Best Victorinox Multi Tools and Pocket Knives – Mar ’17 update

The first guide on Victorinox multi-tools and pocket knives and tools was published on April 10th, 2013 –  we just looked it up. Over the years, our featured testers and we, have tested and reviewed pretty much any Victorinox piece worth mentioning.

victorinox-multitools

We kept at least one piece of everything we ever reviewed – from the Tinker in Camo (top row, first on the left) to the sleek Boatsman Delemont collection (bottom right)


 

This month’s update – nothing to write home about

We update our guides every two months by following up with our tester and asking them to re-rate the pieces in our 5 rating categories – Durability & Longevity, Versatility, Materials, Design and value for money.

We’ve seen no movements in the rankings and little to no changes in ratings – the Victorinox Spirit X is still king of the hill rated at 4.4/5.

Let’s kick the update off like we always do, by listing the top 5 along with their ratings.

 

TOP 5 Victorinox Multi-tools

 
Model
 
Overall Rating
& Type

 
 
Price comparison
link

 
best-Victorinox-multitool-Spirit-X
Victorinox Spirit X

 
4.42 / 5


type: full-sized
 
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2nd-best-Victorinox-huntsman
Victorinox Huntsman
 
4.36 / 5


type: pocket knife
 
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3rd-top-rated-victorinox-skipper
Victorinox Skipper

 
4.36 / 5


type: medium-sized
 
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victorinox-rs-multi-tool
Victorinox SwissTool RS
 
4.26 / 5


type: full-sized
 
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5-victorinox-cadet-knife
Victorinox Cadet Knife
 
4.20 / 5


type: pocket knife
 
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Side-by-side comparison of TOP 5 Victorinox tools

Moving on to compare the 5 top-rated tools from Victorinox that we listed above including their ratings in each aspect.

The highest rating in category will be bolded.

 
Notice – the Category of “Visual Appeal”

The category of visual appeal is included in the calculation of the “Design” rating, but it only attributes with about 20% to the score in that category. Rest of it is tool placement and functionality.

Here and only here, we’ll make a special note of the Visual Appeal ratings.

Spoiler alert- the one piece that’s dominating the category is the Skipper – with the ratings of 4.94 it’s not only the highest rated piece among Victorinox, it’s highest-rated overall.

 

skipper-top-rated-design

Rating of 4.94 / 5 in “Visual Appeal” makes the Victorinox Skipper , according to our testers, the most attractive multi-tool in existence

 

Let’s move on to the more comprehensive comparison…
 

Mano-a-Mano comparison of the TOP 5 Victorinox multi-tools

 
Spirit X
 
The Huntsman
 
The Skipper
 
The SwissTool RS
 
The Cadet
 
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skipper-multitool-victorinox

 
 
swisstool-rs-multitool-victorinox

 
 
cadet-multitool-victorinox-alox

 
Specs & ratings
Number
of tools
 
22
 
15
 
14
 
29
 
9
Closed length
(inches):
 
4
 
3.5
 
4.37
 
4.5
 
3.3
Weight
(oz):
8.6
3.42
5.32
10.3
1.62
Durability
& Longevity

(out of 5):
 
4.8
 
4.2
 
4.4
 
4.4
 
4.4
Versatility
(out of 5):
 
4.7
 
4.2
 
4.2
 
4.5
 
3.8
Materials
(out of 5):
 
4.7
 
4.2
 
4.2
 
4.4
 
4.4
Design
(out of 5):
 
4.1
 
4.5
 
4.7
 
3.9
 
4.2
Value for $
(out of 5):
 
3.8
 
4.5
 
4.3
 
4.1
 
4.6
Overall Rating
(out of 5)
 
4.42

 
4.36
 
4.36
 
4.26
 
4.20
 Visual Appeal
 
 
 
4.3
 
 
4.1
 
 
4.94
 
 
4.0
 
 
4.1
 
Badges
Awarded
 
/
 
/
badge-top-looks1
 
/
 
/

See what users of the tools are saying on Amazon

 
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skipper-multitool-victorinox

 
 
swisstool-rs-multitool-victorinox

 
 
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In-depth reviews of the tools

 

Top-rated Victorinox – Spirit X

 

