Combination tool


The combination tool used on the Wenger 85mm SAKs been on my mind from time to time. It is difficult to find a firm date on it. It is some of the same with the combination tool used on the Victorinox 84mm line. I believe 1982 is correct for the main use of it but it was used before and most likely 1980-1982. There are differences in those dates as well and when first introduced is not known 100%. Around 1982 Wenger introduced a push lock flat screwdriver with the cap opener and notch. We must not forget that the two Companies look upon their competition and what tools introduced. With the combination tool for the 85mm Wenger SAKs it is difficult to find the 100% date because even if a tool is introduced at a date for example in the second half of the 1980s it does not mean it could have appeared earlier. On the main basis the Wenger combination tool with the patented push lock seems to be used regularly at the late 1980s period. This combination tool got the lock flat screwdriver, cap opener and can opener. It appears on the Budget line, the Basic line and on the Classic line of the Swiss Army Knives. One of the knives on the pictures today is a Budget model with the hot stamped emblem that is a bit extra small. No tooth pick or tweezers and it got a certain shade to the red color. It is used and got some marks and scratches on the scales. I cleaned, sharpened and oiled this knife and it now got 100% functionality. No functions are bent or broken. It is a nice example I feel. The other knife is from the second half of the 1990s and it is actually labeled 1 62 41 and this is never used. It is in the original box. Another difference is the older one does not have the key ring. I cannot find many with this configuration. Honestly we can be sure that Wenger produced all versions early. This means with key ring or without. Main line models, Basic models and so on. The 1 62 41 got the pad printed emblem. In some cases the Classic line and the basic line of knives floated into each.

If you have any information on the combination tools and types then please feel free to comment or send a message.

Ok, I am very glad to get the hot stamped one with this function because I found some interesting details on it. If you look on the comparison picture of the two you see that the older one is grinded thinner closer to the handle while the more new one is grinded thinner on the middle. This is done for the precision, functionality and design. There are also other differences. The Thickness of the combination tools are pretty much the same with only small differences. You can see the patent stamp is different and so on. The biggest difference on these two SAKs is the size of the slip-joint spring. The older one got a much thicker/wider design. It is also a bit heavier to open with a bit more spring tension. Both got very good tension anyhow. Another difference is that the knife blade on the older one is a bit thicker. It is a bit thicker all the way towards the tip section.


These SAKs are very lightweight and wonderful minimalist knives.

I will for sure have this function in mind and continue to research it.


Another important difference is a detail you will find on several Wenger categories. It is that the thickness of the plastic scales on the more new are thicker compared to the older one. The old one got a thicker spring but more slim over-all in the total construction because of the plastic scales.








Another detail you will find on several Wenger categories is the construction that is a bit tighter in the assembly. In the late 1980s Wenger changed some of the dynamic and production on the Swiss Army Knife. It is not a bad change, it is part of the evolution of the SAKs. Both are nice in my opinion. You can see that some functions become a bit more rounded on the edges. Especially the slip joint spring are rounded. The knife blade gets the W or tree knife logo stamped on the opposite side of the tang. The thickness on the springs on the regular 85mm is not so different.


Both knives show today are about 32 grams. Because the older one got a thicker spring and the more new got thicker plastic scales, key ring and shim they are the same weight which is cool.



I can mention some more on the knife too. The newer got just a bit more metal on the tang outwards and with some very minor extra belly. The over-all thickness is slimmer.

The older blade and the new are both 1,8mm at the tang. These are slim blades and made for EDC. The spacer on the old is just a bit thinner while the blade as i mentioned are a bit thicker all the way towards the tip. At the nail nick area it is 1,4mm on the old and 1,28 on the newer. The older one has seen some use and been sharpened a few times. I would not be surprised if the blades got the same weight.

The biggest difference is the slip-joint spring that is thicker on the old and show the older dynamic and construction. The newer got a more rounded and more slim design on the spring but it got the new dynamic with a peening that is a bit less tight.



