LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2019
Best Swiss Army Knives: Versatile, Pocket-Sized Tools
Get access to various tools in one place with these Swiss Army knives
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PUBLISHED ON October 12, 2019
A Swiss Army knife is one of the most versatile tools you can carry. It is compact, lightweight, and small enough to fit in a pocket or pouch. It can handle anything from tightening a screw with its built-in screwdriver to slicing and cutting with scissors. If you are looking for one of the best Swiss Army knives, consider one of the options in the buying guide below.
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Benefits of a Swiss Army Knife
- Versatile. You can use a Swiss Army knife in a variety of ways, such as for opening a wine bottle, clipping a wire, peeling fruit, and cutting paper or clothing. You can also use the knife for measuring a certain height, among other things.
- Bendable and portable. Swiss Army Knives are bendable, so they are easy to take along with you. You can put them in luggage, inside a pouch, or even your pocket.
- Reliable: They are quite durable and can withstand many years of use. You can take them on your camping trips and other outdoor trips for years to come. They do not break easily, and the edge is quite sharp.
- Good value for money: A Swiss Army knife is ideal for any budget. Some of the included tools, such as pliers, scissors and wood saw, make the knife a worthwhile investment.
Types of Swiss Army Knives
All the Army knives in this category come with a stainless steel blade. They are the ultimate multi-tool, complete with tweezers, scissors, nail file with screwdriver, toothpick, and key ring. Most classic SDs come with a lifetime guarantee against workmanship or material defects. They are quite robust and durable as well to take the abuse associated with outdoor use.
With two blades and a straight-edge knife, these rugged Swiss army knives are ideal for camping. Tinkers have various stainless steel components for stain and corrosion resistance. The knives are quite sturdy and easy to use in a variety of outdoor conditions. Tinkers usually have aluminum housing and sturdy nylon handles to ensure that they last for many years.
The Evos are short and effectively mold to the hand for ease of use. The convex and concave scales fit perfectly to your grip, and you can use the knife to tighten or loosen screws and for cutting. They may look different, but not enough to tell that it is not a Swiss Army knife. It is popular among the younger generations who are interested in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.
Rangergrips come with an ergonomic handle with rubber inlays for improved grip. They have multi-tools that include a can opener, lock blade, cap lifter, reamer, keyring, corkscrew, wire stripper, and screwdrivers. Like the other types of Swiss Army knives, Rangergrips are crafted in Switzerland to ensure the utmost durability and quality.
Versatile and novel are the two terms that best define the Swisschamp pocket knife. It is the original multi-tool, and can have up to 33 functions. Typically, it bridges the gap in a wide variety of small folding tools. We can say that this Swiss Army knife has everything that an outdoor enthusiast would like to see in a portable pocket knife.
The company behind the Swiss Army Knife boasts a rock-solid heritage and the traditional Swiss focus on quality and innovation. Victorinox is founded on integrity and family values. The organization was founded in 1897 by Karl Elsener and has grown to be a pioneer on a global level. Victorinox has five product categories that include cutlery, Swiss Army knives, watches, fragrances, and travel gear. The Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool SwissChamp Pocket Knife is one of their top products.
Swiss Army Knife Pricing
- $30-$60: The Swiss Army knives in this price range have a height of 0.8” and are 3.6” (91 mm) in length. They only weigh 3.5 oz. The army knife has various tools that include a 2.45-inch blade, bottle opener with screwdriver, wood saw, scissors, and a Phillips screwdriver.
- $60 and up: The weight of the Swiss Army knives in this category is 5.89 oz. They are .75 inches in height and 4.37" (111 mm) long. Apart from the one-hand serrated locking blade, the other tools include a window breaker, disc saw, crate opener, and a screwdriver.
Size of the Blade
The size of the blade will determine its effectiveness in cutting and folding. If the blade is too big, portability would be an issue. However, it will be of little help if it is too small. There must be a right balance in terms of size to ensure portability and usability. How you intend to use the Swiss Army knife will also determine which size blade is most appropriate. Folks who travel a lot, such as servicemen, will need a highly portable and relatively large blade. A smaller blade might be fine if you bought the knife to use only occasionally for small tasks.
A metal corkscrew is an essential tool for opening wine bottles. The corkscrew comes in handy, as it will make your life more convenient when traveling across the state or opening bottles outdoors.
Can Opener Featuring a 3 mm Flat-Head Screwdriver
The can opener on a Swiss Army knife may be old school, but it can be a lifesaver on a camping trip. The cap of the opener has to go to the lip of the can, and then you puncture the lid by pressing the sharp bit into it. You can also use the can opener as a 3 mm flat head screwdriver, which is especially useful with the Phillips head screws. However, you will need to use the tip by using it at an angle. Don’t use the flat breadth.
Bottle Opener with 6 mm Screwdriver, Plus Wire Stripper and Bender
For 6 mm screws, you can use the bottle opener. The flat tip is especially useful with screws, and that makes it quite convenient for a variety of uses. However, the primary function of the bottle opener is to remove the bottle tops of your favorite drink. At the bottom of the opener tool, you will find a wire stripper and bender, another vital tool to have in Swiss Army knife.
