best swiss army knife buying guide

11 Best Swiss Army Knife 2019 [Ultimate Survival Guide for U]

Swiss Army knives are legendary for their versatile use and handy design. There are not many tools that people can actually claim to have saved their lives.

The incredible stories span from cutting fishnets while being dragged into the sea by large catches, to actually fixing loose rail line connections to save the lives of hundreds.

During the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, doctors even performed surgery on a distressed victim with this knife, believe it or not!

Although my experience with these knives is not that extreme, they came in real handy for me in the past, especially in the wilderness.

I still remember the time when I lost my entire toolbox during a camping trip, and still managed to survive a whole week with possibly the best Swiss army pocket knife I had in my side pocket.

I cut fish and meat, set up tents, and at one point, even opened the display of my wristwatch after water leaked into it during a careless swimming trip. I realized that if I were to choose a single tool to bring anywhere, a Swiss knife would be it.

So, to help people choose a new Swiss Army knife – whether it’s their first or the 50th – I have compiled a list of the best Swiss Army knife you can buy right at this moment.

This list comes from my years of dealing with them, and I am pretty sure some of the picks would suit your taste just perfect.

Best Swiss Army Knives Models in 2019


1. Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife

The SwissChamp from Victorinox is a classic knife that has all the premium features the Swiss manufacturer has to offer. With 33 functions, you’ll find a tool for pretty much every occasion. The tools include the large blade, bottle opener, scissors, screwdriver, corkscrew, pliers, and many more.


2. Victorinox Hiker

Of all the tools Victorinox makes, one of the most practical ones is the Hiker. Specifically designed for outdoor use, the implements of this one includes small and large knives, can/bottle openers, screwdrivers and wood saw. With a lightweight but durable build, this is perhaps the best Swiss army knife for camping.


Different Types of Knives


So, what is a Swiss Army knife, or SAK in short? Chances are that you’ve already seen one – it is those multipurpose pocket knives that pack a tremendous amount of tools and functions. For the Swiss knife, these can range from screwdrivers and can openers to LED light, flash drive, and magnifying glass. There are hundreds of different versions available in the market with many different yet useful features for you.


As for types of these knives, there’s really to black and white product category. Pretty much all Swiss knives come with some basic tools, and from there on the functions tend to diversify tremendously.


As for brands, the oldest Swiss knife makers are Victorinox and Wenger from Switzerland. Nowadays, there are a number of other companies who make similar products, such as Leatherman and Gerber.

The 11 Best Swiss Army Knife Reviews


1. Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife

With Victorinox being the oldest and the biggest manufacturer of swiss army pocket  knives, you will see a number of their models pop up in this list.

The first is the Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife. Surprisingly small yet functional, this sleek little knife is the perfect pocket knife for everyday use.


  • 14 functions
  • Comes with a large blade (2.45″), small blade, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, large screwdriver, scissors
  • Stainless steel build
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Made in Switzerland (duh!)


  • Can be a little heavy in the pocket
  • Main blade needs regular sharpening



2.Valtev Quality 13 Function Stainless Steel Folding Pocket Knife

The Valtev Quality 13 Function Stainless Steel Folding Pocket Knife comes with something you won’t find in your everyday Swiss Knife – an LED flashlight!

The battery-powered light is complemented by a 2.5″ blade and 12 additional tools for your ease of use. Oh, its nylon pouch makes it the best Swiss army knife for EDC too!



  • LED flashlight
  • 2.5″ blade (stainless steel)
  • 12 extra tools
  • Nylon pouch
  • Great gift item


  • Pouch can feel a little flimsy
  • The blade can become dull in the long run


3.Klein Tools 1550-2 Pocket Knife

Klein is a reputed manufacturer when it comes to handy tools, and its Tools 1550-2 Pocket Knife with 2 Carbon Steel Blades proudly holds up the tradition.

With two steel blades, screwdriver-tip blades, and a pretty compact size, this is the ultimate solution for your lightweight pocket knife needs.


  • Twin steel blades
  • Screwdriver tip
  • Lifetime warranty


  • The plastic handle looks a little cheap
  • The blades can be quite hard to pull out


4.Leatherman Crater c33Tx Combo Straight/Serrated Blade Knife

A Leatherman is the American version of the Swiss knife that delivers pretty much the same value for your money.

