Multitools are fascinating objects. Not only are they incredibly useful, but they say a lot about the person carrying them. The multitool you choose to carry is broadly determined by the challenges and goals you encounter in your daily life.
Thus, a tool that is perfect for the intrepid mechanic is a completely different device than the ideal fit for a busy computer technician. In keeping with this spirit of individuality, the best multitool for your life will depend upon your needs. However, one thing can not be denied. Victorinox, the makers of the Swiss Army tool, are legends in the field.
When a brand name becomes synonymous with function, you know they have done something right, so let’s take a look at the lineup below.
Last update on 2020-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 The Leaders of the Victorinox Lineup
- 2 Victorinox Multi Tool Reviews
- 3 Victorinox SwissTool CS Plus
- 4 Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool Spirit X
- 5 Victorinox VIC-56905
- 6 Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife
- 7 Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue
- 8 Victorinox Multi Tool Buyers Guide
- 9 What Makes a Great Multitool?
- 10 Conclusion
The Leaders of the Victorinox Lineup
Multitool makers know how diverse the demands of a swiss army multitool user can be. Thus, Victorinox responded in kind by producing a staggering array of different tools. While an easy distinct model has its place, here are some of the best Victorinox multitool models available.
Victorinox Multi Tool Reviews
The SwissTool CS Plus is a classic format for a multitool. The body unfolds, revealing the pliers as the primary tool. The remainder of the tools are located in each handle, accessed via thumb-indent. Any multitool is designed to provide convenience in a pinch. One of the primary ways of providing convenience is by having easy to access tools. This is, unfortunately, an area where the Swisstool CS Plus is less than ideal.
By storing all of the tools within the handles, the Swisstool must be unfolded every time you need to use it. In many cases, a user will simply need to quickly flick open a knife or screwdriver for a brief moment. Thus, having to use two hands to unfold the entire mechanism becomes a chore quickly.
Beyond the inconvenient tool placement, Victorinox was perhaps less than honest regarding the number of tools included in this set. The SwissTool CS Plus is advertised as having “37 Functions.” However, many of these tools are accomplished using loose accessories. For example, the Swisstool includes a wrench, screwdrivers, a bottle opener, and even a drill bit that are not physically attached to the tool. The vast majority of users are likely to lose these pieces almost immediately, or simply not carry them at all.
That said, the Victorinox SwissTool CS Plus is far from a bad device. The tools are well made, and there is no complaint whatsoever regarding the quality. However, this multitool shows its age. With so many more convenient layouts available, the SwissTool has become a niche product.
- Victorinox quality
- High-quality blades
- Protective design
- Tool access is clumsy
If the SwissTool CS Plus is the Victorinox of yesteryear, the Spirit X is its modern descendant. The Spirit X follows a much more contemporary design philosophy by mounting the tools on the exterior. While this does leave them more exposed, it also vastly increases the convenience of the tool. Rather than fumbling for the right tab, the Spirit X allows you to quickly slip the multitool from your pocket and access the tool you need.
The tools themselves are extremely high quality and effective at their respective tasks. However, some of the choices are slightly puzzling. When designing a multitool, space and efficiency are the top priority. Thus, unless a function is likely to be widely used, it is best left omitted. Most users employ the knife, screwdrivers, pliers, and little else. Despite this, multitool manufacturers continue to include such niche tools as leather awls and reamers. Perhaps these functions give utility to some users, but their inclusion seems unnecessary.
It is hard to knock the Spirit X, though, as the core functions are superb. Both the knife and saw were delivered with an excellent edge and retained their sharpness throughout testing. For many multitools, the pliers are a weak link and bend under hard use. However, whether used as pliers or wire strippers, the Spirit X held firm. A detail that made this tool a particular pleasure to use, especially as a set of pliers, was the tool lock. This model features a confidence-inspiring lock that holds each tool in place until released. This lends a great deal of confidence and security to the user.
Sometimes “historic” is merely a synonym for old. Truthfully, the product lineup of Victorinox had been showing its age for some time. Thus, the Spirit X is a wholly welcome addition. It is great to finally see a Victorinox for the modern age.
- Fantastic layout
- Good choice of tools
- Very nice tool-lock
- No pocket clip
- Some tools are redundant
In the world of tools, there are scalpels and there are hammers. Each has its advantages, and each is the right tool for certain contexts. Among multitools, the VIC-56905 is a hammer of epic proportions. Some multitools have more functions, and there are ones that weigh less. But in terms of sheer dependability, it is hard to imagine a tougher well-rounded tool.
The list of functions offered by the VIC-56905 is far from earth-shattering. It has the standard complement of pliers, blades, and screwdrivers as well as the more esoteric complement of awls and files. The function list is not the party piece of this tool. Rather, its claim to fame derives from sheer strength. In many ways, this model is functionally similar to the SwissTool CS Plus reviewed above. Yet, Victorinox took the VIC-56905 and overbuilt every component. From the case to the cools, this device feels astoundingly rugged. Make no mistake, this is a heavy and bulky tool. But if you have a pension for breaking lesser-made models, this may be your match.
Given its similarities to the SwissTool CS Plus, the same positives and negatives apply. The internally-oriented tools make access less convenient, and our testing often results in more fumbling for a blade than ideal. Further, the bulk of this tool made it somewhat difficult to carry. As a larger tool, the inclusion of a pocket clip or carrying pouch would have been a meaningful touch. However, for anyone looking for a classic tool with staggeringly good dependability, this is a strong contender.
