It seems that we always talk about New Rangers these days, but what about the Old Rangers? They were never imported in significant numbers to the North American market, with a few more making it into Canada than in the US, so they provide a n interesting challenge for collectors.
I have a few samples of the Old Ranger series, actually just referred to as “Rangers” or “120mm” series. However, just to keep it differentiated from the current 120mm New Ranger line, I'll keep calling them Old Rangers.
The big difference between the new and old series are the ergonomics of each. While the new series is sculpted to fit the hand, and complimented with Evolution type scales, the originals were almost all a drab green/gray color and flat as... well flat as SAK scales!
Like the New Rangers, the Old Rangers all came with locking main blades, and while the locking mechanism might seem different, it follows the same principles. At heart, it's basically just a liner lock, and it's the release mechanism that differs. On the New Rangers the lock is released by pressing in the shield, which uses a post to push the lock out of the way. The old one however uses a slider rather than a button, in a really ingenious manner. There's a small tab on the inside of the slider, and a matching, yet opposite tab on the lock mechanism. When the slider is moved, it pushed the two tabs together and pulls the lock bar out of the way, allowing the blade to close.
Speaking of the blade, the Old Ranger series also had their own blade style- a gigantic clip point. This blade is huge, and is even a fraction of an inch longer than the blades on the New Ranger series. The length of this blade is what gave the Old Ranger knives the nickname “folding machete” which is something that anyone who owns an Old Ranger can agree with.
All in all, I have been a fan of the Old Ranger for years, since well before the New Rangers were created, although I never really focused on them as a portion of my collection. Nowadays I have been working on picking up a few more here and there whenever I spot them, and I'll be sure to show them off here as I get them!