With Leatherman’s Crater, you get a modern, sleek looking pocket knife that comes with some very handy tools. These include a twin edge serrated/straight blade, bottle opener, screwdriver, and carabiner clip.



  • Stainless steel twin blade (serrated/straight)
  • Includes bottle opener, screwdriver, and carabiner clip
  • Removable clip
  • Nylon (glass-filled) handle


  • Blades can be too tight
  • A bit bulky in the pocket


5.Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

If you don’t like the bulky, way-too-many-tools models of these knives, then give the Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife from Victorinox a try.

This perfectly pocket-sized knife comes with seven functions that you’ll need in your everyday life, including a toothpick, tweezers, nail files, and more.


  • Perfect lightweight design
  • Seven functions
  • Unique pink handle
  • 2-1/4”in length
  • Includes toothpick, tweezers, nail files



  • Can be a bit too small for some people
  • The color might not suit everyone



6.Victorinox Hiker

Another great knife from Victorinox, the Hiker was specially designed with outdoor use in mind.

With stainless steel implements like small and large knives, can/bottle openers, screwdrivers, and wood saw, this compact knife will save you a lot of hassle during your next camping trip.



  • Eight tools in total
  • Stainless steel implements, separators made out of aluminum alloy
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Can withstand extreme outdoor use


  • Knives tend to lose sharpness after medium to high use
  • Cold weather can sometimes jam the tools inside


7.Victorinox Signature Lite Pocket Knife

If you wanted a couple of cool new features with the trusted Victorinox name, then the swiss knife for you would be the Signature Lite.

It comes with an LED light, and tools like a blade, screwdriver, nail file, scissors, key ring, and a retractable pen.



  • 18,000 MCD LED light
  • Seven tools
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 2.5” long


  • Can feel a little flimsy in hand
  • The LED light might not last the long mile


8.Victorinox Farmer

There’s a saying that of all the Victorinox models, the Farmer is the most Swiss of them all, and when you see it in person, you instantly realize why.

With a sleek build designed for heavy outdoor use, you get a couple of blades, screwdriver, cap lifter, wire stripper, and wood saw with this one.


  • Standard Alox handle from Victorinox
  • Multi-tool design
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 3.66” long
  • 3-ounce weight


  • The saw blade feels a little flimsy
  • Blades can lose sharpness quite rapidly


9.Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife

With the SwissChamp Pocket Knife, we step into elite Victorinox territory. This premium knife has long been among the company’s best sellers, and for good reasons too.

With a whopping 33 functions, you’ll find a tool for pretty much every occasion. You’ll also get standard Victorinox features like stainless steel build and lifetime guarantee.



  • 3.58″ in length
  • 33 functions
  • Tools include large blade, bottle opener, scissors, screwdriver, corkscrew, pliers, and many more
  • Weighs only 6.5 ounce
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • The pliers are a little to lightweight
  • Ironically, too many tools can be a bother at times


10.Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife

A less confusing version of the SwissChamp, the Climber from Victorinox comes with all the good of the previous one while being light and practical enough for the harsh outdoors.

With 13 tools and a durable stainless steel build, you can take this knife to regular fishing and camping trips without any worry.


  • Stainless steel build
  • 13 tools provide 14 functions
  • 3.58″ in length
  • Weighs a mere 2.91 ounce
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • Plastic casing may crack in the long run
  • The blades lose sharpness rather rapidly



11.Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue Tool Pocket Knife with Pouch

The Rescue Tool from Victorinox was developed in consultation with professional safety and rescue service personnel.

With 15 functions suited for everyday use, outdoor use, and particularly for emergencies, this is a must-have for any enthusiast.



  • Stainless steel build
  • 15 functions that include serrated blade, screwdriver, window breaker, crate opener, and more
  • Fluorescent yellow handle made out of nylon scales
  • 4.37″ in length
  • Switzerland-made
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • Weight is a bit much for everyday carry
  • No built-in whistle


As for our recommendations, the SwissChamp from Victorinox is a top-notch knife with all the premium features the Swiss manufacturer has come to be famous for. Its 33 functions makes sure that you’ll find a tool for pretty much every occasion.


