Have You Carried the Victorinox Manager?

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In this series, we revisit tried-and-true EDC classics from over the years to see if they hold up alongside today's latest and greatest, and recommend the best gear to carry instead if they don't.

There’s a common saying in the EDC scene: “two is one, one is none.” It stresses the importance of having backup options in your EDC. Besides the obvious mathematical inaccuracy, it can be confusing the first time you hear it: If you already have a tool in your EDC that serves a purpose, why would you need another one?

Simply put, it’s your “Plan B.” Carrying an extra of something you already have and practicing redundancy in that way does two things. Let’s use a knife for example: if you lose it or if you've used it so much it’s gotten too dull to finish the task in front of you, having a backup knife—even if it’s tiny—still lets you make the cut. Secondly, your backup knife could have a different shape or serve a slightly different purpose, giving you that extra versatility.

But here’s the thing about backups. At the end of the day, they’re still another thing you have to carry! That means more weight and less space in your pockets (not to mention, less cash in your wallet).

Now, what if there were a tool that could serve as a backup for your knife, pen, and multi-tool, without taking up much space at all?

What Is It? Why Was It Popular?

My EDC in 2010 featuring the Victorinox Manager on my keychain

Meet the Victorinox Manager. As its name suggests, it can handle any task thanks to its toolset that many consider perfect for EDC. With its pen blade, combination bottle opener/wire stripper/magnetic Philips driver, precision flathead screwdriver (that doubles as a nail file), scissors, tweezers, and pressurized ballpoint pen, it has everything you need for everyday tasks and nothing you don’t. Best of all, at 58mm, it rides unnoticed on your keychain. For ultra minimalists, this could be the one tool to carry.

Should You Still Carry It Today?

Judging by the sheer amount of Swiss Army Knives (SAKs) you’d see in freshly submitted EDCs here on the site and around social media, plenty EDCers still do carry a Victorinox of some sort. The Manager continues to fill its niche as an all-inclusive, backup micro-EDC for your keychain.

Our Recommendation

If you're interested in testing out how a backup could work for your EDC needs, or if you’re a minimalist shooting for the most functionality to size in your kit, go with the original Manager. Otherwise, you have plenty of options…

Don’t need tweezers? You could opt for the Midnite Manager variation, which features an LED instead. Chances are your current smartphone flashlight would do a better job as a backup, though. And since the Midnite Manager’s release, keychain-sized lights have come a long way. Given their high performance, a dedicated light could outweigh the slightly extra bulk they’d add to your carry.

If you really need the reusable toothpick traditionally found on SAKs for some reason (cleaning pocket lint out of your main EDC blade? Tying knots of paracord? General oral hygiene?), the Rambler is for you.

Buy on Amazon

I know I’m not the only one out there who had a Manager on backup duty. Did you carry one? How’d it work out for you? Are you still using it today, and if not, what did you replace it with? Let me know with your comments.


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Discussion (21 total)

I had one for several years. It was my first keychain tool. Forgot that it was there, had to leave it at airport security when i traveled by air. I still miss it. Replaces it with an Leatherman Style PS.
Love the black one. I've carried a manager for several years now and use it often. I had to replace mine, did tons of research on different keychain MTs and SAKs, and ended up just getting another manager.
The Manager is my favorite. I have one in my pocket now. I have carried one for about 20 years. It is a perfect part of your EDC. The Phillips head screwdriver fits most eyeglass screws. It also fits the small screws on computers. (I am an IT Guy). The pen does work although I wouldn't want to spend the day taking notes with it.

Read a little more about me and my pocket knives: http://theportmans.info/index.php?id=daddytools&lang=en
I purchased one several years ago when I saw it on the "old" version of this site. Since then, I've had and given away Classics, Signatures, and Ramblers. I'm back to the Manager (my fave of the bunch), and I think it'll stay that way for a long while.
I have the Signature model, which is Midnight without the Philips screwdriver + bottle opener + wire stripper blade. It may be limited but it does most of what I need and is my primary EDC, the one that I have when all else is at home. Will look out for black Midnight as a back-up.
The midnight manager light is mediocre; it also uses watch batteries which is a pita. Overtime the scales crack from pressing down the button to turn on the flashlight. Regular manager is way better and thinner.
Great points, I'm with you!
I’ve never carried one, but on so many occasions, I feel like I need one. I’ll consider to carry one. The midnite manager seems great for me.
I carried a manager on my keychain for about 4 years and a rambler for 2 years. I loved both of them and they served me well. I really liked how the knife opened away from the keyring, unlike the classic sd. I ended up snapping the phillips off my manager trying to use it for a job that was a little too strenuous for the tool. I don't carry the manager anymore. I instead carry a classic sd, gerber shard and fisher space pen. It's a lot more to carry, but each item does it's job better than the manager. The shard's bottler open is a lot easier to use and the screwdrivers are better. Also my job requires me to carry a pen at all times and I found a dedicated pen was much more convenient than the pen on the manager. That's not to bash the manager; it was a great tool and I loved carrying it
I've carried a Spartan for more years than I care to remember then paired it with a Thrunite Ti3 a while back. I bought the Midnite Manager for my partner a few months ago, was immediately jealous and got one for myself!
I've carried the Rambler. Never used the extra screw driver and wire stripper. Still kinda nice to have it though.
I carry a Manager daily on my keyring. It's an excellent tool. The the magnetic Phillips screwdriver/bottle opener gets a ton of use, as I enjoy drinking stuff and fixing stuff.
The Midnite Manager was one of the best investments I ever made for EDC. Years of flawless service and a quick cleaning and new battery and she's good as new.
I'm thinking about picking one up.

By the way, what type of battery does it take?
1.55 V 389/390 (SR1130W)
Is that a modified leatherman micra?
What multi-tool was that?
That was a black Leatherman Micra that I snapped in half and gutted after boiling it to undo the Loctite. Then, I took my 3 keys and dremeled them to size to replace the tool inserts. It's crazy to think that now there are tons of ready-to-buy solutions for silencing and organizing keys now! Back then it was very DIY.
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