The 5 Best Swiss Army Knives

by John Moffatt on 9 July 2014 0 comments

A quality Swiss Army Knife is a handy gadget not only for armed forces stationed in the Alps, but for any budget-minded consumer. Since it combines several useful, everyday tools into one compact design, it can save you both money and storage space.

What Is a Swiss Army Knife?

Technically, the term "Swiss Army Knife" is a registered trademark that refers only to products manufactured by two Swiss-based brands, Victorinox and Wenger (Victorinox recently purchased Wenger, but some models bearing the Wenger name are still available). Colloquially, however, the term has since come to refer to any brand of multi-tool pocket knife. In addition to a blade, these gadgets include various implements such as screwdrivers, bottle openers, and scissors. Models range from basic to highly elaborate. Here are the five best Swiss Army Knives on the market.

Best 5 Swiss Army Knives

Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife

Of all the models by the sole "genuine" Swiss Army Knife company, Victorinax, the Super Tinker pocket knife is the most versatile and best suited to the everyday consumer. Among its more than a dozen tools are the standard large and small blade, tweezers, bottle opener, and scissors. Consumers report using the large blade for such tasks as carving wood and gutting fish; the small blade for cleaning fingernails and opening letters; and the scissors for cutting string.

Replacing the corkscrew from older models is a Phillips screwdriver, which can come in handy when working with electronics. Measuring a compact 3-1/2 inches long, and relatively lightweight, the Super Tinker is perfect for carrying in a purse or pocket. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

Currently $30.26 on Amazon

Wenger 16388 Swiss Army EvoWood 18 Pocket Knife

Although Wenger was folded into Victorinox in 2005, there are still Swiss Army Knives on the market that bear the Wenger brand, and the Wenger 16388 pocket knife is the best of the bunch. Part of the company's environmentally-conscious EvoWood line, these knives are made from discarded pieces of walnut wood carved to fit the shape of your hand. Since each knife has unique shades and grain patterns, Wenger describes them as "functional pieces of art." Consequently, this model is more expensive than many alternatives, but its peerless quality makes it an investment worth considering.

Among the implements are a 2-1/2-inch blade, Phillips head screwdriver, can opener, wire stripper, awl, reamer, and nail file. Consumers praise the design, and the springless pair of scissors, unique among Swiss Army Knives. The model comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Currently $65.00 on Amazon

Valtev 13 Function Folding Pocket Knife

Made in China, the craftsmanship of the Valtev 13 Function folding pocket knife may not compare to that of Victorinox or Wenger, but it offers features not found in more venerable brands, including an LED flashlight, saw, fish scaler, and leather punch. Consumers find it particularly well suited to younger users — it's popular with Boy and Girl Scouts. The Valtev is made of one hundred per cent stainless steel and comes with a nylon pouch and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Currently $27.15 on Amazon

Klein 1550-2 2-Blade Pocket Knife

For those who prefer to keep things simple, and who'd rather not pay for features they don't need, the Klein 1550-2 pocket knife has two blades and nothing else. Both blades are 2-1/2 inches long, one with a screwdriver tip, the other with a standard spear point. Unlike most Swiss Army Knives, both blades lock open on this model, making it suitable for more heavy-duty work. Consumers love the 1550-2's durability, and find it particularly useful for electrical work. It comes with a crack-resistant plastic handle, and a lifetime warranty on material defects and workmanship.

Currently $20.79 on Amazon

Leatherman Crater c33Tx Combo Straight/Serrated Blade Knife

Consumers love how sharp the blade is on the Leatherman Crater c33Tx combo blade knife, while also singing the praises of the carabiner/bottle opener and removable pocket clip. Those who stress buying American will appreciate that the Crater is made in the USA. Complaints include the fact that the screwdrivers don't lock, and that the blade launcher is somewhat complex and may require some practice to get right. The Crater is encased in a sturdy, glass-filled nylon handle and comes with a 25-year manufacturer warranty.

Currently $34.95 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best Swiss Army Knives. As always, be sure to check out the Wise Bread Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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