You might be an adventurer who spends his days in the wild, surrounded by breathtaking nature. Perhaps you are a family person who loves to go off the grid every once in a while and just enjoy the time with your family and nature. Then again, you might be someone who loves to be prepared for the unexpected situations at every moment. Well, whatever the case may be – chances are, you are looking for a multi-purpose tool that will make easy work of opening cans or bottles, cutting wood, or cutting food. We are talking about a pocket knife, of course! However, we don’t want to talk about those cheap models that will only make you waste your money because they are often useless. No, boy. We are talking about the real deal – the legendary Swiss Army Knife.
So, if you are on the same page as us, and you’re looking for reliability and high-quality, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect article. In here we will talk about the one and only – the Swiss Army Knife. This knife is known as “A cultural icon of Switzerland” and with a good reason. From the knifes history to the 10 best versions available, we have got you covered, so read on if you want to know more about the best of the best.
What exactly is a pocket knife?
Before we move on to the history of Swiss Army Knife, let us first talk about the pocket knife in general.
We all have heard of this handy item, even if you have never used one. But, how much do you really know about pocket knives? A pocket knife refers to a fold-able knife that can fit into your pocket (clearly, that’s how it got its name). A pocket knife is a versatile tool as it comes with one or a few blades that fit inside the handle. Besides that, these pockets come with an array of tools, such as scissors, pliers, wood saw, head screwdriver, corkscrew, etc. Thanks to that, these knives can be used in numerous situations, from cutting fruits, to cutting wood, to opening envelopes, to opening cans and bottles.
The first pocket knives we have heard of date all the way back to the early Iron Age. When you stop and think for a second, you will see that it is completely logical why these people have come up with a pocket knife. It must have made their life so much easier. A pocket knife makes OUR lives a whole lot easier, since they are perfect for everyday use and those unexpected situations, let alone how helpful it was to craftsmen thousands of years ago.
The History of the Swiss Army Knife
But, enough about those old times, it’s time to go back to present or at least to 1880s. At that time, the Swiss Army wanted to buy new folding pocket knives for their soldiers, so as to make their everyday life much easier. So, in 1891. The German knife manufacturer Wester & Co. delivered 15, 000 pocket knives. This pocket knife was called Modell 1890.
Why these pocket knives were made by the German company, one may ask. That is because Swiss companies had no production capacity needed for delivering these products and in such a large number. But, it was not long before Karl Elsener (his company was selling surgical equipment) made a decision to start the production of pocket knives in Switzerland. Like with every person who made a decision and sticks to it, Karl Elsener started producing the Modell 1890 knives at the end of 1891.
After a few years ago, Elsener wanted to improve the knives’ design and make it more office-friendly. So, he delivered that, too! In 1896, he invented a pocket knife that featured a spring mechanism. Thanks to that, he was able to attach many more tools to the both sides of a handle, making it a real multi-purpose pocket knife. In 1897, this knife was registered with the patent office and became known as The Officer’s and Sports Knife.
When you look at the Swiss Army Knife, you will notice the cross and shield symbol. That symbol Karl Elsener used for identifying his knives, and that symbol became a signature of Victorinox-branded models. Speaking of Victorinox, you may ask how the company that produces Swiss Army knives (Victorinox) has got its name and what it has got to do with Karl Elsener. Well, you are about to find out.
In 1909, Karl’s mother died. After that, he decided to name his company “Victoria”, because that was his mother’s name. Okay, we get that, but that still leaves us the last part of the company’s name unexplained. What’s with –X? Read on to find out.
In 1921, Karl started making Swiss Army Knives from stainless steel, also known as “inox”. As you can guess, Karl then put together “Victoria” and “Inox" and that is how the company's name - Victorinox was born. The quite interesting story, don’t you think?
Oh, we almost forgot. We have one more interesting fact to share with you. Do you know why these knives are called “Swiss Army knives”? Well, since the first model was made by the German company, they named it “Offiziersmesser”. Now, you probably don’t even know how to pronounce it. Well, that was also the case with American soldiers after World War II. They struggled to pronounce “Offiziersmesser”, so they come up with their term “Swiss Army Knife”.
