on January 9, 2007
I have been carrying a Swiss Champ for the last 15 years. As a computer consultant, electronics hobbyist, woodworker, and Scout leader I use the knife constantly.
As the Swiss Army line has been growing, I have been having "tool envy" over the newer, slicker knives with the translucent cases, multiple bit screwdrivers and USB drives. I was loath to switch to the tech tools because I would be losing some of my favorite items like the magnifying glass.
When I saw the XLT, my initial reaction was, "It must be mine"! Then rationality took over. I would be adding almost a pound and about 1/2 of an inch to an already extreme pocket load. On the other hand, it had the cool ruby case, lots of extra "stuff" and the freak-out factor when people see it was worth at least $25.00 over the life of the knife. I was sold.
For the extra mass, volume and cost here is what you get over the standard Swiss Champ:
pharmaceutical spatula: This is a 1" long flat non-cutting item. It's intended use is to get small amounts of powder out of containers. My family refers to it as the "coke spoon". Good for stirring coffee, unsticking stuck things and moving stuff you do not want to touch.
Electrician's blade: This is a half-sized blade, about 3/4 inch high. It has a hooked shape that makes it look a little like a linoleum knife. It also includes a notch for scraping wire. It's intended use is for removing insulation from wire. It is great for cutting carpet, cardboard and those annoying wire-ties.
Pruning blade: Another half-size blade. This one looks a little like a meat cleaver. Very flat blade, it is designed to remove small shoots and branches from plants cleanly. This is a great blade: it is wonderful for clean cuts in soft wood and plastic. I use it as a hobby knife like an x-acto #2.
Driver: This is a 3 inch bit holder and a set of bits. The holder is 4mm hex. The bits include #0 and #1 Philips, a 4mm straight bit, 5,10 and 15mm Torx bits and a 5mm socket. This is really handy. You get a full sized screwdriver with a beefy handle. The Torx bits are nice, and they came in handy when emergency replacement of a headlight was called for.
All in all, it is a great product. The only thing that it lacks is the USB drive, and I guess I can carry one of those on my keychain. It is heavy and it is very wide, about 50% heavier and about the same size as a standard flip open cell phone. But it does have incredible geek chic!
on December 17, 2004
I've owned several Victorinox knives over the years and this one by far is the most satisfying and versatile one I've ever owned. It is a beauty to behold and all the tools are well organized. A nice touch is the multiple bit screwdriver tool which has been designed not to fold closed as easily as the rest of the tools. This prevents it from accidentally snapping shut under hard pressure or extra torque. It's ideal for me because I work on computers quite a bit so it's got all the tools I would want or need. In regard to the size or width, it is nearly twice as wide as my old Victorinox but I don't really notice it as much. It has a nice solid feel in the hand and the heft is impressive. I didn't think I would like the translucent plastic as much as I do. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in a high-end and authentic swiss army knife.
on December 9, 2005
I have owned a Swiss Army knife for as long as I can remember- from the Camping to the Swisschamp. The Swisschamp has been around the world with me over the past 10 years!
That said, this knife is the best that they offer. While larger than the Swisschamp, it provides every tool that you could need- and it was time for an upgrade...
I would, however, recommend a belt holder with this as it is too large for the pocket- but then this is not really a true "pocket knife"...more a "multi-tool"...!
on September 25, 2010
It's a fine knife. I had similar one about 10 years ago, but it didn't have so many gadgets as this one. The one thing I used a a lot was the fine little lens that was encased in a nice-looking, sturdy gray armature. The Amazon.com photo showed the same thing. However, when I received my knife, I was highly disappointed to discover that the piece had been switched out with a chintzy-looking lens and armature made of one piece of clear molded plastic. Instead of having the nice, solid, opaque protective collar around it, the flattened lens runs almost to the edge of the now-clear armature, perhaps affording it less scratch protection. I liked the look and feel of the old lens unit much better, and the size and focal length of the lens appealed to me. Victorinox probably thinks the new unit is better. To me, it looks like they are just trying to save money by making a cheap-looking switch-out piece. THE CLINCHER : The photographs used on Amazon and all other Victorinox sites around the world STILL USE THE OLD PHOTO to attract customers, even though they told me later that the lens unit has been switched out for several years. First-time purchasers of this knife might not care about Victorinox using an old BAIT AND SWITCH photo of a discontinued unit, but as an old-time user of the knife, I missed the far better lens unit that Victorinox still falsely advertises in their product photo and official company literature. Otherwise, as I said at the beginning, it's a fine knife.
on June 19, 2004
.I've owned a lot of knives in my life, but i'll have to say this is the thickest knife i have ever used. the only drawbacks to this knife is that it's so big it leaves blisters on your hands when you carve with it, and that it bulges out of your pocket. i recomend that you buy a knife sheath for your belt. other than that, this knife is great for everything.