Victorinox-Spirit-X-Black

Victorinox Spirit X in black


 

Basic facts:

  • 26 tools (or so they say, more on that later)
  • All tools Victorinox stainless steel
  • Closed length – 4 “
  • Weight – 8.61 ounces
  • Lifetime warranty

 
 
 

 

Overview

The Spirit X is one of the pliers-based pieces and, comp0ared to its main competitors like the Leatherman Wave, it’s fair to say that this is a “young” multi-tool. The company itself is the monarch of the industry (founded in 1884), but they are relatively new to this class of multi-tools.

spirit-x-pliers

It’s fair to say that Victorinox is a “new-comer” to the market of full-sized multi-tools


 
They’re better known for the more compact, knife-based pieces. But it seems that they’ve done a pretty good job at utilizing everything they know about steel quality to the field.

The Chromium-based steel (as opposed to the Carbon-based of the Leatherman) is well known for it’ corrosion and change-resistance, not so much for hardness and edge-retention.

But more on that in a few minutes – let’s kick-off the review with a quick features demo (credit DemonReviewer)

Quick Demo of the Features


 
 

Spirit X vs. best overall – the Leatherman Wave

 
Victorinox
Spirit X
Best Overall - the Leatherman Wave
skeletool-cx
leatherman-wave-black-oxide-with-nylon-pouch
Number
of tools
24
17
Closed length
(inches)
4
4
Weight (ounces):
8.6
8.5
Durability
& Longevity

(out of 5):
 
4.8
 
4.8
Versatility
(out of 5):
4.7
4.7
Materials
(out of 5):
4.7
4.7
Design
(out of 5):
4.1
4.6
Value for $
(out of 5):
3.8
4.7
Overall Rating
(out of 5)
4.42
4.70
 
Badges
Awarded:
 
/
top-choice-overall
 
Compare Spirit X prices on Amazon
 
Compare Leatherman Wave prices on Amazon

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There’s no shame in “loosing” to Leatherman Wave

 
The Wave is the “overlord” in the industry of multi-tools. On top of it , in this case, it costs less than the tool we are comparing it to – the Victorinox Spirit X.

 

victorinox-multi-tool-spirit-x-vs-leatherman-wave

Victorinox Spirit X & Leatherman Wave – stainless steel versions side-by-side

We have to admit that our all-time-favorite is the Leatherman Wave Black with an Oxide finish.

The Original Wave was first made in 1998 and discontinued in 2004 when it was replaced by the New Wave, and has been continuously improved to-date.
 

Watch the 90 seconds features demo to better understand what we’re talking about.

 

90 Sec Demo of the Wave Features

 

It’s also the best-rated multi-tool overall in last 14 updated of our main guide.

comparison-victorinox-multi-tool-spirit-x-vs-leatherman-wave

 

See the Leatherman Wave on Amazon

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Getting back to the review of the Victorinox Spirit X multi-tool

Number of tools – is it really 24 or 26?

The short answer would be “no”.

Tool number “inflation” is a common thing in the multi-tool industry and Victorinox is no exception, but they did take it to another level.

Companies tend add a little something and call it a tool. If that’s the practice, you and I could make a multi-tool, puncture holes in the blades, call them monocles and count them towards the total number of tools.

Ignore that – look at the number of dedicated tools

 
If the number of tools listed are to be taken as-is, Victorinox would be the industry leader in the aspect. Let’s take a moment to analyze what they’re saying.

Firstly, it seems that Victorinox themselves are confused

The Victorinox website boasts about 26 tools right next to the title of this tool. Further down the page they list 24 and their Amazon listing of the tool says 22.

So, gently said, whatever the real number is, in reality it’s not 22 or 24, let alone 26. And that’s OK, because you don’t need 26 tools, that’s not where the substance is and it’s not what makes or breaks a multi-tool.

Even at 22, the way the count the tools is, what’s the word…liberal.
 

10 tools in the jaws of the pliers?

swisstol-pliers
 If we are understanding what Victorinox says about this multi-tool right, here is what one piece of metal of the pliers jaws contains:

  1. hard and soft wire cutters
  2. wire bender and wire-stripper
  3. wire scrapper
  4. two cable cover cutters (longitudinal and crossway)
  5. crate opener
  6. scraper
  7. 7mm chisel

In total, that’s 10 tools in the jaws alone.

