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Is the Wenger Ranger 90 Worth it?

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by TheInsideOutsider, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. TheInsideOutsider

    TheInsideOutsider Loaded Pockets

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    I have been interested in the Ranger 90 for a while now but the price has always kept me from buying one. The tool compliment looks great for the woods. MSRP is $179 but they can be found for $125-$140. Are they worth the street price?
     
  2. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    I don’t have it, but if you like it get it soon because there will be no more Wenger knives.
    But I have two of this Ranger series, a scout knife and a Ranger 151 (single serrated OHO blade). Other than the smaller Wengers I would not recommend them. The OHO thumb hole is uncomfortable, the scales are hollow plastic, and the scout knife doesn’t make use of the space it would have. There’s a large gap between the can and the bottle opener. Regarding the pliers I’d like a real plier based tool better, for example a Vic Spirit (which would cost you about the same in the plus version with bit kit, sheath, etc.).
     
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  3. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    Have you handled one? I did, and was negatively surprised by how huuuuuge it is. Also, I agree with @batteur that the small pliers don't seem to be worth the pocket space they take up.

    If you can live without the pliers, and still want a locking SAK, take a look at the locking Victorinox knives. They are a bit smaller and slimmer, and feel way less bulky. The Soldier's knife has a pretty good tool set. The only downside is the partially serrated knife.

    If you still want pliers, I agree with batteur that a plier based multitool would be better, but I would go for a Leatherman Wave or Skeletool over a Spirit, as they have larger, sturdier OHO blades.
     
  4. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Loaded Pockets

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    So the consensus seems to be that Wenger Ranger pliers are not to par with "real" multitool pliers, do I understand you people right?
    What could you compare them to - pliers on smaller Leatherman (Juice etc.) maybe?
    Does the metal handle of the pliers feel okay at serious pressure?
    Because, in terms of overall volume and weight, a Ranger 90 is well comparable to plier-based multitools, and the thick contoured handle gives good grip when using the blade and saw, this I can say from experience. I've been intrigued for a long time...
     
  5. TheInsideOutsider

    TheInsideOutsider Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I already own a Vic OHT which I like. However I can see how occasionally having pliers in the field would be useful (grabbing the handle of something in the fire, pulling out staples, etc). I also like having a one handed folder to go with a fixed blade when hiking. Honestly this was always a back burner item. An item that seemed neat but that I would purchase in the future. Now they are drying up which is why I'm even considering purchasing one now. It seems the consensus is that the cost vs function ratio is not very good.
     
  6. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    If you want to use it … get something else. If you want to put it in your collection of probably-very-rare-soon-and-might-perhaps-be-worth-something-in-ten-years knives and have the spare cash … get it. ;)
     
  7. crustyfur

    crustyfur Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Ranger 75. It is on the large side, for a SAK, and has a heft to it. The pliers are about the same size as a Juice but the jaws only open to about 20 degrees which limits its functionality. It is still an unusual tool and a cool addition to any collection.
     
  8. TheInsideOutsider

    TheInsideOutsider Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. It would be for use, still tempting.

    I have read about the issue with the jaws. That plus the price are hard to ignore.
     
  9. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    There are other models from Wenger in the 85mm frame size with adjustable pliers. These are not as expensive and I can recommend these standard sized SAKs way more than the Ranger series.
     
  10. TheInsideOutsider

    TheInsideOutsider Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. Though the main reason I was leaning toward the ranger series was the one handed option for the main blade.
     
