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Best Swiss Army Knife for Survival, EDC, and Camping

Picking the best Swiss army knife for survival, EDC, and camping has become more challenging than ever! Everyday use, survival, hunting, camping, handiwork… All these activities hinge on different sets of tools. And a different Swiss army knife!

That’s why I made this Swiss army list to help you get the perfect pocket knife for your needs.

Our favorite knife today is the Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster. It’s not the flashiest knife out there, but it is a well-rounded multi-tool with tweezers, a screwdriver, bottle opener, reamer, even wire strippers. An everyday carry knife to be proud of.

Best Swiss Army Knife for Survival, EDC, and Camping Top 7

  1. Victorinox Fieldmaster (Overall best Swiss Army knife for survival and EDC)
  2. Victorinox SwissChamp (Most versatile Swiss Army knife and best for camping)
  3. Victorinox Classic SD (Best budget Swiss Army knife)
  4. Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman (Second choice for survival)
  5. Victorinox Tinker (Best budget EDC)
  6. Victorinox Hiker (Best for Hiking)
  7. Switchedge Crimson (Cheapest, but bulky)

That’s our best Swiss army knife top 7!

Scroll down for detailed reviews on each knife and don’t miss the awesome video below by the Sak Collector, a Victorinox Swiss Army knife expert!

Best Swiss Army Knife Detailed Reviews

  1. Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Multi-Tool Pocket Knife

  2. Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Multi-Tool Pocket Knife
    $37.53

    The Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster is primarily designed as a multi-tool for outdoor use, including camping, gardening, hiking, fishing, bushcraft... This makes it a perfect companion in any type of survival scenario.

    It comes with 15 large and small stainless steel tools and signature Victorinox ABS/cellidor scales.

    The Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster belongs to the “medium pocket knives” family. It’s 3.6” long and weighs only 3.53 oz. You can throw it in your pocket or pouch and forget it’s there until you need it. A great knife for everyday use.

    The scales house a plastic toothpick and a handy pair of tweezers. In the middle, we have a Phillips screwdriver and a multipurpose hook.

    The hook can do anything from carrying a bundle to tightening lashings. It’s a pain to open though unless you have long nails. Make sure you consider this, especially if you want something that opens with one hand.

    There’s also a sharpened reamer, which I used to puncture wood and leather with ZERO problems.

    The top of this knife features a flat-head screwdriver/bottle opener/wire stripper that locks in 90° and 180° positions. The bottom holds a can opener with a sharpened chisel edge and a smaller flat screwdriver.

    Another great everyday feature is a pair of high-quality, super-sharp scissors that are big enough for outdoor use and not just clipping your nails. The lack of scissors is why I never bought the Swiss army Farmer model. Scissors really come in handy!

    The small saw tool comes with extremely aggressive teeth. You won’t fall any trees with it, but it’ll saw through branches and make notches on wood like there’s no tomorrow.

    Finally, continuing on with all the amazing different functions of this Victorinox knife, we have a pair of viciously sharp plain-edge blades (small and main). I last used them to whittle wooden stakes in the woods, and they worked like a charm.

    I don’t really like “busy” Swiss army knives that charge me for a bunch of features I’ll never use. That’s why the Victorinox Fieldmaster knife will always be my favorite everyday carry and survival favorite.

    It’s a knife that's affordable, versatile, has all the right high-quality tools. It's a great knife to buy because not only does it have all the multi-purpose tools you need, it can also take a ton of abuse.

    Pros:
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 15 functions and different tools
    • Extra slot for a sewing needle
    • Stainless steel tools + ABS/cellidor scales
    • Durable and lightweight
    • Versatile and compact size
    Cons:
    • The multipurpose hook is difficult to open, especially with one hand.
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    08/11/2022 03:31 am GMT
  3. Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Multi-Tool Pocket Knife, 91 mm

  4. Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Multi-Tool Pocket Knife, 91 mm
    $114.00 $64.30

    The Swiss Champ is a Swiss Army knife cranked up to 11. It has EVERYTHING and then some! Even a ballpoint pen!

    It’s a 7-layer monster pocket knife with 33 different tools. It’s 3.6” long, 1.3” high, and weighs 6.5 oz. The Champ is by far the most versatile best Swiss Army knife out there. It's so good, it's in BladeHQ's Top 5 Best Swiss Army Knives (Don't miss their awesome video below!)

    Naturally, when you pack that much stuff into a single knife, it tends to be on a bulkier side. So, I wouldn’t recommend Swiss Champ as your everyday carry pocket knife of choice.

