Imagine for a moment that we had to go through life without the convenient ingenuity of a multi-tool. What would our lives be without EDC pocket tools like the Victorinox Swisstool?
That’s right, imagine that the assumed inventor of the multi-tool – a middle-aged Roman; probably by the name MacGyvericus, didn’t, in a moment of sheer genius, decide to slam all our necessities into a pocket-sized toolbox. What would life have been without these multi-limbed contraptions alternating between being the ultimate DIY sidekicks and trusty bodyguards?
Could we walk the streets, heads held high, without the reassurance of a personal armory dangling inches away? From where would our self-assurance come, if not the hyper-heroic branding of the typical multi-tool? Would we be condemned to saving the day with mere pocket knives? …Or even worse; our teeth? What would even be the point of being alive?!
Okay, maybe that last part was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Multi-tool
Saving for later the argument about whether or not we all need a multi-tool or two; (no – here’s a better idea; let’s skip that argument completely), let us jump right into the things you must consider before choosing a multi-tool. Heads up: there are over forty-thousand different options, this is no walk in the park;
Consider your lifestyle:
Whether you are an outdoor aficionado or a suburban dad, EDC pocket tools are a general must-have. The truth about choosing a multi-tool, however, is that some are more ergonomically designed than others. Granted, you can save yourself some hassle by filtering through your choices by the features that might come in handy. For example, bottle and can openers, scissors and screwdrivers are useful across the board. Nevertheless, unless your lifestyle demands otherwise, or you’re just a tool junkie (yes, we know you exist) you might not need to lug around a wood saw, cable cover or wire bender.
Portability is Non-negotiable:
Multi-functionality isn’t commensurate to inconvenience. Also, the idea behind a multi-tool is to provide the user with multiple devices without being too clunky. This will not only ensure that it is easy to carry around, but it will guarantee ease of deployment during emergencies. Quite simply, if your pocket tool weighs a ton, you might want to reconsider your choice.
Here is the 4-1-1 on pocket tool designs – multi-tools are not created equal. Even though expensive doesn’t always translate to quality, you would do well not to skimp on your multi-tool. Truth be told, top-notch, seamless designs won’t come cheap. Also, with high-end options, you often have the added convenience of a lengthy warranty or at least the mild assurance that quality materials were used in manufacturing.
The Victorinox Swisstool spirit XC multi-tool is basically the idyllic all-American EDC pocket tool. The one that every guy in a multi-tool advert whips out in slow-mo while a Frank Sinatra song swells up ironically in the background.
You know the kind, right?
This is no Leatherman or Gerber; we are talking about a sleek, 10 oz device with no squeeze point, smooth actions and a long list of functionalities that should impede portability but doesn’t. And despite being one of the newer tools-on-the-block, it manages to be in a league of its own in terms of the number of tools and a lifetime warranty that seems to reflect the corky confidence of its manufacturers. I mean…people don’t just throw lifetime warranties around.
Before now, Victorinox was known for pocket tools reminiscent of swiss army knives. So after more than a century of delivering sleek, polished products, their decision to delve into the plier based multi-tool production was backed by some experience. True to form, they delivered a hard-worker that leads the field in terms of function and sophistication.
- More tools and features
- No squeeze point – so, easier deployment
- Sleek finish
- Great fit with a longer extension than plier-based designs are known for
- Pricier than the competition
- Relatively bulky given its multiple tools.
Features & Benefits of the Victorinox Swisstool
There are a few arguments about ‘feature inflation’ when it comes to multi-tools. A few manufacturers like to over-sell their pocket tool’s abilities, and Victorinox is only one of the many. However, even after boiling down the Victorinox Swisstool’s functions, it remains unrivaled in terms of functions.
The device boasts 24 tools, instantly snagging the position of top-dog in terms of versatility. This, of course, translates to a 2-ounce weight difference compared to its alternatives; but given its many functions, you will agree that 2 oz is no trouble at all.
The Victorinox Swisstool handles beautifully. Besides its seamless design that allows all the tools to be accessible from its exterior and still fit inside the casing, it will sit quite comfortably in your hand despite being somewhat rough-sided. When deployed, the Swisstool’s handles curve inwards slightly, leaving some space between the handles even when the tool is closed fully, ultimately minimizing pinching.
Construction & Finishing:
Any tool enthusiast would be impressed by the quality design of the Victorinox Swisstool spirit. From each flawless stow-away function to its practical build that enhances usability. To top things off, the tool is incredible to look at, with its full stainless steel design and nylon sheath that preserves the Swisstool’s shine. Therefore, not only do you have an EDC pocket tool which is easy to use, but a sleek and classy device with a smooth finish that will leave you eager to whip it out for show and tell.
