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Wenger Mike Horn. 23349

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,259 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Wenger Mike Horn.
« on: August 06, 2009, 01:33:17 AM »
Here is something a bit different. I just got the Wenger Mike Horn in the mail today. What follows are my first impressions and a few photographs with some quick sketchy comparisons thrown in for good measure.

I first noticed this model from a thread posted on MultiTool.org. Previously, I didn’t know it existed. What I saw was a striking eye catching design. I knew right then that I was going to get  me one of these. Of course, I asked myself…who is Mike Horn? The name seemed familiar but I could not place it. Well a quick net search answered that question. If you are in the same boat as I am , then click on this for a quick short biography on Mike Horn.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Horn


The Wenger Mike Horn is my third Ranger. I previously got a Wenger Rangergrip 178 OD, and a Wenger Ranger 172 Gardner. Of these previous two, the 172 is wide due to the inclusion of a nice pair of scissors or umm…clippers if you find the word scissors denigrating to those who cut plants for a living. Well the Mike Horn is even wider…if that was possible, and it is.

Let us take a closer look at these Wenger Ranger models…


From left to right: Wenger RangerGrip 178 OD, Wenger Ranger 178 Gardner, and Wenger Ranger Mike Horn.


You can see that the 178 OD is the thinnest, and the Mike Horn on the right is the fattest. Note the flat handle for both the middle clippers and the right pliers. Wenger has a very ingenious way of deploying the scissors and pliers. Some good cracking engineering went into these, making me appreciate them all the more.


Their backs just illustrate the difference in thickness between these 3 Wenger Ranger models.



The tool layout is rather interesting.:

The Ranger 178 OD is rather basic, with a one hand knife, saw,  bottle cap opener, can opener, awl with sewing hole, and a Phillips driver. This is a good all around non dedicated tool that mimics the Victorinox trekker/new soldier series in functionality.

The Ranger 172 Gardner offers a big pair of clippers, a two handed serrated blade, a saw, and a Phillips driver. The Ranger 172 is rather dedicated to gardening.

The Ranger Mike Horn offers a bit more.  You get both a one hand clip point and one hand serrated sheepsfoot blade, file, pliers, a better shaped awl with sewing hole,  and a can opener. The Mike Horn is dedicated to umm…well….survival on the ocean or land?  There is no denying that it has features that a sailor would want except for the strange absence of a marlin spike.

Time to compare it to another recently acquired heavy weight, the Wenger SwissGrip.


Here we have both with pliers deployed. The SwissGrip on the left has pliers that you can’t fold away for storage.  The Mike Horn pliers are smaller, but surprisingly not that much smaller. Especially when you consider that they fold up in the handle.


Here is a photo showing the pliers folded part way into the handles. I really like the way that Wenger has designed this bit of trickery. You just press on the handles like you would to fold away a blade, and the pliers follow suit around a pivot point. When you reach a certain distance, the back spring action takes over and it all snaps away in the handles nicely.


The reason why I am throwing in the Wenger SwissGrip is a similar feature that the Mike Horn shares with it.

Here, we see that both will accept bits in the handle. In fact, you can interchange the bits from each even though they are shaped slightly different; they are of the same diameter. You can generate a tremendous amount of torque in this fashion.


The Wenger Ranger Mike Horn showing the graphics and nice colouring of the handles.



You do get a few nice extras with the Mike Horn. Here you see the nice sheath and the two bits that come included with the knife. There is a pouch in the front for the bits.  I did notice that the bits are a little lose in there, and can easily fall out if you hold the sheath upside down.



Mike Horn showing the tools and design.

Conclusion
The Wenger Ranger series are huge 120mm Swiss Army Knives. The Mike Horn is thicker than the 172, which is a fat SAK by any standards. In the hands, the knife feels very comfortable due to the ergonomic shape of the thick scales. I am a big fan of the colouring. It is understated but sticks out from the rest. At least it isn’t red, black, or green. The addition of two knife blades is a big plus for those who like both a straight edge and a serrated edge. The awl is well designed and deviated from Wenger’s usually not very sharp design. In fact, this is what an awl should be. One thing to note is that all these Wenger Ranger models in this short review feature locking main blades. To unlock the main blade, you have to depress the Wenger Swiss symbol on the front as it is really a button on these models. On the Mike Horn, I was a bit disappointed in that the serrated sheepsfoot blade locks, but the straight edged clip point doesn’t.

Conclusion
There is no denying that the Mike Horn is a looker. It also has quite a few features that are unique. I can see why there was a buzz generated about this model. Of the 3 Rangers I currently own, this one is my favorite. I can easily recommend this knife if you are looking for a big knife with some big features. The sheath is well made even though there are some improvements that could have made the sheath better. Overall, I like this knife a lot.