    When it comes to tools and functions, we have a large/small blade, corkscrew, can opener with a small flat screwdriver, bottle opener with a large flat screwdriver and a wire stripper, reamer, toothpick, tweezers, scissors, multipurpose hook, key ring, wood saw, fish scaler, ruler, metal file, fine screwdriver, chisel, pliers with a wire cutter and crimper, Phillips screwdriver, magnifying glass, pressurized ballpoint pen, mini screwdriver, and a stainless steel pin.

    Boy, was that a mouthful or what?! You won't be lacking in gear with this knife.

    The magnifying glass might look useless, but it’s a godsend when used with tweezers. And it can also start a fire in a pinch.

    The pliers are comparable to those found on the Leatherman Squirt. Not overly heavy-duty, but they’ll get the job done. The scissors are similar to those on the Leatherman Surge but much sharper and more resistant to rust.

    I never used the ruler cause I’m more of a survival guy, but it’s definitely useful for small jobs around the house.

    Swiss Champ is your go-to Jack-of-all-trades Victorinox knife and that’s why it has a place on my list of the best Swiss army knives. It’s the most eye-catching piece out there that’ll chew through anything you throw at it. In a comparatively small package too.

    Pros:
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 33 stainless steel tools
    • Top quality
    • Extremely versatile
    • Durable construction
    • Ideal for any task
    Cons:
    • One of the bulkier knives of this brand
    • Expensive to buy
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    08/11/2022 02:55 am GMT
  5. Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Multi-Tool Pocket Knife

  6. Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Multi-Tool Pocket Knife
    $33.00 $20.48

    The Victorinox Tinker is one of the most popular best Swiss army knives out there. People often use it as their EDC knife and they generally like the balance between its toolset and carry ability.

    It’s 3.6” long and weighs 2.2 oz. Its toolset features 12 stainless steel pieces, including a large/small stainless steel blade, Phillips screwdriver, can opener with a small flat screwdriver, bottle opener with a large flat screwdriver & wire stripper, reamer, tweezers, toothpick, and a key ring.

    The tools are packed into 2 layers, which gives it a slimmer appearance. The scales are standard ABS/cellidor.

    Personally, I like my everyday carry knives a bit more “bare bones.” That’s why the Fieldmaster is my favorite. However, if you need a bit more versatility, Tinker is the perfect EDC knife to buy.

    Pros:
    • One of the most popular Victorinox EDC knives models
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 12 stainless steel tools
    • High versatility
    • Durable construction
    Cons:
    • Not suitable for larger heavy-duty tasks
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    08/11/2022 06:01 am GMT
  7. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

  8. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
    $21.50 $19.39

    I generally view the Victorinox Classic SD knife as the Leatherman Skeletool of Victorinox Swiss army knives. It’s a perfect piece for your everyday needs as far as multi-tools go, and one of my favorite EDC tools.

    Admittedly, you’ll have a tough time with it in a survival scenario or bushcrafting in the Brooks Range of Alaska. However, this knife should be more than enough for an average handyman, cyclist, or gardener.

    The Victorinox Classic SD is a poster boy for super-versatile EDC key ring tools.

    It’s incredibly compact - 2.3” long and weighs only 0.7 oz. That’s the weight of 3 quarters and a nickel. It’s ridiculous! Definitely one of the more compact knives in this review.

    It comes with 7 stainless steel tools and functions - all featuring the famous Victorinox snap-joint mechanism. The tools include the main blade, nail file with a 2.4 mm flat-head screwdriver, scissors, toothpick, and tweezers. This model also features a key ring for extra convenience.

    The scissors can be used for a lot of fine trimming, but are obviously not ideal for large-scale cutting.

    The blade itself is rather modest and perfect for smaller everyday tasks. Cutting zip ties and cardboard, opening an envelope... The blade is very easy to sharpen and holds its edge rather nicely. Just don’t expect the cutting power of a huge jackknife and you’ll be fine.

    Victorinox Classic SD sacrifices a bit of versatility for lighter weight and better carry ability. It’s not as vicious-looking as its big brothers, but it’s irreplaceable for EDC.

    It’s also the cheapest piece to buy of the bunch in this review and comes in more color patterns than I can count.

