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Victorinox Equestrian

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by JNieporte, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. JNieporte

    JNieporte

    Nov 1, 2004
    I've never had use for a "horse knife" and to be honest, I still don't. I picked one up just to see how it works, and then I decided to give it to my wife's best friend (a ferrier). The Victorinox Equestrian gives a lot of utility in a small package at a reasonable price tag (around $28) but falls short in terms of cutting ability. If you're in need of a good ferrier's knife, I's sadly recommend you either look elsewhere or buy a supplemental blade.

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    The Handle: The Equestrian knife is 4-3/8" closed and 1/2" thick. It has aluminum liners and brass pins, and the handle scales are red nylon (not red cellolose, like the Tinker and Hiker, etc.)
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    The handles are contoured for prolonged use, and I've found that they work quite adequately. The handles contain the traditional toothpick and tweezers associated with Swiss Army Knives (SAKs), and also a 1/2" diameter split ring for lanyard attachment. The knife isn't too bad on size, and fills my hand no matter what tool I'm using.
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    The handle also contains the locking mechanism; a spring-loaded slide. It's on the right (non-marked) side. To operate the lock, you simply pull it back as you push the blade closed with your hand. This can be done one-handed if you have large hands, but most people will use both hands to get the blade closed.
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    Even with the lock pulled back all the way, the blade is under spring tension, so it is pretty safe by design in terms of the blade not closing on you.

    The Corkscrew and Reamer: These two tools are mounted on the back of the blade, and both are slipjoints; they don't lock. Both open up to the T-handle position, although in the photo I've left the reamer at the halfway mark so I could get them both in the shot at the same time.
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    The reamer is 1-5/8" long with a 1" cutting surface. It also has a sewing eye, but I've never met anyone who has used the sewing eye on a SAK. The reamer came very pointy, as its purpose it to make holes.

    The corkscrew is 1-1/2" long with 1-1/4" of screw, with a 1/4" diameter in the screw itself. It's used for opening corked bottles of course, but doubles very well for picking knots. I suggest buying a micro screwdriver from Victorinox; it threads right onto the corkscrew and gives you a bit more versatility.

    Continued below due to photo upload limitations...
     
  2. JNieporte

    JNieporte

    Nov 1, 2004
    The Blade: The Equestrian has one blade; a locking 3-5/8" long (3-1/8 cutting edge) stainless steel pen blade. It's made of Victorinox' standard stainless steel and is just a hair over 1/16" thick. It's flat ground. Here it is with a Buck Vantage Avid for size comparison...
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    The blade itself is good; good size and the lock (mentioned above) is great. The problem is the blade steel; it's too soft for ferrier use. It dulls rather easily when cutting horse's hooves, and any of the work in a barn such as cutting heavy lead rope (as in leading the horse to water, not beating the horse with a lead pipe) or opening hay bales will dul it quickly. Carrying a diamond sharpener with you is almost a must with this knife. The blade opens with a nail nick.
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    The Wood Saw: It's a saw and it cuts wood, as well as other things in the barn. It's 3-1/2" long and 1/16" thick. As a saw should be, it's relatively flexible.
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    The saw opens via small protrusion on the end of the knife; you have to get your fingernail underneath it to open. Not a big deal, but it's hard to do with gloves on. The saw's teeth are the same as on all other Victorinox knives; very sharp and very functional. they cut on both the push and the pull strokes.
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    The Combination Tool: This is a conbination of the following tools: medium flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, can opener, and wire stripper. It's 1-1/8" long. A hitch stops it in the halfway position.
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    It works very well as a can opener and bottles opener, leaving clean cuts. As a flathead screwdriver, it's good for low-tension work because it doesn't lock. for anything else, you'll need a real screwdriver or you'll be busting your knuckles a lot. I've never used the wire stripper on it, so I can't comment on that tool.
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    The Hoof Pick: Th is is what separates the Equestrian knife from all other SAKs; the hoof pick. It's 1-5/8" long with 5/8" of dedicated "pick". It's just over 1/16" thick and doesn't lock, but it's plenty stout. There's no tapering off toward the tip; it retains its thickness throughout.
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    In use, the hoof pick does its job; it cleans your horse's hooves without hurting them. It also has dozens of everyday uses, but you'll figure those out for yourself with a little time. It's a nice addition to the knife and what makes it an "equestrian knife".
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    In all, the Victorinox Equestrian knife is a good deal. You get a lot of useful tools in one package. You'll still need another blade for heavy cutting in the barn or stable, and the lack of an included sheath hurts, but for $27 you're getting a lot of useful tools without weighing you down.

    All of the tools shown...
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  3. DWK2

    DWK2

    Nov 3, 2003
    Thanks a lot for your very helpful review!

    That hoof pick looks a bit on the smallish/light side. Did it really seem adequate for the task? Do you think it will hold up to prolonged use?

    Much appreciated,

    DancesWithKnives
     
  4. JNieporte

    JNieporte

    Nov 1, 2004
    It's not as good as a hoof pick that you'd buy from the ferrier's shop, no. But it does its job very well without breaking and without hurting the horse.
     
  5. DWK2

    DWK2

    Nov 3, 2003
    Thanks.

    I once owned the most beautiful hoof pick my friends had ever seen. It was made of 440C by a custom knifemaker who owned horses. It had a nickel/silver guard and buttcap. The handle was stacked with several different materials, including some excellent amber.

    This custom hoof pick looked too good to use so it sat in my safe for years. I finally gave it to a friend's wife after the two of them hosted me for an elk hunting trip. I told her that she might not have the fanciest saddle or tack at a horse show but I could pretty darn well guarantee she'd have the nicest hoof pick. She absolutely loved it but the same thing happened: It has sat on her dresser next to her jewelry box for the last five or six years. Same story----too pretty to use!

    DancesWithKnives
     
  6. rayban

    rayban

    Apr 14, 2007
    I believe any hoof pick that is part of a knife package should not be used as an everyday user/maintenance kind of hoof pick, but rather in a pinch. If the horse picks up a stone along the trail, etc.
     
  7. BlueFalc0n

    BlueFalc0n

    7
    Mar 1, 2010
    Nice Review. Thanks for taking the time.
     
  8. nozhikisu

    nozhikisu

    34
    Mar 24, 2010
    From 242 owners of 111-mm-Victorinox who's answered to question "Which 111 mm Victorinoxes You have?" at my site noone has any Equestrian ;) First place taken by Nomad & Forester :) Really rare and good knife.
     
  9. allenC

    allenC

    Jun 18, 2000
    Nice review.
    Vic SAKs are hard to beat.
     

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