When covering Victorinox Swiss Army knives we have come to notice something, we get as little information from the company as they can feasibly hand us while still telling us about their product just enough to wet our tongues for it. While this can be a little on the aggravating side, we also make a note to those who come to us to find out more about them that these are quality EDC knives that are also usually good for the outdoors. This one is not really any different in these aspects.
Enter the Victorinox Climber, which by its name alone we immediately know to assume that it was designed to handle outdoor style work as much as it is everyday work. What exactly does it offer, though, and how reliable is it comparatively? Well, that is why we are here for you- to help you get all the answers we could find and give you an honest review of this multi-tool and its functions. Read on to see what we were able to find out!
No one-hand open
The issue that survivalists have found with its primary use comes with some of the design flaws which could easily have been seen to, but it does still work fairly well in some places. For instance, the scissors are actually surprisingly durable and sharp, so they work on some heavier materials like ropes or tent straps very well. There are also tools, like the hook, which are more useful when out camping or hiking than they are in an everyday environment.
However, the complaint we did see was in how sharp some of the tools were on arrival by some of those who purchased them. While they worked well with those who were using it as an EDC tool, those who tried hiking or camping found they needed to be just a bit sharper. The same was said about the overall sturdiness. While they are durable, certain things felt flimsy.
The other big complaint about its value was the lack of one-handed deployment for the tools. Most required two hands and thus became nigh useless for being on the trail. Of course, as an EDC this isn’t usually a need rather than a nice bonus and therefore isn’t entirely a bad side to the knife.
What we do know is that the knives on this particular model do come pre-sharpened and for most activities don’t need to be sharpened any further than how they arrive. However, the complaint we did happen across was exactly how thin the metal was. Many felt they were too flimsy to rely on consistently when outdoors and definitely couldn’t hold up the screwdriver combinations for this tool either. The blade really was not too horrible overall, just simply didn’t hold up to the strength that others did without ending up having issues.
How long is the blade? Well, the main or larger blade is about 2.3 inches long, not including the kick, or non-functioning part of the blade, and the smaller blade is about 1.4 inches respectively. Both, however, lack a safety locking mechanism and rely on the spring staying strong enough to hold it in place. This is a safety concern for some.
What is an important aspect of a multi-tool when reading about them? Knowing the difference between how many tools one has vs how many functions it has can be extremely beneficial. The reason for this is because we learned that the ‘14’ tools are actually only about 8 and the rest are either not really tools (the keyring) or are a dual function to one of the 8 main tools. This can be really deceiving for a reader who expects their multi-tool to have 14 different tools to pull out.
One multi-function tool that most of these swiss army tools offer out there is the bottle opener/ screwdriver which in this case is actually not that great due to more flexible steel being used in this model. Too much use and you may find this particular tool becomes warped and unusable both as a screwdriver and as a good bottle opener. This kind of combination is exactly why you will find several outdoors types telling you this is not a tool they would rely on.
Yes, the keyring is actually counted as one of the ‘tool functions’ by Victorinox. This makes some laugh, while it has left several both upset and feeling as if the company misled them. Of course, the fact they list it as ’14 functions’ on the site, and by technicality, it is a function.
The only real ‘accessories’ to any multi-tool are the care products and a sheath in the end. With this particular model, there isn’t a specific sheath, but due to its size, it isn’t difficult to locate one it could easily fit into.
The combination tools where the top of one tool is meant as a screwdriver is the biggest concern because the metal is softer. What that means is use on a heavy-duty screw that is stuck may actually cause the metal to warp and twist if you attempt to get it loose. The other issue is how quickly the blade itself dulls vs. how long other knives can go between sharpening.
While both are a concern, most have found that for consistent use, as long as you aren’t expecting it to do a job that requires heavier tools, this multi-tool holds up really well. The scissors, which are normally a difficult tool to use on the trail or anywhere else, are actually a lot more durable than the average pair on a multi-tool set. So, to say it’s truly one way or the other wouldn’t be a completely honest statement.
The good news is, like most of Victorinox’s tools and equipment, you get a lifetime warranty with this one. So, if you do have an issue with it, you can always contact the company and get the issue resolved quickly.
This is where the reasoning behind such a flexible and thinner metal actually plays into importance. While not intended for the much heavier jobs, it can go with you into places the heavier metal tools can’t and will definitely become a lifesaver thanks to its much lighter weight.
This multi-tool looks great, and for the most part, it seems to hold out well against the elements, but it does need treated regularly and cleaned, so it doesn’t appear to have a big finish to prevent it from getting scratched or damaged on the metal areas. The plastic casing is a scaled casing and does offer a small variety of color, though the most common ordered are red and black.
Beyond the plainly visible aspects of the finish, however, we don’t know for certain what it is the company did. We feel it would be a much better selling point if we knew, but we also understand that companies have their secrets when it comes to the development of their more popular items and doesn’t want them replicated.
Here is where we have to say, in our opinion, we aren’t like the vast majority in finding satisfaction from a simple sound. This multi-tool has no locking mechanism to prevent these blades from sliding shut at all. We must admit they seem sturdy when they are opened, and it does take two hands to use the tools, but for better peace of mind we would have preferred an actual lock over simply having a difficult to open and close spring inside that ‘clicks’.
Why you may ask? If it takes two hands to use it, surely this means it won’t close on us when we are using it. Apply enough pressure, especially on a trail, and that knife can and will close, trust us. If there is no lock to prevent it, you will find accidents can and will eventually happen.
With the great reputation the company has, however, and the lifetime warranty, we still don’t feel it is excessive.