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Swiss Military knives have been a staple within the knife world ever since they have been first launched within the late 1800s. Whereas the knives developed by Swiss makers weren’t the primary to include a number of instruments right into a folding design, they arguably perfected it. These multi-tools are extra widespread than ever, particularly as an on a regular basis carry answer for anybody who encounters numerous duties.

In the present day’s trendy knives have the same old screwdrivers, bottle openers, scissors, corkscrews, chisels, and tweezers. However in addition they characteristic modernized choices like LED flashlights and even USB flash drives. If there’s a software you want, odds are it has been placed on one in all these knives sooner or later. We examined 5 of the most well-liked choices to seek out the most effective Swiss Military knives nonetheless being manufactured in Switzerland as we speak.

How We Picked the Finest Swiss Military Knives

My testing course of began with evaluating the sting retention of every knife by slicing by way of cardboard—a extremely abrasive materials that may boring any blade shortly. The longer the blade lasts, the higher the retention. Nevertheless, as a result of Swiss Military knives are typically rather more versatile, I examined the opposite equipment as effectively.

This meant evaluating screwdrivers, scissors, bottle openers, mini saws, wire strippers, and extra. I famous which equipment and options carried out effectively and functioned as marketed. I additionally examined them in sensible, on a regular basis situations. Moreover, I walked round with every in my pocket to find out how snug they have been to hold.

The writer subjected the blades of those knives to extremely abrasive cardboard as a part of testing. Travis Smola

Finest Swiss Military Knives: Critiques and Suggestions

Finest General: Victorinox Swiss Military Fieldmaster

Finest General

A Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife with various tools unfolded on a grey log in the green grass.


  • Worth: $57
  • Size: 3.6”
  • Weight: 3.5 Ounces
  • Instruments: 15


  • Extraordinarily sensible instruments
  • Nice weight
  • Glorious worth


  • Tolerances on among the instruments are very tight

The Fieldmaster is one in all Victorinox’s hottest Swiss Military Knives and I do know this choice may be a hair controversial for followers of the Huntsman. However the dimension, weight, and gear collection of this mannequin helped set it aside from the others. From the three screwdrivers to the wire stripper to the double blades, every thing right here feels very sensible. I used the scissors to effortlessly slice paper, paracord, and fishing line with ease. The wooden noticed is tiny however produces a surprisingly clear minimize on small items of wooden, excellent for tenting conditions.

My one grievance is that the tolerances on among the instruments, particularly the Phillips screwdriver, reamer, punch, and stitching axe are tighter than I’d like. It took some actual elbow grease to get them unfastened. I count on they’ll loosen up extra with time, however I believe it’s a good suggestion to interrupt this one in a bit earlier than you give it to a teenager. Apart from that, this can be a strong catch-all type knife that’s a terrific alternative for on a regular basis carry.

The screwdriver and wire stripping tool of a white Swiss Army knife next to a black wire in the palm of a hand.
The wire stripper (the notch) is easy, however very efficient. Travis Smola

Most Compact: Victorinox Swiss Military Traditional SD

Most Compact

A red and white Victornox Swiss Army Classic SD sitting on a grey piece of firewood.


  • Worth: $23
  • Size: 2.3”
  • Weight: 0.7 Ounces
  • Instruments: 6


  • Unbelievably gentle
  • Reasonably priced
  • Nice first knife for children


  • Blades and instruments are extraordinarily small

It doesn’t get extra light-weight than the Traditional SD, which weighs lower than an oz.. The truth is, it’s so gentle that it’s straightforward to overlook you’re carrying it. You additionally received’t be afraid to hold it all over the place because it solely prices $23 to exchange. Don’t count on to do any heavy-duty work with the SD. This knife is an on a regular basis carry type for small chores like opening packages, snipping unfastened threads, or digging a splinter out of your hand. I additionally just like the flathead screwdriver on the finish of the nail file. It’s the right dimension for the tiny screws typically discovered on electronics. Moreover, the scissors are extra helpful than I anticipated. Whereas the slicing space is tiny, it’s excellent for snipping monofilament fishing line and unfastened threads. Due to the low worth and tiny nature of the blade, it’s a excellent first pocketknife. The blade is sufficiently small that somebody isn’t more likely to damage themselves, however nonetheless helpful.

