Santa payed a visit (after all) leaving behind a brand new toy to play with, the Wenger Biker 37 swiss army knife. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment, shiny red sides and shiny chromium colored tools. It also looks reasonably heavy duty weighing in at 170g.
There are hundreds of different Wenger knife models available with different combinations of tools. For this one to qualify as a biker knife can mostly be attributed to the inclusion of the chain rivet setter and the spoke wrench tools. It’s not a comprehensive bicycle multi tool though, as it’s lacking many essentials. For example it only holds one size allen (5mm) key. Nevertheless, we don’t consider it a big shortcoming as different bikes need different set of tools so that combining this knife with a couple of bike specific wrenches one has a perfect ride companion.
Overall, the tools in the Wenger knifes are of exceptional quality. We have handled the Wenger Watch Makers Knife in the past and the precision tools in that one have left us really impressed. The Wenger knifes offer very good value for money, maybe even more so than brands like Leatherman which are good tools in their own right.
The Biker 37 boasts the following tools.
10 mm detachable hexagonal wrench – Screwdriver – Spoke key (3.3 mm and 3.5 mm openings) – Extension lever. This is a detachable tool that serves many purposes. It can be used to open the other tools, especially the universal wrench and the phillips screwdriver which are pretty tight when folded. It can also be used as an extension lever with the chain rivet setter tool as the smaller hole fits the 5mm allen wrench and of course the other way round using the knife as an extension to the 10mm hexagonal wrench. It also has the 3.3mm and 3.5mm spoke key slots and the flat screwdriver head. The tool could also be used as an emergency tire lever.
85 mm – Large blade. There is no locking mechanism in the blade so no pushing with this one.
All-purpose wrench (exclusive). This is good for hexagonal nuts from 5mm to 8mm. It’s fairly thick at 2.6 mm. The wrench seems to get a reasonably good grip with a few tried sample nuts. The universal wrenches are usually not very good with rusted tight nuts or bolts so it remains to be seen how this one fairs on the road.
Can opener. Once again this is a typical swiss army knife tool and something that might not be included with a bike specific multi tool. The tip and the cutting edge are very sharp so that it can also be used for cutting. Not as easy to use for opening tin cans as a traditional cheap angled tool.
Chain rivet setter. The screw in this tool is also a removable 5mm allen key. As was mentioned, this is the only size allen key available with this knife but it might actually be feasible to insert a 6mm allen head with a 5mm allen socket at the end of it and still maintain the foldability, making the knife just that one bit (pun intended) more useful. The frame of the rivet setter looks convincing at 7.4 mm thick and the tool is fairly easy to use.
Corkscrew. Nothing much to say about this. I works as good (or as bad) as any similar tool.
Flat screwdriver with safety lock system – Cap lifter – Wire bender. The screwdriver head is reasonably wide at 6mm. If that is too wide for the job at hand it is possible to use the narrower one at the end of the detachable tool. As the wheelmen mostly enjoy canned goods the cap lifter hasn’t seen any action yet.
Nail file – Nail cleaner – Screwdriver for small cross head screws. The tip of this screwdriver is sharper than in the phillips screwdriver below. A metal file would have suited a bike tool better.
Phillips screwdriver with safety lock system (exclusive). This is a strong screwdirver which locks in to place once pushed. This tool seems to fit better for most of the phillips heads on our bikes than the tool above which is a good thing as this tool has a dedicated phillips tip.
Reamer. This tool might be good for cleaning the end of the cable housing after it has been cut, if it has been cut that is, see below.
Slip-joint pliers (exclusive) – Wire crimper – Inside and outside wire cutters – Nut wrench. The pliers are quite delicate and are most appropriate as a crimping tool. The wire cutter is meant for electrical wires and not for steel cables. The pliers are probably not up to wrenching tight nuts such as rear hub axle nuts so for them it’s best to keep a fitting spanner in the saddle bag.
Toothpick. This is a nice extra which is not usually available on Leatherman type multitools. Besides its intended purpose it can also be used as a non-metal-scratching small tool.
Tweezers. We haven’t figured out any use for these yet but once we do we’ll sure to let you know.
Conclusion: High quality Swiss tool built to last. Not a comprehensive traveling workshop but complemented with a couple of allen keys, a set of tire levers, and a wrench for axle nuts if necessary, would make for a basic road kit.