Delémont knives update
The new knives made by Victorinox in Delémont are already well known on the
market. It is time for a follow up article on the new products. Today I will discuss the 130mm Ranger knives made by Victorinox. I will mention again some historic facts and development.
have discussed some about the two Brand philosophies used in the history of Swiss Army Knives. It seems this is clearly seen on the new products called Delémont knives. One of the key features by Wenger was the combination “flexibility and hardness
on the steel” I have no doubts that they upgraded the steel when they introduced the New Rangers in 2007. The steel is durable, corrosion resistant, easy to sharpen, get very sharp and it is very flexible. In other words it was advanced and a rather
unusual steel in the knife world. I have tested every aspect of that particular steel. I have never gotten the complete information on the HRC that most likely is 56-58 on that scale. What is most interesting is the strong flexibility on this steel. This is
best felt when force is applied. With the New Rangers in 2007 Wenger also introduced stronger rivets. There are absolutely no wear or any change on the tested knives. The New Rangers was a perfection and completion of The Brand philosophy on a product for
the outdoors that represents the ultimate achievement.
I have gathered some information from various sources on the new products made by Victorinox in the Delémont plant. Immediately
I can say that we again have the two philosophies involved and one ended. The clear changes for the eye is the awl, can opener, the more slim scales, locking mechanism and the introduction of toothpick and tweezers. There are also changes on the liners, dividers
and other details. I am rather sure that the stainless steel used on the knives, functions and springs are not the same. The rivets are also changed. There is no doubt that the new SAKs made by Victorinox are very well made and they are interesting. If I would
have received a question on what is better? The answer is simple. The Wenger New Ranger and the Victorinox Ranger are equally best. They really cannot be compared because they represent two different philosophies made to have the best functionality for the
same tasks. That may sound complicated, what I mean is what a company feel is the best for the outdoors and that includes traditions, history and knowledge. What is left of the 130mm knives made by Wenger is the main advanced design. Victorinox have the best
knowledge on the steel and materials used by the Ibach factory and they are world class. Wenger had the best knowledge on the stainless steel and materials for their philosophy. Wenger is now gone. The New Rangers by Wenger are historic knives and they achieved
perfection. Ibach and Delémont are now really the same and this includes most materials used.
There are also small changes on the grind for the main blade that influence the cutting
performances; this is also a philosophy difference.
I have studied the two Brand philosophies to the extreme and do not forget that they have been competitors and this is now gone.
The Wenger New Rangers hit the market in Norway with big success and especially the Hunter tools. They competed and were equal to the best multi-tools in the world for the outdoors. The knife blades
with steel were above the others.
It would only be guess work what influence Victorinox had for the products during the takeover until 2013. I have received signals that say
they actually were an independent entity during the takeover years. There are no doubt that the Ranger construction and design is Wenger. The introduction in 1991 on the older knives is the evidence. Wenger was a company that had financial trouble many times
in its history. They went bankrupt in the early 2000s. I look upon the takeover years by Victorinox as a time when Wenger finally fulfilled the product; it gave them stability to go all the way with their product. It cost money and we collectors and enthusiasts
on SAKs should give tribute for that deed. Many do not agree with the complete merging and I am also in the mindset still that it would be best to have the two philosophies head butting each other for what the
evolution should be on them. Now we only have one. “Victorinox have always been the biggest and most professional company”
It is time to move on and Wenger SAKs are history
and this opens new collectability on them. My latest Wenger knife is one more of the Pink scaled RangerGrip knives and they were introduced late in the history and they are collectable for the color alone.
“The New Ranger knives made by Wenger should not be under estimated, it is absolutely one of the best SAKs I have ever used”