    Pros:
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 7 stainless steel tools
    • Compact & lightweight
    • Durable construction
    • The blade is very easy to sharpen
    Cons:
    • Not the best Swiss army knife for heavy-duty tasks
    • Very modest blade, one of the multi tools for smaller tasks.
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    08/11/2022 02:27 am GMT
  9. Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife (Red)

  10. Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife (Red)
    $31.96

    The Victorinox Huntsman knife is extremely similar to the Victorinox Fieldmaster. Which explains why I put this pocket knife so highly on my best Swiss army knife review.

    It features the same set of stainless steel tools and features but replaces the Phillips screwdriver with a corkscrew. Personally, I never saw much use in having a corkscrew in a survival scenario. Sure, it can untie difficult knots, but a bunch of other tools can do that. Though, if you take a bottle of wine with you, this is the knife to make sure you've got with you!

    The Victorinox Fieldmaster Swiss army knife only comes in red, while the Huntsman features more color options. My favorite is regular green camo, but translucent sapphire looks awesome too.

    Since I own both knives, there’s a nifty thing I did with the toothpick slot. You can order a slim Ferro Rod and replace the second toothpick. Having the ability to start a fire adds a lot more versatility to your survival gear. Doing this makes it one of the best swiss army knives for the price.

    I just use the back of the wood saw blade to create a spark and it got me out of some pretty tight jams in the woods.

    The tweezers might look useless, but they’re anything but. I’ve pulled out so many ticks and splinters with these bad boys, it’s not even funny.

    The reamer is probably one of the least understood tools on this Victorinox Swiss army knife. Some people still refer to it as “the awl”, but it’s basically the same thing. Sure, you can use it to punch holes in leather belts and canvas or drill through wood. But the extra hole actually serves as a sewing needle.

    I’ve never used it for sewing that much, honestly. But, it did help me resaw the zipper on my backpack a couple of times. So, it’s a nice thing to have in a pinch.

    Bottom line, Victorinox Huntsman is a classic swiss army knife - a survival tool worthy of its name! Everything I said about the Victorinox Fieldmaster applies here as well. Another one of the great models to buy in this review.

    Pros:
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 15 different tools including tweezers and toothpick
    • Extra slot for a sewing needle
    • Stainless steel tools + ABS/cellidor scales
    • Durable and lightweight for everyday carry
    • Versatile and compact size
    Cons:
    • The multipurpose hook is difficult to open
    • I never saw much use in having a corkscrew
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    08/10/2022 03:36 pm GMT
  11. Victorinox Swiss Army Hiker Multi-Tool Pocket Knife

  12. Victorinox Swiss Army Hiker Multi-Tool Pocket Knife
    $38.00 $21.90

    The Victorinox Hiker is yet another member of the “medium pocket knife” family, gear primarily designed for hiking & trekking enthusiasts.

    I call it “the Tinker with an extra saw.” Apart from the small saw, this top-quality piece is identical to the Victorinox Tinker. However, an aggressive double-tooth serrated edge saw blade is a must-have in the great outdoors.

    You can cut branches to hold up your tent, fashion a neat walking stick, build a shelter in a pinch… You name it. You might not use it every single time, but you’ll be glad you have it on those “day gone wrong” hiking trips.

    Contrary to popular belief, I’ve never used the saw for firewood. I can usually break the branches I need by hand. And if I can’t, they’re probably not dry enough anyway.

    The saw is housed in an extra layer. So, the Victorinox Hiker has 3 layers of tools, while the Victorinox Tinker has only 2. Just some food for thought regarding a slimmer profile and its effect on the overall carry ability.

    Bottom line, you won’t be doing any heavy trail maintenance with Victorinox Swiss army Tinker. But, you’ll find all your basic hiking needs met, and then some!

    Pros:
    • Best pocket knife tool for hikers
    • Traditional SAK frame
    • 13 stainless steel tools
    • High versatility
    • Durable construction
    Cons:
    • Not suitable for larger heavy-duty tasks
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    08/11/2022 02:58 am GMT
  13. SwitchEdge 14 Tools in One Black Pocket Knife

  14. SwitchEdge 14 Tools in One Black Pocket Knife
    $12.95

    The Switchedge Crimson pocket knife is an affordable decent-quality alternative to Victorinox brand knives. It hits a fine balance between fine craftsmanship and good utility.

    This Swiss army pocket knife features 14 stainless steel tools packed into a texturized aluminum frame. Every tool opens without a hitch and stays firmly locked in place. The piece is 3’5” long and weighs around 4 oz.

    It’s a bit on a bulkier side, though (with 4 layers) so I wouldn’t recommend it as one of your EDC knives. However, it should be a perfect companion for hunting and fishing.