Again, in Victorinox’s defense, everybody is doing it. Leatherman or Gerber might count this as 4 or 5 tools, but 10?

That’s taking it too far.

The exaggeration take nothing away from the quality – let’s just stress that and move on.

Ergonomics – pre-curved handles save the day

The Wave’s handles are rounded on both sides for a better grip. The first time we saw this piece from Victorinox we didn’t expect it to be easy on the hands or allow a good grip.

We were wrong.

It’s the fact that the handles are slightly curved inwards that makes the tool sit well in hand. When used, they curve adjusts to your hand (or the other way around) and provide a comfortable grip.

pre-curved-hadnles

 

On the other hand, when fully-closed, the curve allows generous space between the handles so there’s no pinching, which does happen with straight handles.

under construction reviews coming soon

Full reviews of the rest of the tools are in the works

Currently, we are waiting on a few more testers to send their ratings and comments. It’s especially important to have all the latest updates for the reviews to be completely relevant, especially when we talk about Durability & Longevity.

It will take a few days before we complete and publish them here. We apologize for the currently incomplete guide.

In the rest of the guide we’ll take  a look at some honorary mentions – pieces that didn’t make the TOP 5.

Honorary mentions among Victorinox multi-tools

*tools that didn’t make the top 5, but were close and deserve a mention

Victorinox rambler pocket knife multi-tool review

Victorinox Swiss Army Rambler Pocket Knife

Fact sheet:

  • Pocket knife for hikers, campers and all around users
  • Mini scissors, small blade, plastic toothpick included
  • Nail file (has a screwdriver tip), bottle opener (magnetic screwdriver tip)
  • Attractive red housing, according to Victorinox standards
  • 2-1/4” long
  • Lifetime warranty

 

A few direct quotes that we’ve heard about the Rambler from our featured testers.

PROs:

  • Most of the pocket knives I’ve used over the years aren’t really pocket-friendly. On the other hand, there’s always room in my pocket for a rambler, even when it has to compete with a bunch of other stuff. I really like the Phillips screwdriver, and opening a beer bottle here and then isn’t too shabby either. It’s just a perfection among pocket knives
  • This is just the best Victorinox multi tool I can have on my keychain. I like the blade, as I definitely use it the most often. Scissors certainly come in handy once in a while, whether for cutting some loose threads from your clothes or just personal grooming. Phillips screwdriver is a godsend for tinkering with the small stuff. Nail file with the flat screwdriver is a surprisingly useful tool. It’s a great pocket/keychain little tool. My recommendations
  • Rambler is basically the upgraded classic normal version, although a little thicker. It also adds features like bottle opener and Phillips screwdriver. Bottle opener I really had no chance of testing, but the driver is constantly in charge of my glasses and some small repairs down at work. Rambler is certainly an improvement over the classic model, get it, you won’t regret it. I know I didn’t
  • What I liked the most about this little multi tool is the fact that small blade is opening opposite to the key ring. I use it almost daily and really enjoy not having to hold a bunch of keys over the blade, like with the classic version
  • A perfect little gadget for me. You can feel it’s very well made, and a lifetime guarantee shouts it’s durable as hell. All the tools work perfectly, and they stay tight and in place, even after some pretty hard core use. All in all, I just put it on my keychain, and I’m on my way

CONs:

  • I’ve donated 3 ramblers to airport security by now. I really like the tool, and I use it constantly. It fits so nicely in my pocket I regularly forget to take it off my keychain.
  • It’s thicker than the classic version of the tool. I’ve owned several of those, and when I got the Rambler, I’ve immediately noticed the thickness. I have no real use for Phillips screwdriver, and would’ve liked if they kept the original dimensions

Victorinox multi-tool Explorer

Victorinox Swiss Army Explorer Boy Scout Pocket Knife

Specs:

  • Steel construction
  • polished cellidor handle
  • Featuring 2 screwdrivers (large and small) and blades, bottle and can opener, reamer, scissors, corkscrew, tweezers, magnifying glass, hook, toothpick, wire stripper and key ring