Reamer and Hole Punch
The Victorinox knives awl, as it is also known, is quite useful in puncturing holes in canvas or leather. You can also use the reamer to force through holes in sturdier materials such as wood. It has some intentional tapering that allows you to dig deeper and make the holes wider by scraping the sides with the sharp edge as you move along. The reamer may be the smallest tool in the Swiss Army Knife, but it is quite robust, convenient, and useful.
The key ring is easy to identify as it is usually hanging on the outside of the knife. The primary function of the tool is to attach to the belt loop, keychain or any other place such as your backpack for everyday carry convenience. The feature comes in handy by improving the knife’s portability. You are also free to attach other useful survival tools to the Swiss Army Knife before heading out for an adventure.
Tweezers and Toothpick
Huntsman, campers, and other people going on a picnic will need tweezers to pick out small stuff and toothpick to remove the little pieces of meat and food stuck between the teeth. Some people may not find these tools as necessary, but most outdoor enthusiasts who love to eat and drink away from the city and in nature will need them. The end of the tweezers looks like a tiny gray plastic knob. On the other hand, the toothpick is a small plastic tool that is usually tan in color.
- Making a fire. In survival situations, you are going to need a fire to cook your food and keep warm in the evening. As a huntsman, you may have a ferrocerium or lighter, but having a backup method is always ideal, and that is where the Swiss Army Knife comes in. The other part of the fire starter kit includes a small piece of steel wool and a battery from a flashlight. To make a fire, open the bottle opener halfway and all the way for the can opener. Form a tinder bundle with a small piece of steel wool mixed with cotton wool. Hold the tactical flashlight battery using the can opener and the bottle opener. Leave a small gap between the can opener and the positive pole of the battery. Insert the steel wool in this gap, and it will eventually heat up and catch fire.
- Making the soda can stove: You will need the concave bottoms of two soda cans. Use the reamer tool to make about six holes on one of them and cut the bottom inch off from the cans. Fit the two bases together, with the one with holes on top. You may need to bend the edges to get a snug fit slightly. Fill the stove with methyl alcohol through the holes and light it up.
Best Swiss Army Knife Reviews & Recommendations 2021
With up to 33 functions and tempered steel construction, this Swiss Army Knife is one of the most versatile and durable available. Among the tools are a Phillips screwdriver, 2.45-inch blade, corkscrew, pliers, and bottle opener with screwdriver.
Of particular note is the high quality of the pliers. Other essential tools include a mini ruler and a magnifying glass. As a result, you can use the pocket knife when deep in the jungle or around your home. All these tools make this pocket knife almost like a small toolbox that can prove useful when outdoors. There is a tool for every activity. The blade and the entire stainless steel construction is durable and corrosion-resistant. The assembly is encased in sleek red ABS scales for additional durability and appeal.
Unfortunately, the numerous tools makes this pocket knife a bit heavy at 6.5 ounces. It can also prove a hassle to pull out the tool you need. Also, the scissors and knife could be sharper.
If you don’t want to too spend much on a Swiss army knife, we recommend choosing the Classic SD. It comes equipped with seven tools, including a nail file, toothpick, tweezers, keyring, screwdriver, scissors, and a 1.25-inch blade. It’s evident that the tool range is quite diverse so you can rely on it for outdoor adventures such as hiking, backpacking, camping, or for a quick repair of a loose screw.
The tools are made from tough, stainless steel to increase their durability and are housed in a red, polished, ABS plastic shell. For user convenience, the scissors are spring loaded to reduce the strain on your fingers since they have a small profile. Generally, the pocket knife is compact, and it won’t feel awkward integrating it in the set of keys you carry around every day.
The main issue we take with this pocket knife is that the spring on the scissors can break easily, especially with frequent use. Also, the tools are small and there’s a high chance that they can hurt you when handled incorrectly or when they snap. Apart from that, it has fewer tools in comparison to higher-end Victorinox pocket knives, which have at least 15 tools.
The rescue tool comes with up to 12 convenient tools that you can use on a variety of projects or for survival when outdoors. The pocket knife comes in stainless steel construction for durability, is 4.8 inches long, and weighs less than six ounces.
Even though it has various tools that you find on other types of Swiss Army knives, it has an extra serrated blade for effective and precise cutting. The other tools include a disc saw, an emergency glass breaker, and a carrying case that is quite convenient. That makes it quite portable and easy to store in your vehicle or around the house.
On the downside, the positioning of the screwdriver makes it uncomfortable to use in tight spaces. The pocket knife is also not budget-friendly, and the blade may tend to get dull after a short period. Also, some people find the various tools to be too tight to pull out.
The Tinker pocket knife is another affordable option from Victorinox. It features 12 functions, including a Phillips screwdriver, reamer, can opener, toothpick, tweezers, wire stripper, and a variety of blades. The selection of tools indicates that you can use this pocket knife for both work and play. It will come in handy for opening a can of food and also for performing light mechanic duties.
