Best Swiss Army Knife for 2017 – Thorough Reviews
After reviewing multiple swiss army knives across various different brands, we think the Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker is the best swiss army knife for most people, while the Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp is a superb but costlier alternative. If you're tight on budget, Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD might be what you're looking for.
If you’re looking for the best Swiss Army Knife, you’re not alone. Once limited for the use of the armed forces, the Swiss Army Knife is now a highly coveted tool by consumers owing to their versatility. Because they combine several tools in one, it saves you storage space, crucial if you’re camping and want to travel light.
The name "Swiss Army Knife" is trademarked and refers to the knives manufactured by Victorinox and Wenger (Victorinox now owns Wenger but Wenger Swiss Army Knives are still available). That being said, “Swiss Army Knife” is now used for all knives with instruments besides a blade.
Best Swiss Army Knife - Our Choices
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Swiss Army Knife
Here are our picks for the Top Swiss Army Knives
Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife
The best Swiss Army Knife reviews are usually reserved for the Victorinox, and understandably so as they’re the original and manufacture the genuine Swiss Army Knives.
With the Super Tinker Pocket Knife you get more than a dozen tools including scissors, a bottle opener, tweezers, blades and more.
Known for its reflective body, the Farmer is also notable for its textured body, essential for a firm grip.
The Farmer comes with a blade, a can opener, awl and a saw, and this is a very tough Swiss Knife that is resistant to rust and wear and tear. If you’re looking for a Swiss knife for tough jobs, this is it.
The Hiker comes with tools that would come in handy when you’re going out for a hike.
The knife has a rear spike for self-defense or water perforation and a saw for kindling, and there are other tools included like a Philips head screwdriver for repairing and fixing things, emphasizing its function as a utility tool.
Wenger 16388 Swiss Army EvoWood 18 Pocket Knife
The Wenger 16388 comes with a springless pair of scissors, a nail file, reamer, awl, wire stripper, Phillips head screwdriver, 2-1/2-inch blade and a can opener.
Like other Swiss Army Knives, it has a lifetime warranty and is notable for its distinct grain patterns and shades, making it one of the best Swiss Army Knife for the money.
Victorinox Signature Lite
The Signature Lite has some similarities with the Classic SD, but has unique features like a LED flashlight and a retractable pen, handy for those times you may want to write something down and don’t have a pen nearby.
Like other Victorinox Swiss Army Knives, the Lite is stainless steel.
Valtev 13 Function Folding Pocket Knife
The Valtev cannot compare to the other top rated Swiss Army Knife products from Victorinox in terms of popularity, but it has features not present in other Swiss Army Knives like a fish scaler, a mini saw and a LED flashlight.
The Valtev is constructed of stainless steel and has a nylon pouch throw in for good measure.
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD
This is the basic Swiss Army Knife from Victorinox, but it’s still of very good quality. It comes with tweezers, a pair of scissors, screwdriver tip, a file, a blade and toothpick.
You can clip this on your backpack or keychain, and since it is stainless steel will last a long time.
Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp
If you want to buy Swiss Army Knife online and budget is not a concern, there’s no other option than the Swisschamp.
Among the tools included are a corkscrew, hole puncher, several blades, pliers, saw, ruler and more. This is a serious tool and meant for serious users.
Victorinox Swiss Army Trekker
The camo themed Trekker puts the emphasis on the knife rather than the other tools.
The partially serrated blade is activated via a one hand deployment for convenient use, and there’s a thumb hole to boot. If you’re done cutting and need more tools, the Trekker comes with an opener, screwdrivers, saw, wire stripper and reamer.
Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman
The Huntsman comes with a large and small blade, scissors, a corkscrew, a saw and a number of other tools.
Designed for the huntsman and outdoor enthusiast, it is somewhere in-between the Signature Lite and the other Swiss Army Knives in terms of features, and quality wise right up there with the best.
Leatherman Crater C33TX Combo Straight/Serrated Blade Knife
The Leatherman knife comes with a combo blade as well as a detachable pocket clip and bottle opener / carabiner.
If you’re looking for the best Swiss Army Knife for sale the Leatherman might not seem like an ideal first choice, but it’s actually well-made and comes with a lot of features.
What are the Instruments in a Swiss Army Knife?
If you’re looking for the best Swiss Army Knife to fit your needs, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with their features. Swiss Army Knives have different implementations of course, and many are self-explanatory like blades and scissors, but the use of other tools and their functions are not so obvious.