PROs:

  • These little guys are just exquisite. They pack a lot of functionality for such a small multi tool. Everything always works like a clock, and it never failed me in a pinch. I recommend this pocket knife with whole my heart. Oh, and I have one problem with it. I just keep on loosing them. It’s my 5th overall
  • The pin just beneath the corkscrew is perfect for removing of splinters. It helped me so many times. The pin and a tiny screwdriver really take the cake, as far as I’m concerned. You’ll have to be more careful with the blades as they’re really sharp. The best Victorinox multi tool for me, and gets me out of the jam every time
  • I love the positioning of the Phillips screwdriver. Usually it’s somewhere in the middle, while explorer has it on the very end. I also enjoy the hook, it’s just perfect for staple removal. Scissors are top of the line also, and more than useful. Let’s just say I don’t leave the house without this little guy
  • I really needed some sort of small tool that featured magnifying glass and scissors. I’m a bit of a rock hound myself, and explorer fits my needs perfectly. Excellent little pocket knife, beautifully built and a joy to use
  • Untying the knots was never so easy before. The hook tool on my new explorer is one hell of a tool. It’s a very high quality product overall, as you would expect from Victorinox after all. I’ve given it some hard times, I’ll admit. Still live and kicking after all that. Amazing gadget

CONs:

  • I really enjoyed the T-grip version of the Phillips screwdriver in these tools. Now it’s situated in the middle, and I simply don’t find it to be an improvement
  • Small pliers would make this multi tool perfect for me. Everything that’s on it is very functional and well made, but a pair of good, sturdy pliers would really seal the deal for me
  • Victorinox Explorer – review resume and final quality rating

Victorinox SwissTool review

Fact sheet of the Victorinox multi-tool:

Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool Swiss Army Knife Pouch 53946

  • Handy tool for hikers, campers and all around users
  • Featuring 24 different tools for a wide range of uses, all hardened stainless steel made
  • Individually opening tools, all locking, and with pushbutton closing
  • Openers, saws, screwdrivers, blades, rulers and much more included
  • Nylon pouch for your belt
  • 4-1/2” long

Positive impressions our testers shared:

  • When I see a multi tool this elaborate, I immediately think of tools becoming all loose and useless after performing some intense work. Not the case here at all. All of the tools packed inside this little guy remain tight inside the frame. And I’ve bee using it for a while now.
  • I’m just stunned with the sheer quantity of tools they’ve managed to squeeze inside this tool. The blades are always my number 1 concern, and this product didn’t let me down on that front. Extra sharp and the edge holds very nicely. All of the other tools are quite sturdy too
  • The pouch I got with the tool is actually perfect. The piece fits in it really well, for a change, and you can just feel the quality of the tool itself. Very well made, and it sits so comfortably in my hand.
  • These pliers are awesome! I’ve used some considerable force on them, and they handled it like a champ. The grip is really something, ad I’m really glad I got this multi tool. The handles are also very forgiving, and leave no red marks all over my hands when I squeeze the pliers
  • I like this serrated blade, period. It will cut through almost anything, and it remains sharp. The file actually works for once, and I really enjoy the plier’s mechanism. It simply has all the tools I need, and they all perform as they should. You can feel the tool is made of some high-quality materials, and that it’s built to last forever.
  • This little guy is just indestructible. I’ve needed a pair of good pliers in a multi tool in like forever. These are just perfect for me. The grip is unforgiving, handling is pretty awesome, and I like the feel of the handles. The tool opens up without any stiffness, and all of the other functions included came in handy more than once
  • I’m a very careful person, when it comes to buying anything. I like to do my research before giving my cash away. So, I’ve read a lot of reviews concerning different Victorinox products, and zoned in on this multi tool. It just has a wonderful price-quality-performance ratio, and I didn’t have any problem paying for this bad boy. Once I got it I gave it a go, and I can say all the reviews were true. This is really top of the line product, and I see it’ll last forever

Some of the less positive reviews:

  • I never liked it when you have to open the tool itself, in order to get access to the different tools packed on the inside. Other than this little mishap it all seems to be in perfect order when it comes to this multi tool
  • I didn’t really care that much for the pouch that came with the tool. It looks kind of cheesy to me. It holds up surprisingly well though. At the end of the day, I guess that really matters more than the looks

