Victorinox Swiss Army & SwissTool Multitools
Founded in 1884, Victorinox has delivered knives to the Swiss Army since 1891. Victorinox established their famous emblem—a cross in a shield—in 1909 and is instantly recognizable the world over. That year, the mother of founder Karl Elsener died and he named the company “Victoria” in her honor. In 1921 they added stainless steel into their products and added “inox” (ab. for acier inoxydable, the French term for stainless steel) to their brand to become “Victorinox” (“Victoria”+”Inox”).
The Swiss Army knife is the best-known product by Victorinox. Originally the sole supplier, Victorinox shares the contract with Wenger since 1908. A compromise between the two companies gave Victorinox the right to advertise as the Original Swiss Army Knife, while Wenger laid claim to the title of Genuine Swiss Army Knife. Victorinox took over Wenger in 2005.
The Swiss Army Knife (SAK) comes in many sizes and functional configurations, so it is no surprise that many people outside the army count the SAK as required equipment. NASA astronauts have a Victorinox knife as standard equipment. Victorinox knives have accompanied adventurers across the globe from the summit of Mt. Everest to the jungles of the equator.
SwissTools are Victorinox’s line of multi-tools.
THE COMPANY VICTORINOX
In 1884, Karl Elsener opened his cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. At this time Switzerland was still one of the poorer countries in Europe. In the early years Karl Elsener worked to combat poverty and unemployment in the Schwyz basin, creating jobs and helping stem the flow of emigration.In 1891, he supplied the soldier’s knife to the Swiss Army for the first time. He went on to develop the Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife – now the iconic Swiss Army Knife – in 1897, creating the foundation for a flourishing company that would be able to hold its own on the world stage.
From then on, his spirit of solidarity, deep roots in the region and strong commitment to solid values shaped the Victorinox company philosophy. Today, Victorinox is a global company with six product categories: Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Knives, Watches, Travel Gear, Apparel and Fragrances. The Swiss Army Knife is the core product and has a pioneering role in the development of all product categories.
Victorinox guarantees that its products meet the highest standards in all areas and quality is never compromised, regardless of the production site. The majority of Victorinox products – the Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Knives, Watches and Fragrances – are manufactured in Switzerland.
For reasons of expertise, Travel Gear and Apparel items are produced abroad, where the technical, staff and material resources needed for efficient manufacture can be accessed. To ensure that these products also meet the highest standards, partners are chosen carefully and the high quality standards are stringently enforced.
It is this level of quality that has allowed Victorinox to become a leader in Switzerland and the rest of the world.
Victorinox SwissTool Product Lineup
You need to pay attention when navigating the SwissTool products. Victorinox uses a combination of letters and add-ons to designate their different models and it is easy to miss the differences with just a quick glance. For example, the SwissTool Spirit X and Spirit XC are identical for 23 of the 24 tools, the only difference is the Spirit X has a drop point knife blade and the Spirit XC has a large blade with wavy edge (serrated blade) with no pointed tip. The Spirit XBS is the tactical version of the Spirit X and comes in black oxide steel with a cap crimper on the pliers.
- SwissTool Family – the original Victorinox multitool with 26 tools
- Standard SwissTool (3.0323) – includes a large drop point knife blade as well as a sheepsfoot style serrated blade
- SwissTool X (3.0327) – same as the standard SwissTool but replaces the serrated blade with scissors
- SwissTool BS (3.0323.3CN) – the tactical version of the SwissTool with black oxide steel and a cap crimper on the pliers
- SwissTool RS (3.0326 discontinued) – same as the SwissTool X but replaces the file with a serrated belt cutter
- SwissTool Spirit Family – multitool with 24 tools
- Spirit or Spirit S (3.0223 discontinued) – included a large drop point knife blade and serrated sheepsfoot blade
- Spirit X (3.0224) – has large drop point knife blade
- Spirit XC (3.0227) – identical to the Spirit except for the knife blade, the Spirit XC has a ‘large blade with wavy edge’, a serrated blade with no pointed tip
- Spirit XBS (3.0224.3CN) – the tactical version of the Spirit X with black oxide steel and a cap crimper on the pliers
- Plus Packages – these are combination packages that include additional tools, the base multitool is the same
- Plus – comes with the Victorinox bit wrench and an assortment of standard 1/4 inch bits, a mini screwdriver, and corkscrew
- Plus Ratchet – same tools as the Plus but replaces the bit wrench with a ratchet handle and extension bar