Although there are plenty of existing options on the market, Victorinox now has multi-tool offerings that rival the more established brands, with a solid set of features and the build quality you would expect from such an established knifemaker. The SwissTool Spirit is a classic multi tool design based around a set of pliers and boasting more than a dozen tools with more than two dozen applications.
With a relatively lightweight and elegant form, there’s every reason a multi-tool such as this will become an “everyday carry” item.
The SwissTool Spirit can be found from around $150 AUD, a reasonable investment but good value considering the utility and long life of a quality made tool.
Design & Durability (Rating: 90%)
The SwissTool Spirit isn’t designed to catch the eye like modern Leatherman tools, but it definitely maintains a classy look and feel, while remaining totally functional. Crafted from stainless steel and made in Switzerland, Victorinox has been making quality knives for many decades and it shows in the finish of this tool.
The tool includes 24 different functions:
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Wire cutter for thin and soft wire up to 40 HRC
- Hard wire cutter
- Blade, large
- Phillips screwdriver 1 – 2
- Reamer, punch
- Multipurpose hook
- Can opener
- Screwdriver 4 mm
- Bottle opener
- Screwdriver 6 mm
- Wire bender
- Crate opener
- Wood saw
- Metal saw
- Metal file
- Screwdriver 2.5 mm
- Chisel 7 mm
- Wire stripper
- Wire scraper
- Cable cover longitudinal cutter
- Cable cover crossways cutter
Because all the knives and tools can be opened and used from the outside of the grips, there are no fiddly three stage opening manoeuvres like some other brands. Each tool also locks into place when fully opened to ensure it can be used safely without slipping or moving, and we all know what it’s like to struggle with a slippery tool when applying pressure.
The leather case (included) is simple and stylish, with a wide belt loop and a velcro closure for easy access. The case itself is fairly compact, so carrying the tool on your hip won’t restrict your movement.
It weighs in at only 210 grams (or 250 grams with its leather pouch).
The rounded edges of the handles allow you to put plenty of pressure on the pliers when it’s needed, without digging into the palms of your hands too, another big point for functionality.
Knowing Victorinox’s history (and using my parents 30-year-old Swiss army knives) I have no doubt the SwissTool Spirit will last a lifetime – literally. In your hand, the mechanisms are smooth and secure, with tight tolerances and smooth actions. Although the stainless steel looks polished now I’m certain that once it gets beaten up and full of sand, it will continue to perform. The accompanying manual includes a diagram of lubrication points, which is very useful and makes sure you can maintain the tool and keep it in the best working order possible.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 80%)
Functionality is the SwissTool Spirit’s biggest strength. Because they’ve packed in all the essential tools and made them easy to access and use, I get frequent use out of it all the time, and I haven’t even been spending much time outdoors recently.
My first use of the knife was to open a package and to be honest, I was surprised the knife arrived as sharp as it did, certainly a good surprise. For the purpose of testing, I had a good hack at some timber with the saw and found it cut really well too, which I wasn’t expecting at first glance.
Unfortunately, the limit of this tool is its size, so even with a great saw blade, there’s only a small thickness of wood you can possibly cut. This is also true of other tools such as the screwdrivers, which won’t be much help unless you have room to get your hand almost to the screw head, which is not always possible if you’re working in a tight space. I guess that’s the tradeoff for such a compact set of tools.
Because it’s such a functional tool and works relatively effortlessly, this multi tool is going to get used frequently for a whole range of tasks. I like having it around, even if it’s in the glove box for a weekend away, where it can stay for any emergencies.
What I Like
- All the essentials and no useless tools.
- Lockout on the blade and tools.
- Stylish, sturdy and compact.
- Tools all open from outside.
- Comfortable in the hand.
What I Don’t Like
- Lacks one handed blade opening.
- No spring in the pliers.
Disclaimer: Victorinox provided the reviewer a SwissTool Spirit for review. The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. None of this has any influence on the opinions presented in the review.
Have you tried the SwissTool Spirit? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.