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Help me find a new SAK!

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Fixall, May 30, 2018.

  1. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    371
    Mar 26, 2018
    My fiance and I live about twenty minutes away from the Canadian border and decided to spend a couple days checking out Vancouver's Craft Beer Week (it was pretty cool). I knew better than to carry a knife, but out of habit I had my Swiss Army Compact on me. I know Canadian knife laws have changed, but I really didn't think I'd have an issue anyways since it was a small SAK and all. Unfortunately we were randomly stopped and the Border Agent asked if we had any weapons and specifically mentioned knives. I told him I had a Swiss Army on me (probably just should have said no) and he asked to see it. He held it by the blade and swung it out and it opened up and he told me he had to take it. I'm a little annoyed because it was a good knife, but whatever. Over it now.

    Now that that is out of the way... I need some help! The Compact (along with a dedicated knife) was an excellent urban EDC but it sorely needed a phillips screwdriver.

    I am looking for the smallest Swiss Army Knife with the following features:

    Corkscrew
    Scissors
    Bottle Opener
    Phillips Screwdriver
    Large or Medium Blade
    91mm

    I don't need the scales to support a pen, tweezers, toothpick, or pin as I have a custom set on the way.

    I don't need a saw as I also carry a Leatherman when camping and usually have it near by when I'm at home. I haven't run into the need for a wood saw on the road more than once or twice in my life.

    Things like wire strippers, files, can opener, awl, and magnifying glass are welcome but not necessary.

    The smallest SAK I'm coming up with that contains a corkscrew, scissors, and phillips is the Explorer, but that can't be right... Can it!? That thing is MUCH larger than the compact. If that's the smallest knife I can get while keeping those three tools... I may just stick with the Compact.

    The addition of the magnifying glass (slivers while camping) and awl is a nice edition, but I don't know if those and the phillips are worth adding another .3". This thing will be in my pocket five days a week.

    The Huntsman Lite has crossed my mind too. If I'm going to go to .9" with the Explorer... Might as well go to 1" and add an LED right?

    Is there some exclusive or hard to find model (other than the discontinued, three layer Yeoman which would of course be PERFECT) that I don't know about... Or are those my only options?

    Thanks for the help everyone!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  2. Enkrig

    Enkrig

    70
    Dec 17, 2015
    I was going to recommend the Climber until I saw your requirement for a Philips screwdriver... Though not ideal, I think that the end of the can opener in the Climber can also be used for Philips screws (size 1+). However, it's no good for smaller screws, from a laptop for example, but I carry a multitool "key" (looks like a key in the keychain but has small screwdrivers, serrated blade, etc) for that.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  3. jackknife

    jackknife

    Oct 2, 2004
    He confiscated a SAK???!!!:eek:

    That's so ridiculous I can't even comprehend it. I'll be darned if I ever go to Canada with such insane laws being enforced.
     
  4. Jonny D

    Jonny D Gold Member Gold Member

    308
    Jan 25, 2014
    I was going to recommend the yeoman you might keep an eye out for a used One. I have a explorer that I’ve carried some and don’t find it super annoying but it is noticeable. I edc a compact or climber and love them both.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  5. Enkrig

    Enkrig

    70
    Dec 17, 2015
    I think that confiscating a SAK is ridiculous too. That and the "test" of whether it can be opened by flicking while holding from the blade. (By the way, I'd tried that at home once and, man, that was dangerous! Don't try it or be careful if you do.) I guess only Opinels can pass that "test" thanks to their locked when closed feature.

    By the way, I remember when I first went to college and they had a strict "no weapons" on campus policy. However, I asked a campus officer if my 91mm SAK was ok, and he said it was absolutely no problem. After all, it is not a knife, it is a multi-tool... ;)
     
    Fixall likes this.
  6. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Take a look at the Super Tinker. Fits your requirements exactly I think.
    Rich
     
  7. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    +1 :thumbsup: on Yeoman and Explorer. Swiss Bianco has occasionally built a Yeoman with and (I think) without alox scales: you could send a message on the forums, Facebook or their web site asking if they're planning another reissue. There is also the Voyager Lite, out of production but old stock is still available for list price if you look around. The LED display is a digital alarm clock with a countdown timer. The Traveller Lite is in production and adds barometer, altimeter and thermometer functions to the alarm clock module, but it costs $50 more.

    [​IMG]

    The Voyager Lite and Traveller Lite use three 3V-Lithium CR 1225 button batteries, one for the LED clock and two for the in-line LED light module. The light module is bright enough to show your footing in the dark.

    [​IMG]
     
    Fixall likes this.
  8. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Gold Member Gold Member

    345
    Apr 8, 2018
    Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe any versions of the tinker include a corkscrew, which was on his “must have” list.
     
    znapschatz likes this.
  9. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Ooops, you are correct. No corkscrew on Tinkers. Sorry.
    Rich
     
  10. yablanowitz

    yablanowitz

    Apr 14, 2006
    I'd build a Yeoman, myself. It really isn't that hard to do. I built half a dozen Scientists a while back and I've been carrying one ever since. I have no real need for scissors, I think I have a few scissor layers laying around in my parts bag.

    As for the little LED flashlights, good luck with that one. I can't carry one without it getting switched on in my pocket so the batteries are dead when I go to use it.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  11. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    371
    Mar 26, 2018
    Yea... I had been using the head of the bottle opener on the Compact as a makeshift phillips, but it definitely hasn't been ideal. I was actually thinking about picking up a small key ring tool with a phillips on it and going that route instead.

