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To put this all in context, this was originally posted a forum.multitool.org.

Hello there! Recently I was poking around on these forums for opinions and whatnot on what full size multitool to buy. After over a month of research and a great deal of asked questions, I have settled on the SwissTool Plus (Partly because the CS plus wasn’t availible.) I don’t exactly have a camera so there will be no pictures but it’s easy to find them on this very forum. Before I start on the tool, I must point new buyers to felinevet.sosak.com for your swiss army needs. The service is prompt, the prices are good, can’t beat free US shipping and you get to help sick kitties! Tell me you don’t want to help an injured cat, you twisted bastard. I dare you.

So, here it is, I’m holding it. The SwissTool is solid. It is impressively solid. The only way it could be more solid is if they dunked it in molten metal to fill in the cracks. Seriously, this is beefy, but unless you’re small it shouldn’t be a problem for belt carry or even pocket carry unless you’re a girl in tight pants, or you’re one of those guys who look like they’ve borrowed a girls tight pants. Can’t stress just how solid. To me it feels even more dense than a LM Surge. It came well oiled, this impressed me. Didn’t stop me from oiling it to my own standards but I like things that come in nice boxes and look like they were put in them with the love and care of a skilled manufacturer. Not a common Victorinox customer (The only other Vic I own is the dinky keychain one with the scissors, knife and file), this is a point in their favor. The finish is excellent, so much so that my tool now covered in greasy fingerprints from me pawing it up. I like the size, I have medium hands and it’s chunky but it isn’t unwieldy.

Opening it up, I seem to have the newest plier jaws, these go the opposite direction of standard. Read all about how this makes them stronger when loosening stuck bolts. Again a mark in favor of Vic. I like a company that does it’s research and figures out how it’s consumers are going to be using a product. I like the wire cutters. I didn’t have any wire I -needed- to cut, but for the hell of it I whipped out solid and stranded, and sliced up some neatly done pieces. There is no binding and the SwissTool chews through what is thrown at it without question and without an uncomfortable degree of hand force. The handles are smooth and plenty long enough to get a good grip it when you’re trying to get a good grip on whatever you use that nasty business end on. The jaws aren’t that different from regular plier jaws save for being a little smaller in the tip. People have complained that they could be more needlenosey, but this isn’t an issue with me because I nearly always carry a LM Skeletool with me. There is no play in the jaws. They rotate smoothly, and they are as easy to operate as regular pliers. There’s a ruler printed on either side, both standard and metric. I like this, but I must admit I won’t be using it much as I carry around a precision pocket ruler.

Let’s close it and take a look at the tools on the whole. I like closing it to have to look at the tools. Pulling crap from the inside after trying this just seems…silly. Everything is accessible via the nail nicks all swiss army knife users are familiar with, and I have no difficulty pulling them out. Some have complained, but I see no issue with difficulty although I can imagine if you had really fat fingers this might be difficult. The springs feel solid, really solid. All the tools lock, and while there is a little play…it isn’t an issue. It’s the sort of play you can only feel if you put effort into jiggling the tools, and there seems to be no risk of the thing closing on accident. Speaking of the locks, I love them. They are easy to use one handed. Actually, the whole thing is easy to use one handed if you’re creative. Pin it with your palm against your leg to work a tool open, push the back of the tool against your leg with the lock depressed to close it. Hook the handles on your pocket to open up the pliers. If you open all the tools you can see the spring mechanism for the lock, it seems to be held rather securely. Which is good because it would suck to lose.

Blades. Knives have them, without blades they wouldn’t be a knife, they’d be….I don’t know what they’d be, but it’d probably be some strange sort of european fad that everybody wants and nobody uses. The SwissTool has two spear point blades, one serrated the whole way, one not. The one without the serrations is pretty standard, save for it’s thin. In a good way. Why are companies making all these knives with stupidly thick blades? I want a knife, not a hatchet. This delivers. More on the steel later when I get around to putting my special sharp on the thing, because I want a razor. The serrated blade looks like a steak knife. It does. But other companies shouldn’t laugh. These serrations mean business in the quiet unassuming manner you’d expect from your standard handgun carrying granny. I decided to cut rope to test the serrations straight out of the box, and it couldn’t be easier if this thing was a lightsaber. I wish I had some seatbelt to shred just to test it, but I’d imagine it would cut through it like a hot knife through nylon.

