Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Ranger Review: One Of a Kind

Updated March 17, 2024

Victorinox Ranger

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  • The Victorinox Ranger provides a very dense and near-complete toolset.
  • The selection of tools makes the Victorinox Ranger a unique 5-layer SAK.
  • It is one of the few SAKs that works well for home, office, and the outdoors.
  • It manages to retain a compact form factor ideal for pocket carry.

It feels strange to review a Swiss Army Knife like the Victorinox Ranger after so many years of owning it.

I fondly remember how it was the first Swiss Army Knife I ever got for myself, and how it has been a constant companion during those early days.

Victorinox Ranger In Hand
My decades-old Victorinox Ranger is still going strong!

I moved on to other lighter and thinner SAKs since then as my EDC, and only used the Ranger sporadically. Looking back at my SAK collection, I feel the Victorinox Ranger can perhaps solve a genuine problem for SAK lovers. 

I will elaborate on this further along with my experiences of owning the Ranger for more than 20 years. But let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of this somewhat unique model.

  • Huge toolset
  • The wood saw, and the metal file/saw
  • Pocketable form factor
  • Doesn’t have a Philips screwdriver
  • May be bulky for some users

The Appeal of the Ranger Swiss Army Knife

Most people get the Victorinox Classic or the Victorinox Spartan as their first SAK just to get a feel of it, and later upgrade to higher models. But that wasn’t the case with me!

The reason?

I wanted my first Swiss Army Knife to have all the tools that I find interesting. The ideal model would have been the Victorinox Swiss Champ, but the price was beyond my range at that time.

So I thoroughly searched the entire Victorinox SAK catalog for a SAK model that suits my needs.

In addition to the common tools that all SAKs have, my primary requirement was to also have the three big tools, viz. the scissors, the wood saw, and the metal file/saw.

Guess what, the cheapest SAK to meet those criteria and also available in the market was the 5-layer SAK – the Victorinox Ranger!

Victorinox Ranger- the Big 3 Tools
Scissors, Wood Saw, Metal File/Saw – the 3 big tools in the Victorinox Ranger!
Do You Know?

The Victorinox Ranger is the slimmest Swiss Army Knife model to contain both the metal saw/file and the wood saw. All other SAKs with all those tools have 6 or more layers, too expensive, and too heavy and thick for pocket carry (at least, for me).

That was 20 years ago, and the situation hasn’t changed even today! The Ranger is still cheap on Amazon if you consider its formidable tool set.

Core Features and Benefits of the Victorinox Ranger

The Ranger stands out for its comprehensive set of tools, designed to tackle a wide range of tasks.

With two blades, a pair of scissors, the bottle opener with a flathead screwdriver and wire stripper, the can opener with a small screwdriver, the corkscrew, the awl, and even the multipurpose hook, the Ranger has all the usual suspects.

In addition, it has certain rarely seen tools like the metal saw/file, the chisel, and the nail cleaner.

Victorinox Ranger  All Tools
The Ranger is jam-packed with tools!

Victorinox says the Ranger has 21 functions in all. Want the complete list of tools and functions? Check here.

Unique Toolset of The Ranger

I have often said that I prefer separate SAKs for home use and outdoor use. The basic tools found in any Swiss Army Knife that has a pair of scissors are usually enough for the indoors.

However, for outdoor adventures, it’s useful to have a wood saw, and sometimes a metal saw. 

The extensive toolset of the Ranger covers all of these and more!

If I am allowed to have only one SAK in my pocket and no other in my keychain or bag, then the Ranger will be my automatic choice.

Yes, I do have the Swiss Champ.

But I am not comfortable carrying that much bulk in my pocket. I prefer carrying the Swiss Champ in my bag, or a pouch attached to my belt. 

Ranger Vs Swiss Champ
Victorinox Ranger Vs Victorinox Swiss Champ – look at the size difference!

The Swiss Champ is an excellent SAK in its own right, and arguably one of the most popular that Victorinox had ever made.

But the Victorinox Ranger gives 80% of the functions of the Swiss Champ in 50% of the bulk. And should I mention it costs much less?

Versatility for Every Adventure

The Ranger Swiss Army Knife’s versatility comes from its near-complete toolset. Its design thoughtfully incorporates tools for various tasks, making it your go-to companion whether you are at home, on the trail, or facing the unexpected. 

Its adaptability is its superpower, equipping you for life’s adventures, big and small. 

Construction and Material Quality

I don’t have anything new to say about the construction quality of the Victorinox Ranger. All Victorinox Swiss Army Knives have impeccable build quality. The Ranger is no exception. 

The stainless steel tools, the aluminum liners, and the Cellidor scales, all combine beautifully in a compact and ergonomic design.

The Ranger was my first experience with a real Swiss Army Knife. Until then, I have been using those Chinese knockoffs as I could not afford a real one. My multi-tool journey started with the Ranger.

I remember I was in awe when I held the Ranger in my hands for the first time.

Interestingly, there are two variants of the Ranger. One with normal red scales, and the other with the logo ‘Camping’ printed on it.

I have the Ranger ‘Camping’ model.

Victorinox Ranger Camping Logo
The ‘Camping‘ logo is screen-printed on the front scale of my Victorinox Ranger!

The Practicality of Carrying a Ranger Swiss Army Knife

In a world where being prepared is key, the Ranger Swiss Army Knife is the epitome of practicality. Its compact design along with the vast array of tools tucked within makes it an indispensable part of your everyday carry.

What Works for Me: Highlighting Key Features

For me, the standout features have always been the scissors, the flathead screwdriver, and the blade.