    The toolset includes a large blade, scissors, can opener, wood saw, bottle opener, fish scaler, slotted remover, thread loop, Phillips screwdriver, corkscrew, nail file/cleaner, reamer, and a key ring.

    Apart from the corkscrew and the nail file/cleaner, I like what I see. It’s more than enough utility to justify its low price tag.

    So, if you’re looking for one of those budget-friendly hunting and fishing companion knives, Switchedge Crimson is the tool for you.

    Pros:
    • Budget-friendly when compared with Victorinox Swiss army knives.
    • 14 stainless steel tools
    • Texturized aluminum frame
    • Durable construction
    • High versatility
    Cons:
    • Bulky design as far as Swiss Army pocket knives go
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    08/10/2022 11:27 pm GMT
    Lasso Brag

Best Swiss Army Knife Buyer’s Guide

For EDC purposes, I’m looking for gear that is slim, compact, and has all the right tools, all for the right price.

I want a piece that is the right size so I can throw it in my pocket and forget it’s even there until I need it. But when I do, I want to be able to get the job done.

And I want it to be as cheap as possible.

I’m not looking for much when I choose my EDC knives. I want to open a cardboard box, cut a cable, do a quick repair, strip a wire… Or just cut my seatbelt in an emergency.

That’s why I prefer knives with fewer tools. Simply because you shouldn’t expect much out of your EDC.

With all that in mind, my best Swiss army knife for EDC will always be the Victorinox Fieldmaster. But I’m a minority on this one. People (and many other knives reviews) generally go for Victorinox Tinker, which is also an amazing piece.

I see where they’re coming from, it’s just not my personal preference.

What Is the Best Swiss Army Knife for Camping

7 Best Swiss Army Knives - Top Victorinox Knives & Tools
Victorinox Swiss Army knife collection at BladeHQ

Camping knife reviews are a more demanding category than EDC, so I’m looking for something more feature-rich here.

I want to be able to open a can or a bottle, saw through a branch, drill a hole through a piece of wood, start a fire… Regular camping stuff.  My gear needs to be able to handle all that, for the right price.

Here, I allow a bit more weight and bulk since we’re not talking about a survival scenario per se.

As I already mentioned, when it comes to classic Swiss Army knives for any outdoor activity, my favorite is Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster. If you want to open a bottle of wine, you can go for the Huntsman, for the extra corkscrew.

There’s really no limit here, except your personal needs and imagination. Theoretically, you can even carry a Victorinox SwissChamp, if you really want to go overboard.

Camping is generally a more forgiving activity than actual survival situations. So, you can go wild with your knives as much as you like.

What Is the Best Swiss Army Knife for Survival

Survival is by far the most demanding knives category and I would make no compromises here!

One of the trickiest things here is striking that fine balance between weight and utility. You don’t want your Swiss Army knife slowing you down. But missing a crucial tool spells disaster.

Apart from regular outdoor stuff, your knives also need to handle potential wounds, punctures, gashes… A slot for a sewing needle, a good pair of scissors, tweezers, a reliable blade… This is all a MUST-HAVE!

I remember having to cut my friend out of his jeans after getting impaled on a large branch. The blade on my trusty Victorinox Fieldmaster did it in seconds. You never realize how important a blade, scissors, and a sewing needle can be until you’re faced with that kind of situation.

When it comes to survival, your Swiss army knife CANNOT FAIL YOU!

That’s why Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster will always be my champion Swiss army knife for survival. The Victorinox Huntsman is an excellent alternative.

There’s No Such Thing as the Best Swiss Army Knife…

There’s no such thing as the best Swiss Army knife. There are only the best model knives for specific activities.

In this Swiss Aarmy knives list, I’ve outlined what to look for based on your personal needs and preferences. I covered EDC, hunting & fishing, survival, hiking, camping, first aid…

All you have to do is identify your needs and follow this guide until you meet them.

If this list helped you find your perfect tool, let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to share any useful tips and experiences with our homesteading community.

Author

  • Our go-to knife guy and a serious survival expert. When you're in a pinch in the great outdoors, you want this guy by your side. If he's not obsessing over karambits, you can find him in his workshop tinkering and sharpening stuff. He's been collecting knives for more than 10 years so, if it has a blade, he's the guy to ask.

PKG

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

the magnifying glass can NOT start a fire. maybe the old ones could but the new ones can not.

Elle

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Hi PKG! Thanks for the comment! Could you elaborate a bit more about the differences between old and new?