Disclaimer: I was very kindly given this item to review by the lovely folks at Burton mccall. This will in no way impact how I feel about the item in question, all opinions are my own.
While my happiest place is obviously with my kids and partner, my second happiest is when I’m up to my armpits in wool and other crafty things. The last few weeks have fallen into the second catogory and I have allowed myself some time purely devoted to crafting in wool based ways. Crochet, knitting and amusing the cat mostly… Evie (my toddler) has ‘helped’. Yes… We’ll go with ‘helped’. This has given me plenty of chances to try out my shiny, new Swiss Army knife and this has enabled me to put it throught its paces.
My brain has finally decided to mostly let up with its epileptic moving and grooving with a little help from a big medication increase and a vast decrease in screen time. Sorry readers that I’ve been hiding away for so long but health before scribbles, chatting and cookery based antics, sadly. Anyway…. Lucky me that I FINALLY get a chance to play with two of my new toys safely; the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife and the Human Gear, Gotubbs.
Yes I know the ‘Gotubbs’ aren’t dangerous (in more than the fact that they are weridly satifying to click open and then close again) but I haven’t had any chance to store crafty bits in them and my coordination has been too shocking to either crochet or give them a fair trial. Also 2/3 ‘magically’ disappeared and have found their way back to me after an adventure (along with most of my tuppawear) housing my partners lego. Cheeky sod isn’t he?
Anyway back to the point (ha, knife. Point. Oh God I’ve been spending too much time around my partner..DAD JOKES); I now get to have fun, keep my fingers firmly attached to my body (or thereabouts) and pretend to be all outdoorsy with a multipurpose knife!
Woohoo, three times over!
Got to say, I have throughly enjoyed this item. Be proud Victorinox, you did good!
What is it?
This is a Victorinox, swiss army knife.
I know that you are probably wondering why I am emphasising the brand here but Victorinox were the inventors of the Swiss Army Knife way back in 1891 and they have an excellent reputation with all of their bladed products – they still supply their knives to the modern Swiss Army, quite the endorsement!
What I have here is the basic SD model. It’s small, deep, cherry red and has many handy gadgets thrown in for good measure.
I really do like this item and I am very happy to own one but it does have a few minor let downs that I shall discuss later on in the review. Even taking that into account, I am happy to score it a solid 8/10.
It’s rather impressive bag of tricks (considering it’s about the size of an oven chip) include:
- A small and very sharp knife.
- A mini pair of scissors
- A set of tweezers.
- A nail file which has an inbuilt flat-head screwdriver on the end.
- A tooth pick. Great idea in principle but needs a good clean after every use and when doing outdoorsy things that’s not always practical.
I think that we should get this show on the road by appeasing my inner magpie. Long story short: it is bright red, shiny and really quite pretty. It’s compact, sleek and very much has style in the forefront of its design. This definety makes for a happy Alex.
It’s almost too pretty to use, if that makes sense? Probably just me being a bit werid but hey ho…
The blades and gadgets are neatly stored, sharp edges inwards which does add some additional and much-needed safety to this item. It doesn’t include a safety latch/ mechanism on the knife and as much as I really hope I don’t need to say this but please keep it far, far away from any little ones. We all know they want basically ANYTHING that they are not supposed to have, especially when it’s shiny and looks about the right size for their little hands.
Sorry for nagging.
After having a sneaky peek at their website it seems that this tiny helper comes in quite a few colours. Here is an Amazon link to have a look and maybe treat yourself to some shiny, practical goodness. spoiler alert: it has a 4 1/2 stars rating on Amazon with 247 reviews which bodes well for my mostly positive experience being shared by others.
As I have already stated above this is a rather well made bit of kit. It feels relatively heavy in your hand for what it is (though it weighs just 22g – about the same as a bag of crisps) and it’s obvious that it has been made to last. The knife is made of stainless steel which makes it both light and strong. I do wish that it had more little doodits in it like a cross headed screwdriver and a bottle opener for example but I know that this is the most basic model and it would be unreasonable for it to have all of the bells and whistles that come with the pricier items.
Here is a copy and paste job of Victorinox’s product guarantee. The webpage it’s come from is here.
Victorinox AG guarantees all to be of first class stainless steel and also guarantees a life time against any defects in material and workmanship (save for electronic components 2 years). Damage caused by normal wear and tear, misuse or abuse are not covered by this guarantee.
As you can see they seem to be quite confident in their products!
