9 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Swiss Army Knife for You


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Whether this is your first Swiss Army knife or your hundredth, sometimes the sheer quantity of available options can be quite daunting and it is hard to find the perfect Swiss Army knife for you and your needs.

When finding the perfect Swiss Army knife for you, think about what you will be using it for and choose a one that matches your intentions. After you figure out what you will be using your Swiss Army knife for, then you can also consider the price, materials, brand, style, and many other things.

There are just so many different versions and options out there, that it can be quite confusing which Swiss Army knife would actually be useful to you or just be a burden to use. There is a lot to think about, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you just think about what is really important to you and what tools you will actually use regularly.

9 Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Swiss Army Knife for You

There is no single Swiss Army knife that is the perfect knife and tool for everyone. Each person has their own uses and needs for a Swiss Army knife, but it sometimes is hard to figure out which exact Swiss Army knife is perfect for you.

While there are really too many different models and options of Swiss Army knives out there for me to list in this single article, I can give you some tips that can begin to point you in the right direction of the Swiss Army knife of your dreams.

1. Think About What You Actually Need a Swiss Army Knife for

This answer to this question is going to come up a lot and might influence your response and decisions later on in finding the right Swiss Army knife for you.

It really is as simple as it seems, just think about what you would realistically need and use a Swiss Army knife for. It doesn’t have to be super detailed to the specific jobs you would want to do with your tool, but more like a general idea of your needs and wants.

Are you going to be just using it for everyday carry? Is it just going to sit in the top drawer of your bedside table? Are you going to be putting it in your pocket when you are out hunting? 

All of the described scenarios are pretty broad, but still, define what you will essentially be using your Swiss Army knife for. This will start to give you a general idea of what you expect out of your Swiss Army knife and can help you decide what specific knife you want later on.

And that is basically my first tip for choosing the perfect Swiss Army knife for you, just think about and figure out what you will primarily want to use your Swiss Army knife for. There is a reason that it is number one. It’s important and you should really spend some time to think about it before continuing on.

2. Consider What Gadgets and Tools You Absolutely Need Regularly

This will be heavily influenced by what you identified as your primary use for your Swiss Army knife. Depending on what you intend to use your Swiss Army knife for, you will need a variety of different tools and gadgets.

There are so many different options out there that are built into Swiss Army knives. It really is not the question of whether or not a certain tool can be found in a Swiss Army knife, it is more about whether you actually need the tool and will use it a lot.

For example, someone that is taking their Swiss Army knife out into the woods wouldn’t need a USB flash drive, but someone that is using it for everyday carry might find this gadget extremely useful. The same thing goes for saw blades, rulers, scissors, screwdrivers, flashlights, and any other tool or gadget you can think of. It really depends on what you plan to use your Swiss Army knife for.

Just go through your day or activity and think about all the times when you could have used a Swiss Army knife. Not only will this often open up your eyes to the sheer amount of times where a Swiss Army knife comes in handy, but it can start to help you identify tools that you would want on your Swiss Army knife.

3. Consider How Much You Want to Spend on Your Swiss Army Knife

There are many factors that go into the price of a Swiss Army knife, but it is often good to establish a price range or budget for your Swiss Army knife and choose one based on what you need it to do as well as your budget.

Some things to be aware of that often influence the price of a Swiss Army knife are the number of tools that it has, the company that makes it, as well as many other things. A lot of the factors that I just mentioned will be covered later on, but you can start to think about them to help you decide on a budget or price range for your Swiss Army knife.

It really comes down to what you can afford and is able to spend on a Swiss Army knife. Some people go out of their way to spend a little extra on their Swiss Army knife because they use it a lot and really want a quality one, and for other people, it is a sort of take-it-or-leave-it situation.

Together with what tools you want your Swiss Army knife to have and what you intend to do with it, figure out a general price range for your perfect Swiss Army knife. 

4. What Brand Of Swiss Army Knife?

There are many brands and companies that make Swiss Army knives. There are name brands that are famous for their Swiss Army knives, such as Victorinox, as well as lots of other quality and not so high-quality brands and options.

Again, it really depends on what you prefer as well as what you intend to use your Swiss Army knife for. If you are going to be using it a lot, I suggest you go with a well-known brand that has a reputation for good and high-quality knives and products. However, if you are just going to be using your Swiss Army knife occasionally, you can get away with a lesser-known brand if you would like.

Personally, I love the Swiss Army knives that Victorinox makes. They are really high quality and well made and last for a long time under extreme use. 

That’s just my personal opinion, and there are literally hundreds or even thousands of different knife brands out there that make Swiss Army knives. There is no shortage of options, you just have to decide which brand would work well for your needs and that you prefer.

5. Consider What Style of Swiss Army Knife You Prefer

If there are hundreds of different companies that make Swiss Army knives, there are literally thousands of different Swiss Army knife designs and styles. 

This really comes down to what you personally are drawn to and like, as well as what is most practical for your needs. There is no best Swiss Army knife design that is good for everyone. Really think about what you like and what makes the most sense for what you plan to use your Swiss Army knife for.

There are classic red and silver Swiss Army knives that most people think of when they hear “Swiss Army knife”, and there are also a lot of different and most nontraditional looks, designs, and styles.

There are also Swiss Army knives that are multi-tools, and there are ones that look more like pocket knives with a few extra tools built into the handle. Again, there are so many options and no “right” choice, so it comes down to what makes sense for you and what you like and prefer.