Mike Horn
Pros:
-   Pliers fold in a very neat and ingenious way.
-   Locking main serrated sheepsfoot blade.
-   A really good awl.
-   Unique logo/colour/design makes it stick out from the crowd.
-   2 Bits added for functionality. There is nothing stopping you from buying more at the local hardware store to meet your needs.
-   Ergonomic handles…but then, all Wenger Rangers have the same scale shape.

Cons:
-   It is big and fat.
-   Bits fall out of the sheath too easily. May need to add more or find some way to secure them.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 01:48:31 AM by Chako »

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Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 01:54:51 AM »
Wow that is a excellent bit of kit.  I do find it interesting that it has two OH blades, one for your right hand and one for the left. :think:

A question if I may; how well does the plain, non-locking, blade sit in place?  Is the backspring quite tight or a bit flabby?

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,259 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 02:03:39 AM »
It is rather weak. The locking blade snaps in place nicely. The non locking blade has very little snap.

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No Life Club Posts: 4,594 no nacimos con miedo...
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 02:06:01 AM »
excelente! so the plain edge blade doesnt lock and serrated does :think: weird....anyway i still want one :drool: maybe for x-mas

thanks for the review :cheers:

A
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,259 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 02:09:48 AM »
I believe it was made to Mike Horn's specifications. He must have his reasons for designing it that way.  Might be that Mr Horn prizes a serrated sheepsfoot over the plain edged blade.  :think:

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Ambidangerous Mistress of Mod Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,038 I'm not all bad, I'm just drawn that way.
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 02:10:21 AM »
Hmm, peculiar choices with the locks. Apart from that, it looks great.

Definitely too big for me - I don't tend to carry my larger MTs, never mind a great big beast of a SAK - but the design and the layout of the tools is excellent. They should make a smaller version of it.

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Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 02:15:53 AM »
I have to admit I'm a little bit jealous of you  :D
Love the knife and the write up! :tu:

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No Life Club Posts: 1,547
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 02:44:51 AM »
Thanks for the great write up, Chako! I have been looking forward to reading one for a long time!  :cheers:

I wish we knew Mike Horn's reasoning that led to those design decisions. That would make fascinating reading!

[
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,168 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 03:51:58 AM »
Hmm...

My initial thoughts:  It needs a saw (unless the sheepsfoot will work as a saw)

The file is too short

The possible loss of bits from their holder would be a disaster since there's no dedicated drivers on the tool.

I might hafta wait for a second had one.   :-\

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 05:01:21 AM »
Hmm...

My initial thoughts:  It needs a saw (unless the sheepsfoot will work as a saw)

The file is too short

The possible loss of bits from their holder would be a disaster since there's no dedicated drivers on the tool.

I might hafta wait for a second had one.   :-\

Excellent observations. I wonder why such a pee wee little file on such a big knife??


I do really like the look of that awl on the backspring though. :tu: Is it a standard Wenger awl design? ???

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2009, 07:14:01 AM »
I love the idea of them doing an OH slippy :)

But the design really need a saw :-\

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No Life Club Posts: 1,798 Spawn of Cthulhu
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 08:24:51 AM »
Hmm...

My initial thoughts:  It needs a saw (unless the sheepsfoot will work as a saw)

The file is too short


+1

Replace the non-locking plain edge blade with a saw.

Make the file longer.

Guess it's OK as is, but those two changes would make it a truly outstanding outdoor/survival tool.

Of course Horn must know a little something about surviving in the great outdoors, and since this is his design...

.

N
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2009, 08:50:32 AM »
Hmm...

My initial thoughts:  It needs a saw (unless the sheepsfoot will work as a saw)

The file is too short

The possible loss of bits from their holder would be a disaster since there's no dedicated drivers on the tool.

I might hafta wait for a second had one.   :-\

Excellent observations. I wonder why such a pee wee little file on such a big knife??


I do really like the look of that awl on the backspring though. :tu: Is it a standard Wenger awl design? ???

It's not a design of awl I've seen before from Wenger.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
No Life Club Posts: 1,547
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2009, 09:11:45 AM »
Hmm...

My initial thoughts:  It needs a saw (unless the sheepsfoot will work as a saw)

The file is too short


+1

Replace the non-locking plain edge blade with a saw.

Make the file longer.

I think the file is shorter because it is on the same layer as the can opener. A full length file would add an extra layer.

I was also really surprised that it had 2 blades instead of 1 blade and a wood saw.

