Jan 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm #1254191
@darwin310Locale: Great Lakes Area
I'm considering getting the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Classic or the Wenger Swiss Army Knife Esquire. Which do you recommend?Jan 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm #1563548
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Well, I recommend posting this on the G Spot. :)
But I do like the SWA Classic as a general purpose multi-tool.Jan 16, 2010 at 10:48 pm #1563550
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife ClassicJan 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm #1563551
Mark McLauchlinBPL Member
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
If your choice is between the two I would go for the classic, I have two and they are great.HOWEVER..for hiking I find these two heavy and I use a much smaller and lighter knife, no name brand but very good.
MarkJan 16, 2010 at 11:40 pm #1563557
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have owned both. I have lost both. I didn't really notice a huge difference. ayce of thru-hiker.com recommended esquire beat classic in an old review.
I have switched from a tiny swiss knife to carrying a small pair of scissors in my first aid kit for trimming bandages, and a small lock blade. Weights more than either but gives me the functionality I want (basically a longer blade for food prep).Jan 17, 2010 at 1:02 am #1563565
Rod LawlorBPL Member
I like the Victorinox Manager myself. The knife AND scissors both open away from the split ring, which is MUCh more effective if you use the ring. Plus the Phillips head driver works better on sunglasses, cameras, stoves etc.Jan 17, 2010 at 1:08 am #1563567
@antigLocale: Pacific NorthwestJan 17, 2010 at 5:28 am #1563581
Andrew WilsonBPL Member
I've got the Wenger Esquire, on thru-hiker's advice, and it's very light and very convenient. It is what would take on a thru-hike. You could go lighter, with a combination of BPL's orange-handled razor blades, or the one-of retractable box cutters, but scissors or clippers are just about a necessity for anything beyond a couple of days, or mere survival. The zealot thru-hiker might put fingernail clippers in a bounce box; the Swiss knives let you cut when necessary. How much is .5 ounces worth? I'd cut weight elsewhere.
A more robust knife is a real boon if you are going to do any working with wood, especially trying to start fires in the rain. Again, its up to what you'll do; even the Esquire, or Classic's little blades will work wood in a pinch, but I wouldn't want to make a habit out of it.Jan 17, 2010 at 7:18 am #1563600
You didn't ask, so ignore if you want, but I'd never buy a knife that wasn't a lockblade. Currently I'm carrying a 3.5" Buck lockblade and love it. I've seen too many swiss army knives fold on the person using it, or the blade waffle a bit during use. Personally, I like a solid knife – a good handle and solid construction really come into play when using a knife. It just feels good. And lockblades *tend* to be more solid and have a better handle than a swiss army knife. Also, it doesn't take much money to get a lock blade with a very good edge. I also have a 2" gerber lock blade that is an excellent everyday utility knife, weighs next to nothing, super sharp, feels good in the hand, and set me back $10.
So anyone who asks me about a swiss army knife, I tell them to pick up a lockblade and try that for six months. I haven't had anyone turn in the lockblade for the swiss army knife afterwards.Jan 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm #1564658
do you tend to find knives close on your fingers regularly? I've never had a problem with a slipjoint.Jan 22, 2010 at 9:10 am #1565189
I had one close on me a couple times when I was a kid, but haven't used them since. My experience is more of watching other's deal with the blade closing on them. It's not something that happens a lot, but I've seen it happen enough to where I'd be concerned, and thus I recommend lockblades instead of swiss army knives. Also, many lockblades seem to have a better handle, whereas a swiss army knife handle size/shape is dictated entirely by how many features it has. and just to start a flame war: I'm unconvinced as to why anyone needs all that crap on their knife anyways.Jan 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm #1565409
Haven't you ever watched Mcgyver?………… Kidding!
I have had a SAK in my pocket since I was a boy. I use every tool on my SAK and would feel naked without it. From what I have noticed most people who say they don't like a SAK have never used one.
As to the safety of a slipjoint…………… Its not for everyone but that doesn't mean you should recomend that everyone stay clear of slipjoints. If you are careful and know what you are doing there are no benefits from a lock IMO.
Heck, I like friction folders.