That the peening is a bit less tight does not mean there is play in the function or functions. Not at all, it is the construction and assembly with more modern production methods and evolution that is a bit different. It means the Swiss Army Knives become easier to open and clean.


Swiss Army Knives are fun to collect, use and to research. If I remember correct the old spring was measured before on a knife to be 2,46mm and the new 2,42mm and that is not a big difference. If you measure at the edges then the difference is bigger. I absolutely love to talk SAKs and to research them, it gives much joy. Since we are talking about dynamic and construction then there are several variations in the Wenger history. At the late 1980s and early 1990s we see a different construction and spring design on the Classic 85mm SAKs for example. Here are my impressions on the late 1980s development:

The springs become better polished and the edges are rounded. They are rounded on both sides with the outside the most rounded. By having a bit less tight construction and peening with rounded edges on the springs you get a bit better comfort opening and closing the functions. I believe by adjusting the position, peening and spring tension vs the design of the tang you can adjust the dynamic feel. These can be very small differences in deed. A Swiss Army Knife is under tension when closed or in open position. They are advanced knives that can be very educating to study. By rounding the springs you get a more comfortable grip and feel during use. This you can especially feel on the early 1990s change with the new design that moves the springs to become flush with the dividers and handle. This represents a large dynamic and design change. The change from the assembly in the late 1980s represents a change with better polished surfaces with a better functionality. You get a smoother operation when you are opening them. You can feel the difference between the late 1970s, early 1980s and late 1980s knives in my opinion. Also on Victorinox SAKs you can feel the difference with the older knives having a drop in the pressure when you hold the knife blades at 90s degrees give or take. It is a dynamic difference in the total assembly and design.

On Wenger knives you ca also feel the difference with all the functions that got push lock mechanisms all the way in the history. The spring on the budget 62 today got a much wider spring at the edges and bit wider on the center. It is a bit deeper too but it is not polished as much so they are not very different if you forget the edges.




The most important tension from the slip-joint spring is when the blades are in fully open position. This holds and prevents the blade from folding and it represents a stop function when you use force against the edge. A slip-joint cannot take much pressure in opposite direction with pressure against the back of the blade. This is what one must have in mind all the time if the knife edge gets stuck in a material for example or you bump the back of the blade against something. Never the less they are wonderful inventions and great for EDC. There must be some design and some pressure when the blade is folded too. To make sure the functions or blades does not open accidentally. SAKs are very well there. Very pocket friendly.



With Wenger Swiss Army Knives you can see some differences between the Budget, Basic and Classic categories in small design appearances.  At certain times it becomes very similar with only very small differences. This can be the emblem and no toothpick or tweezers for example. Basically they are from the same production. I recommend looking further on Your knives and research. Wenger also got production variations all the way from the beginning until the end.



Some slip-joints developed to have a locking blade. This you can see on the pack-lock knives from the late 1970s. Later in the history a stop function is developed so when you unlock the blade it will have a stop at almost half position to increase the safety. Other functions may get a 90 degree function. Especially Victorinox use this feature and this is a different design and not like the drop in tension I mentioned. This is a feature so the screwdriver for example can be used at 90 degrees giving great leverage for some tasks.


The drop in tension from older dynamic constructions is not a half stop but rather a result in my opinion of the older dynamic construction giving the best tension in open and closed position. It is an interesting detail and worth knowing about.




The knife in the middle is a different Wenger model with the combination tool. I have a suspicion that this is actually a knife from the mid-1980s (1985). It got the combination tool that is rather similar to the one on the knife below. It got a slight different angle or grind perhaps. Without any doubt researching Wenger SAKs you find that because functions must fit into the construction side by side with other functions it must have a certain precision so it will fit well. Usually most functions are made to fit all other models. It is a typical Swiss Army Knife feature. So I believe when dynamic construction and evolution changes to the complete construction and assembly you will most likely get small evolution changes to the functions as well. Other factors can be development in the production and for sure the most important factor that is functionality and nice design.

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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

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