    I was thinking maybe something along the lines of these guys:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was pretty irritated at the time, but I had a great time in Vancouver so I'll consider it a fair trade, lol.

    I talked to one of my buddies in town who works for the U.S. BSP (he's friends with a lot of Canadian Border Agents) and he said it shouldn't have happened. The guy who took it was likely either; new and confused, an overzealous asshole, or just wanted a new knife.

    A Yeoman would be perfect. It's pretty unlikely, but if I see one pop up in the next couple days (about as long as I want to go without a SAK) for under $100, I'll be all over it.

    Right now I'm leaning towards going back to the Compact and adding a small key ring tool with a phillips driver.


    We're not allowed to have weapons at work (Costco) but everyone carries around pocket knives for boxes. On my first or second day, my manager in the Meat Department suggested I bring a good pocket knife to work and when I raised an eyebrow, he said it was a tool and not a weapon so I'd be fine as long as I don't bring in a machete, lol.

    I wonder if the Front End manager would agree... He chewed me out for calling the handheld scanner an RF gun instead of an RF scanner. 0_o


    The custom titanium scales I have coming are actually from @swissbianco. I was going to send him a message here on BF, but it looks like he hasn't been on in awhile. I sent him a message through his web store, but it looks like he's pretty busy getting ready Blade. I want a Yeoman so bad! Why in the heck would they discontinue a beauty like that!?

    I want to use the scales I have coming, so any of the Lite models with LCD displays are out unfortunately.


    Wait. What? I read a little about customizing my own SAK but I ran into a lot of conflicting information and kind of stopped reading before I went too deep down that rabbit hole. If building a Yeoman isn't too difficult and will end up close to factory quality, I'm game.

    The flashlight was more of an afterthought if I decided to go with something as thick as the Explorer (unlikely).
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  12. yablanowitz

    yablanowitz

    Apr 14, 2006
    Fair warning: I use tools for a living, I did my first pinned knife repair 53 years ago at age 7, and I've accumulated some odd stuff over the years. A drill press is helpful but not vital for modding SAKs. If you have custom scales coming, you wouldn't have to worry about breaking the originals when you take them off. Taking one apart is pretty simple if you are careful and take your time. The hardest part of making a Yeoman is finding a donor for the combo tool.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  13. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    371
    Mar 26, 2018
    I think I'm just gonna go ahead and pick up another Compact. I imagine SwissBianco won't be able to get back to me until after Blade and I'm much too impatient to go without a SAK for that long. If he gets back to me down the road and says he will have a Yeoman available at some point (or a used model pops up), I'll go ahead and grab that too and give the Compact to my fiance.

    I went ahead and ordered the Titanium Pocket Bit (the second picture I posted up above) to go along with the with Compact. I wanted to pick up a titanium split ring to go with the titanium carabiner that holds my keys anyways and this comes with one (and it was only $14 shipped), so why not.
     
  14. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    I would've said give me my knife back, I'm turning around and going home.
    This is one reason I'm not a big traveler.
     
    WinchesteRalox and jmh33 like this.
  15. wensynch

    wensynch

    764
    Apr 30, 2016
    [​IMG]

    There's also the discontinued Passenger. I think it's the same as the Yeoman but the Yeoman has some other back tool.. But it's a lesser known model and less rare so it's so it's typically less pricey than a Scientist but more pricey than your typical SAC.

    It doesn't have the scissors. Adding scissors makes it an Explorer.

    There's also the Minichamps which is available in Alox.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. yablanowitz

    yablanowitz

    Apr 14, 2006
    The Passenger has the can opener/bottle opener/awl layer and a small pen blade. The Yeoman has a combo tool in place of the pen blade, adds a scissor and loses the opener/awl layer. Lose the scissor layer and you have the Scientist.
     
  17. Neko2

    Neko2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 18, 2003
    I have an explorer hanging from a suspension clip and it's pretty out of the way overall. The clip makes all the difference I think since even with copper scales I barely know it's there but I sure like the tool loadout when I do reach for it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    redsparrow and Pr3inar like this.
  18. yablanowitz

    yablanowitz

    Apr 14, 2006
    Good luck with that thing. I have not heard good things about titanium split rings, and in my tool user opinion, titanium is too soft to make a decent screwdriver.
     
  19. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    371
    Mar 26, 2018
    Good points all around! I think for my intended purposes titanium should work out just fine however.

    I'm pretty set and forget when it comes to key rings. Once my keys and whatnot are on there, it never gets "opened" again. I'm hoping that minimizes the chances of the split ring snapping from brittleness. The main reason I wanted a titanium split ring is to prevent rust from forming in the grooves of the split ring. Every steel ring I've had has rusted (good ol' Pacific Northwest!). Not gonna lie, the "cool factor" of titanium played a role too.

    Pretty much the same thing for the driver bit. Anything that is tight enough to damage the bit is something I would be breaking out a real screwdriver for. I'm definitely not expecting it to be a "good" screwdriver. Just something that is there in the rare cases that it's needed.
     
  20. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    371
    Mar 26, 2018
    The Swiss Army Compact came in the other day. :)

    I also decided to order some matte titanium scales from @swissbianco! I have a bunch of projects that I'm busy with today, but I'll install them in the next few days and post my results. So far it looks like they'll work out well, but I may need to shave down the toothpick a tad.

    [​IMG]
     
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