Lets start with arguably the two most important (and best) components of this product; the scissors and the knife. Both are miniscule, the knife measures just 2.5 inches and the scissors aren’t much bigger but with Victorinox’ reputation it should be no surprise that their edges are impressively sharp. I had no problems with cutting through; wool, cardboard, fingers (wait, no scratch that last one..YOU SAW NOTHING!) and various other materials that I have had to hand and they are easily as sharp (if not sharper) than even my best crafting scissors. As with most of this item they are made out of high-grade stainless steel which makes them strong, easy to clean and relativly light.
Next in the firing line is the little key chain loop. This is a fantastic idea because not only does it minimise the risk of losing the knife but it also makes it a whole lot less likely that it could be accidentally left where little hands could grab it. (Nag, nag nag….)
As can be expected due to its diminutive size the loop looks and feels very thin and flimsy. However after giving it some good, hard tugs and swinging the knife around by said loop, I can state that it is a tough little thing and is more than capable of achieving it’s given task.
Looks can be deceiving!
I’ll be frank, I really havent used the tweezers for much more than experimentally picking up a few beads and buttons that I found lurking at the bottom of my sewing kit. They did a good job of their task especially when you consider the fact that my dyspraxia has been being more problematic than usual lately. Thanks epilepsy…. Le sigh. Dyspraxia is basically REALLY crap coordination. Brain says “Oi body part do this thing!” Said body part will try but it will usual end with “oops sorry, I tried….” Obviously there is a lot more to it than that but that shall be discussed in a slightly less upbeat post at a later date.
Back to the tweezers. They are tiny and rather flimsy but in fairness that is to be expected because how else would they fit inside of such a small case? With this in mind I would advise that you are very gentle when using them to prevent damage. I checked how well the ends meet and in fairness, it’s pretty damn close and shouldn’t cause any issues with using them. Even with my issues I had a good level of success in picking things up with them so I would presume other people with better coordination will do even better.
All in all, much better than expected but not amazing due to a very delicate design that is easily bent or broken.
The nail file succeeded in making my wool torn nails look tidy. To be honest it isn’t as good as a nail file you’d buy from a cosmetics shop but I was still quite impressed. I mean, in all fairness I was expecting it to be absolutely rubbish. It’s okay and does a decent enough job at the task given to it but don’t expect a salon quality manicure.
While I am definitely not complaining about having an excuse to have a mini pampering session while the kids play happily with their blocks, (only occasional throwing them at each other so all’s good here) it is a really random thing to have in a tool kit. I do, however have a sneaking suspicion that the nail file is included as a method of incorporating the screwdriver head within its slimline design. I could be wrong but how many people go camping and say, “oh shoot! I forgot my manicure kit?” Not many I’d wager…
Now much to say about the screwdriver. It basically does what it says on the tin. Sturdy enough to do the job but very small and fidley. I would have been happier with a cross-headed screwdriver (more things seem to use cross-headed screws) but it’s definitly a handy little addition to have regardless of what kind it is. My partner has just very kindly reminded me that flat heads can be used on cross headed screws but hey sleep deprivation is a thing and so is the fact that I cried last time I put together a flat pack kit.
Not my proudest moment… Sure at least some people can sympathise. Haha.
Finally a quick look at the worst part of this gadget; the tooth pick. It’s made out of bendy and flimsy plastic and will no doubt break after two or three uses. While yes there are some benefits to having a toothpick when out and about it does make me shudder slightly at just how unhygienic it is. How many people are going to remember to wash it well after each use?! My final grumble is that it really lowers the overall feel of the product, why pay an incredible amount of attention to the quality of the rest of the item but then say “ah this last bit… sod it, cheap plastic it is.”
Grrrr! That annoys me way more than perhaps it should do but I hate to see a good thing worsened by something so silly.
Big shock here, boys and girls but I love it! It’s tiny and easy to hold. Practical while being pretty and so, very, very useful. My wool thanks this item for existing, no doubt so will all of the other less fun tasks I have for it in the future. I admit that it does have a few weak points but I still think that the mostly good quality and the reasonable price make this ideal as someones first Swiss Army knife. I would advise going for a slightly bigger version if you are always doing handy/outdoorsy things as this is incredibly basic.
I know that you have probably guessed by this point but I am actually really pleased with this product. It is a nice balance between being pretty and asthetically pleasing and very practical/ useful. As a crafters tool its fabulous and I have no doubt that it will come in handy with various other less fun tasks as time goes on.
I admit that it does have its weak points (tooth pick, hem hem) but I still feel that considering its overall excellent quality amd reasonable price it is an ideal first Swiss Army Knife. I would strongly advise opting for something a bit bigger and more elaberate if you are very much an outdoorsey person as this is a very basic model.
Perfect for a crafter like myself but maybe less so for an avid camper.
Thank you for reading!