Swiss army knives have been a favorite tool of woodsmen the world over since they were first introduced in the 1890’s. Created by Victorinox as a standard issue tool to the Swiss army, they’ve since become a symbol of preparedness and a can do spirit that inspired the creation of the modern multi tool. Today we’ll cover many of Victorinox’s most popular products in an attempt to find the best Swiss army knife for every situation.

Best Swiss Army Knife

Best Swiss Army Knife

There are dozens of different sizes, styles, and types of Swiss army knife. They’ve been under production continuously for more than 100 years with innovations and offshoots constantly developing.

Finding the best Swiss army knife can be really difficult for that reason. One man’s favorite might be another’s worst possible tool. In our review we’ve tried to cover a good selection of the top Swiss army knives available today across every price range and intended use.

Huntsman Swiss Army Knife

Huntsman Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The Huntsman is the current Victorinox flagship knife. It’s a 3.6 inch long pocket knife that weighs just 3.4 ounces. It offers 15 different tools/functions, including:

  • Large Straight Edge Knife
  • Small Straight Edge Knife
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Corkscrew
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Small Screwdriver
  • Large Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • Reamer/Awl with Thread Loop
  • Multipurpose Hook
  • Keyring
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick

It’s made primarily from stainless steel with ABS scales. The scales are available in over a dozen different color patterns and styles including solid color, translucent, or patterned.

The knife blades, saw, and scissors are the largest tools on this SAK and are amply sized for their intended tasks. We’re always a fan of large straight edge knives when hiking or camping for their versatility and ease of maintenance.

One thing we love about all SAK’s is their included removable toothpick and tweezer set. There’s just something about the familiar flattened steel tweezers and plastic toothpick that takes you back.

Victorinox also offers a Version of the Huntsman called the Huntsman Lite that includes a small LED flashlight built right in. It’s bright enough for close up tasks but shouldn’t take the place of a dedicated flashlight when in the wilderness.

Buy The Huntsman Lite from Amazon

If you’re a frequent traveler you should consider the Victorinox Swiss Army Traveler Set. It includes a Huntsman as well as a leather sheath, pocket map tool, flashlight, and several small accessories.

Buy The Huntsman Travel Kit from Amazon

The Huntsman is a large and capable Swiss army knife that’s affordable and looks sharp. It’s the tool most of us think of when we hear Swiss army knife.

RangerGrip Boatsman Swiss Army Knife

Ranger Grip Boatsman Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The Victorinox RangerGrip Boatsman is a maritime focused premium SAK designed for the yachtsman in all of us. It’s just over 5 inches long and weighs a full 9.45 ounces. It offers 18 tools with a number of useful functions, including:

  • Combo Knife Blade
  • Two Removable Bit Drivers
  • Reamer/Awl with Thread Loop
  • Bottle Opener
  • Can Opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Shackle Opener
  • Marlin Spike
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • 3mm Screwdriver
  • 5mm Screwdriver
  • Nut Wrench
  • Wire Stripper
  • Wire Cutter
  • Keyring
  • Toothpick
  • Tweezers

The Boatsman is intended for a very specific type of user. Think deep sea fisherman, yachting enthusiast and other mariners. Many of its tools have limited use cases but are very handy to the right person.

It’s one of the few SAK’s that actually contains a pair of pliers. This makes it a lot more like other multi tools that many SAK’s.

If you’re planning to sail around the world or to catch some swordfish the Victorinox Boatsman may be the best Swiss army knife for you.

Midnite MiniChamp Swiss Army Knife

Midnite MiniChamp Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The Midnite MiniChamp is a mid sized SAK that combines many of the tools of the Huntsman in a much more compact size. It’s just 2.3 inches long and weighs only 1.6 ounces. It offers 16 different features/tools, including:

  • Large Straight Edge Blade
  • Nail File with Cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Ruler
  • Letter Opener
  • Luggage Hook
  • Package Opener
  • Scraper
  • Wire Stripper
  • Magnetic Phillips Head
  • Keyring
  • LED light
  • Ballpoint Pen

This somewhat eclectic blend of tools actually provides a lot of value as an EDC tool. The main knife is on the small side but does a good job at cutting boxes and string.

The LED is reasonably bright for its size and the ballpoint pen is dead useful in just about any situation. We really liked that the phillips head was magnetized. We’ve lost way too many small screws when we tried lifting them out with a standard multi tool screwdriver.

If you’re looking for an urban EDC SAK the Victorinox Midnite MiniChamp is a great place to start.

