Occam’s Ranger

SOG’s Northwest Ranger Makes A Case For Simple Perfection.

Many are familiar with the Occam’s Razor theory which implies, in a nutshell, that the simplest answer is most often the correct answer. The hypothesis is that of 14th-century Franciscan friar Father William of Ockham who stated, “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” That pretty much describes SOG’s Northwest Ranger—a fixed-blade knife so devoid of complication it’s near impossible to find fault.

SOG first introduced the Northwest Ranger in 1998 and it stayed in the line for a decade until 2008. It was resurrected in 2010 with the addition of the Black Tini model you see here, the original only available in satin finish. The NW Ranger is a spinoff of SOG’s highly popular Pentagon model, replacing the double-ground fighting blade with a working clip-point and the addition of a single guard. At a tad under 10″ overall, the length of the knife places it slightly longer than the average hunting knife, but under that of a small bowie, which gives it some capabilities of each. It’s not a field dresser, as typical skinning knives have a 4″ blade or shorter, but it can handle the chores. It’s not a big survival hacker, but can chop down small trees for building a shelter. For some, this might just be the perfect middle ground.

The NW Ranger’s 5.25″ clip-point blade, V-ground for a durable edge, is made from AUS 8 stainless blade steel—not an exotic blend but considered in the upper echelon of production steels. The clean, symmetrical handle is made of Kraton with a checkered texture, making for a sure, yet comfortable grip. A notched thumb ramp on the back of the blade adds even greater purchase. The guard does its job in a non-obtrusive way. At 6.2 ounces the NW Ranger is easy to tote and comes with a handsome leather sheath to handle the duty. Better yet, the Northwest Ranger comes at a friar’s price: $114 for the Black Tini version and under a 100 bucks for the standard satin finish model. In short, this is a wilderness knife that can perform many duties in simple and effective fashion. Father William would be proud.

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