Monday, November 14, 2011

Wenger returns..

SOME years back, you can find Wenger Swiss Army Knives off the shelves at D.I.Y. stores around the Klang Valley.
Slowly, bit-by-bit, they were literally 'wiped out' from the local scene.
Its distributor Universal Fitness and Leisure had stopped importing the knives from Switzerland.
For the uninitiated, Wenger is a contract supplier of Swiss Army Knives together with Victorinox.
It was bought over by Victorinox nearly a decade ago, but was left to run as an independant company.
While Wenger is at the forefront in producing some really cool cutting edge gadgets on their SAKs (Swiss Army Knives), Victorinox enjoyed a good branding run.
If you are a fan of Richard Dean Anderson's 'MacGuyver' in the 80s, you would probably noticed the Victorinox knives being put to good use.
Now, back to Wenger, the knives are appearing again off the shelves in the Klang Valley.
And its found at an unlikeliest place.
Last week, while browsing for a new couch at the Ikano Power Centre, I found a bunch of Wengers on a showcase at the ALL IT mall.
One particular knife that caught my attention was the Wenger Ranger 179.

The Patagonian Expedition Race knife
First impressions...
I am not a big fan of serrations.
But, if you lug this in the field, it would yield plenty of cutting power. Serrations worked very well on fiborous surfaces and does maintain an edge a wee bit longer than plain edged blades.
The suck part is that Wenger made this with a 80/20 serration.
Sharpening it will be a bitch!
Other standard implements on the SAK includes a reamer, corkscrew, can and bottle opener and a large wood saw. These will keep you alive.
The large 3.8" blade has a locking mechansim.
Its cleverly done and to deactivate the lock, simply press the SAK logo on the handle.
Since it has a liner-lock, its pretty secure.
I like the overall look of the knife - yellow and black. Really sweet! Just like the colour on my Ortlieb frontroller panniers.

Yellow and black! Oh yeah!!!!
What would make a good accessory, is a nylon pouch for this large blade.
That said, I had no issues about the pricing as it was listed at USD$79.95 (RM251.50) on the Wenger North America website.
Some on-line stores are selling them at USD$55 (RM175) a pop excluding freight charges (usually half the price to get it shipped here).
So, with all the jibba-jabba and hoolabaloo, ALL IT Mall is selling at RM229.00, which is not that bad.

Swiss Army Knife in a computer shop?
Times are changing. I guess the importer had dumped the knives at ALL IT Mall. (Only the one in Ikano Power Centre retails the Wengers).
The selection is limited. You can find some flagship Wenger models including the fancy nail-clipper models at RM96 a pop.
There's also a Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race S-18 ergogrip off the shelves at RM209.00. This is a bit pricey, but for the limited-edition yellow and a locking blade, its worth some serious consideration.

Yellow and Black is the new Sexy colour
As a knifenut, I don't really expect much out of the computer sales people. They know next to nothing.
But seeing as it is, the Wengers that are worth getting are the special edition Patagonia Expedition Race models. 
Other than that, my wish list is the official World Scout Knife. I scored one in Singapore earlier this year at a 'nice' price...
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