Skip navigation


Swiss Army Knives

Burned But Not Broken

On July 5, 2002 my son, grandson and a friend were riding ATV’s in the Mountains of Montana. Our destination was a lookout on a mountain at elevation 7000ft. The trip was about 23 miles each way. As we neared the top of the mountain I was driving as lead of the 3 machines. I had not seen the other two for a while so I turned my head to look over my shoulder to see if they were following. In doing so I must have turned the handlebars to the left a bit and suddenly I was on the way down the mountain via a rockslide. I do not remember leaving the road; in fact my next memory is when I woke up in the hospital 3 days later. When I stopped rolling and whatever, the machine was about 85 feet from the road down a very steep embankment. The machine rolled over me, broke my ribs and badly mangled my right arm. When the medics arrived they determined because of the distance to the hospital they would have to activate a helicopter to rescue me. When I arrived at the hospital all the action began and the hospital did a marvelous of putting me back together. In the process my clothes, which were blood soaked, were put in a bag and someone took them back to our cabin and burned them. Now, three years later as someone was cleaning the fire pit out, they found my knife. Needless to say, I am happy to write this letter but I also thought you should know what a good product you produce. Of course the knife is not useable but it will be a good souvenir and I will keep it in a special case where I have other memorabilia!"

Karl S. - Washington

Swiss Army Knives

The Longest Day

The morning started like any other, we checked out our commissions (rigs) and left the station even before the sun was up. Little did I know that this would be a day I would never forget.

While heading north I spotted a 10-46 (motorist needing assistance) in the southbound lane. Flipping at the nearest exit, I pulled in behind them with the emergency lights on. Simple tire change; within ten minutes we were done and on our way.

Coming upon an abandoned vehicle, I pulled in again with my emergency lights on and checked out the truck for missing stereo, busted locks, vandalism, and signs of theft; even the occasional person sleeping. After tagging it I returned to my rig and was getting ready to call in the information when the day took a sudden drastic change. “My wife has stopped breathing.” The man announced as he knocked on my window “She is in the truck behind you.” Calling on the radio for a medical emergency, I went back to his pickup truck where he was checking his wife's pulse (very shallow).

While monitoring her pulse he could feel her breath on his hand, while we waited for the ambulance. Every now and then he would shake her and tell her to stay with him or she wouldn't respond but her eyes would flutter. I don't know how many of you have experienced this (I have been CPR trained for over two decades and this was my first). It was surreal. It was like everything was going 100 miles an hour but I was walking through molasses. Getting the defibrillator out, I placed it in the bed of his truck (just in case). When he asked me to double-check her pulse I couldn't find one; not even a shallow one. ”We need to get her out of the truck!” With that we moved her to the pavement.

While her husband started breathing for her, I started removing the clothing; that is when I realized my Rescue Tool was still in the rig. Reaching down I pulled free my Ranger 61 (w/clip) and cut her clothing away and placed the pads on her. ”Do not touch person”, the defibrillator advised us as it checked for vitals. "Do not shock, begin C.P.R”.  That was good news, for it detected a faint pulse. Her husband gave breaths while I did compressions; all the time I watched for the ambulance. FINALLY they arrived and took over for us.

I don’t know how long I watched them. Seconds seemed like minutes, minutes seemed like hours. I remember though as they were getting her ready for transport I noticed the monitor and there was a rhythm. By this time we had all lanes of traffic stopped. After the fire engine and ambulance left, a police officer held the lane for me so I could pull my rig out. "No thanks, I just want to stay awhile.” As fast as it started, it was over.

The reason I stayed was simple. I felt like crying, throwing up and melting down, all at the same time. Before her husband left, he told me that about a mile back she stopped breathing and he didn't know what to do. It was a strange highway to them, it was still dark out (early morning), traffic was speeding by, and then he saw my emergency lights ahead. "I don't know if you believe in God? he started to say before I stopped him with a shaking voice "Oh, yes I do." One of the many things I found strange was, I remember looking down while doing compressions and there was my knife with the blade closed, I don’t remember closing it. Grabbing the knife, opening it, using it, and closing it was all one motion.

There is an old saying, “If you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail.” Inside my rig between the front seats is a Rescue Hammer with belt cutter in the handle.  On my visor is a belt cutter, on the headlight knob hangs a small case with a Rescue Tool, CPR mask and gloves.  With all this proper equipment, what was handy when I needed it? A Wenger Ranger 61, a knife that I couldn’t stand when I first got it.

I know now I have found my permanent EDC, which stands for Everyday Carry, or the knife I carry everyday.


-October 2008-

Swiss Man - Indiana

Swiss Army Knives

I have owned a Commander in black for over 20 years and just recently the scissor broke. I am having a hard time trying to replace it. It has become a part of me. I have recently looked at your site, and even with all of the choices you have, I think I will keep this one for another 20 years. Your knives are the best.
John VanderBok - New Jersey

Swiss Army Knives

There When You Need it Most
I have owned and used your Traditional Swiss Army Knife for years and love them. Last week your knife saved a once in a life time trip for me. While elk hunting four miles deep in the very rough terrain of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area of Western Colorado, I was sussessful in harvesting a beautiful 5x5 Bull elk. After a couple of pictures, I set about the job of field dressing the animal. Unfortunately, some time during the pursuit, my regular hunting knife was lost from my belt sheath. Without field dressing and cooling the animal, the meat would surely spoil. Certainly the time that a four mile hike out of the wilderness area and back in the next day with a replacement knife would take would lead to the loss of the animail and the delicious meat. While considering my options, I found that out of habit, I had placed one of your 4-blade Traditional knives in my pants pocket. Although skeptical, I tried your knife. I found that your knife was not only tough enough but held a sharp blade long enough to completely field dress the 700 pound animal. Your knife was amazing. It allowed me to open up and cool down the bull elk and save the meat from spoilage. Your knife saved my Once in a life time hunt. I will always carry a Swiss Army knife where ever I go.
Daniel Lodge - Minnesota

Business Gear

Got My Back!
I have always been a get-up-and-go person. I love going fast and getting things done. I own a small computer company in the town in which I live. One of my many jobs is to repair computers and computer networks. Because of the price of gas I decided to get a motorcycle. After about a month, I was coming upon a right hand turn and was leaning into the corner when I found myself being pushed me off the road by a tremendous gust of wind. Before I knew it I was inching off the road, lost control of the bike and flipped it sideways. I was going pretty fast when I lost control, and I was sent sliding on the road for about 400ft., leaving my bike in a line of pieces. I was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, t-shirt, and my SwissGear Pegasus backpack with all my tools and computer in it. I got road rash on my knees, arms and shoulders. My foot got the worst, my shoe lace got caught on the bike as I was launched off, tightening my shoe then painfully pulling it off. I would have had much more road rash then I did if it where not for the backpack. I rode it for a good portion of the distance and my backside was perfect because of it. The backpack had little damage, and my tools and laptop had no damage. I will forever be grateful that I purchased such a well built backpack from SwissGear/Wenger. Thanks!
Douglas Bradshaw - Missouri

© 2015 Wenger NA. All rights reserved