I have also used the metal saw to cut some iron nails in half (just out of curiosity to check its effectiveness). It took a long time to do that.

But the fun part was always having a wood saw in my pocket when out in the garden.

The wood saw has quite aggressive teeth! I was surprised by its performance, especially for being such a tiny pocket tool.

Victorinox Ranger Wood Saw
I tried the saw on a piece of wood lying around.
Victorinox Ranger Wood Saw 2
That’s the result after 30 seconds of saw-ing!

To be honest, I normally prefer a longer wood saw and a metal saw. Sawing off wood or metal is a time-consuming process and the longer the tools, the better.

But longer tools would also mean a longer SAK, which may not fit in the pocket. That the Victorinox Ranger manages to pack a wood saw and a metal saw in its 91mm body without adding too much heft or weight is itself an achievement.

Opportunities for Improvement

With the tools that the Ranger already has, I don’t see anything that can be added or removed to make it more useful. However, like everything else, I do find a glaring omission in the toolset. It’s the Philips screwdriver.

Adding a Philips screwdriver would enhance the usefulness of the Ranger quite a bit. 

The Ranger did have a sibling with the Philips screwdriver instead of the corkscrew. That model was called the Master Craftsman! However, Victorinox discontinued that model.

Do You Know?

The variant Master Craftsman has been authorized by NASA to be used by its astronauts. Victorinox later renamed the model Victorinox Astronaut.

The Victorinox Ranger in Action: Real-World Applications

From everyday tasks to unexpected challenges, the Ranger Swiss Army Knife stands ready to assist.

Personal Stories:

Many long-term users share tales of the Ranger’s reliability. One memorable story involves a hiker who used it to fix a broken tent pole, ensuring a warm, dry night in the wilderness.

You will get to know a lot of these personal experiences if you browse around the online forums at and

Expert Opinions:

Survival experts and knife enthusiasts alike praise the Ranger for its functionality and durability. Its comprehensive toolset is often highlighted as a key factor in its effectiveness in a variety of scenarios. 

Comparing the Victorinox Ranger to Other Swiss Army Knives

When stacked against other models, the Ranger shines for its dense toolset and versatility. I haven’t seen any other 5-layer SAK boasting such a rich set of tools. 

You can only compare it with 4-layer or 6-layer Swiss Army Knives.

In 4-layer SAKs, I would say the Victorinox Huntsman is a close match. It has all the main tools of the Ranger except the metal file/saw. But It also has fewer back-side tools. I think that is quite a compromise.

Among 6-layer SAKs, the Victorinox Handyman is the closest match. It has everything that the Ranger has, plus it adds a set of pliers. But the inclusion of this one extra tool increases the bulk quite a bit. 

While pliers do have their uses, I don’t find them very useful in Swiss Army Knives. Your mileage may vary.

What Sets the Ranger Apart

What makes the Victorinox Ranger stand apart from its competitors is its unique blend of functionality in a considerably slim design. 

It is the slimmest SAK that has both the wood saw and the metal file/saw. Also, all of its 5 layers are packed with tools on both sides. Yes, the Ranger has 5 back-side tools! I haven’t seen any other SAK so densely packed.

I recently discovered that even with its 5-layers, the Ranger has the same thickness as my favorite 4-layer SAK, the Explorer!
That was quite a surprise for me.

Maybe I should try EDC the Ranger again. At least I am sure the bulk won’t be an issue.

Explorer Vs Ranger Thickness Comparison
Yes, the Explorer and the Ranger are almost of the same thickness!
Do You Know?

The 5-layer Victorinox Ranger has all the tools on the back side that the 8-layer Swiss Champ has!

Making the Decision: Is the Victorinox Ranger Right for You?

If you’re the kind of person who loves being prepared, then the Ranger might just be your perfect match. But the same thing can be said about a lot of other SAKs, isn’t it? 

The key is to match the knife’s features with your specific needs. I think the Victorinox Ranger will be perfect for you if:

  • You want a huge toolset, including a wood saw and metal saw, in your pocket.
  • You want the same SAK for home, office, as well as outdoor activities.
  • You like the Swiss Champ, but cannot afford it.

What You Need to Know Before Purchasing

Before you decide on the Ranger, think about what tools you really need. Its versatility is unmatched, but it’s also more substantial than simpler models. Consider the weight and the size – will you carry it comfortably? 

Remember, the best Swiss Army Knife is the one that you have on you when you need it. So, choose wisely based on your lifestyle and needs.

The Final Assessment: Verdict on the Victorinox Ranger

The Victorinox Ranger is a unique SAK in terms of its tool combination. In that sense, this multi-functional tool is quite alone in the Victorinox SAK family.

Being my first Swiss Army Knife, I am sentimental about my Ranger. I have thoroughly used it as EDC for the first few years until I gradually migrated to other SAK models.

I still use my Ranger sometimes, and do clean and sharpen it occasionally.

It is still in top-notch condition, and can readily replace any other SAK as my daily driver if I feel the need to do so.

Top Pick
Victorinox Ranger
Victorinox Ranger
The Poor Man’s Swiss Champ!

Now, the next step is yours.

If you’re looking to elevate your adventure gear or simply want a reliable tool on hand, consider adding the Victorinox Ranger Swiss Army Knife to your collection. Take action, and embark on your next adventure with confidence.

About Me

Deb is passionate about pocket tools, bags, and accessories, especially any type of everyday-use gear (or not so everyday-use gear) that makes life efficient, comfortable, and more enjoyable.

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