I thought it would have been cool to have scissors instead of pliers too. I thought Mike Horn talked about that in the original announcement? Something about trimming his beard?  :D


[
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2009, 09:21:01 AM »
I suspect there isn't a wood saw for the simple fact that it wouldn't be that useful to Mike Horn.  Look at the areas he is known for; polar exploration, mountaineering and sailing.  Not that many trees involved in those fields. :D  Also the fact he has lost parts of his fingers to frostbite might explain why he likes the idea of two OH blades.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2009, 04:13:31 PM »
I suspect there isn't a wood saw for the simple fact that it wouldn't be that useful to Mike Horn.  Look at the areas he is known for; polar exploration, mountaineering and sailing.  Not that many trees involved in those fields. :D  Also the fact he has lost parts of his fingers to frostbite might explain why he likes the idea of two OH blades.
Ah I see :tu:

I'd still think it needs one though, as there fantastic saw's on the 120mm range :)

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,168 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2009, 04:27:39 PM »
I suspect there isn't a wood saw for the simple fact that it wouldn't be that useful to Mike Horn.  Look at the areas he is known for; polar exploration, mountaineering and sailing.  Not that many trees involved in those fields. :D  Also the fact he has lost parts of his fingers to frostbite might explain why he likes the idea of two OH blades.

I guess, although a lot of mountaineering involves hiking through forests/brush until you get above treeline.  Depends on the $$ you spend for your approach though...

Personally, I like and use a saw fairly frequently.  More than the file. 

But then again, I'm not Mike Horn  :D

Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2009, 04:42:11 PM »
I actually agree, a saw makes sense to me as well, and while we're at it why not a fully OH saw at that. :D  Obviously Mike Horn has different priorities, and fair play to him, it's not what I'd have designed though.

I can easily see this knife with all the extra bits on it, saw, dedicated screwdrivers, scissors etc.  But as this already looks to be very thick then the process has to look at what his priorities are and getting rid of all the other stuff, just to keep this down to a manageable size.  Quite a few of the design decisions look to have been made to keep from adding any more layers IMO.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,168 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2009, 04:51:46 PM »
For a Mike Horn type of expedition, I doubt there are too many cans which require a can opener.  More likely to be a bunch of pouches (lighter, pack better etc).  I'd dump out the can opener before the saw.

Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2009, 05:00:39 PM »
For a Mike Horn type of expedition, I doubt there are too many cans which require a can opener.  More likely to be a bunch of pouches (lighter, pack better etc).  I'd dump out the can opener before the saw.

Fair point, but the can opener doesn't take up a whole layer to itself, a saw would have to.  Perhaps if the can opener was dropped then the file could be made longer or replace with a saw.  Like you, I suspect, I'd love to hear from Mike Horn himself as to why he made the design decisions he did.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2009, 06:11:41 PM »
I want one :gimme:

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No Life Club Posts: 1,092
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2009, 05:06:34 PM »
I think there should have been at least a backspring Phillips.

Fan of the Leatherman mini-bit driver and the Vic backspring philips.
Sr. Member Posts: 363 It does WHAT??
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2009, 08:09:12 PM »
It is a beautiful knife, and I seriously, seriously debated ordering one.  But, in the end, talked myself out of it.  I have a Ranger 73 Electrician, and quite like it.  The big killer for it, like the Mike Horn, is no saw.  However, the 73 does have the dedicated drivers on it (the can opener/flathead and the back Phillips).  And, to be honest, I'm not a great fan of the one handed blades.  (I know...  Blasphemy... >:D)  So....

However, it is a handsome and distinctive knife, and I'm sure it'll give great service.  It is, after all, a SAK at heart.   :tu: :D

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No Life Club Posts: 1,547
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2009, 09:38:55 PM »
Someone mentioned in other thread that the metal file works well for sawing wood. Anyone else tried it?

[
No Life Club Posts: 4,490 <*();::::::::;~
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2009, 08:09:12 PM »
 :drool:  :gimme:  :drool:
Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2013, 01:58:41 AM »
Just a little article regarding the overall concept of the Mike Horn Ranger

http://gearjunkie.com/profile-mike-horn-swiss-army-knife

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,689 Stranger in a Strange Land
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2013, 03:40:48 AM »
Thanks for the great review and the link to the mike horn info chako

nice tool.

and thanks goatloard for the link. :tu:
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 03:47:07 AM by JAfromMn »

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Newbie Posts: 11
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2013, 02:36:25 AM »
I think that the lack of a saw is a serious issue.
Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2013, 03:34:54 AM »
I think that the lack of a saw is a serious issue.

and wenger came up with a serious solution to it called the rangergrip 90

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
No Life Club Posts: 2,791
Re: Wenger Mike Horn.
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2013, 03:48:22 AM »

Just a little article regarding the overall concept of the Mike Horn Ranger

http://gearjunkie.com/profile-mike-horn-swiss-army-knife
Thanks for the link that was very interesting

 

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