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Why does Victorinox play hard to get with the perfect SAK?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by DoctorAutomatic, May 18, 2018.

  1. DoctorAutomatic


    Aug 12, 2017
    It has taken years, but I've come to realize there is a vast corporate conspiracy to not create the perfect set of SAKs. And everyone is in on it, even the janitor cleaning the floors at their HQ!

    There's simply no other explanation why the following models/improvements never materialize!

    1) polished micarta scales in color that's pantone matched to the iconic plastic scales. And yes, they devote the measly 30 seconds to machine out channels for scale tools! Same goes for Alox, a fraction of a millimeter in thickness plus a one tool/one setup operation on a mill to have scale tools! And for backside tools!

    2) 84 mm model scissors. Oh what, a machine broke? GO FIX IT NOW! Or buy new! You have all the right revenue & people to do exactly that! This is where my suspicions about all this really began to cross my mind.

    3) do some market research, vis-a-vis corckscrew vs phillips head. This can be a particular aspect where you think you've judiciously narrowed down to the right SAK for you but there's that feeling of being subtly plaid like a fool because that new knife has a corckscrew or has a Phillips and you would have preferred the opposite... "B-b-but, all the other tools were what I wanted!" Just give us the option.

    3) 84mm & 91/93mm , Alox or previously mentioned micarta, knife + combo tool, scissors, back side Phillips & awl (with hole and nail filing back side of awl shank.) All models get the pen, pin, tweezers, toothpick treatment here.

    4) built in provision for a pocket clip. I'm not saying a big chunky pocket needs to be milled out of the scales for attachment, there are ways to do it quite nicely!

    Just DO IT!!

    ...or I will, one day.
    Ten_Mile_Knives likes this.
  2. Enkrig


    Dec 17, 2015
    It is an entirely plausible theory. I suspect that, even if not an outright conspiracy, it affects their decisions...
  3. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    I will agree whole hearted on the scale issue. For years now, Victoriox has used an inferior scale material under guise that it's the "traditional" material, when in truth it's cheap. Cheap!

    It's frail, prone to dissolving when contacted by certain chemicals, and then they even hollowed stout to save material!!!!

    This is the 21st century. There's a host of material that is far superior to the cellidor junk, and they don't use it. Nylon, FRN, or some other 'plastic' that is more rugged wouldn't cost but pennies per unit to put on. Fine, jack the price a quarter to pay for it.

    There's no good reason why Victorinox continues on with a poor scale material.

    And there was no good reason to drop all those alox models, other than they were not as big a profit items as the cheaper cellidor.
    mg357, James Y and znapschatz like this.
  4. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    I'm thinking there might be a marketing reason for continuing with Cellidor. Vic does equip some of its "economy" models with nylon scales, but even though a better material, it doesn't look as good. Most potential customers don't know anything about SAKs, and this is a reality the marketing division of the company must deal with. So, ironically, the versions with a superior scale material must be sold as a bargain alternative. This is, of course, irrational, but I'm embarrassed to admit that even I have sometimes preferred the prettier one. But for some of their "serious use" models, like the One Hand Trekker, they do use better plastics.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  5. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    That is exactly the point that infuriates me against Victorinox; they KNOW there's better materials unhand, but stay with a material that is just inferior in every way. The Other militaries of the world specify the nylon, and Vic uses it for that purpose. Look at the yellow delrin handles that Case uses on their knives. They can be buffed up to a very nice finish. Yet Victorinox just plows on with that junky cellidor. It's been a longtime since I or any of my family has bought a cellidor SAK, and I know I never will again. That's why the little Leatherman squirt is such a draw to me, no scales to break. If anyting happens to my old red classic, I doubt I'll replace it. I have come to hate the cellidor because of what it represents in Victorinox's corporate mentality. CHEAP! With over a century and a quarter of existence, they're selling out for the bigger profit margin and refusing to change for better materials.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  6. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    A605D67A-29D4-4632-BF91-C99E33F49491.jpeg You can buy after market Titanium scales for your SAK, but they don’t deform enough to be snapped onto the mushroom washers like the plastic sideplates do. The Ti, Cu, and rigid plastic scales must be epoxied in place. The factory metal scales are either riveted or crimped into place. I like the customs that utilize Ti handles that are screwed together. You can switch a Phillips and a corkscrew.
    Mitchell Knives and PWatkins like this.
  7. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    Maybe you are harder on them than the majority, but most customers never have a problem with cellidor scales. In decades of Swiss Army Knives, used moderately, I have had trouble with broken scales only once. I can live with that. I may never buy another SAK, at least not for myself, but not because I hate Cellidor scales. For gifting, the Cellidor makes a better impression, and if I intend them for a gift, I am certain the recipient would prefer shiny, and they do have the advantage of the Swiss Cross logo being more durable. The ones on nylon versions wear out, leaving you at a disadvantage when faced with a vampire.*
    It happens, though, that the last few I bought had nylon scales; 2 each OH Trekkers, all of which come that way, and 2 each Sportsmen II, and a Climber II. I couldn't resist the opportunity to buy a superior product at a lower price.

