14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The Perfect Midsize Swiss Army Knife,
This review is from: SWISS ARMY SOLDIER KNIFE - SILVER ALOX (Sports)
First let me admit that I've loved Swiss Army Knives (SAKs) since my grandpa first brought me one from Switzerland when I was about 10. I've been through about 2 dozen of them. Some, I've lost, some, I've given away. One weakness in the design of SAKs is the plastic handle. If you drop the knife, chances are the handle will crack, fall off, whatever. This is not an issue with the "Silver Alox" (aluminum) handle versions like this one. These handles don't fall off, and they don't break. Also, Victorinox isn't trying to kid anyone by putting that ridiculous little keyring on this one. This is a real pocketknife. Compared to similar size SAKs, this one is not only more durable because of the handle material, but the blade is made from thicker stock. Losing the small blad in favor of an awl is a fair trade. After all, many people break their SAK blades by trying to pry with them. The awl is kind of a multipurpose tool. You can use it to punch holes in things, pry (a bit), dig around in things, widen (ream) holes, and many other things. Sometimes, I do miss the small blade though. That small blade was the one I would always keep sharp, no matter what. The large blade is used for heavier work, and the small one for light duty work that required a razor's edge. I also miss the toothpick sometimes. However, if you're only going to have one pocketknife, it has to be either this one or the Classic. This one for the more heavy duty type of person, the Classic for the more "business casual" type of person.
The can opener works brilliantly. The small screwdriver tip at the end of the can opener was a stroke of genius. The bottle opener works brilliantly as well, and the large screwdriver is as useful as the bottle opener. The "wire stripper" is all but useless. To use it, one has to first cut a ring around the insulation of the wire in question. The problem is that if you're doing it on the appropriate size wire, you're likely to cut yourself while cutting the ring. After one cuts the ring around the wire, one fits the wire into the groove, bends it over 90° while holding onto the piece of insulation to be stripped off, and pulls. It works, but it's clumsy.
I've been carrying mine daily now for a couple months. It's time to get a small classic size one, but with more tools, back into my daily knife rotation. This one is starting to feel heavy at my office job. But I do revel in the glory of always having a tough knife to open boxes with and a bottle opener to open a nice import beer. Heheheh.
Oh, a bit of history. This is the soldier model. Most SAKs have 'Victorinox Switzerland Stainless' on one side of the main blade and 'Officer Suisse' on the other. Those are "Officer's Knives" in other words: not as tough. This one doesn't have the 'Officer Suisse' on the other side. This is the SAK that started it all. Mine has '97' on the other side of the main blade, which was probably the year it was manufactured.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 11, 2010 2:49:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2010 2:50:45 PM PDT
A. Hobbs says:
"Those are "Officer's Knives" in other words: not as tough"
where did you get this information as they are identicle?..please explain
also they are stamped "officier" not "officer"
In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2010 4:19:46 PM PDT
They are not as tough because the blades are thinner, as are the tools. The cellidor (plastic) handles break very easily compared to the alox (aluminum) handle of the old Soldier. I have a Supertinker with a broken handle that I can't part with. The springs are also stiffer on the Soldier, and therefore will work better when dirty. 'Officier' is French for officer, just as 'Suisse' is French for Swiss. Get one of these knives, A. Hobbs, and you will see what I am talking about.
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