Swiss Champ Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Champ Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The Swiss Champ is just about the largest practical Swiss army knife you’ll find. It’s 3.6 inches long, over an inch thick, and weighs 6.5 ounces. For that beefy size it offers 33 tools/functions, including:

  • Large Straight Blade
  • Small Straight Blade
  • Awl with Thread Loop
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • 2.5 mm Flathead Screwdriver
  • 3 mm Flathead Screwdriver
  • 6 mm Flathead Screwdriver
  • ½ Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • Wire Cutter
  • Wire Crimping Tool
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Fish Scaler
  • Hook Disgorger
  • Ruler
  • Wood Saw
  • Metal Saw
  • Metal File
  • Magnifying Glass
  • 4 mm Chisel
  • Multipurpose Hook
  • Toothpick
  • Tweezers
  • Ballpoint Pen
  • Stainless Steel Pin
  • Corkscrew
  • Mini Screwdriver
  • Keyring

That’s a massive amount of tools. Even better, they all work just as advertised. In our work we run across way too many tools that try to do too much.

The Swiss Champ is basically a full tool box you carry in your pocket. All you’re missing is a hammer and a pair of pliers and you can handle just about any situation.

If you’re looking for a large SAK that contains a tool for just about any conceivable situation the Victorinox SwissChamp is it.

Still not enough tools? Victorinox shockingly offers two more ultra packed SAK’s with even more tools crammed in.

Swiss Champ XLT – The Swiss Champ XLT is the tool you get if you’re looking for everything plus the kitchen sink to carry around. It’s just 3.6 inches long but almost 2 inches wide. It weighs a beefy 8.7 oz and contains over 50 different tools and functions. There’s honestly too many to list here but some of the high points include:

  • Bit Driver
  • Torx Bits
  • Phillips and Flathead Bits
  • Several Knives and Saws
  • Pharmaceutical Spatula
  • Fish Scaler
  • Rulers
  • Chisel
  • Many, Many More

SwissChamp XLT Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

That just scratches the surface of all the different doohickeys and gadgets contained within the XLT. They all work fine individually but it’s kind of hard to use them effectively.

The XLT is just too large to grip comfortably. It makes for a cool desktop piece or something to show off in your workshop but it’s not really a practical tool for everyday use.

Swiss Champ XAVT – The Swiss Champ XAVT is a collector’s edition SAK that contains just about every tool Victorinox has every offered built into one. It’s a beast of a SAK that’s 3.6 inches long and 2.6 inches wide. That makes it almost as wide as it is tall and a real handful. It contains a jaw dropping 83 functions/tools including really interesting ones like:

  • Digital Watch (12H/24H)
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Thermometer
  • Tons of Different Bits
  • Pruning Blades

Victorinox SwissChamp XAVT Pocket Knife

Buy from Amazon

These crazy tools are in addition to all the standard Swiss army knife tools you expect. It gives you pretty much any tool you could ever need but isn’t really useful.

Forget about its price, generally well over $300 to $400, and just focus on trying to use a single tool. Gripping something that’s almost as wide as it is tall is no easy task. Then you’ve got to try and find the tool you need and finagle it out without pulling its neighbors out.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s a really, really cool multi tool. It just isn’t something you should get other than as a curiosity.

Swiss Army RangerGrip 178

Victorinox RangerGrip Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The RangerGrip 178 is a bushcraft and woodsman centered Swiss army knife based around a large combination knife blade. It’s 5.1 inches long and weighs 6 ounces. It gives you 12 different tools, including:

  • Combo Knife Blade
  • Saw
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • 3 mm Flathead Screwdriver
  • 5 mm Flathead Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • Awl with Thread Loop
  • ½ Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Keyring

The RangerGrip is great if you’re looking for something a little more robust than the standard Swiss army knife. Its large size and focused tool loadout makes it perfect for use when hiking, camping, or generally exploring the wilderness.

It still offers several nice urban and construction tools that help make it a quality all around tool. As always we love the metal tweezers and plastic toothpick. Something so delightful about slipping it out after a tasty lunch.

The RangerGrip is a large and capable SAK that’s tough enough to keep going wherever you take it. It combines a good size with excellent tools to make something special.

SwissCard Lite

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Card

Buy from Amazon

The Swiss Card is the SAK for the guy who doesn’t want to carry a traditional knife. It’s cunningly crafted to fit into a package about the size of a few credit cards yet still contain the basics of a multi tool. It gives you 13 tools, including:

  • Small Knife Blade
  • Scissors
  • Magnifying Glass
  • 3mm Screwdriver
  • 5mm Screwdriver
  • Two Phillips Head Screwdrivers
  • Tweezers
  • Ballpoint Pen
  • Stainless Steel Pin
  • LED Light
  • Ruler (CM/Inches)

The Swisscard is honestly its own category. It contains a knife, when you want it to, but is so uniquely designed as to defy explanation. One thing we really love is how versatile it is.

If you’re planning to travel internationally or take a flight you can slip the small blade out and leave it at home. This allows you to take your SwissCard with you without fear of having it confiscated by the TSA.

