Customer Reviews: Victorinox Swiss Army Bantam Alox Pocket Knife (Silver Alox Ribbed )
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VINE VOICEon April 11, 2008
At the time of this review, I currently own the following Victorinox Swiss Army Knives and can review the Alox Bantam with the perspective of being familiar with these knives:

Champion (91mm)
Champ (91mm)
Champ XLT (91mm)
Classics (58mm)
CyberTool 41 (91mm)
Midnite Manager (58mm)
Alox Classic (58mm)
Alox Farmer (93mm)
Alox Pioneer (93mm)
Alox Soldier (93mm)
Alox Solo (93mm)
Alox Bantam (84mm)

When compared to the above SAKs, the 84mm Alox Bantam is extremely thin. In the hand, it feels surprisingly thin because it is almost as broad and long as the 93mm Solo, Soldier, Pioneer, and Farmer while being only as thick as the miniscule 58mm Alox Classic! It feels extremely "flat" and almost disappears in my pocket. Alox aluminum scales are significantly thinner than the cellidor (i.e. plastic) versions.

In deciding among the above listed Swiss Army knives which niche the Bantam would best fit, it seems that I prefer it over the other knives when I am going to a formal event requiring me to wear a suit or nice slacks because of it is thin, light, and would not be apparent in my pocket or suit top.

I also prefer it to my 58mm Midnite Manager for those formal events that I need to be carry a minimalist knife because the Bantam is less than half the thickness of my Midnite Manager. The Bantam is also quite a bit dressier because of its Alox aluminum scales when compared to the cellidor scales of the Midnite Manager. If you happen to need to actually pull the knife out at these more formal occasions, the Bantam looks much more "masculine" and elegant. The Manager and other Vic 58mm knives are really great for keychains, but as a standalone, elegant, knife, the Bantam just looks gorgeous and appropriate for more formal events.

The Alox Pioneer and Soldier models are only another layer thicker, but subjectively, noticably heavier in the pocket. The Alox Farmer has 2 more layers than the Bantam and feels much heavier and bulkier in the pocket than the Bantam. All my Alox models, however, get quite a bit more actual pocket carry than the larger Champion, SwissChamp, or the monstrously large Champ XLT.

Please note that the Alox Bantam does NOT have a lanyard hole for keychain duty. The Alox Bantam like other Alox models also do not have the toothpick and tweezers that you would find in the cellidor (i.e. plastic) scale models.
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on January 13, 2008
The alox Bantam is VERY thin, and provides several functions. In addition to the blade, you have the combo tool, which works as bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver and wire stripper. I can vouch for the combo tool working well as a light-duty prybar, screwdriver, & staple remover. A nice SAK for minimalists, or as a complement to other knives/tools.
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on August 6, 2007
I have been wanting an Alox knife for a while. I have had several swiss army knives over the last 25 years or so. The Bantam is a nice size being up to more serious cutting chores than the Classic that I alays carry, yet much thinner and smaller than the multi-blade models. I must confess that I haven't used it yet because the Alox scales make it so damn pretty.
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on February 3, 2009
It is sort of a lost tradition of carrying a pocket knife in the US these days. Chances are your grandfather and even your father carried one. But with all of the restrictions now not many people do. Being that so many of us sit in desks all day long to the need for a knife might not be demanding. If you are looking for a small, slim knife then this thing is perfect. It will easily slip into dress pants without being noticed and without creating a "bulge". It has the simple tools you need: Knife and can opener. Very sturdy as well.

The only downside is that it is perhaps too thin. Sometimes I forget it is there, especially if I have other stuff in my pocket.
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on December 31, 2011
This is an excellent, carry anywhere basic knife. The aluminum handles are so feather-light, and the knife is so wafer-thin that you won't hardly notice it's in your pocket. The blade and the opener tool open and close with a satisfying and tight "snap". And it's shiny and good looking to boot.
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VINE VOICEon July 12, 2010
I can't think of a better knife that weighs just an ounce (29 grams)! Size is really where this knife shines: it is only 84mm long (3.3 inches), which makes it a bit shorter than regular Swiss Army knives, and less than 6mm or 1/4 inches in width. Blade is shorter than 3 inches for those who need to observe this limit. This knife is so slim and light that it literally disappears in your pocket, which is the main reason I bought it. It is a great for dress clothing or on more formal occasions when a thicker or longer knife would be out of place.

The combo tool on this Bantam, which sits across the main blade, is actually surprisingly useful. It works fine as bottle opener and flathead screwdriver, and I have tried it successfully on large philips screws. Supposedly it also works as a can opener but not as well as a dedicated one - I have not tried as I do not open cans with a knife.