I was scared off from the XAVT, the big brother to this XLT, by all the people saying that it was too big to carry and use. So, I got the XLT instead.
Well, this XLT is NOT the size of a pack of cigarettes, it is NOT almost one pound of stainless steel in weight (it's only 54% of one pound, actually), and it will not pull your pants down carrying it. Hyperbole by others can mislead the investigating buyer. I'll shoot you some facts and ways to think about things.
The XLT is certainly not too big or heavy to carry--and now I question whether the XAVT would have been too big; perhaps I should have sprang for it. I may pick that one up in the future if I see it on sale (currently it's 40% more expensive than the XLT). The cost per tool on the XLT is about four bucks per tool, and on the XAVT is about four and a half buck per tool (divide number tools from price). So, something to consider.Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp XAVT The XAVT is more of a collector's knife, and one might be paying for the display box, but it has many useful functions this XLT does not: more sizes of bits, not one but two magnifying glasses at 5x and 8x magnification (and designed to be used together to get 13x magnification!), clock, thermometer, etc. Conversely, it also has some redundancy (two exact same package hooks and two screwdrivers on the XAVT--see other reviews) and I wonder if Victorinox counts those twice to get 80 tools on the XVAT. The XLT has no truly redundant tools, but it does have similar tools such as the thick (i.e. takes up a lot of space on the handle that could be used for another tool) stand alone Phillips screwdriver, which is almost the same (not quite, but so close as to be essentially the same purpose) as the regular Phillips screwdriver on the bit set.
Some of the tools are fairly useless, such as the pharmacist spatula. Some stir their coffee with it, one guy uses it as a mirror (why? the knife blade is a large high polished mirror, the spatula is matte). Huh!? Other tools would be better, certainly. Heck, give me the other magnifying glass, Victorinox!
Many reviews on the build and quality of Victorinox, and I agree. Most of you already have another Victorinox knife, I'd assume. I will try to stick to a few things you may not know about this model XLT specifically.
Weight: 8.75 ounces on my scale. Size: 3.5 inches long. 1 inch thick if you include the closed sticking out of the tools. And most importantly, the width (from side-to-side): 1 5/8 inches.
This XLT, by Victorinox's counting (and a nice one page guide comes in the knife box), has 50 uses/tools. I find the Victorinox counting of uses to be accurate, but quite generous. Example: the little round keychain ring on the end of each Victorinox knife---that's one of the fifty tools! Another example: the bit driver is useful, and it comes with the black bits of various sizes, lovely. See the tiny black plastic piece that you move up to take out the bits? That's in and of itself one of the fifty tools! Yes, it's called the "case" for the bits. Please!
The chisel is facing the wrong way for the ergonomics of the knife handle (you'll see when you get it) for proper use on wood (the thick knife handle would be against the wood). Victorinox, please just turn it around and cut the thumb groove on the other side.
I purchased the Victorinox case for this knife, still to arrive, but had I waited, I'd not get it now. If I put a long Paracord lanyard on the key ring, I can have this at the bottom of my cargo pants pocket with the lanyard knot hanging out, I just grab and pull this out easily and quickly.
Anyone on the fence about this and the XAVT, don't be scared of the other knife. It has some pros and cons, and I have never owned it but presented some ideas about it above. For those of us that carry an EDC medium to large blade folding knife already (approx 5-7 ounces), this XLT is no biggie. And you get a lot more tools ounce for ounce, so I like that (but still carry an EDC blade like the ZT0350Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS G10 Handle with Speed Safe and Tiger Stripe Blade (Non-serrated).
Cell phone (4 ounce). Car keys (2-3 ounces). Put in one pocket as you carry these daily anyhow.
XLT (8.75 ounces) in the other pocket. Nice overall weight distribution.