So, let us now talk about the present moment and how Swiss Army knives look today. From now on, when someone says to you “Swiss Army Knives” you must know that it refers to a pocket knife with a main spear point blade and a myriad of tools (a can opener, scissors, screwdrivers, corkscrew, and many others). In addition to that, these tools are placed inside the handle by way of using a pivot point mechanism. As for the look of the Swiss Army knives, they usually come with a red handle and feature a Victorinox cross logo.
Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about the history of Swiss Army Knives, it is time to take your knowledge to the next level.
The Best Swiss Army Knives Reviewed
Here is a list of the best Swiss Army Knives, so that you can easily find the right one for your hand or pocket.
The Victorinox Huntsman is a good choice for anyone who wants to be like a hunter – prepared at any given moment for any situation. With 14 different tools, this knife is more than just a pocket knife. You get scissors, so you can easily cut cardboard, or a plant, or whatever else you need to cut. There are two blades – smaller and larger that are sharp right out of the box and will remain sharp for a long time.
Since the blade is 9 cm long, you can use this knife in many situations, whether you need to open envelope or cut fruits and veggies. One more tool that you will find especially handy is a screwdriver. Thanks to all these tools, it is clear why this unit is made for campers, hikers, adventurists, and all-around users.
However, even though this unit features 14 tools, they all go under the blade, so you can carry the knife with you, without even noticing it’s there.
As for the blades, they are made of stainless steel and are sturdy. This pocket knife and all others on this list come with lifetime warranty against defects since they are produced by Victorinox.
As we have already seen, this knife offers an array of tools. However, the problem is that getting some of these tools out is a real hassle. And this is definitely not a desired feature when you are in a hurry. Another issue is that this unit comes in a cheap cardboard slip, so you'll probably want to buy a case to keep the knife safe and sound.
All in all, this pocket knife is ideal for hikers, gardeners, and anyone else who wants to keep a handy tool in their pocket, just in case.
- comes with 14 different tools
- ideal for anyone who needs a good quality pocket knife
- two blades – larger and smaller
- the blades are sharp and sturdy
- some of the tools are hard to reach
- doesn’t come with a case
Whether you are a newbie or have been using a pocket knife for years, this little guy will blow your mind away. That Swiss Army Knives have been improved over the years proves the fact that this unit comes with 32 functions. Now, that is what we call unparalleled functionality.
Scissors, metal saw wood saw, nail file with metal file, multipurpose hook, fish scaler with hook disgorger, two rulers, fine screwdriver, chisel, Pliers with wire cutters, magnifying glass, pressurised ballpoint pen, and stainless steel pin are just some of those functions. With all these tools, this pocket knife is hard to beat.
The blade is 6 inches long and is non-locking. However, don’t think this knife isn’t safe. In fact, you can slide it into the rear pocket of your jeans, or in the pocket of your jacket, knowing that the knife won’t accidentally open. Since Swiss Army knives are one-of-a-kind, it would be ridiculous for their manufacturer to produce models that aren’t safe for their users, right?
Made of superior stainless steel, this unit will last you for over a decade, making it a sound investment in the long run. Sure, investing about £59 in a pocket knife is not a small thing, but, it is well worth it.
The handle is comfortable and you will not have any difficulty holding the knife. In addition to that, it will not slip from your hands. This also adds up to its safety.
As for the downside, it is the same like with the previous model – this knife doesn’t come with a pouch. So, you have to buy it on your own, and spend extra money. But, that’s the only way to keep this unit protected.
- highly functional
- comes with 32 functions
- ideal for handling any kind of a challenge
- should have come with a pouch or case
Well, if you thought the previous model was expensive then you haven't met the Victorinox Swiss Champ XLT. But, if you are a knife enthusiast and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars on a superior pocket knife, then this is the way to go. With 50 impressive functions, this pocket knife is arguably the best one. With this guy by your side, you will be fearless and ready to take on every situation. And when we say “every”, we really mean it.
First, this unit comes with an array of different blades, making it perfect for heavy duty jobs as well as for those light and medium ones. Next, it comes with a plethora of other tools. With a bottle opener, screwdriver, wire stripper, tweezers, scissors, wood saw, magnifying glass, pin, spatula, wire cutters, and many other functions, this unit is a good choice for anyone who appreciates practicality and versatility.
Whether you are on a trip, in the woods, in your backyard, or in your office, this knife will be your best friend for years to come. If you have a friend who is also passionate about pocket knives, then this classy pocket knife makes a great gift.
