Everyday Carry

Is the Victorinox Swiss Army Cadet Alox Worth It in 2019?

Authored by:
Mikey Bautista
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
Is the Victorinox Swiss Army Cadet Alox Worth It in 2019?

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“What knife should I buy?” is arguably one the most-asked question by people discovering EDC gear for the first time. And as simple as the question is, it’s also one of the hardest to answer. There are a ton of things to consider—preferences, use cases, even legality. And then you have to find solid options that won’t break the bank, especially if you’re just starting out with building your carry. It’s this search for practicality, price, and performance that led people to (re)discover the Victorinox Cadet Alox as ticking nearly every box for an ideal everyday knife. Now over a decade old, the Cadet marches on with limited colorway releases every year and a competitive price point for both newcomers and collectors alike. But are the Cadet’s features and functionality still worth it in 2019, and is it still a contender for an everyday knife?

Why Was the Victorinox Cadet Alox So Popular?

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In the early days of EDC Victorinox was a staple brand, showcasing tools and equipment that helped define what it meant to carry light, but prepared. The Cadet picked up speed when more people getting into EDC started exploring Victorinox’s vast catalog, discovering the slim multi-tool with a surgical sharp knife that was a perfect blend of size, functionality, and best of all, affordable. Only 84 mm long, impressively thin, with 9 useful functions, and hardy embossed aluminum scales with anodic oxidation as an extra protective layer: these all added up to a multi-tool that not only was easy to carry, but looked as good as it was functional. The anodic oxidation at the end only further raised the Cadet to cult status, as it allowed scale coloring that led to dozens of colorways that matched a variety of EDCS and gave them an extra aspect of collectibility.

Our Recommendation

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The Cadet Alox, as well as the rest of its Alox brethren, continues to be an easy recommendation for anyone looking to build or add to their EDC. Since the Cadet’s release there have been a lot of slim blades, multi-function blades (see below), and affordable blades, but rarely do they line up so well in a single product. And with aftermarket parts like clips, scales, and swapped tools adding even more utility, the Cadet also gives you the platform to build the perfect knife.

A slim, non-locking, under 3“ knife under $50 is already a great deal in itself, not to mention plays nice with laws for a vast majority of countries. But when you add in useful functions, excellent fit and finish, and the ability to match it to nearly every EDC color theme under the sun, that’s something no one else has done to date. And in spite of some small drawbacks like not having a first-party clip or including Victorinox’s handy scissors among its tools (which made a later appearance in the Pioneer X Alox), the Cadet is as solid an EDC knife as it gets. Match it to your EDC, throw it into your jeans’ 5th pocket—it’s versatile enough carry it as your both your main or backup blade.

Buy ($29.99)

Other Multi-functional Knife Options to Consider

We highly recommend the Victorinox Cadet Alox to any EDCer, but some of its functionality may not be the best for your needs. These alternative multi-functional knives give you more robust options with tools and blade sizes that may better suit your tasks at hand.

  • Spyderco ClipiTool: Spyderco’s compact “multi-tool” also aims to give you a sleek knife that’s more than just a blade. Designed small, similar to more compact Spyderco knives like the Ambitious or Dragonfly, the 8Cr13MoV 2“ blade is shorter than the 2.5” one that comes on the Cadet but features a larger profile, but with a slight belly that allows more sweeping cuts. Joining the blade in the stainless steel handles is the secondary folding tool, which comes with a bottle opener and flat-bladed screwdriver (alternate models come with a serrated knife or scissors). One advantage the ClipiTool has over the base Cadet model, though, is the inclusion of a pocket clip which makes it an easier carry. (Buy)

  • Boker Plus Tech Tool City 2: Boker’s second model of their Tech Tool line bumps up the functionality of the basic modern slipjoint and adds useful tools similar to what you would see from Victorinox’s own larger multi-tools. The larger size of the City 2 allows a bigger Sandvik 12C27 2.8“ blade, as well as everyday functions like flat screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a corkscrew, a glass breaker, and a small serrated blade. Grippy G-10 handles offer a better grip in hand for the larger blade, and even makes room for a two-way pocket clip. (Buy)

  • Leatherman FREE T2: The Leatherman T2 is more multi-tool than a multi-functional knife, but with the smallest profile of the entire FREE series, it’s still an option to consider—think of it as a fully-loaded folder. Weighing 3.3 oz (an ounce lighter than the bigger T4) with a more compact rear geometry, it trades in the scissors, tweezers, file, and pocket clip to be a better, sleeker fit for smaller pockets. That said, 8 functions are still at your disposal, including the 2.2" 420HC blade and an essential assortment of drivers and openers. (Buy)

Chances are you might have a Cadet Alox of your own. Do you think it's still worth it today? Let us know how it holds up in the comments below.

Mikey Bautista

Director of Everyday Carry Operations


About the Author
Mikey Bautista is an everyday carry (EDC) expert who has been working with the EverydayCarry.com team for nearly a decade, starting with an interest in EDC as a hobby and ending up as a writer for the site in 2014. Through the years, he’s led the site in editorial content and writing about products across every category, from knives to bags to flashlights and everything in between, as well as discovering, bringing exposure, and building bridges with many brands in the industry. Today, he is the site's Director of Everyday Carry Operations, leading the editorial team and managing day-to-day operations.

He has lived through many personal and professional lives, spending nearly a decade in the workforce management industry, a minor career in gaming, and has lent a hand with entrepreneurial efforts back home in the Philippines. He has also been an active participant and helped build a number of significant social communities online, both for EDC and his other hobbies.

Mikey has been at the cusp of gaming, technology, and the internet since the ‘90s and continues to lend his experience, expertise, and authority to all his pursuits. When not online, in a game, or watching movies, you'll find him in the gym, speedrunning his next hobby, or talking at length about EDC with anyone willing to listen.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief


About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (6 total)

Tracker ·
I have a Cadet, as well as many other Victorinox knives. Anyone else wish they’d ditch the nail file in an 84mm offering for an awl or pen blade?

How about a “Pioneer Small.”
33ww ·
Yeah, not getting the nail file. Kind of girly. How about an Alox Recruit.
Saturday ·
I find that the nail file works pretty well as a driver for #1 phillips screws.
It’s funny to see this article, I just started carrying my Cadet Alox again recently and am very happy with it. It’s very functional, looks great, lightweight, and inexpensive.
Johan Bertilsson ·
A Cadet will always be a god candidate as an EDC knife, stylish, nontreatening, no one hand opening, no bladelock it works in any enviroment not in a airports and courts of law ofcourse. It is in my book a gentlemans folder(multitool)
Andrei ·
Get a Cadet! (perfect public/backup knife to be added to main blade)
*8 Cadets owner