CAMPING & HIKING

Best Swiss Army Knife: Cut It Out

Swiss army knives review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

There are so many things to remember when making the choice to head to the outdoors, but what’s even more important is needing to be prepared for any situation you may encounter. A leaky pipe, a jammed door, a ripped tent and more are just a few examples of times when you need more that just your two hands. It could be something small you’re missing.

You can’t find the screwdrivers when you need them, you can’t quite see where the thread should be placed, you can’t quite pull hard enough to get that rope undone. But with the best Swiss Army knife at your side, you can take care of both simple and tough situations in a breeze.

The best Swiss Army Knife for you will have a variety of tools that often have more than one function. With all of these functions comes higher prices as well, which is why it is hard to make a choice on which is best for you.

Asking yourself, honestly, if each of the tools that come with the knife are things that you will use is a key component to making the right decision for you. If you aren’t a fisherman, then purchasing a knife with a fish scaling component wouldn’t be a wise choice.

If you do a large number of small fixes for your job or in your home, then purchasing a Swiss Army knife with numerous types and sizes of screwdrivers would be most beneficial for you.

What Makes A Good Swiss Army Knife

There are lots of factors and features in the realm of Swiss Army Knives, but knowing which of those are the most important in real-life situations and which fit most into the activities will be doing are key when choosing which knife is the best Swiss Army Knife for survival.

Swiss army knives

Dangerous situations occur and the need to be prepared is important, but using a simple tool like a Swiss Army knife you can be prepared for almost anything, dangerous and not.

From fixing your bike on a ride to work, to fending off an attacking animal, Swiss Army knives have become one of the most important and versatile tools that almost everyone owns. These small gadgets have so many functions that in any predicament, and often with a little creativity, you can solve any problem you have.

These little multi-tools are more than what they seem. They hold different features and tools and levers that can tighten, loosen, break, and fix just about anything. It’s no wonder that most adventurers own one of these and would never leave home without it. They little guys offer a big piece of mind in a tiny object.

Size

When it comes to small survival knives, size matters. In this case, length and width will be a huge factor. When you are in a potentially dangerous situation, you need something that will cut everything from branches to ropes to animal skin. You need a Swiss Army knife that is small, compact, and highly useful.

Swiss army knife size

That being said, there does need to be a consideration for knives that are too small and if the tools it does have become inadequate for some emergencies. The length and width become a huge factor when they enable the user from using the knife to its full potential.

If the knife is too thick, it may not fit into small compartments comfortably. If the knife is too long or too heavy the user may need to find something that is shorter and lighter and leave behind the range of other tools it has to offer.

Weight

Weight is also an important factor. Hundreds of backpackers every year make the mistake of choosing one tool over another. Do we take the hatchet or the buck knife? This shouldn’t be a choice. You need something that virtually does it all and something that doesn’t make you choose based on how big it is.

You should head into the outdoors feeling safe. That includes not carrying a bunch of heavy items that you may or may not find a use for.

Tool Variety

Naturally, we think that more is better in this case, but it turns out that that may not actually be true. Indeed, the best knives have the most features, but the best knives have the best features for you. It’s not a competition about how many tools can fit into one knife because then they actually lose their functionality.

Tool Variety

You don’t want a knife that has 100 tools if it becomes burdensome to fit into pockets, purses, bags, or even in your hand. When it comes to Swiss Army Knives making a choice based on a variety of tools and then of those tools, which will be the most useful to you is one of the very key factors to consider when making the decision to purchase one.

Who Makes The Cut?

Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife

Size: 3.5 inches long

Weight: 3.2 oz.

Tool Variety: 14 Different Uses

Features: Two different sized blades, Various types and sizes of Screwdrivers, Can Opener, Wire Stripper, Key Ring, Tweezers, Toothpick, Scissors, Multi-Purpose Hook

Best Uses: Camping, Hiking, Outdoors

Description: The Victorinox Super Tinker Pocket Knife is one special tool. With 14 different uses and only 3.5 inches long, this little guy should have a place in any pack or bag before heading outdoors.

These functions specifically include a large and small blade, a regular Phillips screwdriver, as well as a large and smaller sized screwdrivers, a can opener, a bottle opener, a wire stripper, a reamer, a key ring, tweezers, scissors, and multi-purpose hook.

The Swiss design has been working hard to add functions without adding size and the addition of scissors and a multi-purpose hook separate this knife from the rest. Made with trustworthy and quality stainless steel materials along with special additions this knife may be the best for you after taking a close look at all 14 features to ensure you will use all of them for their money.

Wenger Swiss Army Evowood Pocket Knife

Wenger Swiss Army Evowood Pocket Knife

Size: 2.5 inches long

Weight: 3.1 oz.