The tools are made from stainless steel and housed in the signature red, polished, ABS plastic housing. The largest blade is 3.6 inches long, which is long enough to provide a fatigue-free cutting experience. Also, the tool is compact enough to function as an EDC knife.
Unfortunately, some of the tools including the tweezers might feel a bit flimsy. It’s important to tighten all the tools once you receive your package to keep them from snapping easily. Also, the blades are pretty sharp and may not be safe for young scouts.
The Trekker pocket knife is a professional-grade multitool with a design that branches out of the typical red plastic shell that’s common with most Victorinox pocket knives. This option has a black, polished, ergonomic handle that offers a secure grip to prevent accidents. It also has a larger frame so that it can be fitted with larger tools. The most unique feature is the one-hand opening, stainless steel blade with a liner lock that keeps the blade secure when opened to prevent accidents. The lock also keeps the bottle opener in place for an easier time opening bottles.
The tool features a set of 12 functions that you would need for everyday application. They include a Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, scissors, flathead screwdriver, wood saw, bottle opener, and a serrated locking blade.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit large and heavy for an EDC knife, and the serrated blades don’t provide a clean cut. It’s best to reserve this for your camping trips when you need to cut through wood or plants.
Equipped with 15 functions, the EvoGrip pocket knife is a great choice for outdoor adventures. The tools include a Phillips screwdriver, serrated-edge scissors, wood saw, tweezers, and a 2.5-inch blade. We are impressed that the scissors are spring-loaded for easier operation, and have an inlaid rubber grip that helps you make quicker snips. The tools are tucked away in a yellow ABS shell that also includes rubber inlays for enhanced stability.
The blade locks in place when opened for safe operation, and you will find it more comfortable to have the lock resting between the index and middle finger so that it doesn’t get in your way when cutting. Besides that, the tool is compact enough to function as an EDC knife, and both the blade and bottle opener have a nail slit so that you can pull them out easily.
Much like the other options, this too has a few limitations. For one, the lock might latch onto your pocket and it may be a hassle trying to pull it out. Also, the spring on the scissors might slip off with frequent use.
The MiniChamp Pocket Knife packs a lot of useful functions in a compact design. It has 14 functions, which include a Phillips screwdriver, ruler, bottle opener, a pair of spring-loaded scissors, a nail file, a cuticle pusher, and a 1.25-inch blade. It ditches the typical ABS scales for a silver Alox scale casing for maximum durability and sleek design.
The tools are made from stainless steel and are tucked away in three layers. Pulling them out is easy with the nail slits provided, and each tool is strategically placed so that different tools can be pulled out on either side without getting in the way of each other. With the key ring provided and its lightweight design, the pocket knife sits comfortably on a key chain so that it can be within reach whenever you need it.
The price is its most significant drawback. It’s a bit more expensive than most Swiss Army knives. Also, it doesn’t come with a tweezer or toothpick, which are common features with other Victorinox pocket knives.
The Nail Clip 580 is an affordable, entry-level pocket knife with eight functions that will help you accomplish basic tasks like taking care of your nails while you are on the go. They include a nail clipper, nail file, tweezer, toothpick, serrated-edge scissors, and a 1.75-inch blade. The tools are housed in a red, polished, ABS casing with a key ring.
All the tools are forged from stainless steel for stability and durability. The nail clippers are foldable and can be deployed with a simple flip. Also, a serrated edge on the scissors ensures that they won’t go dull easily.
Naturally, this option may not work for everyone for the reason that it has basic functions suitable for an EDC tool that may not be of much help as a survival tool. Also, the nail file is a bit too rough for filing fingernails.
- If you have a difficult time pulling out the tools the first few times you use the Swiss Army knife, either wear gloves or put a lubricant on the screws and nuts to loosen the tools.
- Check to make sure none of the hinges or screws are loose on the knife after you use it to keep it from falling apart. You can easily tighten them with a screwdriver.
- To keep it from rusting, don’t leave the knife outside in rain, snow, or anywhere it can collect condensation. Leave it in a pouch when not in use.
Q: How can I sharpen a Swiss Army knife?
A: To re-sharpen the knife, use a whetstone at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. You can also use a grinding wheel to sharpen the blade. Always cool it down with plenty of water to avoid excessive temperatures and any resulting damage that may occur.
Q: What can I do to clean my Swiss Army knife?
A: Over time, you may notice the blades and other tools on the Swiss Army knife may begin to stick together. To alleviate this problem, try opening and closing the tools in warm water several times to allow the tools to easily move again. After they dry, apply a small drop of oil between the tool shank and spring. Never put Swiss Army knives in the dishwasher or washing machine.
Q: What can I do if my Swiss Army knife falls apart?
A: With extended use, a Swiss Army knife can come apart, and the tiny springs and screws holding it together can get lost. If this happens, either find replacement parts at a hobby store or send the knife back to the manufacturer.
For one of the most versatile and useful Swiss Army knives, consider the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool SwissChamp Pocket Knife.
There’s also the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife, which is a smaller, more compact version at a much lower price.