Finally, the handle is well made and will resist the challenges of the times. This knife is sturdy and you will use it, even after years of use, because it will not wear out.
As for the downfall, this unit is a bit heavy. But, taking into account its functions; its weight doesn’t come as a surprise. Plus, that’s the compromise for what you get with it. Still, the unit will fit into your pocket (you just need to have a big pocket ha-ha).
All in all, this pocket knife is synonymous with innovation and functionality. Its main downside is the price, but if you are serious about pocket knives, then you should not have second thoughts. This little guy makes all the difference, which is why it is favorite among knives enthusiasts all over the world.
- excels in functionality and versatility since it comes with 50 functions
- ideal for knives enthusiasts who are willing to invest in a high-performance knife
- classy design
- a bit heavy
Whether you want to take something apart, or fix something, this pocket knife has got you covered. As its name implies, this unit is perfect for exploring the world around you, and help you handle the challenges of everyday life (whether it be opening a bottle of wine, reading a letter, or cutting the rope in the wood). Compared to the aforementioned products, this one comes with the least number of functions. So it is not like you can expect this unit to do wonders, but still, it is ideal for handling some basic tasks such as slicing fruits and opening cans.
With 16 different functions and its compact size, this unit is a true pocket knife. Add to that 101g of weight, and you get a pocket knife that will be hidden in your pocket until you need it. Seriously, if you want to buy a pocket knife, but don’t want to bother with a bulky model, then you will be more than happy with this little guy. And with a key ring attachment, you don’t have to worry about losing this handy item. In fact, attach it to your keys, and take it everywhere with you. How convenient is that, huh?
With a classic Victorinox design, this unit looks amazing and will be a great conversation starter. But, the fact alone that this unit is Swiss Army knife is enough for starting a conversation with knives connoisseurs. Anyone who loves knives will be impressed with the look and performance of this unit.
On top of all, this unit comes with sharp blades that will not break. Much like previous models that we listed, this one is also well-built and is reliable.
As for the downside, this unit is not designed to handle heavy-duty use, so if you are after that, well, you have to look elsewhere.
- comes with 16 functions
- Ideal for basic tasks
- compact and lightweight
- fits easily into your pocket
- comes with only 16 functions
- not for those looking for a pocket knife for heavy duty jobs
If you are after a comfortable and one-of-a-kind pocket knife, then you should definitely take a look at the Victorinox Ranger Grip 55. This pocket knife is designed with beauty in mind but also delivers a great performance.
It has 12 functions, making it a good choice for basic tasks. Whether you are on a picnic, a family trip, or at your friend’s party, this unit will come in handy. Even though it only has 10 tools and 12 functions, the unit is practical and useful. Meaning, it doesn’t come with those unnecessary functions that you will never get the chance to use.
But what makes this unit stand out from the crowd is a lock blade feature. Thanks to it, the blade will stay in a place all the time. So, no doubt that this knife is safe for carrying around in your pocket. That Victorinox makes every inch and part of a knife count proves the fact that this knife has a lock trick. Take a look at this knife for a second. Do you see a lock release button? That’s right, you don’t. Well, that is because it is hidden. Namely, the logo on the side actually functions as a lock release button. Pretty smart, don’t you think?
Another great feature is a handle design. This unit has an ergonomic design, so holding the knife is a real pleasure.
The icing on the cake is the striking look of this unit. The walnut finish makes this pocket knife really beautiful and worth having. We just can’t get enough of looking at this pocket knife and neither will you.
As for the downside, this unit should have come in a nice package, so as to be ready as a gift.
- lock blade
- lock press release design
- ergonomic handle
- ideal for basic light tasks
- should come in a nice package
The Swiss Soldiers Knife is one of the best pocket knives out there and as such won’t disappoint. With a lightweight design and useful functions, this unit makes a great addition to everyday life. Whether you are someone who collects pocket knives or you just want to have a top-notch pocket knife at your disposal, you will appreciate the functionality of this unit.
Being the favorite of Swiss Army, it is not surprising that this unit allows for a single hand operation. You can easily get the knife out with one hand, thanks to a large lock blade. This makes it a good choice for anyone whose nature of the job requires from him to be prepared at any moment.