I have quite a few other Swiss Army Knives of various sizes, and here is how this one compares:

It has metal alox scales, which makes it very scratch resistant when it shares the pocket with coins or keys. It is one of the few SAKs with only one layer, so it is thinner than most Victorinox knives, even thinner than the tiny Classic models. Unlike most Victorinoxes, this does not have that small keychain loop, which makes it smoother for pocket carry. Compared to the 58mm Classic line, this knife has the advantage of a larger and more substantial blade - in fact, the blade width and thickness looks identical to regular sized Victorinox, only a tad bit shorter. The closest model to this one (in size and features) is the popular Victorinox Cadet, but it has two layers (almost twice as thick and heavy), and it does not really add new functionality (mainly splits the combo tool into two separate tools).

Of course, the bigger and thicker SAKs have their clear advantages and dedicated tools like scissors, cork screw, metal and wood saws, tweezers, pen, philips screwdrivers, magnifying glass, and what have you, but those come with the cost of bulk and weight, and may be better suited for travel or outdoors. I have a number of the larger models and use them, but they are not as minimalist as this Bantam. In fact, these days I usually carry the Bantam along with a tiny Classic on my keychain, which adds scissors, tweezers, and nail file for a pretty well rounded set of tools for the urban jungle :)

Overall this is a good-looking, minimalist, and yet very useful Swiss Army knife. Highly recommended.
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on June 5, 2013
When first taken out of the package, I thought the Bantam looked flimsy, it was so slim. But after handling and using it, it's actually quite rigid and sturdy.

Although the Bantam is quite strong for its size, I'd place it in the same usage class as the Victorinox Classic Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife. The Bantam is the same length as the Victorinox Cadet Victorinox Swiss Army 53042 - Cadet Multi-tool Knife but the blade steel is thinner like the Classic, suitable for light-duty cutting.

The one thing missing is a key/lanyard ring; I would have liked to attach a lanyard for easy retrieval. There used to be a model with a key ring but it's been discontinued.

Since the Alox Bantam was unavailable in the US, I had to order it from the Amazon UK store . It cost me about $35 USD total (product+shipping+taxes).
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on December 10, 2009
Whoa I love this little buddy!

The reviewers were right.... this is a THIN perfect tool... I've used the knife a ton and the bottle-cap opener a few times... both work well, this feels so solid but the best thing about it is how THIN it is.... it feels very slick.

Great price, especially with free shipping (Prime) and makes a great gift... definitely something to keep available around the house and in the car (provided you don't have little kids who like to play with knives ;)

Don't know how to use the notch on the can opener and I just noticed it is a flat-head screwdriver....hahaha... funny you use something a dozen times and still rediscover stuff about it (such is life).

I have the "Soldier" model too, which I really like, but I feel like I'd use that one more for serious missions or keep at home, in a toolbox, or for camping etc.

If I just want a good blade in a tight package, I'm gonna reach for this Bantam... gorgeous instrument.

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on May 17, 2009
Couldn't believe how thin and light the Bantam is, but not in a gimmicky space age way. It's all metal and pretty bomb-poof. The blade came nearly razor sharp. It doesn't lock; a liner lock would probably make the knife twice as thick. I've used the "combination tool" to open bottles and tighten big phillips screws. It would still be a very cool minimalist knife without this feature (which they do sell), but the bottle opener makes this thing exponentially more handy without adding appreciable thickness or weight. It's the same thickness as their tiny Alox keychain knife.

you really won't notice you're carrying it, and indeed you won't realize when you've dropped it in the movie theater and had to buy a new one. grr. if anyone found one of these at Star Trek let me know, i'll buy you a new one in exchange for getting mine back.
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on April 2, 2009
I bought an Alox Bantam because I wanted a very thin SAK (Swiss Army Knife) that I could wear in dress pants without causing a bulge. In that regard, the bantam is fantastic! It's amazingly thin and very light! I love the Alox scales, they look fancy and upscale for formal occasions while at the same time are very durable and hard wearing for everyday use. The blade is excellent as well, the standard non-locking SAK blade.

However, I was disappointed with the Combo Tool. It performed what it was advertised to do, but not as well as a norm SAK tool and of course not nearly as well as a real dedicated tool. As a bottle opener, I felt it was a little smaller and harder to use than a full sized one. As a can opener, it isn't sharpened so I had more difficulty piercing cans with it than the normal SAK can opener. As a flat head it's fine, but it's nearly impossible to use on Philips. Yes, if you kind of angle it the blade will fit, but this is very awkward to use. Furthermore the tool isn't as solid as those on my larger SAKs and will wobble and bend if too much pressure is put on it (such as when prying things).

All in all, it's a fantastic minimalist tool for everyday use when space is paramount. However, if I could go again I would have chosen a Victorinox Swiss Army Cadet Pocket Knife (Silver Alox, Ribbed). It's only one layer thicker, but has the normal SAK bottle and can opener design and adds a nail file blade.
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