Well, I’ve always been a fan of the versatility of the SAK (Swiss Army Knife). But the older models I grew up with didn’t have locking blades and I did manage to cut myself on numerous occasions with them because of that. I got away from non locking knives for many, many years. I switched to a Leatherman charge ALX about 4 years ago and never looked back. On the Leatherman all the tools lock and its a great multi-tool. Superior to the old SAK’s I had used. However, about a year ago, I managed to get my hands on a modern SAK from Victorinox.
This particular model is called the Trecker. I bears many similarities to the old standard SAK’s from my youth. With a couple of improvements. First of all, and most importantly, the primary blade locks open with a liner lock. This feature alone makes SAK’s viable for me again. Non locking knives are just too hazardous. We are all human and make mistakes and it only takes a little oblique pressure to a folding blade to twist the knife and close the blade on your hand. So I love that this classic knife, now locks open. Along with that, another excellent upgrade is the over sized thumb-hole on the primary blade. This allows for one handed opening! Yes, you heard me, an SAK you can open 1 handed. Which makes this a go-to knife when your working on projects. I normally have my CRKT M21 on my pocket for one handed quick use, but now that I have gotten used to the SAK, I keep the M21 sharp and ready as a defensive tool rather than an everyday work knife. That duty has rolled over to the SAK. I have a tendency to not use new things because I want to keep them looking new, but a very wise friend of mine (Rich Rockwell over at the Wilderwolf blog) told me to get out there and use them, THAT’S what they are for. So I’ve taken his advice and now enjoy using my good knives as well as looking at them. Thanks Rich!
As you can see in the pictures, this guy is getting a little worn, it has taken everything I’ve thrown at it and keeps on ticking. The scales are good, They have that hard old fashioned knife feel to them. However, they do get a little slick, not a good knife to use if your hands are greasy. If your going to work in an environment where you need some good grip, there are better more dedicated knives that have superior grips. This guy is just fine for every day use though. The rounded edges feel good in your hand.
It has the usual assortment of extra tools, bottle opener, can opener (Which is smaller than the bottle opener, I’d revers this and make the can opener a bit larger, most bottles are twist off caps anymore so the utility of a bottle opener is minimal at best. (Heck just pop the cap on the nearest wooden object, no opener required). It also has a flat screwdriver on the tip of the bottle opener and a philips bit in the back. The Philips bit is just a tad oversized,but fits most every screw I’ve put it against, but not the smaller electronics that I find myself working on periodically. But that is fine, my Leatherman has interchangeable bits and covers the gap quite well. There is the leather punch/awl. This is a great tool for multiple uses. I have only ever put new holes in my belts with an SAK awl. Just worked out that way because it’s always handy in my pocket. The bottle opener/screwdriver bit also locks open for use as a straight screwdriver which is another plus, however this would be more useful on the can opener as it has a tendency to stick int he can and half close if you try going fast at the can when your hungry. Patience is a virtue when using the can opener.
Another of the better changes on this model SAK is the saw blade. They have incorporated a double row of triangular teeth on the saw-blade that make short work of sawing tasks. You don’t want to cut a sapling down with this thing, but to put notches in wooden tool handles, it is perfect. The saw is a great improvement. The saw blade also extends about 1 or 2 millimeters past the edge of the knife, which makes opening it with a finger tip easy. No more broken fingernails trying to pull it up from the closed position.
It does include the tweezers which are surprisingly good for getting splinters out of your knuckle (Yes, for real), I have used the tweezers 3 times to remove splinters and thay have a great fine edge that will bite onto those pesky little embedded pieces of wood. It also has the classic SAK toothpic which works well to get that erent piece of tendon out of your teath after downing that 22 ounce porterhouse.
This is made with the same stainless steel used in all Victorinox SAK’s. It’s a good hard steel that holds an edge well and is VERY resistant to corrosion. My blade still looks new after a year of heavy use. I have only sharpened it twice as it holds a razor edge for a long time.
All in all, I would have to give this knife a 9 out of 10. A larger can opener being the only thing it would need to be a 10 in my book.
This guy is available through Amazon for only $31 right now. A steal for one of the best SAK’s on the market. This is one of those knives that I will keep for a lifetime and can’t wait to buy for my kids.
Chime in and let me know of your SAK experiences.