Victorinox

Showing 97 posts tagged Victorinox

Multitools are ounce for ounce the most useful thing you can carry, albeit at somewhat of a compromise. They may never be the best tool for the job, but they’re rarely the wrong one. Recently, the multitool market, once justifiably dominated by Leatherman and Swiss Army Knife tools, has seen much greater diversity with the rise in popularity of one-piece multitools—ultra-compact pieces of metal designed to hang on your keychain with a number of functionalities. In the third installment of Carry Smarter, we list our top picks from both classic multitools and the new wave of one-piece multitools.
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The one-piece multitool trend has not gone unnoticed by the big manufacturers—both Leatherman and Gerber, among others, now sell one-piece tools. Of all the mass-market one-piece tools out there, the Shard stands a cut above the rest. Its simple, functional design features a swift and easy-to-use bottle opener, a decent pry tip, and most notably, a unique 3D Philips screwdriver on its end. Its black coating hardly holds up to everyday wear and tear, but the premature patina is forgivable given the Shard’s price and performance.
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This gem is one of our favorites – we’ve mentioned in another post how much we love it. Few tools are as classy, useful, affordable, and well-made as the Cadet. Victorinox swapped its iconic bright-red cellidor scales in favor of a ribbed aluminum material they call Alox—making the tool not just visually appealing, but also more durable and much thinner. The Cadet’s tool implements are uniformly excellent as expected in a Victorinox knife. Unfortunately, you won’t find scissors or pliers on the Cadet, as it foregoes these implements to achieve a great balance of useful tools and slimness. The Cadet is often found riding shotgun to much more expensive custom knives in a given carry, and understandably so—it’s a real worker that makes any EDC better, regardless of your budget.
BUY NOW ($26)

Released just less than two months ago, the ClipiTool is a strong newcomer to the multitool market. It’s a phenomenal tool—compact, inexpensive, and very easy to use. Being a Spyderco design, it unsurprisingly has wonderful ergonomics with a one-hand opening blade, a pocket clip, and an in-hand feel unmatched by any other multitool available. Its blade is also impressively useful, thanks to its full flat grind. The ClipiTool line offers three variants: blade + scissors, blade + saw, and blade + driver/opener. We prefer the driver/bottle opener configuration best, as it provides more distinct functions instead of merely different methods of cutting.
BUY NOW ($26)

Of the myriad of options from Leatherman and SOG for general purpose, medium-duty work, none are better than the Skeletool CX. An inconvenient commonality of multitools is that they’re heavy, bulky, and generally lacking a strong knife implement. The Skeletool CX avoids all of these missteps with its excellent knife, robust drivers, and comfortable design that feels great in-hand and rides lightly in the pocket. Perhaps its only minor shortcomings are that its pliers are stubby and aren’t spring loaded. Nonetheless, the Skeletool represents a huge leap forward in design from Leatherman. The CX is the version to get for its better blade steel alone, as its carbon fiber doesn’t significantly reduce weight. Overall, its great medium-duty tools and fantastic knife implement make it a viable replacement to a dedicated pocket knife in your kit.
BUY NOW ($72)

If the Skeletool doesn’t have enough tools to get the job done, you have a few options—the Victorinox Spirit or Swiss Tool, the Wave, a few SOGs, and the Charge. Natural selection in the marketplace has shown the Wave reigns supreme. Time and time again, companies release tools designed to best the Wave with little success. Even Leatherman’s own feature-packed Charge, meant to improve upon the Wave, falls short. The Wave’s success lies in its compliment of tools—it has everything you could reasonably need and nothing you don’t. Furthermore, its blades can be easily accessed using one hand, without opening the tool. Its pointed pliers are decent, but we feel their lack of a spring-loading mechanism holds the Wave back from truly being heavy-duty perfection.
BUY NOW ($71)

Carabiner-based multitools seem so promising in theory—always hanging around, doing work even when they’re not being used—but they are often disappointing in practice. Although a few carabiners deviate from this trend, none are as awesome as the Carabiner V.3. While it features only a minimum selection of tools, each one is extremely well-executed. An amazing one-piece design outfitted in premium materials, hand-made in small batchces by master craftsman Jens Anso, makes the V.3 easily worth its steep price. 
BUY NOW ($125)

Once legendary, Gerber’s quality has declined significantly over the past decade. Compared to the competition, recent Gerber products have suffered from dreadful fit and finish causing multiple major recalls, and exorbitant prices for subpar materials. The Dime, however, is a glimmer of hope for a turnaround to Gerber’s former glory. With its more complete tool complement, the Gerber Dime outclasses the popular Leatherman Squirt as the new reigning champ of the keychain tool market. The Dime was the first keychain tool to feature a useful clam-shell cutter for stubborn retail packaging, setting an example for other keychain tools to follow suit. Its fit and finish varies wildly, but for the price, a good copy of the Dime is a steal.
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In this Internet Age, where a mill and a blog can give rise to a new tool brand, the market has seen a proliferation of one-piece multitools. Peter Atwood is the most famous and his tools are the most sought-after, but the Chopper from TT PockeTTools matches, if not bests the functionality of Atwood’s finest designs. The Chopper is a perfect one-piece multitool—compact, with a great bottle opener and a handy assortment of other implements. The snag edge, just under the pry, is perhaps the best surprise here—enough to tear open a package but not so sharp as to cause concern when stuffed in your pocket. Compared to Atwood’s tools, the Chopper is fairly affordable and reasonably available to purchase (the newest batch will restock in May).
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Multitools are ounce for ounce the most useful thing you can carry, albeit at somewhat of a compromise. They may never be the best tool for the job, but they’re rarely the wrong one. Recently, the multitool market, once justifiably dominated by Leatherman and Swiss Army Knife tools, has seen much greater diversity with the rise in popularity of one-piece multitools—ultra-compact pieces of metal designed to hang on your keychain with a number of functionalities. In the third installment of Carry Smarter, we list our top picks from both classic multitools and the new wave of one-piece multitools.

