A Month of the SwissChamp

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Buzzbait, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001

    I’m not really quite sure how to say this, so pardon me if I ramble a bit. I feel I just need to opine a bit about my last month of carrying the SwissChamp.

    Let me start off by saying that I’m a traditional knife collector, and have been one for a long, long time. I tend to judge old knives on a very specific set of criteria, based on my experiences of what works, and what I find to be artistic and beautiful. I always have a few favorites around, that get rotated in and out of my pockets. Some knives stay in my pocket longer than others. The ones that tend to stay are aesthetically pleasing, and present themselves as interesting curiosities.

    But here’s where it all gets weird and confusing. I started off carrying the SwissChamp, just to get used to the size of the knife for a summer vacation project with my daughter. The SwissChamp was meant to be just a bit of gimmicky fun. Nothing serious. I was going to use it for a week or so, to make sure that it was feasible to dedicate to various outdoor tasks and more common knife duties, and figure out how to comfortably carry such a heavy and bulky little item.

    Over the next few weeks, there was a definite evolution in my view toward the SwissChamp. I used it and compared it to my more “serious knives”. It compared favorably in terms of cutting efficiency, due to the wonderfully thin grinds on both spear blades. But it was obviously not as comfortable as many of my other knives. There were a few other nitpicks as well, concerning the lack of a more straight edged secondary blade, and the softness of the steel. But it did okay. It always made the cut, it sharpened up quite easily, and it proved to be wonderfully stainless. It wasn’t a great knife, but it was very useful knife. Certainly good enough for some summer fun.

    Then the transformation occurred. I gradually began to use the other SwissChamp tools. This was just for fun at first, but I quickly became impressed by how many projects I was able to accomplish, without the need to search out more serious tools. I didn’t even realize how often I needed some of the tools, and how I usually must have ignored the small duties of life, because I didn’t have an immediate fix.

    Suddenly, as my family came to me with tasks to be accomplished, I was able to solve problems on the spot, instead of just giving them the old, “Okay. I’ll look into it later.”, and summarily forgetting the matters entirely. It was as if my opportunities to accomplish more in life had been revealed to me, a veil of ignorance and laziness had been lifted.

    What’s interesting about all of this is the fact that I’m not a “handy” guy. I don’t instinctively know how to fix a car engine or how to install a new bathtub. I couldn’t build a set of steps for my back porch if my life depended on it. I’m not the man you want when you need your kitchen floor replaced, or some 2X4’s cut down to size on a table saw. I’ve tried to be handy in the past. I’ve purchased numerous Leatherman tools in the past, in hopes of increasing my handiness quotient, but to no avail. I’m just not that guy.

    But I am smart in my own way. I have a highly analytical mind. I crave detail. I love to research. I’m a hobbyist, and love to assemble and tinker with small things. I enjoy reasoning my way through concepts, and seeing them through to fruition. I enjoy taking things apart to see how they work, and improving upon them. Examination is my stock in trade.

    Well I have to say, The SwissChamp is wonderful for a man like me!!! Where modern multitools have failed to be of value to me, the SwissChamp has thrived. Brute force not being a requirement for the tasks I choose to take on, Victorinox’s finesse-oriented tools are like magic in my hands. The knife blades make the cut. The fish scaler is absurdly handy as a small ruler and pickle plucker. The magnifier allows my failing eyes to see minute details. The corkscrew screwdriver means that eyeglass bows are always tight. I won’t even go into how versatile the Victorinox scissors are. And while the pliers may not be heavy duty, they are perfect for holding small electronics while soldering, and wrestling fishing hooks from bluegill. Even the file positively excels at keeping my nails well-manicured at all times. The inline Phillips screwdriver manages to keep the drawer knobs from spinning, and hangs simple fixtures with aplomb.

    I really don’t view the SwissChamp as a multitool at all. Multitools are called to duty, whenever something needs to be repaired and whatever tasks handy men distract themselves with. But the SwissChamp is simply an invaluable aid to life. A cap lifter and can opener is always at my disposal. The little screws on my bicycle shifters are always adjusted in tune. Small dowels have met their match with the wood saw. The SwissChamp allows to me to manipulate the physical world in such a way as to assure a reasonable amount of order, and increase my understanding of how the natural world works. The SwissChamp satisfies my curiosities, and helps me to wade my way from day to day, and remain a gentleman while doing so.

    The SwissChamp isn’t a multitool to me, or a knife. The SwissChamp is more like a personal research assistant, an extra hand when I need one. It’s a friendly companion throughout my day, always willing to provide input and insight into whatever fate befalls me. At this point in time, I can’t imagine life without the SwissChamp, or how I survived the quagmire of life’s uncertainties previously. It’s become a part of my lifestyle, as no other multitool or knife ever has before. It’s a reassuring friend in my pocket, and a technical instrument in my hand.

    I stand before you, a man convinced. The SwissChamp is incredibly worthy. My only goal now is to use my summer vacation wisely. Demonstrate my SwissChamp to my daughter, encourage her to use her own SwissChamp, and hope that she comes to value it’s companionship as I have of late.

  2. Grateful

    Grateful Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 5, 2002
    Excellent post. :thumbsup::):thumbsup:
    Buzzbait likes this.
  3. Bladester


    Dec 26, 2002
    Nice, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Buzzbait likes this.
  4. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Interesting post. I just sent my 30+ year old Champ to my son for his 30th birthday. Playing with that old knife is one of his earliest memories and I don't use it much any more. Thought I'd surprise him.--KV
    guy g, hugofeynman, MTB and 7 others like this.
  5. evh


    Dec 29, 2010
    How does that happen??? :eek:
  6. heat_treat

    heat_treat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    Excellent post, thanks. Do you really carry one in your pocket?
  7. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    A quality post and testimony sir! Thanks for putting your thoughts and experiences down here to share.

