on December 11, 2011
After lifting the lid of the box, I laid my eyes on the knife and took a moment to appreciate its glimmer and shine. Grasping this knife, even without checking out the tools, I could sense the quality. It is not too bulky or heavy. The weight of this knife is reasonable and I do not find it too thick.
Opening the tools at first may be a little difficult. I found myself a tad nervous opening the large blade, small blade, chisel and saw because they needed extra muscle to open. After tinkering with the tools for a while and getting use to them, opening the different tools became much easier. Most of the tools are pretty handy, such as the blades, saws, various screw drivers, scissors, pen and can opener. Although, I found that the other tools such as the hook and sewing eye will not be used as much compared to the others. Overall a diverse array of tools is always a good thing and adds to the "cool" factor, plus who knows, they may come in handy and can be used in other ways that they were not intended for.
The Champion Plus DOES NOT contain pliers. The instruction manual that came with the knife showcases a set of pliers in the images, but this version (Champion Plus) does not have them. I think the knife is pretty awesome the way it is any way, and it is at a low price. Snatch one up since you will not see this price at the stores! For those looking for an everyday knife in a casual setting or outdoor setting, this is a fantastic option.
on December 26, 2009
I currently own two Champion Plus models, one is brand new, the other I've used daily for 15 years and just retired. I cannot express how much respect I have for Victorinox and I think this particular model is the very best one they've ever made (I've owned 6 other models of their Swiss Army knives). After a decade and a half of use, I've discovered a number of intangible qualities about this knife that I've found in no other multi-tool.
I won't get into the superiority of the individual Victorinox tools here, but if you are unfamiliar..they are all extremely well designed, well made and rugged. Victorinox blades are among the best you'll find on any knife of any price range.
So the question is...why the Champion model?
Well for starters, despite the number of tools on it, the knife's handle is remarkably ergonomic. In fact, when you hold the knife in your hand, it feels like you're holding a standard screwdriver handle. This means, the knife has a phenomenal grip for using every tool on it. You can actually spin this knife around in your hand easily when using the screwdrivers, just like you would with a full size screwdriver. Needless to say, you can also get a really great grip when using the saw or hacksaw (on the metal file), and I've used mine to cut through some really difficult to sever branches and pieces of metal.
Secondly, this knife has virtually everything that you need for everyday use. Some might find fault with the lack of pliers on this model, but I do not see it as a downfall. I don't particularly care for the Victorinox pliers, which are a bit too small for anything heavy duty. I don't think you can really replace a real pair of pliers, because you often have to use another tool in conjunction with pliers, something you couldn't do if depending solely on the Swiss Army knife as your pliers, or with the Leatherman-style multi-tools.
The handle of this knife is what makes it superior to many multi-tools as well, which are often ackward to hold when using the tool. This knife's handle is small enough to fit into tight spaces where multi-tools might be a difficult fit as well. You can hold this knife with your fingertips in a tight spot and turn it. The versatility is unbelievable.
My newest model of this knife is even better than the old one, which is really exciting. First, the magnifier is much bigger and clearer on the new model. The addition of the pen as one of the pull out tools is neat as well. Otherwise, they haven't changed the design much since I purchased my previous one in 1994.
In conclusion, you simply cannot go wrong with this knife. I've used mine to repair everything from picture frames to electric guitars, clothing to computers. And yes, I've even fixed the kitchen sink before with this tool. I wouldn't dream of tackling any task, from camping to craft making, without this being in reach. I think you'll feel the same way when you get yours.
on June 29, 2016
I have bought and used several versions of the Swiss Army knives. There are plenty of reviews that cover the pros and cons of specific versions of the Swiss Army knives (SAK), so I thought what I would do in my review is cover some of the things I like (or don't like) about the different versions in case anyone is like me and trying decide WHICH SAK they want to by. I did a lot of research before I bought any of the versions and then, of course, personally tried out different versions. So, I thought I would share my experience and what I like and don't like.
