Everyday Carry

The Best Swiss Army Knife for EDC

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Everyday Carry
The Best Swiss Army Knife for EDC

EDC is all about having the right tool for the job. Multi-tools take that a step further by putting the right tool for a number of different tasks into one compact body. When it comes to keeping your bases covered, one of the most trusted brands of multi-tools is Victorinox, thanks in no small part to their Swiss Army Knife becoming an essential tool to carry since it was invented for the field in 1897. And in the past century Victorinox has only gotten better at what they do, now offering plenty of different variations of the tried and true tool.

If you've never owned a Swiss Army Knife (SAK), picking your first one out of Victorinox's extensive catalog can be daunting at first. Many of the models have specialized tools for specific uses, but they all share a common core of tools for general EDC. To make the decision easier, we're highlighting the 5 most-carried SAKs among our readers in this guide. As we'll be comparing tried-and-true models, you can't go wrong with any of the picks below.

Finding the Right SAK for You

When selecting a SAK, keep these considerations in mind. You'll want…

  • The right size: SAKs come in all shapes and sizes, and while they generally fall into a few categories, each knife will differ in length and weight thanks to their tools and purpose. We have a handy chart below to help you choose among our picks.

  • Enough tools to cover your bases: Your main reason for getting a SAK is to ensure all your daily tasks can be addressed, so make sure the one you pick is able to do so with its complement of tools. Is the knife large enough? Do you need a pair of scissors or a corkscrew? These are the things to look for when narrowing down your choice of knife.

  • Unique tools for unique needs: While there are some common tools across the SAK catalog, each model is built for a specific theme or purpose. Some of them are suited more for the outdoors, while others for repairs under your desk. Consider these unique tools if you have a special task that needs addressing.

  • Your preferred grip: You often have a choice between thicker cellidor or ABS handles in the iconic Victorinox colors or the lightweight and robust aluminum oxide (Alox) handles (and sometimes, even wood) for your SAK. The former's colorful thickness gives the knife space to fit in an extra pair of tweezers and/or toothpick, while Alox scales lower the knife's weight and give it a beautiful metallic texture. Sometimes those tools are useful to have in exchange for the extra thickness, so give your SAK an extra thought if you think they'll come in handy.

Top 5 Most Popular Swiss Army Knives

Victorinox Cadet
Victorinox Pioneer
Victorinox Spartan PS
Victorinox Climber
Victorinox Huntsman

Length: 84 mm
Length: 93 mm
Length: 91 mm
Length: 91 mm
Length: 91 mm
Material: Alox
Material: Alox
Material: ABS/Cellidor
Material: ABS/Cellidor
Material: ABS/Cellidor
# of Tools: 9
# of Tools: 8
# of Tools: 13
# of Tools14
# of Tools: 15
Unique Tool: Nail file/cleaner
Unique Tool:  Reamer
Unique Tool:  Lanyard
Unique Tool: Scissors
Unique Tool: Wood saw
Buy ($42.50)
Buy ($81)
Buy ($38.50)
Buy ($45.50)

Victorinox Cadet Alox

If you’re looking for a low-profile tool to handle basic but frequent everyday tasks, then the Alox Cadet might be the way to go. The aluminum oxide scales trade toothpick and tweezer storage for a lower profile, improved durability, added grip, and a bit of visual interest. The Cadet's slim, flat design means there’s virtually no bulk when you slip it into your pocket. At just 3.3” when closed, the Cadet is one of the smaller and more portable offerings on the list. But it still packs a punch with 8 essential tools: a 2.4” blade, screwdriver, can opener, and bottle opener just to name a few. Thanks to its useful selection of tools for general utility, more compact frame, and highly durable handles, the Alox Cadet earned its spot as one of the most carried Swiss Army Knives among our readers.


Victorinox Pioneer Alox

The Victorinox Pioneer is a medium-sized pocket tool hits the sweet spot between practicality and convenience. Measuring 3.7” when closed, it's equipped with 7 useful tools including a large blade, can opener, wire stripper, and a reamer. If you liked the Cadet but have space in your pockets for something a little larger, the Pioneer might be for you. It offers larger blades and ditches the nail file in favor of the reamer, which comes in handy if you need to poke a new hole in a belt or open packaging. It's useful for all around poking and prodding, sparing your blades any damage and saving them for precision work. When you’re really putting in work on tougher tasks the ribbed scales also provide good grip so you won’t slip. At 71 grams the Pioneer isn’t barely noticeable in your pockets, but it’ll be there for you when you need it. It’s discreet enough for the office yet versatile enough to have your back on weekend adventures and DIY projects alike.