So, this knife is far from massive. It's compact and tough and well made. It's less weight than most Leatehrman type tools. I do carry, especially since it clips to my belt loop on pants directly, the awesome Skeletool Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool for a quick carry. It's something to consider against any Swiss Army Knife depending on your use needs; I mention it here so that you can check it out, too. I love my Skeletool, also.
Cheers and happy Swiss knifing.
on August 24, 2013
I collect SAKS. Seems like I can never find the right combination that I would create if I were were the designer. But this one pretty much does. I carried a Tinker for many years. It performs most of the tasks people require on a daily basis. And it is comfortable to carry and light weight. Then you get the other Tinker models. I look at it as "Mission Creep!" The more un-necessary tools you have, the more uses and tasks you create as an excuse to use them and buy bigger and fancier knives!
I recently bought the massive and heavy knife which came with an elegant leather covered box. It has every tool SAK makes. The problem with the knife is there are several duplicate tools added for "fluff" just to make it more "impressive" and cost more. And for EDC it is too heavy, too massive even with the belt case.
I love the "Champ" model and would normally be satisfied with that model. It has more than enough tools for almost any contingency. It is also very thick and heavy for EDC. Still, it was missing something -- more "screwdrivers?!" Then, I saw the XLT Champ model! It has the driver bits I find use for as well as the other tools.
So, having said all that, the knife borders on being too heavy and bulky. But it is doable for EDC.
What I would eliminate, thus reducing size and weight, would be the spatula, fish scaler, electrician's knife and hook. These are so seldom used if at all that it insults one's intelligence that a fine company like Victorinox would add them! A spatula? For what?! Cutting your cocain?? Use the knife blade. If you plan to fish you will have a scaler in your tackle box. Use the knife blade to strip wire, etc.
In spite of what I would change, for now, I would still buy this knife again. It is worth it! But you have to get used to its bulk and weight. I suspect that I will have to carry it in a belt pouch tho. And the quality is unsurpassed!
on February 19, 2015
Every positive review stated for this little gem has pretty much said it all with great accuracy. I have owned numerous Victorinox Swisschamp and their Cybertool for over 20 years. The XLT has a "coolness" factor that is off the scale. The new magnifier lens is slightly larger than the grey framed lens, which translates into a better gatherer of sunlight should you need to start a small fire ( I have experimented different size lens). The knives are still traditionally manufactured in Switzerland, and Victorinox tempers each tool blade individually for its designed use. In addition, there is a lifetime warranty for the Victorinox knives and multi tools. Very few multitool manfacturers have this feature. The really , extremely important part about the warranty is that you need to keep a copy of your invoice as proof of purchase.
The size factor of the knife is really perfect for daily carry with its sheath. I did consider about purchasing the XAVT, but the size factor was a little large and I did not want to have to worry about getting the time mechanism wet. If you are a fan of Swiss Army knives, then you should really checkout the XLT or the XAVT. Victorinox has always crafted their knives with top notch materials , to extreme standards and are of exceptional Swiss quality.
on March 2, 2008
I've owned my XLT since shortly after it came out, and it is absolutely the best knife I've ever owned, even better than the SwissChamp I'd carried for 10 years prior. I work as a computer tech, and this knife has about 90% of the tools I need to fix a computer, all in a (relatively) small package that I can carry in my pocket. It's got things like Torx and Hex bits, and the bit driver is exactly the perfect size for tightening the little nuts on either side of a D-SUB connector (VGA, Parallel, Serial port, etc). Even the little straight pin has come in handy for resetting PDAs. I have used every single tool on this knife except the fish scaler. Heck, even the toothpick has proven useful!
on September 5, 2014
I have wanted a Swiss Army pocket knife for some time and this was the one I decided on. Not so much an actual pocket knife but a very good well made utility tool/knife.
Some time after receiving the Champ I was lucky to watch a TV documentary on the factory where they are made, as I sat there and inspected mine intricately for the quality of workmanship I was very pleased to see it opened and closed as it should.
The blades are very sharp and the tools all feel very tight and solid, open smoothly and snap back nicely as they are supposed to. My use for this tool is to keep it handy in my home office/work area where it will come in handy for lots of uses. Although it is very well made and seems quite strong I feel that is best kept for moderate or if needed emergency uses, not regular everyday hammering.