Naturally, when it comes to which SAK to buy, there are fundamental choices to be made about what size of SAK you want as well as what functionality. Obviously, that can be personal preference. So, while I'm not going to list the features of each type of SAK, I'll talk about why I like particular knives (or don't) comparing their feature based on my preferences. I think I'm probably fairly "typical", but if you have different preferences your opinions won't necessarily match mine, of course.
I've divided my review up into "small", "medium", "medium plus", and large SAKs.
Small SAK (Swiss Army Knife):
Victorinox Swiss Army Rambler Pocket Knife
The Swiss Army Rambler is really amazing in that it gives me the items I by far use the most in a SAK so small it basically disappears in your pocket. There is fundamentally no difference in overall weight or feel to "how much stuff is my pocket" by adding this SAK. It gives me the scissors and blades, which are by far my two most commonly used items, as well as screwdriver, tweezers and toothpick, which I also use quite a bit. I don't use the bottle opener too much, but it's a nice core item to have as well.
So, basically this knife gives me 90%+ of what I really use in a package so small I barely notice I'm carrying it. That's really hard to beat. If I wasn't greedy about wanting things on my every day carry (EDC) SAK (Swiss Army Knife), this would probably be the knife I use every day. As it stands, I mostly use this one when I have dress pants or otherwise less room than usual and one of the bigger ones when I'm jeans (for example).
Victorinox Jetsetter 3 Pocket Knife
I bought this for the obvious reason of it's a very small knife that can theoretically get you through TSA at the aiport. I thought having a pair of scissors and the screwdriver with me on trips would be nice. The problem is after reading reviews, I've never really had the motivation to try to get it through TSA security. While most people seem to be able to do it fine, it does seem to "draw attention" more than I'd really like according to other people's reviews. So, I've just never bothered to do it.
Given that, I can't really give this version a fair review. If you want to get it scissors on a plane, it sounds like it works. I just haven't had the energy to test that theory when push came to shove.
I'm also a big fan all of the knives in my "medium" category quite a bit. Which one works for you is really a matter of what features you want and if an additional feature is worth the, typically minor, increase in weight. These are 3 of my favorites.
Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife
This version is a great option for me. This has all the core items I use regularly as well as some I use less frequently in a size that fits in pocket without being distracted (although it doesn't "disappear" into my pocket like the smaller rambler does. It has large and small blades, scissors, multiple screwdrivers, tweezers, and toothpicks. So, all the core things that I really use the SAK for at a very reasonable size. I don't really notice it in my pocket, but it doesn't quite "disappear" in my pocket with my rambler. I think overall it's a great combination of functionality and size.
Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Pocket Knife (Red)
The main advantage to me of this one over the Super Tinker is it has the wood saw. While I don't use the wood saw often, I actually use it more than you would think and it works quite well. It is slightly larger than the Super Tinker (because of the saw), but I don't really notice the difference carrying it around. Whether or not you would like it over the tinker depends on how much you want a wood saw.
Victorinox Swiss Army Explorer Plus Pocket Knife (Red)
This is another excellent option in the "medium" size SAKs. It has a lot of the elements I really like about the Champ Plus: the eyeglass screwdrivers, the pen, the pin, the magnifying glass, but is not as bulky. Two key things missing from Champion Plus are fish scaler / ruler (which I don't care much about) and the wood saw (which actually I do like as I said earlier). While I like this one A LOT whether or not I use it compared to the Army Fieldmaster depends on if I'm in a wood saw mood or a magnifying glass, eyeglass screwdriver, pen, pin mood. It's also slightly bulkier than the Fieldmaster. I use this one most of the time when I'm not using my champ plus because I typically use things like the magnifying glass and pen more than the wood saw. Also, the screwdriver isn't the "T" screwdriver, which is a bit easier. I also like having an eyeglass screwdriver with me. So, if I had to recommend one SAK to someone, it is probably this one.
Medium Plus SAK:
Victorinox Champion Plus Knife
This is one I probably carry more than I should. I like it more than the Champ version (not listed in my review) because it doesn't have the pliers which add significant size and I personally find not very useful. The pliers are too small to get good torque. If I want pliers I end up pulling out a "real" set.