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Dear Victoria Inox,
I love you. Your slender shapes, gentle curves, and amazing utility have bewitched me. Your myriad of forms pleases both my eyes and my heart. Even some days when I choose another to be at my side, I cannot let you wander far. Amidst the younger, finer, richer models I could do with, I still always find it in my heart to carry you. You were my first real… knife.
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And since then, I have only learned to appreciate you more. I like you most when you’re done up to the nines in Alox. Sure, the red outfit is what you’re known for, but that Alox has an enduring beauty. I love you, Victoria Inox.
Sincerely,
Anthony Sculimbrene
In reality, the brand of Swiss Army Knife we all know and love is a portmanteau of the founder’s mother’s name (Victoria) and the French word for stainless steel (inoxydable). There was a real Victorinox, and I can’t help but feel indebted to her as the namesake of some of my most cherished knives. Victorinox makes many a splendid tool, but among their best are those that do away with the traditional lipstick-red handles in favor of ribbed aluminum ones, a material Victorinox calls Alox. This more durable material both slims the knife down and manages to retain its sleek appearance even after absorbing an amazing amount of damage compared to its cellidor counterpart. Of the many models featuring Alox scales, a select few stand out. This introduction to Alox knives features my personal favorite, the Cadet, as well as the Farmer, Pioneer, Money Clip, and Rambler models.
Cadet

The Cadet’s assortment of tools is just about perfect for EDC – a good blade, a bottle opener, a can opener, a file, and three different sized drivers. However, it’s not just the selection of tools that make it noteworthy. At 84mm (3.3 inches), it’s perfectly sized for EDC. The blade is big enough for everyday tasks like opening packages and food prep, but not so big as to be threatening. The bottle opener, as per Victorinox tradition, is an awesome single-pull implement. The Cadet achieves a great balance of versatility and minimalism in a form factor thinner than a pack of gum. Carry it for a day and you’ll realize why the Cadet is such a popular “work blade,” even alongside pricier custom folders.
BUY NOW ($30)
Pioneer & Farmer

Take the Cadet and replace the file/Philips driver with an awl or a punch and you have the Pioneer. Add a truly great wood saw to that, and you have the Farmer. If you’re in a more rural environment, and wouldn’t miss the Philiips driver, then either of these makes a good substitute for the Cadet. You’d be surprised at all the ways a punch is useful (restringing frayed shoelaces, for example). As nice as the punch is, even better is the wood saw on the Farmer. With aggressively cut teeth, it makes dust of softer woods like pine and cuts through green branches swiftly.
PIONEER ($30) & FARMER ($30)
Money Clip

This knife, intended to be used as a moneyclip, packs a rather small and less common 74mm-class blade. However, the money clip actually works quite well as a pocket clip – a unique feature among traditional style Swiss Army Knives. The tool selection is fairly standard, much like a slightly larger version of the Classic: a small pen blade, a pair of scissors, and a driver/file. However, unlike common cellidor Classics, it foregoes the tweezers and toothpick in favor of a classy, svelte aesthetic and feel. Whether clipped to your pocket or to your cash, the Alox Money Clip fills its niche.
BUY NOW ($26)
Rambler

The Rambler outdoes the Classic in the 58mm class by packing a hybrid bottle opener/magnetic philips driver/wire stripper in its toolset in addition to a pen blade, nail file/driver, and scissors. Despite its toolset’s exceptional utility for a keychain knife, many of its tools become less usable at such a small scale – except for the scissors. They perform surprisingly well, even at small proportions. Overall, it makes for a great keychain companion. The Alox version of the Rambler is available exclusively through SwissBianco.
BUY NOW ($49)
The diverse Victorinox product line is full of gems, but the Alox models really kick things up a notch. The durable scale material has a visually striking pattern and comes in a wide range of colors through the anodization process. Aesthetics aside, it’s the incredibly slim form factor that makes them worth buying. Fortunately, most Alox models are affordable and easy to grab a hold of, with perhaps the best of the models, the Cadet, being the most widely available of them all. Try adding one to your own carry – few products are a better value in EDC gear. High-res

Dear Victoria Inox,

I love you. Your slender shapes, gentle curves, and amazing utility have bewitched me. Your myriad of forms pleases both my eyes and my heart. Even some days when I choose another to be at my side, I cannot let you wander far. Amidst the younger, finer, richer models I could do with, I still always find it in my heart to carry you. You were my first real… knife.

Read more