Tool Variety: 13 Different Uses

Features: Two 1/2 inch Blades, Small Wood Saw, Springless Scissors, Locking Screwdriver, Cap Lifter, Wire Stripper, Nail File and Cleaner, Reamer, Awk, and Key Ring

Best Uses: Hunting, Fishing, Outdoors

Description: The Wenger Swiss Army Pocket Knife is a bit out of the usual norm of knives. Made with sustainable, top-quality walnut that would otherwise be wasted, they have used this material to make the body of the knife.

This forgoes the regular hard plastic or heavy steel offering an advantage in its weight at only 3.1 ounces. The aim is to draw attention on the conservation of materials, such as walnut and bring those into the design of knives without losing out on the key features.

Offering some individually unique features, the Wenger boasts a small wood saw at 2.4 inches long along with a nail file and cleaner which may appeal to different genders of travelers. The serrated, springless scissors also use a self-sharpening design to ensure they are ready for business anytime you need them.

Victoinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife

Victoinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife

Size: 3.5 inches long

Weight: 4.8 oz.

Tool Variety: 14 Different Uses

Features: Blades, Kitchen Tools, Scissors, Wood Saw

Best Uses: Hunting, Camping, Hiking, Outdoors

Description: The Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife prides itself on not only being versatile outdoors but also inside the home as well. Several of the different tools may actually have more than one function!

The blades, scissors, and screwdrivers are key features that the homeowner may use just as often, if not more, that the avid outdoorsman. This allows this knife to appeal to more public than just those built for survival although this knife will do that for you too.

It also includes a corkscrew, both large and small blades, scissors, a multi-purpose hook that may be used to carry items, a can opener with a small screwdriver, a key ring, and a set of tweezers. A tool that it useful in the bathroom and the backcountry all mashed into one.

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp Pocket Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp Pocket Knife

Size: 3.5 inches long

Weight: 7.2 oz.

Tool Variety: 32 Different Uses

Features: Blades, Can and Bottle Openers, Screwdrivers, Wire Cutters, Wood Saw, Magnifying Glass

Best Uses: Fishing, Hiking, Backpacking, Hunting, Outdoors

Description: Easily one of the heaviest pocket knives out there, but don’t let that scare you off just yet. Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp Pocket Knife 7.3-ounce beast is something you do not want to be without.

With highly specific functions like a fish scaler and a magnifying glass to a highly useful tool for anyone such as screwdrivers and blades, this knife has it all. With approximately 32 different uses, this one is both big and bad.

Making extra space for this tool, also known as a “tool box in your pocket” is something to consider when taking a look at all of its features including a wire stripper, a reamer, a key ring, a pair of tweezers, scissors, toothpick, multi-purpose hook, a wood saw, screwdrivers, a fish scaler, and a hook disgorger.

It also features more common tools such as a ruler with both centimeters and inches, wire cutters and crimpers, a nail file and cleaner, a small metal saw, a small chisel and scraper, a pair of pliers, a magnifying glass, a ballpoint pen, and a sewing eye for the awl attachment.

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

Size 2.3 inches long

Weight: 0.8 oz.

Tool Variety: 7 Different Functions

Features: Blades, Screwdrivers, Scissors, Key Ring, Tweezers, Nail File, Toothpick

Best Uses: Hiking, Camping, Boy Scouts

Description: Simplicity is the Victorinox Classic Pocket Knife’s best friend. Maybe not the knife most adults would take with them outdoors to protect themselves, but this tool has a huge advantage with younger generations.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are groups of young children who are learning the basics of safety in the wild. This would be the perfect knife for those situations. With very few tools and only the very necessary ones to ensure that the most basic tools and functions are mastered before moving on to a more complex knife in the future.

The most common features you will see on most knives are perfect for this small lightweight starter survival knife including a small blade, a pair of scissors, a nail file with a screwdriver tip, a toothpick, a pair of tweezers, and a key ring.

Victorinox Hiker Pocket Knife

Victorinox Hiker Pocket Knife

Size: 3.2 inches long

Weight: 2.7 oz.

Tool Variety: 32 Different Uses

Features: Large and Small Blades, Can Opener with Screwdriver, Bottle Opener with Screwdriver, Wire Stripper, Reamer, Punch and Sewing Eye, Key Ring, Tweezers, Toothpick, Wood Saw, Screwdriver

Best Uses: Camping, Hiking, Mountaineering, Outdoors

Description: Small, lightweight and extremely versatile, the Victorinox Hiker Pocket Knife is one to keep in consideration when choosing the best knife out there.

This knife has a lot of functions that the user need to think about before purchasing. It’s named the Hiker because it has all of the right things to take with you when you’re out in the backcountry. Made with high-quality materials this tiny pocket knife is sure to last you a lifetime and may help  save your life when trouble comes your way.

Victorinox Signature Lite Pocket Knife

Victorinox Signature Lite Pocket Knife

Size: 2.5 inches long

Weight: 0.8 oz.

