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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BY Scott Roepel / LAST UPDATED 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 its 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
- 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.