JosephJan 22, 2010 at 10:10 pm #1565410
Travis LeannaBPL Member
I carry a SAK "Camping" knife that I bought 16 years ago as a kid. My first knife purchase. Its not UL by some standards (2.62 oz), but its never let me down, has held up perfectly, and has great sentimental value. And do you know what the wood saw has come in handy for on MANY occasions? The pointy little teeth of that saw work great for poking and prying out splinters and imbedded thorns. Just used it a month ago for that exact purpose while hiking the Superstition Mountains in AZ. Catclaw sucks.Jan 23, 2010 at 8:26 am #1565463
haha I knew I'd get some reactions :)
i had a SAK over a decade ago, but didn't find the tools useful, I always went the knife, so I just started carrying a knife instead. to each his own i guess, just be careful not to let it close on ya.Jan 23, 2010 at 10:14 am #1565497
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Slipjoint knives are fine if used properly and are suitable for 99% of the tasks you might find while hiking– food prep, fire-making fuzz sticks, repairs to equipment, etc. Most of the accidents with slipjoints come from using the point and that needs real caution.
Swiss Army knives can deliver a lot of utility in a small package. IMHO, the medium 93mm knives with a saw and awl make the best trail tools for the weight. My favorites are the Hiker, Fieldmaster, and Farmer models.
The larger Victorinox 111mm models have locking blades. The one-handed Trekker model is an excellent trail knife. BTW, Wenger makes several medium sized Swiss Army knives with locking blades and are not given their due. Check out the EvoGrip S 17 model for an excellent trail tool.
There are many good pocket knives made with securely locking blades and are my preference for an all-round knife. The Benchmade Griptilian is available in two sizes and is a strong design with excellent steel (154cm). The Gerber LST models are light and inexpensive. Spyderco makes a number of lightweight knives with good locks and steel.
If you elect to carry a single blade knife, adding a Victorinox Classic gives scissors, tweezers and toothpick. A locking folder plus a Leatherman Micra makes an excellent combination.
For fixed-blade knives, the Swedish Mora knives are quite light and very inexpensive. The new Craftline Allround has a thicker 2.5mm stainless blade and weighs 4 ounces with the sheath— for $12.50! It is really all the knife you need and suitable for survival skills like making fire drills, figure-4 traps, and fuzz sticks. It is an excellent food prep knife as well. The blade design is identical to "bushcraft" knives costing ten times as much. Add a Classic or Micra to this knife and you can go anywhere.Jan 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm #1565556
Andrew WilsonBPL Member
I second the Mora knife recommendation. If you want a real woods knife, nothing's really that much better. And for 12.50, you can't beat the price. What makes them better for most people is how how thick they are and how easy they are to sharpen. You can really pound on them to split wood. They have a flat bevel (no secondary bevel), which means that you can just lap each bevel until its sharp, move up a grade, then repeat.
A thing I can't help but think when I'm looking for backpacking knives is: can it handle first aid and toenails. Even if you have a woods knife, you'll want some kind of scissors at least to handle these. Some (nice) kiddie scissors would be great; they're lightweight and much nicer to use than swiss army knife kinds.
The last point is the reason that on thru-hike kinds of treks treks on trail I see no need for anything other than the tiniest Swiss-army style knife. Were I to go hut to hut in the Alps, however, I'd take my Opinel 4"er, with the built in corkscrew; bread, wine, cheese and sausage don't mix with small knives.Jan 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm #1565962
@ecollyerLocale: East Bay Area
I have used many knives in the past. I have the Swiss Army Angler that I got 20 yrs ago and it is a great knife. It really depends on what you want to do with your knife. Do you need it for survival? A fixed blade is much more useful in a survival situation. The simpler the better! I recently bought a cold steel fixed blade, pendleton hunter mini-pendleton hunter. One solid piece of steel. Now that is a knife. This thing is awesome.
Folders are okay but may break if you need to bang on it for firewood or to make a shelter, etc. in a survival sit.Jan 25, 2010 at 7:54 am #1566052
Stephen BarberBPL Member
Due to an experience thirty years ago, I do not head up the trail or down the river without a sturdy fixed blade knife and the means to start a fire.
In a "separated from your pack" situation, or any situation when you become stranded or lost, those two items can make all the difference in the world, provided, of course, you know how to use them.
In that kind of situation, a SAK Classic will not cut it.
Just my opinion.
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