Why is the Compact so expensive?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Etna, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Etna


    Jun 17, 2015
    For a two-layer 91mm SAK, the Compact is probably the most expensive model ever. It costs almost 2.5x a Tinker, and easily 1.5x more standard Alox models.

    Just what's so special about the Compact?
  2. michaelm466


    Mar 5, 2009
    That is a good question, I bought a couple on clearance from a website last year for $10 each, should have bought at least 5 though
  3. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    They use a very expensive shrink ray to make it compact. The price is to defray the cost of developing that shrink ray.

    But seriously I have no idea, the only thing that seems to make it special is that it is the thinnest 91mm knife apparently.
  4. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2018
    Maybe the Pro scales (toothpick, tweezers, pen, pin) and mini flat head add to the cost? Most of the 91mm SAKs with scissors tend to be on the more expensive side too.

    Who knows though. It seems like the more sense the tools on a SAK make, the more expensive and likely to be discontinued it is (bring back the Yeoman dangit!).
    Smaug likes this.
  5. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    The pricing of different models of SAK's has always been a mystery to me.

    For many years, I shunned the executive, and it was mostly because I couldn't see paying almost triple what a classic was, more than a 91mm tinker or spartan was, and just abut what an alox pioneer was. The executive is a 74mm knife.

    But I was gifted one last summer and after a few months of use, I now love the executive and I can see a higher price, but I still think it's ridicules what they charge for one.

    The compact is another Victorinox that I can't see why it's as expensive as it is!

    On the other hand, a little Case peanut is between 30 and 40 dollars depending on what handle scales you get, so maybe a little equal size pocket knife with two blades, scissors, nail file with a tip that deals with Phillips screws well, and a serrated edge orange peeler that makes a great zip tie cutter ain't too bad?:confused:
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  6. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    Because it’s compact? :)
    Bring back Scientist and Yeoman ... :thumbsup:
  7. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    Are you actually wondering why, or just venting?

    The Compact uses a combo tool with a larger pivot hole than the Waiter and it's relatives. As far as I know, it is the only 91mm using it, which means it is a low volume part. It is likely made in small batches at infrequent intervals, and keeping it in inventory is problematic and therefore expensive. The Compact itself is a low volume model, which is likely adding to the expense.
    GABaus and Smaug like this.
  8. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Their production is sales driven. Their best seller by far is the 58 mm Classic, distantly trailed by the Spartan (and Tinker in the USA). Higher production means more knives in inventory meaning better discounts and more "sales events." But I suspect they also watch the demand for their discontinued models on resale markets. The Lumberjack and 84 mm Tinker were revived, and the 84 mm Climber and 84 mm Hunter were replaced by the Delémont Collection.
  9. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Is it selling at the price it is offered? Yes. There ya go. Capitalism 101:D
    Storm 8593, mnblade, Smaug and 3 others like this.
  10. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2018
    Darm straight! I think it's the best EDC SAK in production right now.

    jmh33 likes this.
  11. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    The fact that this comes with the corkscrew mini screwdriver, ballpoint, and the pin probably factors into the cost. Those make this smallish SAK a rather unique one.

    EDIT: I think I need one of these
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    GABaus likes this.
  12. Frankki

    Frankki Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Didn't know about the combo tool having a larger/non-standard pivot, interesting to hear. If it makes the tool and knife somewhat stronger, all the better. All the extra goodies might also explain the pricing. What I have been thinking is that there is also the special hook tool with nail file surface added, can't estimate how much more it costs to put that stippling on it but it's got to be something.
  13. Scott321


    Jul 20, 2016
    Forgive the snarky tone of this comment, as I mean it in all sincerity. It's very simple: did you or others purchase it at that price? If so, that's why it costs that.
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I generally prefer the plastic handled ones because I get the tweezers and tooth pick. What bothers me is why certain models (Pioneer, Electrician and so forth) only come as Alox models and just more expensive. As far as I'm concerned, I suspect it is a supply and demand thing on the Compact model and they apparently are getting sufficient sales at their pricing. I looked at a Compact, and then bought a Small Tinker instead. I knew some of the tools on the Compact I would never use and frankly didn't want.

    My favorite model after I discovered it years ago was the side locking Adventurer model. They discontinued it and have re-done it with a liner lock. I can live with that change, but I always found the side lock really easy to use and sufficiently strong. I still have several spare side lock Adventurers, so it is a non issue at the moment.
  15. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    For the number of knives that Vic churns out in a year, they are overall not that big a company, so designs happen really slowly. It took forever it seems for the pioneer X to come out for example. So even if they wanted to do plastic versions of some of the alox, its a lot of work for a much narrower market. I suspect they maintain a lot of the alox line because a few days production covers the better part of a year's sales. but that is just a guess.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Can't say how big a company Victorinox is, but I think they are the largest knife manufacturer in the world in terms of volume. I disagree completely about the plastic versions being a much narrower market (just the opposite actually) and don't think it's a lot of work as the knife sizes are standardized and I suspect parts interchange. Unlike many here, the Pioneer X with the scissors did nothing for me as I don't like or want the scissor models much at all.
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  17. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I sorta mis-spoke. I think that a plastic handle electrician would be so close to so many other 91mms that there wouldn't be a strong enough reason to do it. I agree the plastic handle knives are far more popular in general though.
    The way I understand the interchangeability, is that its not individual tools but rather whole layers, and certain layers cannot go next to each other. So it would be a matter of making a stripper-blade layer, and sizing it for the 91mm, not a small amount of work.
    As far as size goes, yeah they are the biggest by volume, but that comes from having a very tight production flow, not necessarily by having a huge production team. Though I don't know how many there actually are.
  18. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Back on topic for a moment.

    The Compact is expensive because:
    A) it's popular (demand)
    B) it's not so popular that they will ramp up production
    C) Businessmen are making the decisions, up at Victorinox

    It costs the same as the mighty Explorer, for Christ's sake!

    If they're not careful, they're going to get whupped by the likes of Boker, with their Plus Tech series.
  19. mnblade


    Feb 7, 2000
    Here here! The Adventurer is (was) a gem. Got mine in 1992 and have lost count how many countries I've toted mine through.
  20. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I doubt boker is much of a competitor with Victorinox. Sure the Plus Techs look kinda cool, but Vic is in every store. Even though Bokers sit in all sorts of mall watch battery and engravers shops, they have too wide a line, and don't have the long term reputation. So even if someone is looking for a Plus Tech, they have little chance of finding one before they come across a Vic, and the deal is done. Boker has a very small market share compared to Vic, and as their warranty reputation bleeds out, boker is going to struggle to keep selling knives to enthusiasts. They will sit at the entry level at best.

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