Do you remember your first Swiss Army knife?
If you’re reading this, then most likely you do. You might even have it to this day! If not…I’ll look past that for now. You may notice that in many of my Instagram pics, there always seem to be one of three types of SAK’s (instagram speak for Swiss Army Knife): an Alox Cadet, an Alox Pioneer, or a small Alox Swiss Champ.
I’m a creature of habit and I prefer the aluminium Alox scales on the little knives, as do most SAK nuts. You can read more about what the Alox coating is and how it’s turned into an almost cult status over on the Victorinox Blog.
For me, I like how it slims down the pocketknife and gives it a little more of a grippy feel. And, of course, I like the multitude of colors they come in, with Victorinox releasing a custom color of the year once every twelve months. Just another way to capitalize on the Alox addicted crowds, but who can stand in the way of the free market? In addition to the styling, the Cadet is consistently ranked as one of the top Swiss Army knives for everyday carry.
I’m not doing a full fledged review here, but more of a snapshot and an explanation on why the Cadet just might be the ultimate EDC knife. Note, I said EDC, not survival knife, bugout knife, etc. Just the best knife for the average guy and the basic things we encounter throughout the day…like opening Amazon boxes with a new color Alox Cadet. The basic Cadet has nine basic tools on it…if you count the key ring which the Victorinox website does.
3.screwdriver 3 mm
5.screwdriver 6 mm
I carry a lot of knives, usually two or three per day, and almost always a Cadet. Someone will always comment, “Why so many knives?” I guess they might have a point. Of course the answer is, I just like knives! It’s always my answer and that should be sufficient. However, from a sheer practical matter, a Cadet can serve you very well in most situations. Its large blade is the perfect size for almost everything from cutting food in a pinch, prying coins out of small spaces, cutting twine, boxes, and all the regular stuff that a normal person does everyday. The bottle opener is handy, though not the best. It has screwdrivers, a nail file, and a small blade that’s perfect for getting out spring bars if you don’t have a proper tool. The list goes on and on. It’s a well thought out design that has stood the test of time.
The Cadet really makes a great companion multi-tool in a good EDC setup. If you look through my Instagram pics, I basically carry the same thing on a daily basis: Write, Light, Slice, Squeeze – a big knife, a small knife (SAK Cadet), a flashlight, a pen, and pliers or a Leatherman. I find that with a medium folder like a Delica or Manix2 paired with a Cadet, you can tackle a lot of what life throws at you.
As I said in the beginning, this is probably the ultimate, daily EDC knife for most people. Yes, there are times when you need more tools or a larger blade, etc., but lets face it, most of us are not working in the wilds of Alaska or in the Outback. We’re simply braving the Target parking lot and maybe a kid’s baseball game. Which leads me to another point, it also doesn’t have the shock factor when you pull it out in a crowd, you know, like when you flick open a Cold Steel Recon4 and people think you’re a bit crazy (we might be, but everyone doesn’t need to know it.)
The Alox Cadet (and its big brother the Pioneer) also make awesome gifts for birthdays, Father’s Day, etc. Because they’re sold in various colors and several designs, you can give different ones out all the time and nobody will accuse you of not “putting thought” into buying something.
There are several Instagram accounts devoted almost exclusively to the Alox SAKs. They’re definitely worth checking out:
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 clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.