The scissors of the Swiss Army Classic SD on a black carpeted table top.
The Traditional SD is nice for snipping fishing line. Travis Smola

Finest Ultralight: Victorinox Swiss Military Recruit

Finest Ultralight

A Victorinox Swiss Army Recruit knife with features unfolded on a grey log sitting on the grass.


  • Worth: $23
  • Size: 3.3”
  • Weight: 1.7 Ounces
  • Instruments: 10


  • Easy, light-weight design
  • Slim profile
  • Straightforward folding instruments


  • Quick knife is a bit restricted in practicality

The Recruit is extremely skinny and low-profile, making for an ideal on a regular basis carry knife. The blades did a superb job straight out of the field on the cardboard ripping exams. Whereas the screwdrivers are flat, I discovered they can be utilized on a Phillips head in a pinch. The instruments are all very sensible for many on a regular basis carry situations. I assumed the tolerances of the instruments felt good in comparison with among the extra difficult knives within the intensive Victorinox line. They have been extraordinarily straightforward to unfold straight out of the field, with no break-in interval required. It makes this knife a sensible choice for the informal person who solely wants a special software on uncommon events.

A red Swiss Army knife recruit with the screwdriver tool extended in a Phillips head screw.
This SAK knife doesn’t have a Phillips head, however the flat edge screwdriver will work in a pinch. Travis Smola

Finest EDC Knife: Victorinox Swiss Military Hunter Professional Alox

Finest EDC Knife

The red and white Swiss Army Hunter Pro folding knife sitting on a grey cut log on grass.


  • Worth: $132
  • Size: 5.4”
  • Weight: 6.6 Ounces
  • Instruments: 1


  • Nice scaling
  • Rugged, sharp blade
  • Hefty with good steadiness


Whereas Victorinox is finest recognized for its multi-tools, the Hunter Professional is proof they make good folding knives too. I like the pink and silver aluminum scaling on this knife as a result of it combines a terrific look with a superb really feel. The knife has simply the correct amount of heft to it for a working blade and is noticeably extra rugged than some other mannequin within the take a look at. The sting on the blade additionally felt so much sharper, and excelled in holding an edge throughout my cardboard exams. The upper-quality metal and scaling make this knife dearer than a standard Swiss Military knife. Victorinox designed an extremely skinny profile that enables it to slide simply right into a pocket, too. Plus, this can be very sturdy.

This blade additionally has the best really feel and dimension for a strong whitetail subject dressing knife. It’s additionally rugged sufficient for some gentle bushcrafting initiatives—whittling wooden shortly and effectively. So far as versatility for a folding blade, Victorinox knocked it out of the park.

The red and silver Swiss Army Alox knife being held in a hand above a grass background.
The folding mechanism on the Alox is extremely clean and crisp. Travis Smola

Finest for Mountain climbing: Victornox Swiss Military Huntsman

Finest for Mountain climbing

A red and white Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman knife with tools unfolded on a grey and white log on grass.


  • Worth: $57
  • Size: 3.6”
  • Weight: 3.4 Ounces
  • Instruments: 15


  • Glorious weight
  • Very sharp noticed
  • Bladed screwdrivers are very useful


  • The corkscrew’s practicality is just a little questionable

Should you suppose the Huntsman seems similar to the Fieldmaster, you’re not imagining issues. These two knives are principally equivalent, with one key distinction—the Huntsman has a corkscrew as a substitute of a Phillips screwdriver. Whereas it’s excellent for uncorking wine, I’ve additionally seen or not it’s helpful for untying knots. That’s why I’ve picked it over the Fieldmaster for hikers.