Tool Variety: 5 Different Uses

Features: Knife Blade, Nail File with Screwdriver, Scissors, Key Ring, LED Mini Light

Best Uses: Hiking, Backpacking, Outdoors

Description: The tiny Victorinox Lite Pocket Knife has something that other do not. Along with its already highly useful tools such as the blades, nail files, screwdrivers, scissors, and key rings, this little knife also includes a small LED light.

Some things to consider with this light are the good qualities. The basic features are able to get you out of a potential jam, but the light adds another element.

Not only are scary, dangerous, and surprise situations bad, they are even worse in the dark. This combines the simple tools to help you survive with a light that will show you exactly what you are doing. This isn’t just for outdoors either. This is would ideal to keep in your car’s glovebox or in your purse due to its size.

One downfall with the added light is the use of batteries. They cost money and are often complicated to change and brings in a complex electrical side to a supposedly simple device.

Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker Pocket Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker Pocket Knife

Size: 4.38 inches long

Weight: 4.8 oz.

Tool Variety: 12 Different Uses

Features: Serrated Locking Blade, Bottle and Can Opener, Large Locking Screwdriver, Wire Stripper, Small Locking Screwdriver, Key Ring, Toothpick, Tweezers, Reamer, and Wood Saw

Best Uses: Camping, Hiking, Outdoors

Description: Victorinox One-Hand Trekker Pocket Knife rounds out the list of impressive survival knives. At low weight and middle of the line length, this tool should appeal to many looking for a solid, trustworthy knife with a solid history of great products.

One of its key features is its one-handed serrated locking blade. All of the blades are made of a rust-free aluminum alloy that pair with their stainless steel materials which amounts for a quality product.

The best feature is the locking blade that will ensure you get the job done without losing a finger or two in the process. The Trekker is a longer knife and at about 5 ounces, this knife is great for home and away. A great tool for any age and for almost any situation that one may encounter.

Let’s Cut To The Chase

The best Swiss Army knife for survival is something you should never be without, but don’t be fooled by the “more is better” mentality. There are so many kinds of knives out there that probably would do their job well enough, but there are also some that are far better than others. Choosing which Swiss Army knife is best for you should be based on size, weight, and the number of tool functions it has.

Every person who is on the hunt for one of the best survival knives has to ask themselves where to draw the line. The line falls between what you need most and what the knife has to offer. Don’t be fooled by the knife with the most tools, yet try not to undercut with a knife that is too simple.

Realistically asking yourself what and where you plan to take this knife and what those situations might bring will help you determine which knife you need and which one won’t satisfy you.

Army knives

Are you taking your knife hunting or fishing? You may want something large enough to have a good sized blade or something with specialty fishing functions. Are you taking your knife backpacking or camping?

You may want something lighter with extremely sharp blades to cut rope and wood. Are you getting a knife to keep in your car or at home? You may not be concerned by weight but may look for more variety in screwdrivers and a knife with a magnifying glass for small fixes.

Whatever situation you see as the one that answers both will help you determine which knife is for you. It’s not going to be an easy choice, but if you are in need of a small, hand-held tool that can virtually do it all then investing in one of the best Swiss Army knives for survival is a decision you need to start making.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Tyler Johnson

    You must have the Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Champ Pocket Knife, if you don’t have it already. I have owned my Swiss Champ for more than two years. I wanted a POCKET knife that had many tools without having to go to a multi-tool that you had to put in a case and hook to your belt. The Swiss Champ fit the bill perfectly. I carry it in my pocket everywhere I go. The knife is built much stronger than I ever imagined. I have used the screwdrivers with screws that I felt would break the knife without even chipping a blade. If you are looking for something that will actually fit in your pocket,…..this is the knife to own.

  • Walker John

    The Huntsman Pocket Knife is my favorite of all the Victorinox army knives. It has the most useful tools, basic blades, the corkscrew, the sizzors, the awl (with hole for sewing). You can get the little eye glass screw driver and stow it in the corkscrew. The other larger knives IMO are too bulky and have tools which really aren’t up to any major hard work. Pruning knives for trees, fish scalers, magnifiing glasses etc. for instance. So if you are going swiss army this is the best of the bunch. Price/size/utility, its a good deal.

  • Mark Foster

    My first Swiss army knife is a Victorinox, a gift from my Dad. I can still remember the excitement when I got it. I still use it and I think this is the best there is. The blade is indeed sturdy and those small tools? They really work!

  • Mark Foster

    I’m quite pleased with the whole line of the Victorinox army knives. So, I’m sure you know what I’m saying. The quality is top-notch and it is very durable. Even when you drop it accidentally, you’ll be sure it won’t break apart, and that’s very important. Price-wise, you’ll get good value for your money. All the small tools actually work, which is amazing, right?

  • abc

    The third image (Swiss-Army-knife.jpg) is a Chinese clone, not a swiss knife

  • Mark Foster

    Hi and thanks for stopping by. The image is just an illustration since it says in the sentence under it: “You don’t want a knife that has 100 tools if it becomes burdensome to fit into pockets, purses, bags, or even in your hand. “

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