One company that hasn’t been satisfied with standing still is Wenger. For a lot of outdoors folks, Wenger is a name that is synonymous with the ever popular Swiss Army Knife. Still, even others have enjoyed the classy styling of watches that have been available in the past–including myself. But, it wasn’t until I visited with them at the Outdoor Retailer show that I saw the great depth of their product offerings for people that enjoy the outdoors. Even so, I’ll start out this conversation about a couple of their new knife models that have some unique features designed by knowledgeable and experienced adventurers. The first and most interesting item (to me) is the new knife that was designed by Mike Horn.
Mike Horn is a famous South African explorer who has already circumnavigated the globe at the equator. He was also the first person to circumnavigate the Artic Circle non-stop without the assistance of motorized vehicles or dogsleds. If anyone understands harsh conditions during a real adventure, this is the guy. In May of 2008, Horn began his 4 year Pangaea Expedition. Pangaea is the name of the super continent that exisited 250 million years ago that later split apart forming the continents that we have today. Horn’s journey is an expedition around the world that is aimed at raising awareness about the environment and about the fragile areas of the world that are suffering severe impact from the encroachment of civilization. Wenger is one of the companies that’s sponsoring this Pangaea Expedition which started back in May, 2008, and Wenger is now introducing to the market a multi-tool style folding knife which was a collaboration between the company and Mike Horn.
Horn sat down with Wenger and drew upon his years of experience to develop a tool that he felt would meet his needs during this four year journey. Wenger took his thoughts and designs and put it all together in an attractive package that’s versatile and with robust construction. Now, the press release calls the knife the “Mike Horn Knife”, but I was told at the show that the name of the knife would be “Pangaea”. We’ll see as they hit the streets. Either way, it includes two one-handed opening blades (serrated and plain), needle nose pliers, metal saw and file, can opener, and a newly designed reamer. An interesting “twist” is that the handle of the knife has a receptacle to accept the three included driver bits. Instead of being at the end of the tool, the bit receptacle positions the bits at a 90 degree angle to the bit which allows for greater torque during use. The handle is made of natural materials and the package is rounded out with a pouch to make everything secure and easy to carry.
Next up in Wenger’s new line-up of products is the Alinghi Yachtsman SUI1Swiss Army Knife. This model is a result of the work done between Wenger and the Swiss sailing team, Alinghi, which is a two-time defending champion of the America’s cup. This model is especially designed for maritime tasks and a martime environment with the inclusion of corrosion resistant stainless steel. It includes the same style bit receptacle as the Mike Horn knife, and it utilizes their Evo Grip technology which includes a rubber inlay in the handle slabs. And, like the above mentioned model, the Alinghi Yachtsman SUI1 comes with a nylon carry pouch for easy and quick access to the needed tool in a high-paced, action-packed setting. The original model Yachtsman will stay in the product line alongside of this new introduction by Wenger. Besides the half-serrated blade you see in the picture, the Alinghi SUI1 comes with several other implements to make it a handy tool out on the water.
From Wenger’s press release: “The Alinghi Yachtsman SUI1 Knife also includes a one-handed opening 4” blade with 50% serration and a safety lock; a shackle opener, marlin spike with needle, ruler (in./cm); needle-nose pliers with wire cutter; patented locking screwdriver, cap lifter, wire stripper; reamer, awl with sewing eye; and Philips head screwdriver. All tools on the Alinghi Yachtsman SUI1 are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and the knife comes with a nylon pouch which also houses the hexagonal bits for convenience and added protection. As the official supplier team Alinghi, a team that uses simply the very best equipment, each team member will be carrying an Alinghi Yachtsman SUI1.
Alinghi is a winning organization that embodies and demonstrates many of the same core values as Wenger,” said Dennis Piretra, Vice President Marketing, Wenger NA. “Precision and attention to detail are of the utmost importance in a sport where fractions of a second can make all the difference. Wenger is very proud to offer this knife that was developed with the insight and recommendations of the Alinghi team members based on what they need to continue to be the best sailing team in the world.”
And, finally, we come up on a model that we think would make a great addition to your outdoors adventure. It’s Wenger’s new Yellow EvoGrip S18. While utilizing the rubber inlays for a better grip on the handle, the yellow color would stand out in a wilderness environment and make it much more difficult to lose. The Yellow EvoGrip S18 boasts a good assortment of tools including a double-cut woods saw, a set of self-sharpening scissors, patented locking screwdriver, cap lifter, wire stripper, can opener, nail file and cleaner, Philips head screwdriver, reamer, awl, toothpick and tweezers. Wow! What more do you need in a knife to take with you into the great outdoors? Interestingly enuogh, the Yellow EvoGrip’s MSRP is $69.95 (cheaper on the street) and has a lifetime warranty while the Alinghi Yachtsman is $175.00 MSRP with a 5 year warranty.