For the sake of being full, I examined the two-bladed screwdrivers in some Phillips heads, and they’ll work if wanted. The Huntsman can also be only a hair lighter than the Fieldmaster. It might not seem to be a lot trying on the numbers, but it surely’s noticeable if you happen to maintain each within the hand. The profile of the Huntsman is a hair greater than the Fieldmaster as a result of the corkscrew stands proud extra. However I don’t suppose that’s a deal-breaking characteristic. The tolerances for the underside instruments subsequent to the corkscrew have been just a little higher out of the field than the Fieldmaster. It would differ a bit from knife to knife.

Two red and white Swiss Army knives with the corkscrew and screwdriver tools extended on the palm of a hand.
The one distinction between the Huntsman (left) and the Fieldmaster (proper) is these two instruments. Travis Smola Travis Smola

What to Know When Selecting a Swiss Military Knife

Everybody needs the basic pink pocket knife. Hell, my first knife was an affordable knockoff of the Traditional SD. However there’s nothing like the true factor. As of late Victorinox gives three distinct sizes of their legendary knives—small, medium, and enormous. Most customers discover the medium-sized knives to be the candy spot of weight and performance. Whereas Victorinox gives some reasonably distinctive knives with each software one may ever need, their practicality is up for debate. So, determine what you want in a Swiss Military Knife after which take into account options and metal.

Metal High quality

In accordance with Victorinox, they use iron-enriched metal with at the very least 13 p.c Chromium for his or her blades and instruments. To be extra particular, they use X55CrMo14 metal. It is a Martensitic chrome steel that’s straightforward to form. Whereas this isn’t the best grade of metal on Earth, it’s very purposeful for many on a regular basis customers. The tender nature makes it extraordinarily straightforward to place an edge again on the knife after you’ve worn it down. I used to be pleasantly stunned at how effectively it did maintain an edge in my retention exams.

I do know some knife lovers insist on nothing however the highest high quality metal of their blades. And I’m a fan of high-end knives too. However there’s something to be mentioned for what Victorinox is doing right here. As a result of they use a decrease grade metal, it permits them to promote SAKs at reasonably priced costs. One can get a high quality Swiss Military knife for beneath $100. And also you received’t panic if you happen to lose it both.


Q: How a lot is a Swiss Military knife?

Most Swiss Military knives fall within the $20 to $60 vary. Nevertheless, bigger knives with extra capabilities will drive the price up. The extra instruments the knife has, the extra it prices. Some knives, just like the Hunter Professional, are constructed from barely higher supplies and attain over $100. Though these knives are often on sale too. Extra not too long ago, I’ve seen them for as a lot as half the retail worth.

Q: What’s the hook on a Swiss Military knife for?

This is without doubt one of the extra uncommon instruments on these knives. It’s primarily designed for choosing up bundles or containers sure by string, wire, or twine. The entire concept is that these supplies will minimize your fingers, so that you would possibly as effectively use a hook. They can be used to tug up camp stakes or transfer a scorching pot heated up on a camp range.

Q: Who makes the Swiss Military knife?

Solely two firms have been recognized for producing real Swiss Military knives: Victorinox and Wenger. Nevertheless, Victorinox acquired Wenger in 2005. Thus, if you happen to’re in search of a real Swiss Military knife that’s nonetheless made in Switzerland, Victorinox is the one choice. Whereas among the knockoffs are purposeful, there’s a noticeable sturdiness and high quality distinction within the real Swiss stuff.

Finest Swiss Military Knives: Ultimate Ideas

It’s onerous to go incorrect with any actual Swiss Military knife. Though the Fieldmaster stands out from the group by way of performance. This knife is strictly what most individuals image once they hear the time period Swiss Military knife. For on a regular basis carry, work, and even presumably survival situations, the Fieldmaster is the one I’d need in my pocket over the others.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Discipline & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of out of doors gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that zeal comes by way of in our product opinions. You’ll be able to depend on F&S to maintain you updated on the most effective new gear. And after we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the dangerous, so precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.

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