If you’re looking for a capable multi tool that’s different from the rest of the crowd you should definitely check out the Victorinox SwissCard

Deluxe Tinker Swiss Army Knife

Tinker Deluxe Swiss Army Knife

Buy from Amazon

The Tinker Deluxe from Victorinox is basically a Huntsman Swiss army knife modified for the craftsman in all of us. It trades out a few of the Huntsman’s tools for building and woodworking gear. It offers 17 different tools/functions, including:

  • Large Straight Edge Knife
  • Small Straight Edge Knife
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Wire Crimping tool
  • Pliers
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Small Screwdriver
  • Large Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • Reamer/Awl with Thread Loop
  • Multipurpose Hook
  • Keyring
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • Other than the pliers and wire cutters the Deluxe Tinker is nearly identical to the Huntsman. Choosing between them really comes down to whether you see yourself in a workshop or the wilderness.

    They both offer substantial tools in a durable and attractive package. They can cut, carve, whittle, and clean your teeth equally well.

    If you’re constantly looking for the right size screw driver or a small pair of pliers the Victorinox Tinker Deluxe is a great Swiss army knife to check out.

    Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Swiss Army Knife

    These days a Swiss army knife is really more of a category than a single type of knife. You can definitely still get the classic Swiss army knife you remember from your Boy Scout days but the market is crowded with options.

    Picking out the best Swiss army knife really comes down to where and how you intend to use it. Something for EDC will look different to a hunting tool or one to keep in your office drawer.

    Price

    Swiss army knives come in a wide range of prices depending on the style, size, and number of tools they contain. You can get a small SAK Classic for under $20 or spend well over $100 on large multi tool or limited edition versions.

    It really depends on what kind of tools you need and how you intend to use your.

    Handle Style and Material

    When most people think of a Swiss army knife they’re actually picturing the versions based on the original Swiss Officer’s Knife created by Victorinox. Those still make up a major part of the market but there are now dozens of different variants in just as many materials.

    Functional SAK’s are made with a metal frame and plastic handles. They’re durable, easy to clean and use, and inexpensive. You can also find models with wooden handles, premium metallic versions, textured handles, and even ones made from precious metals.

    Size

    One of the coolest things about SAK’s is how many different sizes and styles they come in. You can get the classic Boy Scout style tools about the length of your finger or small pen knives just over an inch long.

    For hiking and camping needs you probably don’t want one of those novelty 100 tool Swiss army knives. They’re about the same length as a traditional SAK but substantially wider and heavier.

    Intended Use

    Victorinox has been making different versions of the Swiss army knife for over a century. There are now countless varieties intended for just about every profession or interest.

    They offer tools for tasks and people like:

    • Executive SAK’s
    • Sommeliers
    • Picnics
    • Hunting
    • Fishing
    • Hiking/Camping
    • Travel
    • Tech work

    That honestly just scratches the surface of the various narrowly focused Swiss army knives out there.

    Popular Tools to Look Out For

    Realistically if you can think of a tool there’s a good chance Victorinox has made a SAK that has it. They offer everything from serious outdoor tools like knives, saws, files, gutting hooks, and awls to ballpoint pens, letter openers, and other office specific tools.

    For the purposes of hiking, camping, and fishing though it’s a good idea not to go overboard. Keep in mind that every additional tool on your SAK adds to its weight and size. A good place to start is with the tools mentioned above plus things like fish scalers, scissors, and bottle/can openers.

    Maintenance and Protection

    Protecting and maintaining your Swiss army knife requires more than just tossing it in your pocket. There are tons of official and aftermarket pouches, sheathes, backs, and clips you can get for your knife.

    Victorinox themself offers really nice ones in materials as diverse as natural leather and kydex. If you can think of a material there’s a good chance you can get a Swiss army sheath in it.

    Maintaining your knife is basically the same as with any other bladed tool. Keep it dry, keep it clean, and give it a good polish and oil on occasion. Victorinox offers a highly effective lubricating oil specially formulated for the various joints and connectors in a SAK.

    For sharpening the various knives and saws you can’t go wrong with Victorinox’s dual-knife sharpener. It combines a pen shaped whetstone with a ceramic notch sharpener.

    Check out our full pocket knife sharpener review to find other great options.

    Reputable Seller

    One important thing to keep in mind when considering a Swiss army knife is the prevalence of copycats, fakes, and outright forgeries. Victorinox and Wenger are the only companies allowed to make true SAK’s.

    Wenger has been wholly owned by Victorinox since the mid 2000’s making them the official home of the true Swiss army knife. Given how high profile SAK’s are there are lots of people making knock offs and copies.

    It’s very important you only buy your SAK from a reputable source and keep ‘too good to be true’ in mind. Check out our full reviews on various Victorinox and Swiss army products to learn what makes the genuine article so special.

    Limited Edition

    If you’re the kind of guy who loves collecting all the special editions and styles of your favorite products you’ve hit the jackpot with Swiss army knives. Victorinox is constantly updating their list of limited edition graphics and textures on their world class products.

    By checking out the limited edition section on their official site you can see what’s available and what’s coming down the pipeline.

    Final Thoughts

    There you have it. Just about any legit Victorinox Swiss army knife is going to be a high-quality tool that gives you a lot of value.

    Finding the best Swiss army knife really comes down to where and how you intend to use it. Figure out your needs and then match them to the SAK that fits best.