Wenger RangerGrip 90 Multi-Tool

Test series by Coy Boy
Knife provided by Wenger for testing purposes
Wenger RangerGrip 90 Multi-Tool
Wenger RangerGrip 90 (click to view full size)
The Wenger RangerGrip 90 is a multi-tool knife.  Wenger has a long history of making knives, and in fact, made a multi-tool as far back as 1903.  You can still get the original in their heritage model. The RangerGrip series first appeared in 2009 and the RangerGrip 90 is the latest evolution in this lineup.   Anyways, this is not a little knife.  I discuss the various measurements of the knife in this short video, but at 9 oz it is definitely not a pocket knife. Of course that may explain why it comes with such a nice sheath.
The knife comes with 9 implements, which according to the website, cover 15 functions.  This means that some of the implements are made for more than one function.  Take for instance the metal file, it has a file on either side but also has a saw down the inside edge of the blade.  Likewise, the awl has a sewing eye and also functions as a reamer.  Of course just about any modern multi-tool sports a pair of pliers, and the one on this knife is rather interesting. On most multi-tools, the pliers are located inside the handles and you fold both handles around almost 180 degrees to use them. On the RangerGrip 90 the pliers fold out from the handle much like a knife blade. In fact, all the tools are accessed from the outside of this multi-tool.  This is an advantage over multi-tools which place everything inside in that you can get to a tool quicker.
The knife blade on this multi-tool is rather substantial.  The 3 3/4 inch length is much bigger than the blade on an average size pocket knife.  However, it is proportioned just about right for a tool this size.  I’m not sure what steel is used but it is nice and sharp right out of the box.  There is also very little play in the knife blade, or any of the other tools for that matter. The wood saw blade is slightly longer at right around 4 inches even.  There is a can opener but no bottle opener on the knife.  I personally think this makes sense since I seldom see bottle caps anymore.  In fact, glass bottles seem to be just about non-exsistant nowadays, and in a pinch, you could use the needle nose pliers to open such a bottle.
The grips (sometimes called slaps or scales) on the RangerGrip 90 are designed to make the tool easier to use with sweaty palms or other situations when the knife might be hard to hold.  This is accomplished with rubber like inlays on each side of the knife. There is a hole on one side and at the end of the handle where the 1/4 screwdriver bits fit.  The knife comes with a Phillips and regular screwdriver bit which both fit in a pocket on the knife sheath. However, you can get additional bits and customize the knife for any particular need.  Say for instance, you will be using a nut driver or Torx screw a lot, just pick up whatever 1/4 inch drive bit you need at the local hardware store and place it in the bit pocket and now you can always have the bit you need handy.   I’ll close with one last photo of the knife stored in its sheath.
Wenger RangerGrip 90 in sheath
Wenger RangerGrip 90 in sheath (click for larger view)

That’s all for now, stay tuned for my next update in about a month from now to see  how the RangerGrip 90 has performed.

Update: November 16, 2012 Wenger RangerGrip 90 Multi-Tool

Due to a knee injury I have not been able to test the RangerGrip 90 as thoroughly as I had planed.  In other words, the surgery and then rehab has limited my ability to get out in the field much over the past two months.   However, I was still able to use the knife on several occasions and so far it has proven to be a tough and capable performer.

I actually used the RangerGrip 90 the day I hurt my knee.  I twisted it while loading my  kayak on my truck before meeting some friends down at the lake for a casual paddle we had planned.  One lady had just purchased a new kayak for her granddaughter and she had not even installed the seat in it yet.  It required a Phillips screwdriver and the only one I had was on the RangerGrip 90.  The seat install was easy and with all the room I had around the screws I had no trouble at all getting the screws tightened down. I actually did let the RangerGrip 90 slip out of my hand as the last screw got tight but this was just clumsiness on my part. Here is a short video I took, wish I had thought to talk a little during the video but I was concentrating on running the camera in one hand while working with the other.  Also not centered very well.

link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn7DLfTtUsI&feature=youtu.be

I had my knee scoped a few weeks later and for the first several days I was on crutches.  I missed being able to go outside so as soon as I was able I started sitting out on my deck in a reclining outdoor type chair.  After several days a screw in the arm came out. In fact, it not only came out, it damaged the threads and I was not able to reuse the screw.  I looked through an assortment of long screws and finally found one that would work, only the head was slightly bigger than it needed to be which in turn meant the screw ended up being too short.  I used the main blade on the RangerGrip 90 to enlarge the recessed area the screw needed to fit down inside.  Here is the area I enlarged.  The hole is more of a cone shape now instead of straight walled like before, but more importantly, the screw is now plenty long to allow the nut on the other end to be threaded onto the screw.

