By Mark McLauchlin
Wenger EvoGrip S18 Swiss Army
Patagonian Expedition Race
Name: Mark McLauchlin
Height: 1.76 m (5’ 9”)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at swanvalleyit.com.au
City: Perth, Western Australia
I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking
consisting of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short
overnight trips where possible. Most of my hiking is along the Bibbulmun
Track and Coastal Plains Trail. I consider myself to be a light hiker
with an average pack weight of 6 kg (13 lb), which I am working to
reduce. I generally sleep in my tarp tent or huts that are often
scattered along the various hiking trails.
Year of Manufacture: 2010
MSRP: $69.95 USD
Listed Weight: 88 g (3.1 oz)
Measured Weight: 90 g (3.17 oz)
Listed Length: 3.25 in (8.26 cm)
Measured Length: 3.31 in (8.4 cm)
Colour: Yellow with black ergonomic grips
The EvoGrip S18 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race Knife, hereafter
known as the knife or S18. It is an Ergonomic 15 function compact knife.
As quoted from the manufacturers website, "EvoGrip™ S 18 Wenger
Patagonian Expedition Race Swiss Army Knives are truly a symbol of our
unwillingness to be satisfied with a classic – even after more than a
century." Holding the S18 gives a sense of robustness with all the
functionality we have come to expect from a Swiss Army Knife, add to
that a touch of ergonomic.
The below list includes the features and implements of the S18 which
can also be seen in the image.
|Ergonomic handles with rubber
Laser engraved WPER logo
2.5" (6.35 cm) Locking Blade
2.75" (6.99 cm) Double-cut wood saw
2.4'' (6.10 cm) Springless scissors with Serrated, self-sharpening design
Patented locking screwdriver
Phillips® head screwdriver
EvoGrip S18 with all
11 implements on display
The Wenger S18 feels great to hold and there is definitely a
noticeable difference between this model with its ergonomic grip than
those without. The ergonomic handles are positioned so that they
are in contact with thumb, index, middle, ring finger and the larger
Abductor pollicis brevis muscle of the palm.
Like all Wenger knifes I have had over the years the tools or
implements are often difficult to draw out from the knife body, more so
if you do not have long finger nails to assist. This has the advantage that
the tools will not be released inadvertently and possibly causing injury
however the disadvantages are obvious (It's really, really hard). Having
said that each of the tools and implements does release smoothly and
snap into position nicely before use. Each of the implements seems like
it will function as designed and are built to perfection, absolutely
free of any manufacturing faults.
An added feature of this model Wenger over others I have
had experience with it the locking mechanism designed to hold the main
blade in the open position preventing it from closing on the user. This
works well, it is easy to use by holding it in and pushing the blade
down, and is a great safety addition.
EvoGrip S18 main
blade locking mechanism
The Double-cut wood saw is an interesting addition and
something I am very keen try. As I am a trail maintenance volunteer it
could potentially come in very handy for the smaller shrubs that need
The high visibility yellow colour of the knife is also a nice addition,
hopefully making it easier to find or be seen.
Reading the Instructions
The instructions provided with the S18 advise on the Limited Lifetime
Warranty and how to make a warranty claim. They also advise on how to
care for the knife. Sourced directly from the instructions.
"Please oil lightly all the pivot points on your knife. When storing
your knife, be sure it is free from moisture and lightly oil all metal
parts. Make sure you wipe the knife dry before returning it to your
pocket. Follow the procedures and your Swiss Army Knife will give you a
lifetime or trouble-free cutting pleasure". I do suspect the last
paragraph should read "....a lifetime of trouble-free cutting pleasure".
On the reverse side of the instructions there is also a tools and
features diagram covering a variety of Wenger Genuine Swiss Army Knives.
All the directions are easy to read and understand.
I was hoping to find either here or on the manufacturers website a
breakdown of the materials used, however this is not the case. I will
email Wenger and ask this question.
This looks to be a great knife that hopefully will last many years
to come. I am really looking forward to testing out as many of
the implements as possible out in the field.