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool Spirit X Multi-tool, Includes Leather Pouch
- Features 27 robust functions to complete your toolbox including – Needle nose pliers, Phillips screwdriver, leather pouch, and spear tip blade (See product description for full list of functions)
- Stainless steel construction provides lightweight and lasting durability for long term use
- Unique design allows you to access each tool individually from the outside of the handle; tools lock into place when opened and fold away with a simple slide of the release button
- Length: 4.13″ (105mm), Height: 1.24″, Weight: 9.75oz
- Made in Switzerland; Victorinox provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship
Looking for a lifetime companion? Well, look no farther than this bad-boy. By choosing a Victorinox Swisstool, you get a lifelong warranty on both design and material faults. Talk about eating your cake and having it.
Alternatives to the Victorinox Swisstool
It’s okay if you’re not quite sold on the idea of the Victorinox Swisstool. We like to keep our options open as well. Just in-case you are undecided (like we once were), here are a few other alternatives you might want to consider.
Made by a popular name in EDC pocket tools manufacturing, the Leatherman Wave hardly needs any introductions. In terms of features and functions, however, the wave is quite similar to the swiss tool with only slight differences in weight, design, and ability. If you would rather a tool with a more traditional blade than the Swisstool, the wave might be your best bet; even though if you are looking for multi-tool knives, we would recommend the Leatherman Micra.
The wave goes further to tackle a few other hindrances associated with the Swisstool like its drivers which slip easily and the fact that you can neither sharpen some of the tools nor get the scissors to open farther than a certain length due to its design. What you won’t get with the wave, however, is the compact belt that the Swisstool provides, and long-term rust resistance. Ultimately, it is a question of what your priorities are when looking for a tool
LEATHERMAN – Wave Plus with Cap Crimper Multitool, Stainless Steel
- READY FOR ANYTHING: The Wave is hands down our most popular multitool. We’ve updated it with premium replaceable wire cutters so it can tackle tough jobs for years to come.
- FIT MORE FUNCTIONALITY: A variety of pliers, replaceable wire cutters, wire stripper, cap crimper, plain and serrated knives, saw, spring-action scissors, ruler, can and bottle openers, files, and screwdrivers.
- LET’S BE PRACTICAL: Sometimes you only have one hand to spare. The Wave Plus only requires one hand to open and use all the tools, even the ones that aren’t accessible from the outside. And with all-locking blades, you can cut with confidence.
- ALWAYS ON HAND: With its compact size and lightweight design, you can stash your Wave Plus in your pocket and always have it when you need it.
- GUARANTEED: Our 25-year limited warranty ensures that your Leatherman will give you many years of dependable service. Just send it in and we’ll fix it up. All Leatherman multitools are made and repaired right here in the USA.
Ordinarily, the Gerber Dime won’t be placed side-by-side the Victorinox Swisstool since it is considered amongst keychain tools and not the plier-based design that the Swisstool is categorized as. Categories and designs notwithstanding, the Dime is a go-to option for anyone looking for some versatility and portability for the right price. Now, it might not make the top-ranks in terms of features, but you’ll get a basic keychain tool complete with small pliers, blade, a pair of screwdrivers, scissors and then some; And all this, for under $30. If that doesn’t sound like a good deal, we don’t know what does.
Gerber Dime Multi-Tool, Black [30-000469]
- Sturdy stainless steel construction
- Compact, lightweight size fits perfectly in pocket – a daily companion for any task
- 10 tools: Needle nose spring-loaded pliers, Wire cutter, Fine edge blade, Retail package opener, Scissors, Medium flat driver, Crosshead driver, Bottle opener, Tweezers, File
- Convenient, easily accessible butterfly opening
- Overall length: 4.25 inches, Closed Length: 2.75 inches
In terms of ‘deals’, it doesn’t get any better than the Stanley 12-in-1 . Of course, it is glaring that there is no comparison with the Victorinox Swisstool 26-feature design, but with its bargain-basement price tag, we were stunned at its inclusions. Besides features, its ergonomics, portability, and construction quality are all quite impressive. So, it will make a great addition to your emergency kit and at a budget price, you have almost nothing to lose.
Stanley 84-519K 12-in-1 Multi Tool
- Converts Into Long-nose Pliers Small Knife
- Converts into Wire Cutter, Saw, Standard 1/4″ Screwdriver
- Converts into Bottle Opener, Curve Jaw Pliers, Standard 5/16″ Screwdriver
- Stainless steel construction
- Includes high quality nylon holster.
There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t need a multi-tool at least every other day. It is just natural that we want to slice something open, put something together, as well as file something down or even tweak something to suit our immediate need. It is just nature. The question of what multi-tool you end up with, however, is a lot less natural than the reason for its purchase. Of course, while our recommendation in this review remains the Victorinox Swisstool, we cannot speak for what everyone needs per time. What we can guarantee, however, is that when a need comes calling, it won’t hurt to have a Victorinox Swisstool handy; or didn’t anyone ever tell you to trust the tool junkies?