- Incredibly durable construction
- Good selection of tools
- Well-protected mechanism
- Can be difficult to retrieve tools
For long-time fans of the brand, the idea of a Victorinox evokes images of a small pocket-tool with distinctive fire-engine red scales mounted proudly on each side. While the majority of modern tools have replaced this design with a more modern and metallic approach, Victorinox still produces the classic models to appease those fans. Class Swiss Army Knives can range in function from the simplistic to the absurd. The most basic models typically have little beyond a knife and a pair of tweezers. On the other end of the spectrum, Victorinox makes hundred-tool monsters than would struggle to squeeze into even the largest of pockets. Within this range, the SwissChamp occupies the middle ground.
The SwissChamp uses the classic layout for a Swiss Army Knife. Rather than folding in half, the body of the tool is stationary and tools fold from each side. Although this arrangement is both compact and nostalgic, it is better suited for some tools and less for others. For example, using the SwissChamp as a bottle opener is a fantastic experience. In this function, the tool is easy to grip and comfortable to hold. However, trying to use it for more robust tasks, such as using the pliers, starts to show the weakness of this design.
Because the tools must fold out from the center, each tool must be comparatively smaller. Therefore, tools that require more grip such as scissors or pliers must be actuated with your thumb, rather than your entire hand. This works in a pinch but can become fatiguing over time.
Reviewing the SwissChamp is a difficult task because the tools themselves are wonderfully made. All 33 functions are admirably engineered and executed. Yet, attempting to place so many tools in this classic form factor leads to a more awkward experience than necessary.
- Charming design
- Good selection of tools
- Many tools are awkward to use
- Feels bulky in your pocket
Speaking honestly, many multitool shoppers are dishonest about their actual needs. While many purchasers like to think they will use all 147-functions of their tool every day, the vast majority of users will not. The bulk of a multitool’s use is almost always relegated to the knife blade and the screwdriver. This is not meant to undercut the usefulness of a multitool. Mine never leaves my side. Yet, in terms of multitool design, less is often more.
To this end, the Rescue model by Victorinox is a practical, honest, and refreshing tool. Within its exceptionally compact body, it includes a blade, a saw, a bottle opener, a screwdriver, and little else. In short, it packs the essential and eliminates the fluff. The only questionably omitted to is a set of pliers. Thus, if you are looking for a Swiss Army knife with pliers, the Rescue is not for you. Yet, despite its simplicity, the Rescue still incorporates the exceptional quality that Victorinox has become known for. It’s basic, but it’s good.
The first thing you’re likely to notice about the Rescue is its striking dayglow yellow color, lying in sharp contrast to the wholesome red that Victorinox is well-known for. The color is designed to make the tool easy to spot and grab, in keeping with its intended purpose as an EMT or emergency worker’s tool. Even if you don’t find yourself driving ambulances regularly, the Rescue is a fantastic tool. If you value quality over quantity, give the Rescue a try.
- Sleek design
- Bare-bones approach
- Excellent ergonomics
- Lacking pliers
- Color is an acquired taste
Victorinox Multi Tool Buyers Guide
What Makes a Great Multitool?
When shopping for a new multitool, it is easy to become disoriented by endless features and claims. Therefore, it is helpful to consider what matters when looking for your next EDC companion. Here are some of the most important factors to consider.
It Should Have the Tools You Need and Nothing More
“Tool bloat” is a common problem among multitools. Because they are so often marketed by the number of distinct functions, manufacturers commonly attempt to artificially inflate this number.
However, having 78 functions does you little good if you only use 4 of them. When shopping for the best Victorinox multitool, spend time analyzing which functions you will actually use and try to find a tool that fulfills those needs without additional bulk.
Smaller is Better
The best multitool in the world does little good if you leave it at home. Often, people choose multitools based upon their functions but pay little or no attention to the size of the tool. If a tool is too large or ungainly to carry, you are much less likely to keep it with you. However, this is not simply a matter of size or weight.
The ergonomics of a tool are also very important. Look for tools that have well-made pocket clips or pouches to ease transportation. Many models have reversible clips that allow the tool to be carried on the inside or the outside of your pocket.
This further increases the versatility by allowing you to have the tool with you across outfits or situations.
The Tools Must Be Easy to Use
As discussed above, a common pitfall of multitools is difficult to access tools. By definition, multitools are designed for use in impromptu situations. Thus, when the time comes for you to need your multitool, it is highly likely that your hands may be full or you may be in an awkward position.
At these points, being forced to fumble through a difficult to open tool is a frustrating experience. Many shoppers prefer outward opening tools for this reason. Grabbing a tool and flicking it open with a single motion is often much simpler than having to unfold the body.
Choose Function over Form
The multitool market is full of flashy gimmicks and tools designed for style rather than function, and swiss multitools are no exception. Ultimately, a multitool is designed for fulfilling a task and the looks are immaterial. Thus, try to distance yourself from being too concerned about how a tool looks, focusing instead on how well it fulfills your needs.
Victorinox is a historic and storied brand whose reputation for high-quality tools is well earned. Yet, like any company, some of their products succeed more than others. In recent years, Victorinox has placed less emphasis on its classic form factors, and its product line has benefitted for it.
Among these modern tools, the Rescue is the winner of this review. By providing a bare-bones tool, Victorinox has shown that it knows how to prioritize function.
Thus, while your ideal tools vary with your needs, the best Victorinox swiss tool title goes to the Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue as the standout in this crowd.
- This Photo4Less Top Value Bundle Includes: Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue Tool Pocket Knife with Pouch
- Swiss Army Accessories Pocket Knife Sharpener Black - Photo4Less Camera and Lens Cleaning Cloth
- Tools Included: One-hand serrated locking blade - Phillips screwdriver - Window breaker - Strong screwdriver / crate opener - Bottle opener - Wire stripper
- Reamer / punch - Seat belt cutter - Key ring - Tweezers - Toothpick - Disc saw for shatterproof glass
- Made in Switzerland; Victorinox provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship
Last update on 2020-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API