The Swiss Army Knife is a multi-tool that has been popular for decades. It’s useful for all sorts of outdoor tasks, but it can be hard to choose which one to get.
We’ve compiled the top five best Swiss Army Knives and reviewed them in detail below, so you can find what suits your needs.
Our Picks at a glance
Victorinox EvoGrip S18 Swiss Army Knife
One of the survivors from the Wenger days, it features all the basic outdoor tools, with a comfortable, non-slip grip. A classic
TotalHiker’s Top Overall Choice
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool CS Plus Multi-Tool
Pretty much everything you need in a beautifully designed and made tool.
TotalHiker’s Multi-tool Choice
Victorinox One-Hand Trekker Swiss Army Knife
Civilian version of the actual Swiss Army knife. It features one hand opening and a larger saw and blade
Best For Survival
Victorinox SwissCard Lite Pocket Muti-Tool
The size of a thick credit card, this will fit in your wallet and gives you all manner of outdoor tools in such a handy package.
Best For Everyday Carry
Victorinox Swiss Army Traveller Lite Multi-Tool
If you prefer the classic Swiss Army Knife look, then this is a winner. It even adds hi-tech tools like an altimeter, thermometer and barometer
TotalHiker’s “Does Everything” Choice
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Our Swiss Army Knife Selection Criteria and Reviews
While making our selection of the best Swiss army knives we only chose Victorinox as these are the only tools that can now officially claim to be Swiss Army knives after their purchase of Wenger.
In the wide family of Victorinox knives and tools, it has been very hard to choose. All their multi-tool knives have different functions and sizes and whatever you need, you should be able to find something to meet them.
We have decided to make a top-five pick. It starts with our overall pick and then we cover our choices for some common uses; multi-tools, survival and camping, hi-tec and for EDC.
So, with that, let’s take a look at the reviews of the best Swiss army knives
Victorinox EvoGrip S18 Swiss Army Knife – Best Swiss Army Knife for Backpacking
For lightweight hikes, this model is the knife I reach for.
The EvoGrip S18 comes with all the essential outdoor tools, including the Phillips head screwdriver for tightening things up as you go. It does not come with a corkscrew, but I don’t find myself needing to open too many wine bottle hiking, but if you do…
The stainless steel blade about 2.5″ long, which will do the job for most jobs. It also has a locking blade to keep your fingers attached as the quality of the stainless steel Victorinox use means that it holds its edge really well too!
The compact shape is also much more comfortable than the classic shape when using the tools. Some people complain about the lock getting in the way, but it sits between my index and middle fingers with no issue.
The scissors and saw work as you would expect and the bottle and can opener are the old Wenger design which I actually prefer to the standard Victorinox one. It also comes with the tweezers hidden away in the grip.
If you are really worried about the few extra grams, you can always get a Tinker, pop off the casing and lose the toothpick (as most people do anyway!) or get a simple knife.
But overall, this is a really useful tool and that grip is well worth the extra couple of bucks over the Tinker and definitely one of the best Swiss army knives.
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool CS Plus Multi-Tool – Best for Functionality
The Victorinox SwissTool CS is one of the most sturdy and compact multi-tools on the market.
Equipped with a selection of folding tools giving it 37 different functions, this model handles pretty much any camping need in a compact package.
This tool weighs around 10 ounces and with dimensions of 6 inches x 6 inches x 4 inches so pretty easy to carry. Among the 37 tools are multiple Phillips screwdriver heads, knife blades, pliers, metal saw, file, bit wrench with 6 bits, openers, chisel, scraper…just about anything that might come in handy in fact.
All the tools are firmly held by individual spring which will keep the tools held rigidly. This also allows you to use just one tool at a time. The scissors are particularly nice if you find the standard ones a bit small.
The SwissTool CS multi-tool is very versatile and handles many basic needs with ease. I found the pliers to be a particularly useful addition for when kit breaks, knots will not come undone etc.
It definitely should be considered as one of the top options while buying a Swiss army knife.
Victorinox One-Hand Trekker – Best Swiss Army Knife for Survival
The One-Hand opening Trekker is essentially a civilian version of the knife issued to the Swiss Army today. This Victorinox knife features all the usual tools you typically need – blade, saw, openers, flathead, and Phillips screwdriver, scissors, tweezers and awl.
The difference is that it is built on a larger chassis than most Swiss Army knives, allowing it to be fitted with larger blades and tools. This is beneficial as these can be used for tougher tasks. However, the main feature is that one-hand opening blade, a rarity among Swiss Army Knives.