Victorinox Swiss Boatsman multi tool review

Victorinox Swiss Army RangerGrip Boatsman Swiss Army Knife

Fact sheet:

  • 19 functions – premium line product, limited edition
  • ergonomic rubber handle for better grip
  • lifetime warranty

PROs:

  • I like how lightweight this multi tool is. The rubber used in the making process really makes a difference. It fits perfectly on my keyring, and it’s very comfortable to carry inside my pocket
  • I’ve read some reviews concerning this Victorinox multi tool before buying it. People seemed to be very pleased with it, but I just couldn’t see it. First thing I must say, now that I’ve got it is that I’m actually surprised how many tools are successfully jammed inside this little tool. You have a tool for everything, and it’s all really well made and durable
  • It’s amazing how these tools remain so tight inside the frame, even after some pretty heavy use. I’m already used to multi tools becoming all loose and wobbly after you use them extensively for a while, but this one is still holding up. I use a straight blade most often, and it’s really important for me to always have a nice sharp blade with a good edge handy. I think I’ve found it. The rest of the tools fall no short from the blade. Really nice quality and durable piece of equipment
  • These little pliers looked like to me like they couldn’t possibly work, and were added just to increase the tool count. Boy was I wrong. They are multi purpose pliers, and they can really perform even some of the more challenging tasks successfully. Other tools are just as good, blade is sharp enough, and I particularly enjoy the little scissors. They might look fragile, but they cut like there’s no tomorrow

CONs:

  • I’m just not that big of a fan when it comes to involving rubber materials into the production of a multi tool
  • I wished they included a pair of pliers that was a tad bigger. The ones already in the arsenal of this gadget are ok, but they can’t handle the jobs I had in store for them

Victorinox Deluxe Tinker review

Victorinox Swiss Army Deluxe Tinker
h4>Fact sheet:

  • Handy tool for hikers, campers, scouts and more
  • Featuring 16 different tools made of plastic and hardened stainless steel, for a wide array of uses
  • Included are scissors, can opener, screwdriver, small/large blade
  • Wire cutter, bottle opener, tweezers, mini pliers and toothpick
  • Made in Switzerland, 3-1/2” long
  • Lifetime warranty

It just feels so reassuring when I see a lifetime warranty somewhere in the specs.

PROs:

  • This is the best Victorinox multi toll, hands down. For starters, it doesn’t require any of those side pouches and whatnot. It’s small enough for a comfortable fit in my pocket. Further more, every tool it holds is useful to me in one way or the other. Not to mention the quality, which is really superb. All in all, I really enjoy this tool, as if it’s not already obvious, and I recommend every multi tool aficionado out there to get one pronto
  • The knife inside this tool is somewhat of a perfect middle ground in between the Swiss champ and the tinker models. Meaning, I like it! I also like the fact that, instead of the corkscrew, which is totally unnecessary if you ask me, we have a Phillips screwdriver. It’s so many times more useful than that bloody corkscrew it’s not even funny. The pliers won’t change your tire or something, but they’re extremely useful considering the size. Great tool and a great deal for my cash!
  • This tool is just a solid performer, no matter what you intend it to do. Victorinox is a name that I learned to trust over the years, and they have yet to let me down
  • The smallest Victorinox product that I know of. It fits so comfortably in my pocket, and it has a pair of pliers. How awesome is that?! I didn’t even know the half if the situations the pliers will come in handy before I got this tool. The rest of the tools is the same quality, excellent, that is. Great tool and a great deal. Go for it and don’t look back

CONs:

  • I really miss the corkscrew on this one
  • It’s just too bulky for my liking. I can’t carry it in my pocket since I’m used to much smaller tools around my keychain
  • I can’t think of any reason why they wouldn’t include the straight pin!

Final thoughts on Victorinox multitools

I sincerely hope I’ve provided enough information about the best Victorinox multi tool. We singled out 5 of them. They’re all top of the line and the matter of choosing the right comes down to your own preferences and needs. It’s cliche but it’s true.

I hope you’ll be happy with your choice.

Until the next update,

Morry Banes

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