  11. Revolver

    Revolver Empty Pockets

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    I respectfully beg to differ (yet agree on some points) with some here. I've had my share of plier-based multitools, and my Rangergrip 88 rescue (yes, the monster, one layer bigger than the 90) certainly outperforms them in many departments. Then knife is substantially better and the liner lock system is really clever (I do agree though, that the OHO is not the smoothest), the wood saw and metal file are in a class of their own m (I challenge anyone to show me a better set of these two tools in any multi-tool out there). Also, the Mike Horn designed reamer is excellent and the bit slot on the handle is surprisingly good (not perfect, but better than I expected). The pliers, as mentioned, have a limited opening of about 20 degrees, but are quite capable and much better than vic's tiny pliers. The handles ergonomics work well on the models with few layers, however, in the bigger models like the 88 and 90, they make the knife unnecessarily thick, so if your hands are on the small side, this might be a problem. In terms of portability, the large Vics win in this department. The rangers are indeed big and most need a sheath. That being said, I have both and if I had to chose which is the more capable one, I'd give the edge to the ranger (Btw, comparing a standard size SAK with a ranger is a bit pointless, as they are designed with different task loads in mind).
     
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  12. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    A version with wood scales, blade, and both saws is something I could envision to carry in the forest. I don’t need the ever-present cap lifter and can opener, and the pliers would make it too fat in my hands (the scout version is already fat; the wood saw on it is very nice, though).
     
  13. Revolver

    Revolver Empty Pockets

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    Actually there is such a model, but it is even harder to find than the 88 and 95, It's called the rangergrip 86 or "East Ranger", which was designed for knife forum in Russia. It is a ranger 95 without pliers. Although, I like the pliers, they do take a lot of space, that is why this model I mention seems like a much better compromise . . . although it has a corkscrew, which I wouldn't really need (you can use the can opener to open wine bottles without any problems!). As for the cap lifter, I like having a stock (and locking) screwdriver. In terms of the can opener, I do agree with you, it is rarely needed. However, I found a mod that would make it much more useful. It basically turns your can opener into a phillips #1 & #2 screwdriver.

    As for the scales, I'm sure you know that the Wenger has some ranger models with wooden scales (which look much better). In terms of mods on these, I have seen very few, apparently because of the steel rivets (rather than brass). One very impressive modder from the Czech republic who goes by the name "Hanes" has done some very impressive things on a lot of SAK's, including the ranger line.
     
  14. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    A 86 mod with EvoWood, without the openers and without corkscrew would be nice. With standard blade instead of OHO it would be legal to carry here without any problem, and the OHO hole is not very comfortable (as stated before). Simply three layers of cutting devices. So who will build me one? ;) :)
     
  15. Revolver

    Revolver Empty Pockets

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    I would build custom ones ... If I could . . . but I can't;). I'd build an 86 with a regular blade with a stud (for OHO) instead of the spyderco-style hole, Mike Horn reamer (in place of the screwdriver), very fine screwdriver where the standard reamer is, a long fine screwdriver where the can opener resides (a la rare Vic technician) , (believe it or not) a hole for some long tweezers and of course, thinner scales . . . back to reality . . . the 88 I actually own has been excellent so far.
     
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  16. Invictus

    Invictus Loaded Pockets

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    I have the Ranger 78 and I've never been more disappointed with a purchase :(. Overall, it is bulky but the tool options limited. It feels good in hand, especially when you're using the saw (best tool on it imho). But the knife blade is pretty much worthless in my experience: 4 inches long, but only 3 inches is sharpened, and up-down and side-to-side blade play after using it once. Wouldn't trust my life on that flimsy lock, either. Can opener opens too stiff, cap lifter too easy. Overall I don't feel this tool was worth the 40 euro I spent on it. Especially at the $125-$140 price range there would be better alternatives imho.

    Good luck!
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera Loaded Pockets

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    Grr. I'm so mad I missed the RangerGrip 90. It has all the tools I wanted in a large SAK-style knife, except for a fold-out Phillips-head screwdriver, but that would be an easy swap. Figures they'd be discontinued.
     
  18. Gary Gross

    Gary Gross Loaded Pockets

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    Check the auction sites. There are plenty of used Wengers (and occasionally new with or without boxes) to be found.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera Loaded Pockets

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    I have been. No RangerGrip 90s specifically, at least not yet.
     
  20. Gary Gross

    Gary Gross Loaded Pockets

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    You can follow a search for the item you want and you'll get alerts when somebody lists one. Saves a bunch of time.