Does A Swiss Army Knife Make A
Good Everyday Carry Knife?
If you’re someone who appreciates a good pocket knife, then you might be wondering if a Swiss Army Knife is a good choice for everyday carry, or EDC for short. I can tell you from first hand experience that a swiss army knife is a great choice for your everyday carry knife.
They are small, lightweight and can be easily carried in a pocket or purse. Plus, they come with a variety of useful tools that can be used for many different tasks. Besides having multiple tools on them, they are also very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This makes them ideal for use in rough environments or for people who are always on the go.
Any knife is better than no knife…
However, there’s a lot more to the question than if they are a good option or not for EDC. Any knife is better than no knife, but can you use a SAK (Swiss Army Knife) as your only EDC blade? The short answer is yes, they definitely can be the only EDC pocket knife you carry. That’s because there are so many different variations of the Swiss Army Knife, that (most likely) there will be one to fit your situation.
The two big deciding factors on making a SAK your only EDC knife are: what blade length do you need, and do you think that your Swiss Army Knife is going to be used for self defense. Right out of the gate, a traditional, folding Swiss Army Knife is not a self defense weapon. Yes, I know you could still use it in an emergency for defense, but it’s not a practical option.
Blade Length & Style
The next choice is blade style and length. Are you constantly flicking out your EDC blade to cut stuff? Do you work in a nursery or in landscaping and are always cutting rope off of trees and deliveries? Are you breaking down boxes all day, cutting lots of packing materials? Are you taking your knife out multiple times an hour for other heavy duty cutting tasks?
If you answered yes, then a larger folding knife with a pocket clip would make more sense.
Now, if you fall somewhere in the middle of the knife spectrum between working in an office environment to perhaps an industrial environment and you may only be taking out a knife once or twice a day, then a SAK can be the perfect choice. Especially if you find yourself needing other small tools such as screwdrivers or bottle openers, then the compact footprint of a Swiss Army Knife can really be great.
An SAK And Medium Folding Knife Make An Awesome EDC Combo To Carry
I have found that a small to medium-sized SAK makes an awesome complement to my larger EDC pocket knife that I carry everyday. In fact, I almost never leave the house without a Spyderco Sage5 as my primary EDC blade along with an Alox Cadet in my pocket. That combo is reliable and covers a wide range of EDC needs.
Can You Get By With Just A Swiss Army Knife?
But, getting back to the original question, could I just use my SAK all by itself? I have always thought yes, I could in a pinch just carry my Cadet as my primary EDC knife. Then I decided to try it out. I purposely left all other pocket knives out of my carry and solely relied upon my Alox Cadet and switched it up a little to include my Alox Pioneer X.
I found out it was a lot easier than I thought to just carry a small SAK. In all but some extreme situations, it got the job done fine. I used to work in a BMW and Mercedes repair shop and this test would have failed in less than 30 mins. I also was an inside sales guy for a home theater company and we received a lot of deliveries via box trucks and trailers; a SAK-only option would have been doable most times, but a folder would have been easier.
With The Right Model Choice, A Swiss Army Knife Can Do It All
Over the last few years I have been working in digital marketing and web design, so my needs for a large folder aren’t as prevalent as in other past careers. This is when I saw how easy it was to just use a SAK as my one and only EDC option. A few years ago I reviewed the Alox Cadet and said it was the perfect Swiss Army Knife, I still believe that, and this recent challenge proved just how great of a pocket knife it is.
If you just need to open some Amazon boxes, cut some electrical tape, unpack stuff from those crazy, plastic, oyster shell packages or sharpen a stick, a SAK gets the job done. Despite their small size, Swiss Army Knives are actually quite versatile and can come in handy in a variety of situations. A sharp knife is always useful for opening up packages, whether you’re at home or at work. If you need to cut some rope or twine, a Swiss Army Knife can do the job better than most pairs of scissors.
SAK In The Kitchen
What about food prep? While you probably wouldn’t want to use a Swiss Army Knife as your primary kitchen tool, it can come in handy for preparing food on the go. For example, you can use it to slice cheese or cut up an apple. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even use it to carve a roast chicken.
Sometimes You Just Need A Box Cutter…
The one area where the Cadet really was a pain to use was breaking down boxes. Now, my first choice for this task is always a box cutter and I usually keep one close by as part of my extended EDC kit. There’s one in the car, one in the kitchen, one in the office, etc. But if you are cutting one or two small boxes, a SAK is fine, but the small blade can make it a chore. Also, this (and a few other tasks) showed me that I really appreciate a blade that locks open. The larger Pioneer X increased the usability factor, and the larger size gave you more purchase in the hand on tougher tasks, but I still missed the locking blade.
And that’s what I really came to during this experiment: The SAK almost cuts just as well as a folding knife, but it does lack the ease of deployment and a locking blade. Most SAKs require two hands to open and deploy the blade. Same goes for closing the knife. (Yes, if you are well practiced you can close it one handed, but it’s not ideal.) In most tasks, the non-locking blade was fine, but I would have felt safer under some more demanding tasks if the blade locked into the open position.
Enter The Swiss Army Knife Trekker, Rangergrip & Rangerwood
If you are reading this and know a little about SAKs then you’re probably thinking what I was thinking….what about the Swiss Army Trekker! The Trekker is a larger SAK with a one-hand deployed blade and several other tools. It has a liner lock and some models have a serrated blade option. The other SAK that’s heavy duty with a large locking blade is the RangerWood 55, another robust option with a corkscrew, awl, screwdriver, and more.
There are many different sizes, blade types, and tool options available when it comes to SAKs. This means that you can find one that has the perfect blade length and tool selection for your needs. For example, if you work in an office then you might not need a knife with a large serrated blade but if you’re someone who likes to go camping or hiking then a larger SAK with a longer blade might be a better option for you.
The Victorinox Rangerwood55 is a robust folding Swiss Army Knife with a larger folding blade that locks, several tools and of course the very cool wooden scales.
When it comes to EDC, a Swiss Army Knife is a great choice. It’s small and lightweight but still packed with features that can come in handy in a variety of situations. Plus, it’s always nice to have a sharp knife on hand.
The bottom line is that Swiss Army Knives make great EDC knives because there is such a wide variety to choose from. No matter what your needs are, there is most likely a SAK out there that will fit you EDC needs.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.