Victorinox Spartan PS

If a good blade is the main tool you’re looking for in a SAK check out the Spartan PS. Whether you want to slim down your carry with an all-in-one option or you just want something to supplement your main knife should you forget it at home, this all-black everything tool might be the way to go. With steel tools that appear different shades of black depending on how the light hits it thanks to a Polispectral coating process, the Spartan PS is practical as it is cool. Every one of the 13 tools from the trusty blade to the corkscrew is coated in the special black giving it a sleek and discreet appearance perfect for EDC in and out of the office. At 3.6” when closed the Spartan PS isn’t exactly a large tool and since Swiss Army Knives don’t come with pocket clips, the attached lanyard is a great way to quickly retrieve it when you need your SAK in a pinch.


Victorinox Climber

Sometimes your day isn’t so average and you might find some use for a few specialized tools in your arsenal. That’s where the Victorinox Climber comes in. Along with the usual suspects that come with their multitools like large and small blades and scissors, you also get a few tools that can come in handy when you’re out and about. One example of this is the corkscrew on the side which is of course great for opening bottles of wine, but is also helpful when untying stubborn knots in shoelaces or ropes. If you find daily uses for some of these tools, the Climber is still compact enough to easily toss in your pocket for EDC. But as its name suggests, it's more of a catch-all adventure tool for rock climbing or whenever you really don’t know what you’re going to come across. The Climber is a great pickup for anyone that has some pocket space to spare and wants to cover as many bases as possible.


Victorinox Huntsman

When you think of a Swiss Army Knife you probably picture their smaller offerings similar to the Cadet, not the powerhouse that is the Victorinox Huntsman. As you might have guessed from the name this tool was made for the woods. It weighs only 97 grams so whether you toss it in your pack or your pocket it shouldn’t be hard to carry. You’ll get 15 tools inside including a wood saw for slicing through thin branches and a multipurpose hook which is perfect for hanging fish for transport. You also get a can opener which is a must-have when camping, and an awl that can be used for drilling small holes into trees to set up snares. Just in case you’re really out there. With all its offerings this tool is one of the more heavy duty SAKs available. If you’re going to be outdoors for any amount of time the Huntsman is the tool you want by your side.


What's your favorite Swiss Army Knife? Let us know in the comments below.

This is a sponsored post presented by Victorinox Swiss Army.

Discussion (61 total)

