Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster Review

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster

Sorry that the picture turned out crappy (I set it on the box for my laptop desk instead of somewhere normal like the kitchen table), but you should still have a good idea of what the Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster by Victorinox looks like.  This isn’t an evogrip knife, that’s just the lighting from the window.

Anyway, this is a popular SAK by Victorinox.  If you’re familiar with Victorinox’s Huntsman SAK, then this should look very familiar.  The only difference is that it has a Phillips head screwdriver instead of a corkscrew.  It comes with tweezers and a toothpick, but I forgot to pull them out for the photo.  They’re fairly standard with Victorinox’s multi-tools, though.

This Swiss Army Knife is good for people who, like me, don’t need a billion tools at once.  Reese loves his SwissChamp, but I prefer something more like this or the Trekker.  There are enough tools to help me out in my everyday life without cramming in so many that the knife itself is extremely wide and unwieldy.

I think I’ve used every tool here, including the reamer (though more sparingly), and have never sat and thought to myself, “I think I need more tools.”

Table of Contents

Specs

  • Height: 0.8″
  • Length: 3.6″
  • Width: 1″
  • Weight: 3.5 oz
  • Material: ABS/Cellidor
  • Blade Lockable: No
  • One-Hand Blade: No
  • Number of Features: 15
  • Color: Red

Tools

  • Large Blade
  • Small Blade
  • Wood Saw
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Can Opener with Small Flathead Screwdriver
  • Bottle Opener with Large Flathead Screwdriver & Wire Stripper
  • Reamer
  • Scissors
  • Parcel Carrier (Hook)
  • Key Ring

TL;DR

The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster is a fine knife for someone looking for a little more versatility in their EDC (you know, more tools than just a blade) but doesn’t need everything plus the kitchen sink.  This pocket knife has the essentials and doesn’t feel heavy being carried around, nor does it take up an obscene amount of pocket space.  It feels good in the hand, too.  Ultimately, I like it, and this is coming from someone who isn’t necessarily the biggest SAK or multi-tool fan.

First Impressions

The first thing you’ll notice when you receive your Victorinox Fieldmaster is that it really is a beautiful knife.  Most of Victorinox’s knives are quite beautiful and sleek, despite the number of tools they manage to cram into them.  This knife is heavy.  Not heavy as in you’ll throw it in your pocket and never forget about it, but heavy in that you can feel the quality of this tool.  Swiss Army Knives (at least of the Victorinox kind) are built to last a lifetime, perhaps beyond that, and it shows.

The knife is also a good size, and I wouldn’t mind carrying this in my pocket.  It’s not horribly long or wide, unlike some SAKs.  This will likely fit into most pockets well unless you happen to wear pants with extremely shallow pockets (I hear ya, ladies!).

This knife would also make a good camping knife in addition to being an everyday carry.  The screwdriver makes it handy for carrying with you around the house, but this knife seems designed as a field knife and would be a great camping companion.  Probably not good for bushcraft, though, unless you’re not doing something too difficult.

My biggest problem with the Victorinox Fieldmaster is the same problem I have with every Swiss Army Knife: getting some of these tools out is a real pain.  If you value well-manicured (or long) fingernails, then this pocket knife will be a nightmare.  Until you’ve broken the tools in (and then sometimes they still revert back to their old, wicked ways), you’ll either need another tool to pry out some of these tools or you’ll have to gently remind yourself that fingernails grow back and can be filed smooth again.

Tools

Before we get into handling, carrying, and that kind of stuff, we really should talk about the tools.  After all, that’s why you’re interested in a Swiss Army Knife, right?  You want to know the quality and if this configuration makes the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster the right SAK for you.

Well, let’s dive in.

Large Blade

Most SAKs feature drop point blades, which are fairly versatile.  The Victorinox Fieldmaster’s large blade is 3″ long, although the cutting edge is about 2.5″.  It has a nail nick so you can deploy it with relative ease.

The blade is sharp right out of the box (I cut myself twice!) and deploys easily.  It may not lock into place, but it snaps open easily and won’t fold over on your fingers unless you’re doing something really careless.

Victorinox uses a kind of stainless steel that’s able to take a lot of damage.  I’m not sure what kind specifically, but it’s a softer variety.  This means it can be very sharp (you could probably shave with this sucker) but can also take a lot of abuse without chipping.  We took it camping once and it still didn’t need to be sharpened after a weekend of hard use, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll need to sharpen it every other day.

Speaking of sharpening, Victorinox helpfully points out that it has a 15-degree edge, and most whetstones (including the KERYE that we recommend) come with a 15-degree guide.  You’ll have to play it by ear a little bit if you use other sharpeners, but it’s a fairly basic edge to have to maintain.

Small Blade

The small blade is a petite version of the large blade.  It’s 1.75″ long with a cutting edge that’s 1.5″ long.  It, too, has a drop point and a nail nick for deployment.

Like the larger blade, this one is easy to deploy.  It snaps open effortlessly and is razor-sharp!  I use it for opening letters and packages rather than for kindling and working in the garden.

Even if the Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster is meant as an outdoorsy type of knife, it’s nice to have the more domestic tools as well.  The little knife is perfect for doing little things.

Wood Saw

This is one aggressive saw!  It’s 3″ of teeth – two rows, in fact.  These things can saw through just about everything, so you won’t be disappointed.  Some other multitools have saws, but I’ve never seen one with the power that this thing has.