6. Think About the Optimal Size for Your Swiss Army Knife

The most optimal size for a Swiss Army knife is the one that works best for you. It is important to find a balance between your Swiss Army knife being functional and usable as well as small and portable.

You don’t want to go too small but you also don’t want to go too big. If a Swiss Army knife is too small you won’t be able to properly use it and it will just end up sitting in your desk drawer or your pocket without ever being used. If a Swiss Army knife is too big, however, it can become a burden to carry and you will end up being tempted to just leave it at home and that completely defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.

Really think about any tasks that you might need to complete that would require a larger Swiss Army knife. If they are minimal or nonexistent, a smaller Swiss Army knife might be good for your needs. However, if you have a lot of intensive tasks or ones where a larger blade or tools would be useful, maybe consider getting a larger Swiss Army knife.

It is important to really think about this and get a Swiss Army knife that is the perfect size for your needs so that you get the most use and enjoyment out of using your tool.

7. What Materials is the Main Blade Made Out of?

Many, but not all, swiss Army knives have a main knife blade. The materials that this main blade is constructed of is super important to the structural integrity and durability of the entire tool.

Most Swiss Army knife blades are made of stainless steel, and I highly recommend getting one that is made of high-quality stainless steel. A knife that is made of high-quality stainless steel seems to be the best option for the most durability and functionality.

You really want the main blade on your Swiss Army knife to be as durable and high quality as possible because it is often so small and yet needs to handle a lot of stress and work. 

Even the other blades on your Swiss Army knife should be made of high-quality stainless steel. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to just use your Swiss Army knife without the worry of breaking a blade. 

A Swiss Army knife with a broken blade is basically useless. You can quote me later.

8. Consider What the Handle of Your Swiss Army Knife Should Be Made of

The handle of your Swiss Army knife is nearly as important as the main blade because it is the thing that allows you to either use your tool effectively or makes you slip and drop it.

While the standard handle on many Swiss Army knives is quite smooth and untextured, I like and recommend getting one that is a little bit more grippy. This can either be some sort of rubber that allows you to grip it easier or the standard plastic handle with some texture in it.

There are many different options out there, so it shouldn’t be that hard to find a Swiss Army knife that has a textured handle and fits all of your needs. Obviously, a textured and grippy handle isn’t absolutely necessary, I have just found that they work the best and I enjoy using them.

The actual material for your Swiss Army knife handle should be wear-resistant and quite durable. You are most likely going to be putting your new tool through a lot of use, so it is good to find something for the handle that can withstand it and is durable.

Most high-quality Swiss Army knives that are made by reputable companies will have pretty great handles, but if you are getting a Swiss Army knife from a lesser-known company or it is super cheap, take a second to really look at the material and texture on the handle of the tool.

9. Think About and Look Into the Local Laws in Your Area

The last tip that I have for you when you are trying to find the perfect Swiss Army knife for you and your needs is to just check around and become familiar with the laws and regulations in your area.

Usually, if you are in the United States, it is fine to carry and own a small Swiss Army knife because the blade is so small and it is used for utilitarian purposes, but it is always a good idea to check your local laws.

It would be a really big waste of time and money to find the perfect Swiss Army knife for you and then it not be legal to own or carry where you live. Again, generally, Swiss Army knives are fine to at least own in many places, but always check your local laws and regulations to make sure you are fine.

And even if Swiss Army knives are legal where you are, don’t just be pulling it out at random and using it unsafely. Swiss Army knives are knives and should be kept sharp and handled safely.

Best and Most Notable Swiss Army Knives

While there are many companies and brands making some nice and well made Swiss Army knives, none of them ever seem to compare with the Swiss Army knives made by Victorinox.

Victorinox was the company that originally made the first Swiss Army knife, and really all the other companies are just copying parts of the original design. While you can definitely get some good Swiss Army knives from other companies, I prefer ones made by Victorinox because they are always super well made and durable.

Enough of me telling you about how great Victorinox Swiss Army knives are, here are some of the best and most notable Swiss Army knives out there that I highly recommend checking out. They are all different and have different features, but there is really a Swiss Army knife for everyone. 

If you don’t find the perfect Swiss Army knife for your needs below, there are many other options both at local stores and online.

NameNumber of ToolsClosed LengthPrice Point
Victorinox Classic SD72.3 inchesLow ($)
Victorinox EvoGrip153.3 inchesMedium ($$)
Grand Way 60021104.6 inchesLow ($)
Victorinox Army Soldier104.4 inchesHigh ($$$)
Victorinox Fieldmaster152.3 inchesMedium ($$)

Conclusion

If you haven’t noticed by now, Swiss Army knives come in a super wide variety of shapes, sizes, brands, and basically any other variable you can think of. This can be really good because there is often a Swiss Army knife that is perfect for you, but it can also cause a lot of stress and confusion when trying to find your perfect Swiss Army knife.

My best advice is just to really think about what you want and need out of a Swiss Army knife on a regular basis and base your final decision mainly on that. If your Swiss Army knife doesn’t do what you need it to, you won’t ever use it and it would have been a waster of time and money to find it and purchase it.

Just really think through what you will realistically use your Swiss Army knife for, and that will narrow down your search and help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Townsen Bell

I'm the founder and primary author at Knife Manual. Over many years, I have become proficient at survival and bushcraft skills through lots of practice and many great teachers. I enjoy spending time outdoors, collecting knives, and learning new skills.

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