What also contributes to its ease of use is ten functions. Even though this knife doesn’t come with tweezers, which some users didn’t like, it still has all the other basic tools one could need in the case of an emergency. Some of those tools are wood saw, key ring, wire stripper, bottle opener, can opener, small screwdriver, and Philips screwdriver. As you can see, this little guy is ready for challenges and will be your right hand.
One more thing that makes this unit easy-to-use is its design. With only 131g and 111mm, this unit is lightweight and can be placed in your pocket. However, keep in mind that the blade is large so you have to check the law in your country before buying this knife. For example, this pocket knife is not legal in the UK because of the blade’s length.
Speaking of blades, this knife features two of them, both of which are serrated. Other models on this list that we mentioned come with plain blades. Serrated blades are sharper and will more easily cut through the food.
As for durability, this unit will surely last you for years, don’t for a second doubt that. Made of stainless steel and coming from Victorinox, this unit comes with a lifetime warranty on any defects, for a worry-free purchase. Once you try Swiss Army knife, you will never again go back to other pocket knives. And why would you, when these knives are of the best that money can buy?
- great for single handed operation
- Ten functions
- serrated blades
- easy to use
- doesn’t come with tweezers
The Victorinox Alpineer is an adventurist that will handle all the tasks and challenges in a blink of an eye. It comes with a few features, and a lightweight design, making it perfect for hikers, alpinists, and other people who cannot imagine their lives without a pocket knife at their hand. This little guy is a classic and will never go out of date.
Compared to the above-mentioned models, this one only comes with 5 features – large lock blade, tweezers, toothpick, key ring, and corkscrew. However, this unit is powerful enough to take on basic tasks that you can encounter when in nature. So, you don’t have to worry about the unexpected, as long as you have the Alpineer by your side. With a lock blade, you also don't have to worry about the blade popping out at a wrong moment. So, know that this pocket knife brings you the needed safety.
The last thing an alpinist needs is more weight, right? So, Victorinox thought of that and come up with a solution – this Alpineer pocket knife. This is one of the reasons why Victorinox keeps delivering top notch products. They always listen to the needs of their customers, tailoring the pocket knives to their needs and desires. So, if anyone knows how to keep the innovation and reputation at a high level, then it is definitely this company.
That being said, the selling point of this pocket knife is its design. This knife is called Alpineer. Therefore it is quite logical that it only weighs 60 grams, making it one of the lightest pocket knives on this list. And with a key ring, you can attach this unit to the keys or your backpack, keeping it within easy reach. Or if you want to put it in the pocket, you can also do that. Since this model is very lightweight, you won’t notice that you’re carrying it with you.
As for the looks, this unit looks classic. With a recognizable red handle, this pocket knife ensures its place on the "best-looking pocket knives" list. Of course, some of you don't care about the looks, but knives enthusiasts do care and they will understand the subtle beauty of this knife.
On the downside, the blade is very sharp right out of the box, so you have to be careful when working with this knife.
- sharp blade
- well built
- a classic design that looks great
- lightweight and compact easily fits into the pocket
- good choice for hikers, alpinists, etc.
- the blade is very sharp so you have to be careful when using the knife
In case you are looking for something different than previous models on the list, then this might be just the thing you need. Here we have a pen knife – perfect for fitting into your pocket.
Since this is a pen pocket, it doesn’t come with all those numerous functions like classic pocket knives. Instead, it comes with a sharp blade. However, don’t be naïve and think this pen knife doesn’t offer a top notch performance.
In fact, there is one thing where this unit excels – durability. Because of its unique design, this unit is probably the sturdiest pen knife out there that (at this price point).
The combination of stainless steel and aluminum makes this pen knife practically indestructible. With that in mind, this unit will easily last you for more than a decade. That is if you take care of it properly.
Moreover, this pen knife feels good in your hand, allowing you to have control over the object. It is easy to get the job done with this bold guy by your side. Thanks to its design, this unit is a good choice for travelers who don’t want to add weight to their baggage. With 44 grams and one blade, this knife takes up very little space, yet its presence will give you the peace of mind.
Another thing that makes this pen knife unique is its look. With two Alox scales, this unit looks courageous and stylish, leaving a strong impression on anyone who sees it.
However, this product is not perfect. In fact, the problem with this unit is that it doesn’t come with a key ring. Now, taking into account a sleek and compact design of this unit, that part doesn’t impress us. In fact, we find this unit easy to lose, because it is so little. A key ring would save us so much trouble. So, you definitely need to keep your eyes on this pocket knife, if you want to keep it.