When it comes to practicality, the Victorinox Hiker is hard to rival. It is specifically designed for outdoor use, and can withstand quite the wear and tear while offering a high level of reliable performance every time.


How Do You Pick One?

A) What Will You Use it for?

Before buying a knife, make a mental list of what will you be using it for. Are you looking for best Swiss army knife for survival? Or do you need a simple, everyday tool that can perform a few basic functions? Or maybe you’re looking for a Swiss knife for a light camping trip? Your needs should determine the type of knife to buy, not the other way around.

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B) How will you carry it?

A big mistake many buyers make while buying a new knife is that they buy a knife for its features only, without thinking if it’s the best knife for EDC or not (EDC stands for Everyday Carry, by the way). For example, in 2006 Wenger brought out a knife called “The Giant”. This behemoth had all the tools the company ever produced – 87 in all.

Though that’s very impressive, it is not very practical to take it on a hiking trip, is it? Think about how you will carry it before buying – will a clip-on feature be enough, or would you be comfortable carrying a fanny pack for a larger knife?

C) Price

Price is a huge factor as far as quality of these knives are concerned. While the basic ones are priced reasonably, the best ones may cost quite a lot. Do you really need a premium knife, or a regular one will do?

D) Tools

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What kind of tools would you be needing the most? If you’re a frequent camper, a knife with a lot of cutting implements might be more suited for you. If you spend most of your time with gadgets, you might feel more comfortable with a set of screwdriver implements.

Most people buy these knives with a lot of tools without any proper plan to utilize them. Be a smart buyer, and examine the tools carefully with your needs in mind before buying.

E) Think out of the Box

Did you know there are Swiss knives out there with laser pointers and flash drives these days? They may be a bit of an unorthodox choice when considered as implements for pocket knives, but useful nonetheless!


Benefits of Using A Swiss Knife

There are only a handful of tools out there that are as versatile and handy as Swiss Army knives. Of the thousands of different uses they have, some major ones include:swiss knife explained


A) Cutting things

The regular Swiss knife can handle pretty much anything you need to cut in your daily life. Fruits? Check. Vegetables? Check. Papers and crafts? Check.

B) Opening things

One of the most common uses of these knives is to open stuff – ranging from tin cans to boxes, cartons, and even chests. You can use the tin cutters, the blades, or even the lockpicking implements to get your job done.

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C) For Cooking

These knives can easily help you with light cooking at home, or some more in the wild. You can chop vegetables, fruits, and whatnot with a trusted knife.


D) In the wilderness

Swiss knives are best known for how much they offer in how little a package, and it is the truest while in the outdoors. From setting up tents to cutting up fish or small pieces of wood, the finest swiss knife for survival will deliver every time.

E) As a Modern Gadget

With a new iteration of these tools, you can even get a laser pointer or a flash drive. Talk about true multitasking, right?


Frequently Asked Questions about SAKs


Which Swiss knife should I get?

A point to start for you would be to decide what you’re going to use your knife for. If it’s for everyday use, a few tools like a nail file, tweezers, and toothpick will do. If you’re thinking outdoors, try picking a knife with a large blade, wood saw, bottle opener, etc.


Who makes the best Swiss army knife?

The oldest and only authentic manufacturer of these knives is Victorinox. Their knives are usually long-lasting, and pretty effective. But if you prefer something closer to home, the American-made Leatherman and Valtev are good too.


What is the best material for knife tools?

The most durable and long-lasting tool material is stainless steel, for both indoor and outdoor use. For light use, carbon steel tools are good too.


Are Swiss army knives legal?

That depends on the country you’re talking about. For example, in the US, you can carry these knives with blades smaller than 2.5 inches without any hassle, while the measure is 3 inches in the UK. Before buying your knife, make sure to check the relevant laws of your country.


Are the gimmicky, tech-heavy knives worth it?

Knives these days will come with high-tech offerings like LED lights, flash drives, and laser pointers. While they sound exciting on paper, they often tend to falter within a couple of weeks. We suggest you stick to the basic knives just to be on the safe side.



Final Words

Swiss Army knives are some of the most useful, practical, and even nostalgic tools for most people. If you’re looking to buy your first one, or just adding another one to your collection, our list can help you choose.

Pick the best Swiss Army knife from this list, and you’ll never have to worry about having a handy tool for everyday use again.






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