The SwissTool has two saws, one for wood and one for metal. The wood one is dedicated while the metal saw is a set of teeth on the bottom of the file. Aggressive would describe the wood one, and it doesn’t seem to gunk with use. The metal saw…I didn’t do much cutting with, but it seems to work okay in a pinch. A hacksaw would beat the pants off it, but you can’t fit a hacksaw in your pants so if you haven’t got one and only have a little metal to cut, this thing oughta do you well. I wish it was a little more aggressive.

Screwdrivers are a big issue for multitools. Dedicated screwdriver tools add usability, screwdrivers combined with things like can openers add extra functionality, and bit drivers will drive about any screw you carry the bit for, at the expense of not being able to reach into tiny holes. Let’s start with dedicated drivers. The philips head. Oh does Vic take flack about it’s rounded philips head screwdrivers. All fears be gone, this isn’t anything like those supposedly round monstrosities. It is a #2 size, and is very, very square. It fits with all the screws I’ve used it on very tightly. It may be difficult for sausage fingered people to remove as it lacks a nail nick, you reach in and grab it by the head. No problem for me, personally, but your mileage may vary. The other dedicated driver makes me happy. It is a very very small flathead. It’s about 2mm wide, or 0.08″ if you like standard. I like a screwdriver this small and this long because I will be able to poke and prod with it, as well as work those annoyingly small setscrews I encounter on pot. knobs. It works well. The large flat head is large. It truly is. This thing is massive. So massive that the booklet that comes with the SwissTool labels it as a “Strong Crate Opener” and I believe it. You could probably pry a door off it’s frame with it. It will probably see far more use as a prybar because it is so huge. Now, combination drivers! The bottle opener holds a more reasonable sized flat heads and as flat heads go, it’s fairly standard. Probably won’t fit into truly small spaces to a super depth, but it’s got a guestimated inch of reach. The flat head on the end of the can opener strikes me as useless as it is oh…half a hair wider than the dedicated flathead, with significantly less reach but hey, it’s not exactly lost space. And perhaps it would be stronger, when dealing with exposed screws.

The SwissTool has a nice compliment of miscellaneous little features. I intend to try the can opener very soon. Same goes with the bottle opener, I won’t be using it much because I carry my Skeletool right on a beltloop where it is accessible in an instant but I will certainly test this one. Of interest is a little knick in the bottle opener for bending wire leads. It works well for what it is, but I’ll probably stick to using the pliers. And now one of my favorites, the chisel. The chisel does not come all that sharp out of the box, but I will be putting a better edge on it shortly. I like the thought of having a chisel in my pocket because chisels are useful. They scrape and chew and cut in ways that can be done with a knife, but a chisel does them better. Down low on the chisel is a wire scraper and a wire stripper. I tried both, and they work well although I must admit I was confused as to how the wire stripper works as I am used to the sort that are rather like funny pliers. Use the sharp part to cut the wire, and the dull part at the very bottom is nice for pulling the insulation off. It works well and this is important to me as I work with electrical bits a lot. The awl is nice, it really is. It’s fairly sharp (I’m going to make it sharper) and has a good edge that drills holes in wood and whatever well. I like having a file, but wish this one was more aggressive. That said, it’s just nice to have a file in my pocket and if I need to do some truly aggressive filing, I’ll probably just get a tougher file. Light duty only, and great for sharpening of things like hatchets. I don’t believe I’ve missed anything, I don’t count lanyard loops as a feature. There are 2 of them, and I haven’t gotten around to making a lanyard for them. Thank you for listening, I hope I have been informative.

-Kit

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One Comment

  1. Just a note: the small screwdriver on the end of the can opener of SAKs was originally meant for Phillips head screws, apparently. On SAKs with no dedicated Phillips ‘driver, that’s what it’s usually used for.


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