    Interesting how tools make us just a tad bit better at doing stuff.

    Just be careful though... the “Honey Do” list may start growing!
  8. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    Buzz, while it’s bigger than I would like to carry, I can see where it would grow on you as far as versatility goes. If you knew you needed a few tools to accomplish something you’d probably just take what you needed. But for those times when things just happen, or you just need something to help finish a project, I can’t really think of much else I’d rather carry.

    I’m curious too if you threw in in you pocket or a belt pouch?
    NirreBosse and MolokaiRider like this.
  9. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    That thing is a chunk to carry around and as I've gotten older I tend to carry single blade traditionals and keep a multi tool within reach.--KV
    Pomsbz likes this.
  10. mushka


    Jun 27, 2018
    I feel the same way about the huntsman I carry around in a belt case. Too large for a pocket but the cloth belt case makes it perfect. It's always handy for what I do.
  11. Old Biker

    Old Biker

    Sep 25, 2016
    Buzz. Welcome to the joys of having a Swiss Champ in your pocket. I think of my Swiss Champ as my pocket tool box. I can't imagine going very long, or very far without a Swiss Champ in my pocket. Some tools I use often. Some tools only infrequently, But I have used them all. I wouldn't like to be without any of them. Don't sell the file short, it's capable of much tougher jobs than just fingernails. But nothing wrong with using it on fingernails. I carry several knives, because I can, and because I like knives. But If I had to, there is no question, I could get by with just my Swiss Champ.

    Storm 8593 likes this.
  12. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Wonderful write up. The SC is too big for my own daily uses but I resonate along with your feelings and reasoning as I just did a thread a while back saying much the same sentiments about the Pioneer X.
    Pomsbz likes this.
  13. Daedric Panther

    Daedric Panther

    Apr 27, 2019
    I really like the Swiss champ, it was the very first knife I ever owned. A gift from my parents when I was very young. I’m not a huge fan of the ergonomics on it, but there’s no disputing it’s handiness for quick fixes.

    That being said, if I’m committed to carrying a large multi tool, I’d much rather a Leatherman Wave. Fewer tools, but the exchangeable bits and the locks on all the tools make up for it IMO. The ability to open several of the tools open handed is a lifesaver when you find yourself up a 20ft ladder and need a pair of pliers.

    Both are great tools, thanks for sharing you experience with it
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  14. Storm 8593

    Storm 8593

    Jan 4, 2019
    Great writeup . thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. Enjoy your summer vacation
  15. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    I've been playing with a few different carry methods for the SwissChamp. The easiest carry has been with new style summer shorts with stretch fabric. The mixture of slash front pockets and stretch fabric makes simple pocket carry very comfortable. A leather fob dangles out of the pocket, for easy extraction, and the stretch fabric just kind of holds the knife perfectly, without it tipping over. Very comfortable and super-simple. A total no-brainer. I barely even notice that the knife is there, there's so little movement. Pictured below is a pair of American Eagle Next level Cargo Shorts, but Wrangler Hiker Cargo Shorts also work beautifully.


    If the shorts aren't stretch fabric, I mostly use a Victorinox belt hanger to keep things in place. I use a simple fob with a series of knots. The belt hanger clips to the fob at whichever knot causes the knife to hang just deeply enough to keep the knife from falling out, but without the knife bottoming out in the pocket.


    If my shirt is tucked in, which is never done with shorts (and never should be done by any man, as it's a total fashion faux pas), I mostly use a black Victorinox Cordura belt pouch. It's cheap, seems durable enough, and just works really, really well. I could use the belt hanger instead, but most of my pants are denim jeans, and I find it hard to fish the knife out of the front pocket of a pair of jeans, so I use a pouch instead.


    All in all, the SwissChamp is far more manageable than I thought it would be. Weight and bulk really aren't much an issue. People think that the SwissChamp is huge and heavy, but it's actually ounces lighter and smaller than a Leatherman Wave, so it's relatively easy to get used to. Just an ounce heavier than my old Leatherman PST, which was absurdly easy to accommodate. The shape of the SwissChamp generally causes the knife to stand up on its own too, unlike most knives and multitools. And as long as I have a fob to grab on to, the knife is easy to access.

    The only real challenge for me is a matter of ergonomics. The SwissChamp is a bit wide in the hand. I definitely wouldn't want to use the knife blade all day long for a whittling project, but it's fine for occasional use. I could slim down a hair and go with something like a Vic Champion, that omits the thick pliers layer, but I'm not ready to do that yet. I've had too many occasions already, where the pliers came in handy.

  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I'd love to own one and I enjoyed your comments about it. I feel much the same way about smaller two layer SAKs that I carry every day. I know I wouldn't carry a Swiss Champ in my pocket. Might keep it in my truck or a carry bag I might have. Pocket no; pouch maybe.... SAKs kind of hook you with their incredible usefulness. I don't really have any pet peeves with SAKs. They are consistently well made no mater which model you choose. I started carrying a SAK in the early 80's, but I didn't edc one until probably the mid-90's. The SAK stays in my pocket. Other knives get rotated or come and go.
  17. YellowSwiss


    Sep 28, 2015
    I pack a SwissChamp with the leather sheath (with other tools in it such as a compass and a few first aid items) in my Maxpedition bag. Now I need to get an Alox SwissChamp to make my life complete.
  18. Neko2

    Neko2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 18, 2003
    My weekend carry is a Swisschamp on a pocket dangler and you really don't notice it that much until you need to.
    During the week it's a Surge on the belt but the 'Champ would probably do most of my work stuff too if I let it.
  19. Wardo46


    Jun 26, 2015
    I really like the shark-tooth scales. Where did you get those? :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::)
  20. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    DLT Trading.

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