift the spring out so one may fold the blade in.





The knives on the pictures: the two knives on the bottom is from 1980 +-. The knife on the top to the right is from the early 1990s.


 Bottom picture show the evolution S and (the S111 knife from 2010).

In 2006 Wenger released the Evolution S lock and this is a variation of the packlock mechanism. Only now we get an extra function for the blade. This is a safety feature to prevent the blade to snap over the fingers when releasing the blade. There are a few small other changes on this mechanism. It is a packlock!


Wenger catalogue

Many years ago I did rather much research on the history of Wenger by searching every resource I could find. This I did to do my part there and to share knowledge about the Brand. With Swiss Army Knives there are new inventions and features to increase the safety for users. It is a typical development.

What is for sure is that a locking mechanism was developed to prevent accidental closing. Not only for the blade but also for the screwdrivers new safety features arrived later. This was a push lock system for the screwdrivers. This you can find for the flat screwdriver for example and this is very different from the blade mechanism which is not a push lock.

"In the history it was mentioned in media that it was the first locking mechanism on a Swiss Army Knife"

The Packlock locking system is a locking mechanism that prevents the blade from folding when the blade is in opened position.  It is also a bit interesting with the name for this mechanism. The first information about it appeared from the late 1970s.In different catalogues you will find the mechanism mentioned with this name. Also many times without it and just mentioned to be a safety locking function. Most of the time Wenger only used such a description on it and later in history it was developed further.  Wenger introduced a stop function when closing the blade to prevent it from snapping over the fingers when you fold the blade in. What is for sure is that the features are listed under the Wenger exclusivities. There are only small modifications to the “Packlock” itself.



It is interesting to research and share information. I like this very much! I did research many years ago about patents. It would require some more hard research to be sure. The name Packlock is a designation for the locking blade that Wenger introduced in the late 1970s; you find it on google books in magazines and so forth from 1979. I do believe it is older, probably from 1976-1977. I remember when I exchanged emails with Wenger in Switzerland some years ago that they usually referred to it as securite blade. I also did some patents searches years ago and I discovered how difficult that was. It can be differences between Europe and America too. I also learned that Wenger exclusivities were very important to them. The locking blade we refer to as Packlock is one of them. The name is not used so much in Europe. That said they knew the name still. I hope someone could enlighten us some about it. In some cases a patent needed a name and perhaps this could be the case that in America a name had to be used to identify it. In some cases Wenger North America and Precise as well ran their own game.



There is an evolution on Swiss Army Knives and later in history the locking mechanism « Packlock» added a stop function for the blade when closing. This means it is in theory new.



It can become a real quest to learn what Packlock means. In Wenger manuals and places you find descriptions for releasing the "Packlock" locking blade. Wenger used French but on products they used the main languages.


Wenger used counter-sunk scales....

For followers: Wenger redesigned the «packlock» with the added feature by having the extra stop function when folding the blade in. The extra stop function is an extra safety feature. This is a Wenger exclusivity locking blade. Victorinox continued this Exclusivity with their Delemont line of products after the factory merging. After Wenger used the stop function added then this locking mechanism in reality is new. Then when Victorinox continued it under their name and brand then it is maybe new again. This makes the origin faded but in reality it is the same lock.


It is interesting with Wenger and on this late type manual it is mentioned in several languages. Wenger used many times main languages and more to explain their product for the world. This you can find on the different boxes too.

 On the manual in French it is mentioned about it, this is the type with lock and stop function: grande lame avec blocage de sécurité

In English it is large blade with safety lock system

What Packlock itself means and how it is that such a name fit the description of the late 70s mechanism I am not sure. The late type with stop function is helpful when closing the blade. And also if the lock should fail it is a possibility the secondary stop function could help too.  What is sure is that this mechanism is only to protect against accidental closing and the added stop function increase the safety. I would still call it Packlock and if you look upon the mechanism you discover that it is not so different from a lockback or backlock. I wish it could as easy to say it was an error long time ago by the distributors that it should be backlock. I read one place somebody called it that as well. SAKs are the most educational knives I know about. The Packlock spring fits the tang of the blade and the button push the spring out and then you can fold the blade in. The side of the release mechanism with the button also functions as a stability device and spacer for the blade with spring. It is a bit different to a backlock because of some factors. What is for sure is that it is a very cool and interesting mechanism. No matter what the name packlock is continuing among SAK people. A name that we find all the way back to the late 1970s should be sufficient to continue with this.


I hope to learn who the inventor is but for sure it is typcial Swiss to place mechanisms that is opposite.


Thank you very much for following SAKhome today, i am very grateful for you all. Thats it for today!

25.04.2022 Packlock

This is my latest 85mm Wenger SAK with the packlock system for the main blade. There are some interesting details on this that makes this a possible 1984-1988 made model. This SAK is in very nice condition with only small scratches on the scales. The main blade got some of the older design with the slightly thicker tip section on it. This model is most likely 1 13 51. It was called captain (Kaptein) here in Norway.

Market find

Wenger Swiss Army Knife!





I may have to place this SAK to be 1982-1987 instead for now. 

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OK Sender...

Ralph Hale | Svar 06.10.2020 15.18

Yep - I have seen Packlock in lots of documentation too. It's just as a native English speaker I have NO IDEA what it means! :-O

Trond 06.10.2020 15.47

I agree

Ralph Hale | Svar 06.10.2020 12.33

Hello Again, Tks for reply - Checking later Wenger catalogues eg 2012 in SAKWiki Here it is called the Blade Lock system. Maybe Paclock is an translation error

Trond 06.10.2020 13.50

In the Backpacker 1979, It is mentioned patented Packlock, by Precise. Google books. BR

Trond 06.10.2020 13.35

Wenger europe used French language, It is possible error. Packlock became a name that followed it. It will be interesting to see. BR Trond

Trond 06.10.2020 13.30

Hi, thanks, packlock name was used before, f example by Wenger North America and Precise. Wenger seemed to use it less, sometimes only Securite. BR

Ralph Hale | Svar 13.09.2020 16.04

Hello - Love your site - Please can you clarify if this system called the paclock or padlock system? Thank you

Trond 13.09.2020 20.43

Hi, thank you vert much! Wenger used the name Packlock for the locking mechanism also called Packlock system. Best Regards

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03.01 | 15:26

The 120mm continued after the New Ranger. They had Patent and not pat pend. I say pat pend first then patent next. But! Wenger did many variations! :)

03.01 | 15:08

The old Ranger 120mm is from 1991, on my 1993 it is pat pend I have seen it on 1991 too and Swissbuck as well! Wenger can be a minefield because of variations

03.01 | 15:04

It is a superb question. Wenger used different stamps, some because of european laws. Usually the quality and steel is the same. Which is first? Not sure.

03.01 | 14:48

Hi! Sorry for late answer. I have seen many variations with Wenger, please send pic to trondsak@sakhome.com

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