The Victorinox SwissChamp brings multi tool functionality to a pocket knife format. The SwissChamp has more than three times as many functions as any other knife in our test. As such, it could also be compared in our Multi-Tool Review. Whether considered in the multi-tool category or here in the pocket knife review, the SwissChamp is a novelty piece of equipment perfect for the avid Swiss Army Knife ("SAK") fan. Each function and tool included is of very high quality, if a bit small for its intended purpose. The versatility of all SAK's has become a cultural cliche ("This is a very versatile bicycle; It's the Swiss Army Knife of bicycles"). And the SwissChamp is the ultimate SAK. Virtually every tool that Victorinox has included on any of its knives is built in to the SwissChamp.
Victorinox SwissChamp Swiss Army Knife Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Includes almost every imaginable tool
Cons: bulky and heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The SwissChamp is a novel and versatile pocket knife. It could be said that the SwissChamp is the original multi-tool. Or the most versatile pocket knife. Either way, it bridges a gap in the whole spectrum of small folding tools.
Blade and Edge Integrity
Victorinox blades are legendary. There is nothing flashy in their material or construction, but users around the world have been pleased with the cutting edges built by this age old institution. Our tested SwissChamp (as well as the SwissChamp our lead tester purchased with allowance money when he was 8 years old) arrived with a razor sharp grind on both large and small blades. The leading edge is durable yet precise. Even the most primitive of sharpening skills will return the blade to like-new status. Even the large blade on the SwissChamp is thin and low profile. The Best Buy award winning Kershaw Leek, while low profile, has a much thicker blade overall.
It almost feels silly to comment on the ergonomics of such a feature-packed tool. Given how much this tool could do, it does the jobs pretty well. However, as compared to purpose-built cutters like our Editors' Choice Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585 the SwissChamp feels bulky and unwieldy, especially in extended and heavy usage.
The Swiss are known for precision manufacturing. And the SwissChamp is no exception. Our lead test editor has used this model of knife for 25 years and had absolutely no problems with durability. All the hinges remain tight and smooth. Cursory and occasional cleaning keeps the pocket grime from binding it all up.
Victorinox doesn't intend for the SwissChamp to shine in portability. It is the heaviest knife in our test and the most featured. With the Top Pick Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife taking that top spot specifically for its portability, we can't pretend to endorse the SwissChamp's portability at all. This is a tool you'll leave in your car or kitchen drawer. When it's nearby, you'll find abundant use for it. When it's not, you'll be glad to have a more compact and simple knife at hand.
This knife is a great tool to keep in a designated and handy spot. Any place in your life where space is tight but repair and handy tasks are frequent will benefit from a Victorinox SwissChamp. We had good luck keeping it accessible in the kitchen or in the gear storage room.
The SwissChamp is not an inexpensive piece of equipment. However, the impeccable Swiss craftsmanship and the carefully miniaturized tools mean that it will remain useful and functional for a long time. Like any compact piece of equipment, the primary threat to the value of the SwissChamp is losing it. If you keep track of your SwissChamp, its value will pay off for years and years.
With our lead tester's admittedly nostalgic recollections of using a SwissChamp for all of his childhood and periodically through adulthood, putting the actual utility of the knife in perspective was difficult. He thinks everyone should have such fond memories of child-hood lusting and penny-saving. The satisfaction born of adolescent financial planning and pride-in-ownership is a solid rite of passage. That being said, we can really recommend the SwissChamp only for mini-toolbox usage. Stash one somewhere handy and use it enough to keep it near the front of your mind. However, if you are looking to secure a multi-purpose tool for every day carry, consult our Multi-Tool Review here on OutdoorGearLab.
— Jediah Porter