It is of a size that it it is small enough to be an EDC (every day carry) tool, but really just barely in my opinion. It's noticeably bigger than the SAKs I have listed in my medium section, which is why I call it "medium plus". I notice when it's in my pocket, but it's not a nuisance...especially when I'm in jeans. The reason I like it so much is because it has all the cool stuff I want on my SAK and so I can carry it without making the choice I just talked about of do I want the wood saw or do I want the the magnifying glass, glass screwdriver, pen, and pin. With the Champion plus, I get them all! Basically, there isn't any feature I really want on my SAK that isn't on this version. So, I'm willing to put up with something that's a little larger to have the "all in one" feel to it that this has. At least, when I'm wearing jeans or maybe dockers. When I'm in pure dress pants, it's time for one of the smaller SAKs.
Victorinox Swiss Army CyberTool 41 Translucent Pocket Knife (Translucent Ruby)
I'm not going to give this one a very long review, but basically it has absolutely everything I can imagine wanting even if I'm not really going to use it. :) So, I own it on the theory that rather than carrying it on my person (it's too big to carry regularly), it can sit in a drawer or a glove box and I can pull it out when I need it. The problem is, for me anyway, in practice that never happens. By the time I'm going to a drawer to pull out a tool, I can just pull out one of my normal screwdrivers (or whatever) so I do that instead. So, basically this one never gets used. But, I like the IDEA of it a lot. It's cool to own. :) If you are in a situation where you needing a smallish one size fits all tool that doesn't have to go in your pocket, I think this could be awesome.
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife
by VictorinoxLink: https://amzn.com/B0001GS19U
This SAK is basically the Champ Plus only with pliers. As I mentioned, I don't think terribly much of the pliers, but if I'm just throwing it in a drawer or a glove compartment and not trying to carry it around, why not have one with the pliers. :) I do own one I keep in my car for that reason. Too big to EDC for me.
Summary: Which SAK you use depends on what you want in terms of size and features. But, to someone not sure, I'd recommend the Victorinox Swiss Army Explorer Plus Pocket Knife (Red) (Link: https://amzn.com/B0007QCOYM). It is a great combination of some of the cool features that I use the most often. If want something really small, go with the rambler. If you can tolerate something a bit bigger, go with the Champ Plus. If you aren't going to carry it and stick it in a glove compartment or drawer, the Champ has everything really. :)
on August 3, 2011
This is a high quality knife at an incredible price! I have used it many times in the short time I have had it and it has many useful implements.
Blades come very sharp from the factory and make quick work of cardboard boxes when breaking them down for storage and also other cutting chores
philips screwdriver is really nice since it is inline and can open 90 degrees or fully
can opener works very well and quickly opens a can if you use the correct technique
magnifying glass works well enough to burn holes in paper, I have not tried to start a fire with it, also works great for reading small print, seeing splinters, etc
the scissors worked well enough to cut open the packaging of a swiss army classic and are useful for many things
Unlike many others, I have found the hook to be very useful. So far I use it to carry grocery bags and also to carry the trash to the dumpster (we use forceflex bags that have the plastic strings). Recently it also helped me to climb onto an armored vehicle. The vehicle was a static display at a VFW and I was looking for a geocache. I had a small hitch to put my foot on, but nothing to grab with my hand. I immediately thought of the small hook on the Champion Plus and saw a small eyelet(?) that I grabbed with the hook and pulled myself right up! I weigh about 160lbs and I have heard that the hook can support 200 lbs (unsure if that is accurate)
The small eyeglass screwdriver in the corkscrew is brilliant and works very well
The pen is uncomfortable to use because it is so skinny but works well and is always with you so long as you have the knife
There are some things I have not used yet but they appear well made and I think they will do the job when the time comes (bottle opener, wire stripper, corkscrew, wood saw, metal saw, metal file, fish scaler and hook disgorger)
I am sure most of these will be used soon, although I don't think I will use the fish scaler (I consider it a ruler instead), I have heard that the fish scaler makes a good pumpkin carving knife so I may try that sometime.
I have heard this knife is discontinued and I want to buy 2-3 more before it happens and they are gone! EXCELLENT