Things I liked
Blade locking mechanism
Great selection of implements
Things I disliked
Nothing at this stage
Thank you to Wenger and BackpackGearTest.org for the
privilege of testing the EvoGrip S18
20th June 2010
Since receiving the Wenger EvoGrip S18 I have only managed to take it out on
two day hikes, with an average of 15 km (9.32 miles). On both trips the
terrain was relatively flat with very mild temperatures and no
precipitation. The day hikes were in the John Forrest National Park, and for
the majority of the hike I followed The Heritage Trail which is well
I am the proud owner of several other model Wenger knifes so the features
and functions of the S18 do not vary a lot from what I am used to. The
biggest difference I have found thus far is the ergonomic handle. This
feature is excellent and has aided in the use of the knife immensely. I find
that when I am using a tool with my hands for any prolonged period of time
they tend to sweat. The ergonomic handle hasn't changed this, and nor did I
expect it to, however it has made gripping the knife easier and I feel that
I am still able to maintain a firm grip and control. This is a great safety
The 2.5" (6.35 cm) Locking Blade has seen the most use both on and off
track. Usage has varied from opening boxes at work (daily basis), to slicing
foods such as cheese and apples which I take out whilst hiking. I have also
tried a little bit of whittling to see how sharp the blade really is. Like
all Wenger knifes the tools, and in this case the main blade are sometimes a
little difficult to fold out from the body if I do not have finger nails
with a little length on them, fortunately this is not a problem for me. The
locking mechanism is also a great safety addition, very effective and easy
to use. The blade still maintains a mirror finish and shows no signs of
needing a sharpen at this time. Sharpening is the list of things to report
on in the next report phase.
I found the wood saw to be of little value while out in bush as most often
the size of branch that I would want cut is a lot thicker than this would
handle. My main use is for a night time fire. I did however test the saw, as
you would expect, and It did work fine when the diameter was roughly the
same as an adult finger. Anything larger and the effort involved was too
great. More recently I have been carrying a fold-up saw for trail
maintenance which fits the bill better.
The tweezers and toothpick function well, quite basic in design so there is
not a lot to report on besides the fact they work. They are easy to remove
and return to the main body of the knife.
Quite surprisingly the scissors work very well, a big improvement on past
models. With my other knifes I have found that when cutting fabrics e.g.
medical plasters, they become entangled in the material rather than cutting
it. The S18 on the other hand cuts very well. Out in the field I tested this
by cutting various lengths of plaster that could be needed to address
blisters or cuts. Thankfully blisters are not something I suffer from, but
it is good to know I could help someone else out.
The can opener tool has never really been something I am comfortable in
using and the S18 has not changed this. I find it too difficult and
inaccurate causing me more frustration than what it is worth. I have however
seen others use it very well, perhaps it's just a matter of perseverance. I
will give it another go and see how I get on.
I like the Phillips screwdriver, it is nice and easy to use and the tip
seems to be of such a quality that it fits the head of the screw well and
does not round it out. I also like the fact that I am able to get a good
even down pressure on the screwdriver. I was not able to test this out in
the field, not often that there is the need for it, however it has been
handy around the house and office.
I have not tested the wire stripper and reamer as yet however I will
endeavour to report on these during the Long-Term Report.
Overall I am very happy with the Wenger EvoGrip S18 Knife and I have no
complaints to make at all. I have recently ordered a leather pouch for the
knife and expect to see that in the coming weeks. I am told this is
specifically designed for this model so it will be good to see.
1st September 2010
|Leather Wenger pouch
During the Long-Report phase the Wenger EvoGrip has
not seen much off-trail use. However it has been used on a regular basis
around the home and office. The main blade has seen most of the
As noted in my previous report I wanted the opportunity to use the
wire stripper which I was able to do. The wire stripper was used to
help with the installation of a trailer brake for my car which
involved quite a number of different thickness of electrical cables. It
performed well, not quite as well as a dedicated tool but it was
With the extra few months of use the EvoGrip shows no signs of wear
and tear, the blade is still nice and sharp and the tools are still
functional as you would expect from such as well known product name.
I will continue to use this as my 'daily' knife as I find that it has
just what I need. The addition of the locking tab and EvoGrip
feature are the key differentiators for me over my other knifes.
I thought it would be a good idea to purchase a pouch for the
Wenger to protect it from scratches and other damage from being
dropped. I also have a fear of putting it down and losing it. The
leather pouch as shown above it is a genuine Wenger product. The two
items are paired very well and is definitely a good addition.
This is a great knife with some key important features as noted
through out the report. Definitely a must have knife.
Thank you to Wenger and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the
This concludes my Long-Term Report and the test series for
the Wenger EvoGrip S18.