All in all, this pen knife is extremely durable and comes with a reliable and sharp blade. So, if you are looking for that, you just can’t go wrong with the Swiss Army 1.
- extremely durable
- unparalleled sturdiness
- bold look
- sharp blade
- ideal for travelers
- doesn’t come with a key ring
Never be afraid of a change. The only way to live your life to the fullest is to embrace change and step out of your comfort zone. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it is possible. It all starts with making a decision. So, if you are not afraid to widen your horizons, and want to make the most out of every day and situation, then The Evolution Wood 17 might be just the perfect choice for you.
With its authentic design and numerous functions, it is clear to see why this unit is one of the best pocket knives out there. Add to that a good price and this unit is hard to miss.
Everything about this knife is extraordinary. From elegant wood scales to 13 functions, to comfortable handle. So, we just don't know where to start with this one. Should we start with its sturdy and elegant design that is easy on the eyes? Not only that, but this unit also feels nice in your hand. It comes with wood scales so it will give you that well-known warm and cozy feel that only wood can give. This is an especially feature if you are far away from your home. Each time you use this pocket knife, you will think of your home.
Or should we talk about how sturdy and well-designed this unit is? It will certainly last you for a few years.
We have to mention 13 functions that you get with this knife, making it ideal for any situation. With nail cleaner, nail file, bottle opener, wire stripper, wood saw, scissors, screwdrivers and key ring, this unit is a real pleasure to use.
Lastly, this unit comes with an ergonomic handle, so it will fit perfectly into your hand. Thanks to that, the unit is safe, because it won’t slip from your hands.
Even though the Evolution Wood 17 doesn’t have any real downsides (yup, it’s just that good), it only comes with 13 functions. Now, don’t get us wrong – all of the functions are useful. But, it wouldn’t be a bad thing that this unit includes a few more functions.
Overall, for those of you looking for a pocket knife that has a soul, this is it. With a walnut finish, the Evolution Wood 17 brings the change in the world of pocket knives. This unit shows that it is possible to combine elegance, coziness, and functionality, giving you one-of-a-kind item that will follow you wherever you want to go.
- elegant design
- 13 functions
- comes with a wood saw
- ergonomic handle
- comes with only 13 functions
Last but not least. For those of you looking for a companion on your everyday adventures, this is a perfect choice. The Classic SD is arguably the best mini pocket knife, and you will love it! It is adorable. But don't think that this unit only looks good. No boy. It performs great as well.
With 7 functions (scissors, nail file, screwdriver, blade tweezers…), this pocket knife is ideal for everyday use and with its compact design, this knife will be within easy reach all the time. You can attach it to your key chain, or put it in your pocket. Either way, you will carry this unit wherever you go, all the time, because it is just that useful.
The scale is made of ABS and is sturdy, so no need to worry about that. As for the blade, it is made of stainless steel, like with all other products on this list. That being said, the blade is sharp and won’t dull quickly.
A slight concern is that this pocket knife comes in a slipcase. Meaning, it doesn't look very nice if you want to give it as a gift. So, you will have to buy a case or something like that if you want to sweep someone off their feet with this gift.
One more concern is that people don't realise how small this pocket knife is until they receive it. So, yup, this is a very small pocket knife, and will discreetly fit onto your key chain.
- 7 functions
- Compact design – weighs only 22g
- the ABS scale
- comes with a slipcase
- very small
The Final Word
And there you have it, folks. We gave our best to give you a comprehensive and lengthy article that will help you find the best pocket knife for your needs and means. Since all the products come from Victorinox, they are all of a superior quality and excel in performance. Now, it is up to you to choose the one that will suit best your needs, and that is exactly why we listed 10 best Swiss Army knives. With our diverse list, you will be able to choose just the thing you need.
A good pocket knife is a must because you never know what is around the corner. Whether you are going to the woods, are doing jobs around your house, or are a knife enthusiast, Swiss Army knives make all the difference. So, buy one for yourself and feel that difference. Sure, some models that we listed above are pricey but keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and with Swiss Army knives you get a lot. Whether you need to open something, cut wood, or use scissors, the Swiss Army Knife has got your back. So, the question is: What do you want?