Oh boy, the age old question for people who carry a Swiss Army Knife………Which one is best? However the question should be……..Which one is best for me for the conditions I’m going to encounter?
I have LOTS of Swiss Army Knives. LOTS. And I try very hard to carry and use them all so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my money. But invariably you wonder if you could only have one, which one would it be? I’m going to just get to the point and name the knife I’ve chosen. Many may cringe. Some will agree.
My choice is the Victorinox EvoGrip S557. The S557 is the red/black knife in the photo below. It is a 5 layer knife as opposed to your basic, Swiss Army Knife which is usually 2 layers. So it is a little bulkier.
And one of the factors for me picking it is the grippy handle. The regular plastic knives are fine but a tad bit slick sometimes. The EvoGrip handle gives you a little more confidence and control over managing and handling the S557.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Here’s a quick list of why I love this knife. I’m not listing all the features, just the ones that are important to me the most:
- Scissors – I use scissors a LOT on the Swiss Army knife.
- Pliers – Although small they are USEFUL and come in handy at the best/worst times.
- Metric Wrench – I’m a geek with lots of little electronic projects with 3, 4, and 5mm nuts and bolts. That little wrench is AWESOME.
- Phillips screwdriver – They all don’t have a Phillips which sometimes perplexes me.
- Can Opener – I go camping and in my camper are cans. Nuff said.
- Bottle Opener – Same as above only with beer.
- Corkscrew – Significant other likes wine. I haven’t actually used it yet for her wine but I’m ready to save the day at any moment.
- Eyeglass screwdriver – I used this just today taking a cover off a $67,000 Optical Light Table on a Military Visual Landing Aid. The cover on top had these ridiculously small screws and I needed to inspect inside the cavity as the optics were pretty crappy. Harrier pilots rely on this Aid to make a safe landing on ships.
Yeah there is more stuff on the knife but I positively NEED the items I listed above on a nearly daily basis.
Sometimes when I walk the dog or run up the store I just carry the little brother of the EvoGrip S557, the EvoGrip S18. It’s the yellow one in the picture.
It kinda just lacks the metric wrench and pliers otherwise it is darn near perfect as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I love ALL my Swiss Army Knives and I love the more vanilla SAK’s a lot. There is a time and a place for all of them. I also have a SwissChamp which I love as much as the EvoGrip S557 but it is a little bigger and a little bulkier to carry. What a great knife it is though but it is a little better suited to being in the console of the truck or a drawer in the camper. Carrying it around is just a tiny bit much. Trust me. I carried it for years.
Okay, that’s it in a nutshell and don’t forget that the operative word in my blog here is “CARRY”. The knife I like best to CARRY.
Nice write-up. I have an Evo S557 too, without the grip. Even the sculpted shape makes our easier to hold than a classical one.
To me, the wrench SEEMS like it would be handy, but really isn’t.
Also, with pliers this size, having them open a bit wider doesn’t seem to help. I like the Vic pliers better, but wish they used the Wenger spring arrangement. The Vic leaf springs are ridiculous.
Thanks for the comment. I do tons of stuff with Raspberry Pi computers and the wrench works great for those small 3mm and 4mm screws. And you’re right I never open the pliers up to the wider position and the pliers are thinner than the regular SAK’s but I’d say I use them quite a bit anyway. Thanks again.
You need that saw. In any emergency situation, being able to cut wrist sized sticks and create wedges and slit cuts to split larger logs by batoning–using the wedge, not the SAK–could make the difference between fire and shelter and hypothermia.