Corkscrew: aside from opening wine bottles, it’s also useful for untangling knots.
Can opener: to use, hook the rim onto the opener’s bottom and slice the edge in the can. Do this repeatedly around the can till it is opened.
Straight pin: this detachable pin is used for removing splinters, resetting buttons and other tasks.
Ball point pen: some Swiss knives have pressurized ball pens for writing, while others come with the retractable type.
Magnifying glass: self-explanatory, the magnification varies per tool, though the maximum is usually around 8x.
Wire crimping tool: in the Swisschamp you’ll see a wire crimping tool between the plier handles, and it’s used to connect wires.
Pliers: Victorinox has implemented pliers in their various Swiss knives since the mid-1980s and works like the scissors.
Wood chisel: look for this tool if you’re into cutting or carving wood.
These are just some of the many tools and utilities you’ll come across in Swiss Army Knives, and there are probably plenty more being developed. While these descriptions are helpful, the best way to really learn is to use them. One of the nice things about these tools is they can be used in ways that even the manufacturers did not foresee, underscoring their versatility.
How to Choose a Swiss Army Knife
Buying a Swiss Army Knife requires careful consideration, much more so than with a regular pocket knife because of the numerous features. Here are some suggestions:
How do you intend to use the tool? Is it something you’re going to use daily or only on occasion?
Learn the different types: as our review above shows, there are different kinds of Swiss Army Knives, some for general purpose, others for farmers, huntsmen and so on. However, keep in mind those names are general descriptions of the tool’s function and design.
If it’s your first time to buy a Swiss Knife and not sure what to get, stick with the basics.
Better yet, take your time and determine what features you’re looking for. Write the features you’re looking for, and make a clear distinction between the features you want and need. Using this method you’ll be able to find the Swiss Knife that meets your specific requirements and budget.
Quality and Price
Just like with other products, you get what you pay for with Swiss knives. The more features you want, the more you’ll have to pay for it. The brand is another factor that determines price so expect to pay more for a Wenger/Victorinox than other brands. However, there’s a reason why their products are more expensive, and that’s due to the quality.
The general rule with these knives is the higher the quality the more expensive it’ll be, so if you’re after quality, get the best Swiss knife you can afford. Even if the knife costs a bit, the tradeoff is you’ll be able to use it for a long time, or even a lifetime.
Usage and Application
This was touched upon earlier but we need to emphasize here because of its importance. The way you intend to use the knife should determine how much you spend for it and what it will be for. If you’re a camper or outdoor enthusiast, get a heavy duty Swiss knife with the tools you’ll need. The same rule applies if you’re going to use it as an EDC knife.
For instance, a huntsman or hiker who dresses up game and does other rugged tasks should get a Swiss knife with the largest blade possible. Most of these tools have at least one large and one small blade that are built to last so you can depend on them.
If you’re looking for a companion to your main survival knife or want to use the Swiss knife as such, look for tools like a saw, magnifying glass, LED light, blades and openers. If you’re after an EDC knife, nail files, corkscrews and scissors would be more practical to use. For survival and emergency purposes, the top Swiss Army Knife should have a long, durable blade (partial serration would be nice) and a locking system. Apart from a wood saw, a wire stripper will come in handy as well.
As for the other features it’s up to you to decide. Just make certain it meets your requirements and can be applied properly.
Weight and Size
Whether it’s for work or an outdoor adventure, a pocket knife should be compact and light. Swiss knives are no exception. Manufacturers have done a great job slimming down these tools, but the fact is the more implements added, the bulkier it will be. An ideal Swiss knife should be small enough to fit in your pocket: in other words, the knife should be versatile enough for use in survival or emergency situations while being compact enough for EDC.
Swiss Army Knives are as well-known for their durability as versatility. The blade and other tools are stainless steel and the other components are aluminum or hard plastic. Regardless of the model you buy, these knives have high quality craftsmanship and hardly require any maintenance.
The tools from Victorinox and other manufacturers have a lifetime warranty so quality won’t be a concern. The blades hold up pretty well and won’t need any sharpening for a long time either.
Other Factors to Consider
When shopping for one of these knives, don’t forget to check the official website for updates concerning the product you’re intending to buy. If you’re still not sure which one to buy, you can do a comparison of their features or get recommendations from your friends who own one of these tools.
So which is the best Swiss Army Knife? It’s a matter of personal preference: while some may prefer those with all the tools, others may opt for something simpler. Regardless what you choose from the ones we have shown here, you’re sure to find a lot of uses for them.