Justin Metcalf ·
Ive never eally understood the corkscrew. I prefer a SAK with a philips instead.
Chris ·
Agreed, super tinker is the way to go in my opinion.
Bernard Capulong ·
Super Tinker is also my favorite. 3D Philips and big scissors are essential for my tasks
Rando Tooming ·
agree! Super Tinker is definitely the most useable SAK for edc.
1 more comments
Yuri Ovcharenko ·
That's because my favorite SAK is Fieldmaster. It's huntsman with philips screwdriver instead of corkscrew. The most well-balanced among the officer SAKs!
A little wine with all your meals is a very European thing. I'm sure the corkscrew sees a lot more use over there than it does stateside.
David M ·
I generally go for 'Hamburger' quality wines which are mostly tetrapaks and screw tops so I have the Pioneer
Andreja ·
I read somewhere that military didn't want to take the opportunity for celebration away from soldiers, for victory in battle, so that's the reason they put on a corkscrew.
David M ·
The new Victorinox Swiss Soldier's Knife 08 does not have corkscrew.
Andreja ·
I was talking about first military models. Like from World War I.
the teeny screw driver can be carried in the cork screw.
Justin ·
A corkscrew is a great tool for untying knots.
Paul Tobeck ·
Justin Metcalf No wine drinkers in your family? I've used it more than once when someone's primary one broke.
Bob Itajones ·
The much overlooked Bantam is my favorite. 1 blade, bottle opener|screwdriver. The Alox version is the most slim knife I own and just disappears in the pocket.
Huusmann ·
Agreed! Although I own several SAK's, including Pioneers and Cadets, the Bantam has always been my favorite EDC SAK for many years due to it's slim size.
BTW: www.sakwiki.com is a great reference for both new and discontinued SAK's.
Jon B ·
One keychain knife that I unfortunately never see mentioned is the Rambler. My pocket hasn’t been without one in 15 years. It has a blade, scissors, file/flat screwdriver, and last and actually most important in my book, a great Phillips screwdriver and bottle opener. I feel like anyone that chooses another keychain knife just didn’t know about the rambler.
Emory Alexander ·
"Farmer X" How awesome would that be?
TKsovereign ·
I used to have the Swiss champ and yeah it’s not exactly edc friendly buy I loved that knife and hated losing it to the airport mailbox. It never got mailed back to me. Ugh! L0L So a couple years back my wife got me a new one and I love it! It has a few more tools than the huntsman but I cannot find out which one it is. It’s no longer made I think but it is a good one with a lot of tools and I wouldn’t trade it for any other. Love SAKs!
Doggo ·
I prefer carrying a Rambler for the small size and number of "convenience" tools you get in it. It's probably the best SAK for urbanites.
Tony Long ·
Tinker - The #2 Phillips is worth it's weight in gold. I use all three screwdriver tips and both blades daily.
billyboy4873 ·
I carry the Recruit, and I find that the small flat head tip on the can opener works on most #2 phillips screws.
weehawk ·
I'm all about the Midnite Manager. I've had the same one for about fifteen years. Easy upkeep and takes up very little space.
Karsten ·
My favourites are the Harvester and the Hunter (2017, with the "Linerlock"). With the Manager on the keychain almost all my daily tasks are covered. If it's only one SAK (seriously?) it's either the Compact or the Bantam Alox.
Ethan ·
I own huntsman, it is a great tool. It has all the tools you need. The saw makes a great fire steel striker. The knife dulls after heavy but you also have a backup blade. The knife is easy to sharpen. One thing I don't get is what is that hook tool?
Artemio Ricarte ·
My 1st Victorinox Swiss army knife was a SAK Mechanic in 1996 it was given to my father who gave it to me. I have never thought about getting another MT since the Mechanic had every tool i needed. It was only in 2014 i saw a SAK Tinker and bought it for it was lighter than my Mechanic. My wife gave me SAK mini champ for my overseas travels until an airport security guy in Bali Indonesia decided he needed a small MT and demanded that i leave it with him before im allowed to board my flight. Got myself SAK mini SD when i got home. A trip to Manila saw me buying a SAK Climber. Then another trip this time to Macau i bought a SAK Alpineer. Afterwards my brother who was coming home from Oslo brought me SAK Soldiers Knife 08. Now im trying to decide whether to get SAK One Hand Trekker or Super Tinker. Btw my SAK Mechanic is still the one i get ahold of whenever im home and get to do some yard or home repair works.
Paul Tobeck ·
Unfortunately, the only tool SA makes which has everything I want (top mount phillips, scissors, saw, corkscrew) is the larger Outrider with it's really large price tag. I currently have an old Tinker, that I finally had to glue the scales on to, which rides as a backup in one of my bags, and a promo Wenger with the nice nylon scales that just has the main blade, bottle opener and a corkscrew (unsure if it has a name). Had a black Classic I carried for years, but lost it a while back.
Currently trying to decide between a Huntsman or an Explorer as a new lightweight EDC. I think the Explorer has the edge, but may end up getting both!
Barry Allen ·
This is a cool list indeed! When I was a kid, I coveted a Victorinox Swisschamp and I eventually saved up my pennies to purchase one. My imagination ran wild with everything that I could DO with that knife! 33 tools in a little package that fits in my hand? I was smitten & determined to become Macgyver! I beat the crap out of that knife and it saw plenty of use, but I did not use half of the tools that I expected to. Although I'm still a big fan of the SAK, pocket space & functionality are much bigger priorities as an adult. These days I would opt for something simple like an Alox Cadet or one of SAK Modder's beautiful creations.
Justin ·
Evolution S101 is my favourite. This is the knife I carry when around people who are likely to be freaked out by pocket knives.

It's one of the only knives they've made in classic red with the signature corkscrew that has a locking main blade. It's thin enough to be comfortably carried in most watch pockets along with a small flashlight and disposable mini lighter.
Neel Parmar ·
I love spartan!! But i keep Tinker with me always as I need Phillips screwdriver all the time.
23 more comments