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Victorinox One-Handed Trekker Review

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by lava_lamp, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. lava_lamp

    lava_lamp

    Oct 5, 2006
    Victorinox One-Handed Trekker Review

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    Introduction

    Like many of us, my first knife was a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. Mine was a Spartan model given to me when I was 12 years old. I still have two Spartans today, along with four other Victorinox knives. Of these, the One-Handed Trekker might be my favorite. It has an MSRP of $52 and typically sells for about $40 at out favorite online stores. The Victorinox Trekker takes the strengths of the typical Swiss Army Knife (good fit and finish, moderate cost, multiple useful tools) and improves on its weakness as compared to modern folders (larger size, locking blade, one-handed opening.)

    Main Blade

    The One-Handed Trekker features a 3.5" partially serrated main blade. Unlike most other partially serrated knives, however, the Trekker’s blade puts the serrations toward the tip of the blade and the plain edge toward the handle. This brings the plain edge closer to your hand for more control when stripping wire, whittling, creating fuzz sticks, etc. The shallow "steak-knife" style serrations cut well without snagging.

    The main blade locks via a steel liner, and while secure enough for most tasks, it has more bladeplay in all directions than most modern “tactical folders.” The liner lock orientation is also reversed versus modern tacticals: it opens by pushing to the right, instead of the left. A half-moon shaped cut out makes opening the blade with one hand easy, but since there is some backspring resistance, you can’t flick it open. (It reminds me of a Sebenza.)

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    Secondary Tools

    In addition to the main blade, the Trekker has:

    • a combination flathead screwdriver/cap lifter/wire stripper,
    • can opener/small screwdriver,
    • reamer/awl,
    • tweezers,
    • toothpick,
    • key ring,
    • Phillips screwdriver, and
    • wood saw.
    The sturdy flathead screwdriver locks in place via the same steel liner as the main blade. The cap lifter, can opener, reamer, large and small flathead screwdrivers, and toothpick all do what they were designed to do (and do it well.) I’ve never had much use for the wire stripper or the key ring, though, and the tweezers are a little too flimsy for some jobs.

    It would be nice if the large saw blade on the Trekker locked in place like the main blade, but is still amazingly useful. The long double rows of offset sawteeth cut wood very, very well. The Phillips head screwdriver in the place of the usual Swiss Army corkscrew is also very useful. It’s placed perpendicular to the handle and creates strong leverage. All of the tools, blades, liners, and springs are crafted from polished stainless steel. I’ve never seen rust on any of my Victorinox knives over the years. The blade edges come sharp, their thin profiles make for great slicing, and the steel is easy to maintain and sharpen.

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    Handle

    The Trekker’s larger 111mm handle profile provides for more grip and leverage than the standard 91mm Swiss Army Knives. Its ergonomically curved finger grooves and slightly textured scales make if grippier than the typical red cellidor. Most Trekkers come in black, but there are red versions available. The same 111mm handle platform is also available with different tools and scale colors as the Victorinox Helmsman, Fireman, Rescue, Sentinel, Soldier or WorkChamp, etc. One way that the Trekker stays traditional is that it still doesn’t come with a pocket clip, although a few Victorinox models have clips now, like the Sentinel. I don’t miss the pocket clip, though. At about 4.5 ounces, the knife is a little heavy for the pocket and I typically use a leather Victorinox belt sheath anyway.

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    Conclusions

    Who is the Trekker for? It is one of the "must-have" knives for those of us who like knives, alongside models like the Benchmade Griptillian, Buck 100, Kershaw Leek, Spyderco Delica, etc. The Trekker is the knife I carry when I know I’m going to do some repair work. I prefer it to the Leatherman tools I’ve owned for its lighter weight and equivalent usefulness (the Leatherman’s only superiority is in its pliers.) The Trekker is also the knife I reach for when I have to do some cutting in public. Swiss Army Knives seem to create less or a reaction in non-knife people who might be startled by my Striders.

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. Lonewolf01

    Lonewolf01

    237
    Oct 31, 2011
    Thanks for the review, I have been thinking for purchasing a OHT.

    How do you like the chisel ground blade? That's the only thing keeping me from buying it.
     
  3. lava_lamp

    lava_lamp

    Oct 5, 2006
    I think of the Trekker as a utility work knife. I have used it to open bags of mulch, salt pellets, and topsoil; I've cut open cases and cases of water and energy bars volunteering at a marathon; and I have used it strip wire. I have never used it to slice meat, as I did yesterday with a Spyderco Catcherman. The chisel grind on the Trekker doesn't bother me, but it might if I wanted to do detail work with the knife.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  4. Stelth

    Stelth

    Jul 15, 2007
    Excellent, very thorough review.
     
  5. Mountain Mike

    Mountain Mike

    598
    Aug 9, 2011
    The OHT makes for a good bug-out-bag knife. Love mine!
     
  6. rpn

    rpn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    If I wasn't a knife addict, my Trekker and other SAK would really be all I need for folders. The lock, blade tip and saw are all as strong as I need.

    I do wish the bottle opener didn't lock though...slows my beer opening to mouth times! ;)

    Thanks for the write up and great photos.
     
  7. vwb563

    vwb563

    Jun 29, 2007
    I can agree with that statement 100%. A genuine Swiss Army Knife, not one of the knock offs, is all the knife most anyone would need. I have several and love them all.
     
  8. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama

    Sep 25, 2011
    I'm hard pressed to leave my home without the Trekker. What a home run Vic has here! It has everything you need, ....except the pliers which I carry on a ps4 keychain anyway.

    At a football game this week someone had a nasty splinter that caused her alot of pain. Her husband was actually using a steak knife to try and get it out. I gave them the Trekker tweezers and it was right out.
     
  9. RRR1977

    RRR1977

    289
    Jun 2, 2011
    I love the OHT. I use it as my "pocket knife" when camping and hiking. I have been coping with the chisel ground, half serrated blade. It's not that it is bad, its just............different. Don't get me wrong, it works like a charm (from wood to cordage). I just havent really abused the blade yet, and I am fairly confident that when you start putting serious wear and tear on the blade, it may end up with a completely different bevel (ie, convex with no serrations). Love teh fact they made the large screwdriver/opener lock. It really increases the utility of that tool. One thing I would like to see is an awl added. Price wise, it's a great value. I picked mine up for 35$ at the local outdoor store.
     
  10. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    I believe the Trekker can now be had with a standard edge. I ground the serrations off of mine before that model came out.

    Nice review! These knives are very useful indeed!

    Andy
     
  11. Turbo Tension

    Turbo Tension

    May 6, 2010
    I carry a OHT non-serrated at work and it is my go-to knife. I used the awl then big screwdriver and a hammer to knock the pins out of a door EMTs were having trouble breaking in. Very useful and extremely robust! The NS blade takes an amazing edge on the sharpmaker too!
     
  12. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I have two Bundeswher Trekkers. One lives in my BOB, the other goes with me in my day pack for hikes as a back up to my fixed blade, and folder.
     
  13. mountainbiker

    mountainbiker

    74
    May 19, 2006
    What kind of sheath is that for your Trekker? Where did you buy it and how happy are you with it?
     
  14. lava_lamp

    lava_lamp

    Oct 5, 2006
    I use this Victorinox Zermatt sheath:

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    Send me a PM and I'll send you the vendor.
     
  15. Poyuan_Li

    Poyuan_Li

    1
    Dec 7, 2013
    Hey man, can you send me a link to a vender for the pouch?
     

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