    *An example of Swiss cross wear...
  8. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    My being hard on them was the tinker I had got dropped on a bathroom floor. I was getting dressed in the morning, and pulling on my pants when the tinker fell out of the pocket to th floor from just short of waist high. About a quarter of the top part of the handle shared off even with the rivet. On examination, the plastic broke off in an area that was hollow, and the cellidor material was almost paper thin. I've had old SAK's that stood up to lots of years of outdoor use, but they were the old cellidor that was solid.

    This was a startling wake up call that Victorinox had cheapened up the product to the point of not being able to trust it. I now carry only alox like my old Wenger SI and Vic cadet. Once I wear through the couple classics Have I won't be replacing them.

    Victorinox has lost a large part of my loyalty. As much as I love my old SI, if anything happens to it, I'd rather buy one of Ebay than buy a new Vic pioneer, unless Vic brings back the hollow rivet. I hate the keyring on the pioneer. Pokes me in the heel of my hand in a most annoying way. It was another cheap shot by Vic to do away with he hollow rivet.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    Prester John and znapschatz like this.
  9. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    Yeah, that hollow rivet was much better than the current stab in the palm. Wenger's SI was better than the SAK Soldier for that reason alone. But that is old news, time to move on. Overall, I like the new Soldier (or OH Trekker) better than either of them.
    willc likes this.
  10. mnblade


    Feb 7, 2000
    If that janitor is keeping pocket clips off SAKs I'd like to publicly thank him here.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    afishhunter and WinchesteRalox like this.
  11. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    Maybe, just maybe, it's time for a few of you to realize we knife knuts are NOT the Victorinox target market. Their market is the 99.9% of the world that knows nothing about knives. The people who don't care about durable scales because they're probably going to lose the knife before it breaks anyway. The people who prefer shiny handles and blades to performance.
  12. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Idk. They still put the keyring on the wrong side of the SAK classic too. The way it is made the knife opens towards the keys. I guess they figure the scissors are the primary tool and knife is incidental.

    Prester John and BBuser like this.
  13. Ray5118


    Dec 23, 2010

    Well said.
    Victorinox will not miss the handful of complainers about thier iconic scales.
  14. WinchesteRalox


    Mar 26, 2018
    Buck has a custom shop so why not Victorianox? Bail:thumbsup:classic keyring onother side:thumbsup:more scale choices:thumbsup:
  15. WinchesteRalox


    Mar 26, 2018
    One more thing, how about some more blade shapes!! The only unique blades are on the electrician/harvester and gardener lines. Clipoint mainblades would be great!
  16. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    9D9815DC-B664-4B13-A33F-2C588A6FE62E.jpeg Clip point main blade.
    Pr3inar and Stelth like this.
  17. NMpops


    Aug 9, 2010
    Perfect is in the eye of the beholder. Perfect for me is one of two SAKs. The basic Recruit has everything I really need in a SAK and the Climber would be next. All the tools of the Recruit with the addition of Scissors and a corkscrew that comes in handy occasionally.
  18. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    I don't think clips and micarta are going to happen, they just don't need it.
    WinchesteRalox likes this.
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Victorinox is trying to please a multitude of SAK users world wide. I personally like having all the different models available. If I had a request, I would say... more 111mm models. The scissors is one of my lesser preferred tools on a SAK.
    znapschatz likes this.
  20. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    OTOH, scissors are one of my more preferred SAK tools. This one example just indicates the vast number of customer preferences Vic must deal with. Frankly, I'm impressed at how well they serve their market.

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