The comfortable handle makes it easy to use any of the tools and a liner lock will keep the stainless steel blade secured open, preventing accidents. The blade is very high-quality, so this is imperative. This lock also holds the large bottle opener in place as well…always good to know you can open those bottles!!
You can get it with a partially serrated edge out here near the tip, denoted by an SR in the name, however, we much prefer the plain edge version.
The fantastic build quality we have come to expect from Victorinox is also on show. So if you look after it, it will last you for many years to come.
The one-handed trekker is a knife that is great for heavier jobs, especially with the inclusion of an even-longer saw. This makes it great for camping as well.
Overal a great knife, possibly a bit large for EDC but if you are looking at doing some camping or other heavy-duty tasks on your treks, this is a great choice.
Victorinox SwissCard Lite Pocket Muti-Tool – Best Swiss Army Knife For Everyday Carry
The SwissCard is a great alternative to the standard Victorinox knife design. It is really compact, essentially the same size as a credit card although about as thick as 3 of them, but comes with a vast array of tools hidden within.
Inside this tough plastic casing you will find tools including an LED mini light, magnifying glass, letter opener/blade, scissors, straight pin, nail file, two screwdrivers, tweezers, toothpick, ballpoint pen, rulers in inches and centimeters.
Of those, we really like the scissors as they are a little bit larger than the ones in other knives and much nicer to use.
We also found the light a useful addition, especially when your phone runs out of charge, as mine does…I need to upgrade.
The packaging also makes this much easier to carry in civilian clothes as it will slot into most wallets, where a normal Swiss army knife tends to bulge. Added to the slightly better form function of some of the tools and Victorinox are on to a winner with this!
Victorinox Swiss Army Traveller Set Pocket Knife – Best “Does Everything” Swiss Army Knife
This Victorinox knife features pretty much all the tools you could ever need.
Equipped with different sized large and small blades, small screwdriver, big screwdriver, bottle and can opener, wire stripper, wood saw, reamer and sewing eye, scissors, a patent mini screwdriver, corkscrew, ballpoint pen, keyring, hook, and a straight pin.
If you take the whole traveler kit along with the knife you get an additional set of tools like Mag-lite flashlight, tweezers, thermometers (in Celsius and Fahrenheit), metric rulers, magnifying glass and a compass with spirit level indicator all incorporated within a leather belt pouch complete with a key ring.
It also has an acid-resistant aluminum and plastic handle and the knives along with other blades and components are made of 100% stainless steel making it a strong and reliable companion during backpacking trips.
The traveler set pocket knife has compact dimensions (1.57inch x 1.57inch x 4.13inch and just about 3.5 inches when closed) which is amazing considering just how many tools you’ll find in there.
For travelers and backpackers, this is a complete set of tools that will come in very handy in innumerable ways. It is all neatly carried in a belt sheath.
If you like the do-it-all approach and want some added tech, this is a must-try for all backpackers.
These tools will cover pretty much any situation in a small package. If you want to make sure you have the tools for the job, then these will definitely meet your needs now and for years to come.
The Traveller comes with some useful high-tech additions that might make it the one you want. However, the SwissTool gives you a clever design and is nicer to use, so if you want to go heavy on the tools, this is the one I would pick.
The SwissCard is a fantastic design for every day, but not the one I would take out onto the trail, but I carry one to work with me every day.
Of the EvoGrip and the Trekker, both are awesome knives. They have the basic tools you need, it is really down to whether you want the bigger blades or the smaller size. I instinctively pick up the EvoGrip, but if I know I am going to be cutting things up or down, then it is the Trekker.
So the choice is yours, but whichever you pick, these are all beautifully made and with care, they will last for many years.
Matt Green, is an avid hiker and lover of the great outdoors. He is always planning his next big trip or hitting the trails for a solo hike.
He’s traveled extensively to many remote regions and has plenty of experience exploring various terrains, and stories to tell.
- 1 Our Picks at a glance
- 2 Our Swiss Army Knife Selection Criteria and Reviews
- 3 Victorinox EvoGrip S18 Swiss Army Knife – Best Swiss Army Knife for Backpacking
- 4 Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool CS Plus Multi-Tool – Best for Functionality
- 5 Victorinox One-Hand Trekker – Best Swiss Army Knife for Survival
- 6 Victorinox SwissCard Lite Pocket Muti-Tool – Best Swiss Army Knife For Everyday Carry
- 7 Victorinox Swiss Army Traveller Set Pocket Knife – Best “Does Everything” Swiss Army Knife
- 8 Conclusion