As one of the first multitools to ever come into existence, Swiss Army Knives (SAKs) continue to be widely used across the world. The main reason for their success is the fact that they pack so much into such a small package. From cork screws to scissors, knives to nail files, there’s not too much a SAK won’t be able to handle.
If you’re trying to add another great tool to your everyday carry (EDC) load out or you’re just starting to build your EDC, adding a SAK is a great choice. By the end of this post, you’ll not only have a list of our favorite Swiss Army Knives for EDC, but you’ll also understand what makes them so effective. Let’s get started.
Who Makes SAKs?
The only producer of authentic Swiss Army Knives is Victorinox. Founded in 1894, Victorinox took over production for creating an easy to carry and easy to use multitool for Swiss Army soldiers. The move to create the company meant that the knives that so many Swiss soldiers came to depend on would be made in Switzerland instead of Germany.
While Victorinox is solely responsible for producing Swiss Army Knives today, it was not alone in the production of this iconic tool. Just a year prior to the founding of Victorinox, another company was on the hunt to take over SAK production from Germany. Wenger, founded in 1893, was Victorinox’s main competitor for producing Swiss Army Knives.
This rivalry continued for over a century until ultimately, Wenger was purchased by Victorinox in 2005. While today there is only one producer of SAKs, the competition that went on over the last 100 years has resulted in a great EDC tool today.
Why SAKs Make the Best Knives for EDC
The best reason why Swiss Army Knives make the best knives for EDC is that they are so much more than just a knife. The ingenuity that created the first SAK in 1891 was all about thinking through problems that soldiers had on the front line and then asking the question “what tool could help make these guys’ lives easier?”
While most people won’t use their Swiss Army Knife in front lines combat, the same utility for taking on every day challenges is what makes the SAK such a great EDC knife. The knife itself is effective enough to be used in a wide variety of applications. From opening letters at home or at the office to using it to create traps in survival situations to capture food.
The compact size of Swiss Army Knives also gives users a lightweight piece of gear to carry that will fit practically anywhere. This makes it an excellent choice for EDC, because the whole point is to have a kit that you’ll actually carry every day. So why not pick up something that you’ll actually be able to stay consistent about putting in a pocket or backpack where ever you go?
What to Look for in an EDC SAK?
While the first Swiss Army Knives came in a standard length and weight, the innovation that’s taken place over the past 100 years has resulted in a wide variety of sizes available today. The main thing you need to ask yourself when looking at the size and weight of each knife is where do you intend to carry your knife the most?
For those who intend to carry your SAK in your pocket, it might be best to buy a larger SAK. For those who want to have something on a keychain, a smaller SAK is going to be the better choice. To get a real idea of how carrying a new SAK will feel, it’s always a good idea to find someone who already owns an SAK and feel it out yourself to get a frame of reference for the size.
Victorinox has increased the number of tools from the original 4 that came with the first Swiss Army Knife to a wide variety. Some knives come with rulers and serrated blades while others come with mini flashlights. As you’re beginning to search for a new Swiss Army Knife, begin to pay attention to the times when you have to go searching for a tool to deal with your day to day tasks and then consider which SAK has the tool you went to grab.
5 Best Swiss Army Knives to EDC
1) Victorinox Mini Champ Swiss Army Knife
Weighing in at just over 45 grams and measuring 58mm, the Mini Champ truly lives up to its name with the 18 different functions built into its compact frame. You can easily put it into your pocket, lunch box, or backpack to have access to the ultimate problem-solving machine.
One of the coolest parts about the Mini Champ is that one of the 18 tools on board is a ballpoint pen. Think about how many times you’ve gone camping or fishing and needed to fill out a registration form only to find that there’s nothing to write with for miles around you. With the Mini Champ, you’re covered!
2) Victorinox Compact Swiss Army Knife
A great Swiss Army Knife for those who love spending time outdoors is the Compact. The biggest reason why this SAK is best for using outdoors is the length of the blade. Out of all of the knives on our list, the Compact has the longest blade. This makes it ideal for the outdoors because having a long knife helps to create all sorts of tools, firewood, and food processing opportunities.
The Compact weighs 64 grams and measures 91mm, making it the ideal EDC Swiss Army Knife for those who love getting outside. The 15 other functions on board are simple, but effective at taking on the challenges you might face at camp. Don’t go into the woods without the Compact!
3) Victorinox Super Tinker Swiss Army Knife
Creativity usually isn’t a word that you think of when you shop for a Swiss Army Knife, but that’s what makes the Super Tinker special. For those who love to be creative, the Super Tinker has the tools you need to accomplish your next project. With 14 functions, the Super Tinker’s tools make it the ideal SAK for those who need several sized screwdrivers in a pinch. With 3 on board, all at different sizes, there’s not very many applications that the Super Tinker won’t be able to take care of.
Weighing in at 84 grams and measuring 91mm, the Super Tinker can comfortably fit inside your pocket or even on a key chain!
4) Victorinox Explorer Swiss Army Knife
Lewis and Clark wish they would have had the Explorer with them when they made their famous 1803 western expedition. The Explorer is one of the largest knives on our list, weighing in at 101 grams and measuring 91mm. The weight comes from the 16 tools that will help you tackle any challenge you come across.
One of the most unique features of the Explorer is the magnifying glass tool. Whether you’re using it to closely examine the world around you or using it to help you start an emergency fire, the magnifying glass truly gives credence to the Explorer’s name.
5) Victorinox Signature Lite Onyx Black
For those who want to keep their SAK on a key chain, the best option is the Lite Onyx Black. Weighing in at only 22 grams and measuring 58mm, the Lite Onyx Black feels like nothing at all hanging off of your key ring or in your pocket. This SAK does have the least number of functions of all the knives on our list, but one of them makes this a huge contender with the rest of them.
The best feature on the Lite Onyx Black is the mini flashlight that shines a bright LED beam where every you point it. We love this feature because it makes it so simple to always have a light on you wherever you go. Whether you’re getting home late and you need to illuminate your lock or you’ve dropped something between the seats in your car and need to have a light to see better, the Lite Onyx Black will be there to back you up.
Others may try to imitate them, but they’ll never beat the versatility and value that Swiss Army Knives bring. The legendary utility that was built into the Swiss Army Knife in 1891 continues to assist people each and every day with the challenges that lay before them. To put it in layman’s terms, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Like we’ve said, the best part about the Swiss Army Knife is how dependable and useful it is for EDC. These same qualities shine through in the Axwell Wallet. Pairing your Swiss Army Knife with an Axwell Wallet is a great decision, because not only will you have the utility of a SAK but the dependability of the Axwell Wallet. With a storage capacity of up to 12 cards and RFID blocking plates, you’ll have a sleek and secure wallet that will last you for years and years to come. Click here to learn how you can receive a discount on your first Axwell Wallet today.