Wenger Hardwoods Collection
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- Last updated: 13/12/2016
To the uninitiated Wenger are the original and official manufacturers of the world famous Swiss Army Knife. Virtually all boys at one time or another had or hankered for this super pocketknife. However, back in the day I’m sure none of us ever imagined we’d be able to purchase models such as the three in what is known as the Wenger Hardwoods collection.
Though classed as ‘Hardwoods’ and the camo pattern only being applied to the handles it’s only on the largest of the trio, the Hardwoods 55 that you notice it’s the very effective Realtree Hardwoods Green pattern. Although effective camo is for the field, on the knives it just makes them look, erm, cool… and to ‘camo tarts’ like myself all the more appealing! Just thought I’d clear that up, but there’s obviously more to the collection than that and there’s certainly one in the range, the 55, that in my opinion is going to sell like hot cakes. However, let’s first look to the Hardwoods 10 and 13 models that have more familiar styling and features, and come supplied in a very stylish brushed steel effect presentation boxes.
The Hardwoods 10 is very much the Swiss Army Knife we all knew as kids, being very much a pocket sized knife with all the usual features that we’ve come to expect. Wenger use the term ‘multi-tool’ knives when referring to the collection, whereas I’d prefer to use the term multi-
functional, but less of the semantics and onto the detailing.
The ‘10’ measures a tad over 3 ¼” long closed and holds a 2 ¼” long penknife style blade, corkscrew, nail file/universal cleaner, reamer (or as I prefer to term this an ‘awl’), wire bender, cap lifter (that’s a bottle opener to us up North), can opener and a small to medium size flat head screwdriver. For their size the tools are very robust, as are those on all the knives. Build quality is to a very high standard but then you would expect nothing less from Wenger. Incidentally, all models feature a keyring attachment which is little more than a strong ‘split ring’ attached to an extended bored hole through a circular steel ring integrated into the frame of the knives. Also, all blades have ‘nail’ nicks for opening,
Though the most basic of the bunch is undoubtedly useful it’s very much a gift for the guy who likes collecting knives or doesn’t have need for the more usual multi-functional Swiss Army style knife.
The Hardwoods 13 is exactly the same size as the 10, contains all the previously detailed features but also has a 2 ½” wood saw blade. In my opinion even this addition elevates this beyond being a just a pocket knife and now crosses over to a tool that the countryman would find of use.
Now to the big bad boy of the bunch, and my particular favourite, that of course being the top of the range Hardwoods 55. No fancy gift box here as this is certainly a multi-function knife that’s going to appeal to the guy who needs something much more substantial and one that has a few clever features in its generously proportioned handle casings.
This bruiser measures a deceptively long 5” when closed and with the clip point blade fully extended pushes the tape to 8 ¾” in overall length. With the blade being ‘edged’ only for the first 3 ½” this makes for a strong knife with a very substantial and comfortable handle. The handle casing has a soft touch non-slip finish and even has fine cut chequering towards the front. As with all blades on this tool the knife is a liner lock type and is released from its grip by pressing in the famous Swiss Army logo which on the ‘55’ is actually a push in button that in turn presses the liner lock away from the back of the blade so you can return it to its original closed position. The strong knife blade has a ridged back for the thumb to rest on should you prefer this hold. Other tools included in the ‘55’ are the same as the Hardwoods 13 but larger. The wood saw is now a full 4” in ‘toothed’ length so very useful for the hide builder. The flat head screwdriver is similarly ‘sized up’, now having a much broader and heavy-duty head. I’d say this is the knife most hunters will find to their liking and the others, though useful, in my opinion will pall into significance when you pull this out of your pocket – or as Crocodile Dundee would say ‘call that a knife.’ Well yes I do, and so will those who choose it.
Whichever you decide on, at the prices shown you’re getting a multi-function knife with a time trusted pedigree, that is well built, robust, practical and very stylish to boot.