Victorinox Swiss Champ Review
Ask any EDC enthusiast about the Swiss Amy Knife, they will say it is one of the most versatile andwell-crafted products ever made, second only to a top class Swiss made wrist watch. But the Swiss Army Knife does not refer to any particular model or brand, rather to an entire group of super versatile, multi-function pocket knives manufactured by the company Victorinox. They make many pocket knife models such as the Swiss Champ, Huntsman, Swiss Army Tinker, etc. But the Swiss Champ is one of their largest, and most feature packed pocket knives. In fact, the Champs size might make you mistake it for a multi-function tool, since it is much thicker than a regular pocket knife even though it measures only 3.5” in length.
There is an entire plethora of tools packed into the elegant body of this knife, its two plastic side grips house between them a total of 33 tools, ranging from knives and screwdrivers, to bottle openers and corkscrews. Every single tool is made from precision-machined high quality stamped stainless steel. Yes, these are not individually forged pieces, but if you consider their tiny sizes, they are nearly impossible to forge from a die by hand. Every single Swiss Champ is hand assembled by a group of prestigious Swiss workers in the Victorinox factory at Switzerland, and has to pass through a ton of quality checks and laser machine inspections in order to ensure that every single curve and edge is correct to the micrometer. After all, this is the original Victorinox Swiss Army Knife we are talking about, not some cheap Chinese knockoff.
Victorinox Swiss Champ
The tools that are packed into the Swiss Champ include-
- Large blade
- Small blade
- Can opener
- Screwdriver, 3 mm
- Bottle Opener
- Wire stripper
- Screwdriver, 5mm
- Reamer + punch + sewing awl
- Wire bender
- Wire crimper
- Fish scale remover
- Inch ruler
- Hook disgorger
- Centimeter ruler
- Wood saw
- Metal saw
- Nail file
- Metal file
- Nail cleaner
- Magnifying glass
- Phillips head screwdriver 1/2
- Screwdriver, 2 mm
- Chisel, 4 mm
- Multi-purpose hook
- Key ring (yep)
- Mini screwdriver, 1.5 mm
- Ballpoint pen
So there you go, those are the all of the THIRTY TWO tools that come packed up into a device that is
no bigger than your cellphone. While some of those are probably tools that you’ll never use, such as the toothpick, fish scale remover, etc. there are quite a few tools that come in really handy. For example, the 5 different types of screwdrivers are really useful if you happen to be an electronics aficionado, even if you don’t have a tool kit at hand, the Philips head screwdriver and the other 4 screwdrivers that range in size from 1.5 mm, all the way up to 5 mm, can come in really handy. The pliers and scissors on this little beauty are spring loaded, and extremely well built. The scissors are sharp and smooth, while the tiny little pliers are tough enough to cut through household wiring. And all you need to do in order to access any of the 31 tools, is put your fingernail on any one of the 8 tool layers, and pull up the tool that you need. Keep in mind the fact that the two knives are non-locking. And yes, the ballpoint pen can be refilled with ink.
Like we have mentioned already, this is one of the most feature-packed multipurpose tools that we have
ever encountered. While each of the 32 tools is small and less effective than a full-sized version of the same, you cannot deny the fact that even a small screwdriver or scissor, or plier can come in handy at some time. This tool can help you fix up some electrical wiring in your home, it can help you cut meat and vegetables during a camping trip in the forest. You can either also a cloth bag using the built in hook, or you can use the screw driver and plier to fix up some machines/ electronic appliances. The applications of these little tools are countless, and they can help you in both urban as well as wild environments.
This is definitely one of the more expensive multipurpose knives out there, but if you consider the amount of features and quality that you are getting for this price then the trade seems pretty worth the extra cash. There is a special leather pouch available from Victorinox that is designed specifically for the Swiss Champ Army Knife, and is made from high quality stitched leather and contains pouches on the sides for storing stuff like fishing hooks, plasters, fire sticks, etc.
Of all the multipurpose pocket knives that we have used or reviewed, the Victorinox models stand out at the most well-crafted and durable ones. Even though the knife has 32 tools packed into such a small body, none of the tools feel wobbly or flimsy in comparision to the other ones, and every single part of this knife except
the handle plates is carved from solid stainless steel. It almost feels like holding a block of steel in your hand, except this whole contraption weighs a measly 7.5 ounces. How Victorinox managed to keep the weight of 32 steel tools within 8 ounces is beyond our comprehension, but we sure love the way this device functions.
Every time you flip open a tool such as a knife or can opener or scissor, you hear this unique “click” sound that is distinctive as well as sharp. In fact, Victorinox says that this click will let you differentiate between the original models and the cheap Chinese replicas. Each joint feels buttery smooth, and the knife carries a lifetime warranty, which you’ll probably never be able to use, since there are customers out there who claim to have been using this knife since it was released back in the 80’s, and their models still feel smooth and show no signs of wear and tear.
Things We Liked
The most amazing thing about this knife is the sheer number of tools that it has. No other multipurpose knife has as many tools as the Swiss Champ, and even though it is larger than most pocket knives in terms of thickness, the overall design feels compact and the weight is very manageable. It will easily fit will into any EDC bag or into the pockets of your hiking/ army pant. The build quality of this particular knife is ridiculously good, and the body feels like it will survive even if you roll over it with a truck. There are people who have been using this exact knife since 20+ years, and their units seem to be working flawlessly till date. And, the Swiss Champ carries a freaking lifetime warranty. Can’t really ask for more, right?
Every single tool is crafted with true Swiss precision, and all of the 32 the tools are tested by laser beams before final assembly, in order to confirm that they are built to the exact same dimensions as specified in the blueprint. The knife blades are razor sharp, and the bottle opener as well as the can opener works like a charm. Scissor blades glide into each other smoothly, and can effortlessly cut through cloth, foil, and cardboard.
Things We Didn’t Like
Like with all products, this one has flaws as well. Nothing deal breaking of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be as widely acclaimed as it is today. Our biggest gripe with this knife is the fact that it contains certain tools that some people will probably never use. Like, how many times do you see yourself using the tiny fish scale remover on this knife? Also, the toothpick is a neat little addition, but we don’t think that any camper or outdoor hiker/ adventurer will their teeth with the same tool that they use to cut food and wood. The tiny magnifying glass is not enough to light up a bunch or dry twigs, but it is still somewhat relevant if you have something stuck between your nails.
The other complaint that we have about this knife, is the non-locking blade design. We understand
that there are too many tools mounted into a small space, and it is impossible to provide a locking joint for each single one. But at least they could have provided a locking joint for the two knives on the Champ, since people may feel less secure while using a knife blade that does not lock into place when you flip it open. Another thing that they could have done is install the knife blade in the central tool row. The way it’s positioned right now, it feels rather off-centered and your wrist tends to swing around while trying to cut something hard.
If you want something that is a bit of a hybrid between a true pocket knife, and a multipurpose tool,
then the Swiss Champ fits the requirements. It measure only 3.5” in length, and weighs a mere 7.5 ounces, yet it packs nearly an entire toolbox worth of functionality into its precision carved stainless steel body. Is it worth the extra price? Well, if you want to own the same knife that the Swiss Army uses, and want to carry around 32 different tools in your pocket (inside a cool looking package), then the price shouldn’t be much of an issue. After all, you are paying less than $100 for a set of tools that is going to last an entire lifetime.
Click here for our comparison between Swiss Army Knives and Pocket Knives.