Back in March of this year, just before I found out that I would spend the next several months battling cancer, I reached out to a company that many of you are very familiar with.
You may not know the company by name yet but if you grew up carrying a Swiss Army Knife in your pocket, you know the brand very well. Now you should know that the company name is actually Victorinox.
Back in the day, a Swiss Army Knife was “the” multi-tool to have. It was a pocket knife that evolved into a knife with tons of useful tools built into it. As a matter of fact, it still has quite a cult following with purists.
Over the years, other companies started creating multi-tools that were basically pliers first and foremost with other tools such as knife blades, scissors, screwdrivers, etc built into them.
For many people this marked a transition away from multi-use pocket knives to multi-tools that happen to have a pocket knife blade included.
My husband can’t go a single day without his multi-tool. I literally watch him use it dozens of times a day so in March I started looking for a multi-tool that would solve a big annoyance that he was constantly complaining about.
I can’t tell you how many times my husband unsheathed his multi-tool and went to pull one of the tools out only to be frustrated when two or three tools would come out at once. To some this might be a minor annoyance but to Jeff, it drove him absolutely bonkers!
Victorinox still manufactures and sells the classic Swiss Army Knife but they also make a more modern version of their own multi-tool that they call the “SwissTool”.
In March I asked them to send me one for testing and they so graciously sent me a SwissTool CS Plus. As always, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did not pay for this tool. Having said that, this is my “No BS” opinion of the product, or in this case, my husband’s “No BS” opinion.
He’s carried his SwissTool for over seven months now and you might say that he has a bit of a love affair with it. He says that there are several things that he loves about it. The first is that if he tries to take the Phillips screwdriver out, he pulls on it and that’s the ONLY tool that comes out! This is true for all the tools on his SwissTool and according to my very own multi-tool fanatic, it’s pure heaven!
The Beauty of the SwissTool CS Plus Lies in its Simplicity
Over the months when Jeff and I have spoken about what he likes and doesn’t like about the tool, the main thing he said is that it kind of feels like a Swiss Army Knife. The knife blade even looks just like the original blade that he had on his Swiss Army Knife as a young boy.
He conveyed to me that there are other multi-tools that are lighter. There are tools that have fancy spring-assisted knife blades. There are even tools that have retractable plier jaws. The world of options is virtually endless.
In a few simple bullet points here is what he really likes about it:
- It’s a quality tool with the fit and finish that is second to none. It’s manufactured with tolerances that make it feel tight without slop between the parts but not so tight that it’s difficult to open or remove tools.
- Being able to take one tool out at a time without the tools one either side of the desired tool coming out at the same time.
- It’s a bit heavy, at just over 15 ounces, but Jeff actually likes the heft that it has. He says that it feels solid, like he has a real tool in his hand.
- It comes with an included wrench that uses standard screwdriver bits. Everything from a torx bit to an Allen head bit will fit on the wrench. If it’s the standard size, it will work with this tool.
- Like the old-faithful Swiss Army Knife blades, the blade on this tools is super easy to get a really sharp edge on and resharpening is a breeze.
- The tools lock securely into place when they are fully opened and he’s never had the locking mechanism fail on him.
- Lifetime Warranty
What They Could Do Better
When I asked my husband what he doesn’t like about it, he really only had one thing that he said he thought they could do better. This doesn’t take away from the fact that this is his favorite multi-tool but it would be “icing on the cake” if it was changed.
The sheath isn’t bad but it does bug him a little bit that tools these days don’t come with the nice top quality leather sheaths found on many classic folding knives from yesteryear. The SwissTool CS Plus will set you back $150 and the sheath that it comes with is actually “pretty good” but it doesn’t feel like top-shelf leather should feel. That’s because it’s just not top-shelf leather. It’s leather but it’s not the kind of sheath that a knife connoisseur really wants to carry their tool in. He said that he thinks it would be nice if there was at least an option to purchase a premium sheath since this thing is on his hip everywhere he goes.
Now, having said that, he did say that he feels like it’s probably better than pretty much every sheath that has ever come on his other multi-tools.
The Bottom Line
Well, the bottom line on this one is that if he were to lose it today, I would buy him another one tomorrow. He really does like it that much.
Where You Can Buy One
At the time that this review was written, Victorinox had thirteen various multi-tools in their product lineup. You can see them all at www.swissarmy.com/us/en/Products/Swiss-Army-Knives/SwissTools/c/SAK_SwissTool