Have You Carried the Victorinox Manager?

Have You Carried the Victorinox Manager?

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 (26 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.
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)
I never acquired the Manager, only the standard size SAK. Currently, I am a fan of the Gerber Dime.
I have the Midnite Manager, which replaced a Classic SD. The replaceable pressurized Ball Point Pen is pretty good. The LED flashlight works well for the purpose it was deigned for. You don't need 300 lumens when signing a check at a dimly illuminated restaurant (try to do that with a separate flashlight. Any of them) or walking into a dark movie theater. Quite the opposite.
My Victorinox manager just arrived. Well oiled, the blue color is striking, and it really follows the "all you need, nothing you don't need" combo. I'm not one of those people who prepare a jungle survival EDC to go get their Starbucks before work, so a Leatherman Wingman in backpack and this manager for quick and small tasks covers everything i'll ever need. Important to say: Even people without nails can deploy the tools of the manager. The pen establishes it as an urban EDC life-saver. I aim to buy a keysmart with tile and a small olight, which along with the Manager create a great trifecta for functionality and pocket space. The manager is great for people who live at home and the office.
The only knife I carry is the Midnight Manager. Used to be the Manager but being able to cut the separate flashlight out of my pocket contents was worth the change. I can fix pretty much any computer or electronics problem with the Phillips and flathead screwdrivers and the knife blade, pen and scissors are just big enough to deal with anything that comes up when I am away from my work or home tool kits. After four or five years of hard use the side covers of my Manager had parts that chipped off and the sliders on the pen stopped working but I am okay replacing such a workhorse on that time frame. I do miss the tweezers but a pair of Uncle Bill's tweezers on my keyring makes up for that.
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