The saw is easy to deploy, even though there’s no nail nick.  You just slip your fingernail under the end and lift it up, and it snaps open easily.

Phillips Screwdriver

The Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster has a 1.5″ long Phillips screwdriver (#2) that’s mounted on the underside of the pocket knife.  This means that when deployed, it snaps open into a t-position.  Unlike other Swiss Army Knives, such as the SwissChamp, the way the screwdriver is positioned can either make or break this SAK for you.

Here’s what I mean.  It’s nice to have a screwdriver that you can turn with a good, handle-like grip.  More screwdrivers should be made like this.

On the flip side, if you need to be able to squeeze the Phillips into a tight space, you’re sunk.

I like having a t-shaped screwdriver, but I know I won’t be able to do everything I need to with it.

Can Opener with Flathead Screwdriver

Now we start getting into the tools that are a pain to pry out of the handle.  In other words, the nail-breakers.

This tool is standard with Swiss Army Knives and the Victorinox Fieldmaster isn’t the exception.  It opens with a nail nick that will wreck the ends of your fingers, but it gets a lot of use and eventually gets easier to open.

I’ve opened a few cans with this and never had to sharpen it, but I use the flathead screwdriver on the end of it a lot.  The flathead screwdriver on this tool is the smaller variety, so it’s not as often used as the large one, but it’s a solid tool.

The first few times you open it, you may want to do pry it up with another tool.  If you don’t mind broken fingernails, then go ahead and torture yourself, but if you have well-manicured, long nails, or just hate that feeling you get when a nail bends or breaks, then use a tool.

Bottle Opener with Flathead Screwdriver

The bottle opener is the other nail-breaker on the Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster.  Once again, it gets easier as you break the tool in, but be wary when the Swiss Army Knife is new.

Anyway, this is a three-in-one tool: a bottle opener, flathead screwdriver (larger than the one on the can opener), and a wire stripper.  I’ve never actually used the wire stripper, so I can’t comment on it.

However, the bottle opener works fine and larger flathead screwdriver gets a ton of use around my house.

It deploys, as does the can opener, from the ends, snapping into either an l-shaped position or like a traditional handle.

Awl/Reamer/Punch

Most SAKs have a reamer, and while I don’t get tons of use out of it, it can be a handy little thing if you do leatherworking.  I dabble in it, but it’s not a hobby I pour tons of time into, so…

Anyway, this tool only opens to the t-shape position, much like the Phillips screwdriver.  It’s fairly easy to open, but the nail nick can be tricky to get your thumbnail into.

It’s got a nice cutting edge, though it doesn’t go all the way to the base.  In a way, that’s kind of nice, though.  You can slip your finger under it and get a little more leverage, as this tool doesn’t lock into place.  All of the tools in this knife snap into place, but they easily snap back down.

Scissors

The scissors on the Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster are a whopping 3″ long with a cutting edge of 1″.  Big whoop, you say?  These buggers are sharp and definitely useful tools; even better, I’ve never had to sharpen them despite all the use they get.

Don’t be fooled by the spring-like mechanism they use to function, as it’s durable and surprisingly tough.  You won’t be able to cut through thick cardboard or most fabric with these, but you can cut a lot of thinner items without having to fish around in your kitchen drawer for a pair of scissors.

Parcel Hook

Reese hates this tool, but I find it handy.  The idea is to carry packages that are bound with string, but I find them best for saving my fingers from those plastic grocery backs that are heavy-laden and digging into my fingers.

The Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster’s parcel hook is 1.6″ long and easy to deploy.  There’s no nail nick (too round and thin), but you can easily slide your finger or thumb beneath the hook and lift it up.  It opens into a t-shaped position.

Tweezers and Toothpick

I’ve never met a Swiss Army Knife that didn’t come with tweezers and a toothpick.  The toothpick is 2″ long and made of plastic, and, yes, I actually use mine.  I often pick at my teeth with my fingernails, and having this little tool keeps my fingers away from my teeth and Reese from getting angry with me.

The tweezers are also useful, as I get splinters a lot.  That’s mostly what I use them for, in fact.

Both tools are ‘deployed’ by pulling them out of the end of the knife.  I’ve never had them fall out on me, so don’t worry about losing them.

Handle, Weight, and Carrying

Let’s throw all of these into one sub-heading, shall we?

The handle is a standard Victorinox one.  It’s made of red cellidor and is 3.5″ long.  This particular SAK has four layers made of stainless steel, although I can’t be certain of what kind.

Normally, I prefer texture to aid in the grip of a knife, but I’ve never had a problem with a Swiss Army Knife, and I think it comes down to the way it fits in the hand.  Yes, there are Swiss Army Knives out there with special grips (Victorinox has an evogrip variety), but, honestly, they’re thick enough and heavy enought that they won’t slip around in your grip.

There’s a keyring on the end of the knife, but I can’t see carrying it on your keys.  It’s too large for that, but at the saem time it’s still light enough that you can throw it into your pocket and forget about it.

Final Thoughts

The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster is a fantastic SAK for anyone who wants a useful multi-tool knife that isn’t full of tools you won’t need.  It’s not the skimpiest on tools out there, but it isn’t a busy pocket knife, either.  I think it’s perfect as an EDC and an outdoorsy type of knife.

Think the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Fieldmaster is for You?

You can nab it on Amazon, like you can most other things.
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