The one shortcoming of the RangerGrip 90 was that during this project I needed to use the pliers and the screw driver at the same time.  Unfortunately, this is impossible.  I chose to find a screwdriver and hold the nut on the other side with the pliers of the RangerGrip 90.  The good news is that the pliers work great.

hole enlarged with Wenger RangerGrip 90 main blade

The saw blade on the RangerGrip 90 was used for cutting a pork rib in half so it would fit in the slow cooker.  I actually let my wife do the honers while I took a few photos.  It cut through the frozen meat easily.  The bone that needed to be cut was also easy to cut but obviously did not cut as easily as the frozen meat. Here is the saw blade in use.

using the Wenger RangerGrip 90 saw blade
using the Wenger RangerGrip 90 saw blade

That’s all for now.  My knee is recovering nicely and I hope to do some hiking soon, maybe even a few short overnight hikes.  My plan is to use the RangerGrip 90 as much as possible over the next several weeks.  I might even accidentally leave my hammock stakes (same as tent stakes) at home and see if I can fashion a few with the knife.  So stay tuned for my final update.

Final Update: December 12, 2012 Wenger RangerGrip 90 Multi-Tool

I have continued to enjoy using the RangerGrip 90 for daily task as well as on an overnight camping trip.  Most of the time my use consisted of sharpening a pencil, opening a package or other mundane chores, but one particularly hard use was replacing some drawer hangers in my refrigerator.  I first had to get the old ones off each side of the wall and we had glued them in place in an attempt to get them to work.  This worked for about a year but part of the hangers on each side had finally broken and all that was left was a flat plate and then the part that went inside the wall of the fridge.  I ordered 2 new drawer hangers and once they arrived I set about removing the old broken ones.  The glue made removal tough but by using the big knife blade I finally managed to get most of the hanger off the wall.  However, the part that went inside the wall was stubborn and I used the pliers to persuade it out.  It was handy having a knife and pliers in one tool and the big size of the RangerGrip 90 proved to be useful for the hard cutting, prying and pulling that I was doing.

Another use was on an overnight camping trip.  I used the saw to cut some small thumb sized limbs out from under my hammock.  I intentionally left my hammock fly stakes at home so that I could use the knife to make a set.  I found a downed oak tree nearby that had a limb slightly bigger than my thumb from which I cut the 2 stakes.  The advantage of using the saw instead of the knife blade is that it left a flat surface on top each stake which is much easier to drive into the ground.  I did notice that the saw tended to bind more on the dried out limb than the green ones I had just cut.  After cutting the stakes to length I used the main knife blade to whittle the ends of the stakes into sharp points.  Here is a short video of the process.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJLxFxnHo8o&feature=g-crec-u

And here is a photo of the stake in use.

That just about wraps up this review, but in closing, I do want to go back over a few of the main points I noticed when using the RangerGrip 90.  First of all, it is a well made tool.  I used the main blade for some rather difficult cutting chores and it is still rock solid and still fairly sharp. Even the hard plastic I cut on the refrigerator did not seem to dull it.  I have grown to really like the push button lock that lets the main blade close on this tool.  The pliers are also pretty stout, not quite like a dedicated set of pliers, but good enough to hold most of the things I needed them too.  I also should mention once more that the RangerGrip 90 is not a very small or light multitool.  This is both good and bad.  It was good in that the tools on this knife are substantial tools, and this meant that I could do more with them.  The bad was that many times I would be wearing gym shorts or sweat pants, and if I was not wearing a day pack it meant I did not have the RangerGrip 90 handy.  Bottom line, with so many multitools available, I can heartily recommend this one for anyone looking for a tough and reliable multitool.

About the Author

I am from northeast Alabama where I spend a lot of my time divided among several hobbies that include  backpacking and dayhiking, canoeing and kayaking, and just getting out enjoying nature.

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