Top 5 Swiss Army Knives for Survival

Survivopedia Top Swiss army KnivesThe Swiss army knife is more of a multi-functional tool than a regular knife; it’s actually THE quintessential multipurpose gizmo ever invented. Hence, one of these babies may be the best thing to have on your person when shtf.

The Swiss army knife has a long history, being issued to the military since 1891. Even today it’s still made in Switzerland, a rare thing in our times when everything is built in China or in Taiwan.

A little known fact for you: the term “Swiss army knife” was coined by the US military after World War 2 because our boys had serious difficulties when they tried to pronounce the knife’s original German name. Basically, the true/original Swiss army knives were made by just two manufacturers (the companies merged in 2005 if memory serves): Wenger and Victorinox.

There are a few qualities that make a Swiss army knife an everyday carry for millions of people around the world. It’s small, convenient, handy, not very expensive and made with high quality materials and impeccable workmanship. Actually, these little pocket knives come with a lifetime guarantee with no questions asked when a replacement is required.

With all these things in mind, let me give you my personal top 5 Swiss army knives. However, when you choose your favorite EDC Swiss army knife, you must think about a few things first, because we’re not the same and we have different needs.

My favorites my not work for you at all. For example, what do you need the knife for? What’s the size that suits you best? What is your budget? Make a must-have list of traits as well as a list of what your knife will be required to do.

Now, let’s get down to business. Here are my top five Swiss army knives of all time:

1. Let’s start with the Classic, the smallest of the bunch. Due to its size, it fits every keychain, meaning that you’ll have it on your person all the time!


And that’s maybe the most important thing in the world; it doesn’t matter what you have at home when shtf, all that matters is what’s on your person when you need it the most.

The Classic is light as a feather (only 1 ounce), it has:

  • A small blade, just 1.5 inches long but it’s perfectly adequate for everyday tasks, i.e. cutting stuff, opening boxes etc.
  • Maybe the best tweezers in the world
  • A nice toothpick
  • An excellent/razor sharp scissor
  • A fingernail file (with a screwdriver tip).

Oh, and I forgot – it’s cheap (the Classic retails for ~$13) and well made! Is also comes in lots of colors, including black, red (the classic color for a Victorinox knife), camo, pink; you name it and you can probably get it.

2. The Tinker is my second choice, offering lots of tools for its ~$20 price tag:


  • One large and one small blade
  • A can opener
  • A small screw driver just like the Classic
  • A Philips screwdriver
  • A toothpick
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing eye
  • A bottle opener
  • A wire stripper
  • A hook
  • All the things you’ll ever need if you’re the tinkering type!

Like all Victorinox/Wenger knives, the blades are made of high quality stainless steel and the red handles are made of sturdy nylon (aka cellidor)with  aluminum interior housings. The liners/dividers are made of SS also. The large blade is 3 inches long and has a 2.5 inches cutting edge with a drop point. The small blade is only 1.5 inches long, just like the Classic. The knife comes with very sharp blades out of the box and it’s fairly easy to re-sharpen (once a month or so, as an EDC).

3. The Deluxe Tinker is my third choice, being essentially an upgraded version of the Tinker, with a price tag of just around $50.

3_deluxe tinkerManufactured by Victorinox, when compared to the regular Tinker, this baby features an additional reamer and pliers, the rest is just the same.

Small enough for making an excellent EDC, it fits comfy in every pocket and it will last you forever if taken care of properly.

4. The Hunter is the first Swiss army knife I ever bought, over 10 years ago and it’s still kicking, even if I punished it pretty badly when I was out camping.

4_hunterThe main blade is  reasonably large, 3-1/4 inches long and thanks to its locking drop point, it makes for a perfect tool when field dressing game.

Another cool feature of the Hunter is its awesome saw blade that can cut through bone like butter.

The Hunter makes for the perfect companion when you’re out in the wild and it retails for ~$40 on

5. Last but not least, the Workchamp. With a retail price of ~$100, this is the essential multi-purpose Swiss army knife.

5_workchampIt comes with 13 useful tools on its “belt; among them pliers, a beefy/locking main blade, a wood saw, scissors and lots of useful things.

Measuring 4.3 inches when closed, this is a pretty big knife for an EDC, but it’s easy to live with once you get used to its size/weight.

It’s best carried using a rotating clip to hold the Workchamp, being too big and heavy to leave loose inside of your pocket.

This knife will stay with you until it gets lost or stolen; there’s no other better quality multi-purpose knife out there!

What’s your favorite blade? Share with us in the comments section below, and tell us why you like it best!


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Written by

Chris Black is a born and bred survivalist. He used to work as a contractor for an intelligence service but now he is retired and living off the grid, as humanly possible. An internet addict and a gun enthusiast, a libertarian with a soft spot for the bill of rights and the Constitution, a free market idealist, he doesn't seem very well adjusted for the modern world. You can send Chris a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • If it is a genuine Victorinox Swiss army knife, the blade shloud be adequate for many uses; however, if the blade leaves alot to be desired, I suspect it is an imitation. A true Victorinox will keep and edge and is sturdy. If all the other aspects of the knife are meeting your needs, then go ahead and get a plain pocket knife. Be sure to compare the prices of a plain pocket knife and one with all the tools. It might be worth buying a whole new knife.You can get a Victorinox without all the tools. That would be my first choice. I used to have an Old Timer which was pretty good, but that was over 20 years ago. I’ve pretty much stuck with Victorinox pocket knifes ever since I’ve gotten my first one. I also have a Gerber lock blade. Those are also great knives, but may be larger than what you’re looking for. I am not sure if Gerber makes a smaller pocket knife. I’ve only sharpened my Gerber once.

  • My favourite is “Camping” bought it in Swiss factory in 1993 and still in my pocket. It’s light for pocket, and has a saw that can cut a table in half. I even could do some heavy gardening with it. Other stuff I use a lot: Two knifes, bottle/can opener with flat screwdrivers.