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Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review. 58663

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« on: July 03, 2009, 02:35:40 AM »
Well it is that time again, when I write down my own personal thoughts and add a few photographs and attempt to wrangle those two together into a seamless whole. Yeah right!
This time, I will take a closer look at those multi-tools currently produced by Victorinox…The SwissTool and the smaller SwissTool Spirit. Just be warned, I am by no means an expert on this line. What follows are my thoughts and general ramblings. I am sure I may be making some mistakes with my facts. If so, please correct me.

Intro and other stuff
I believe Victorinox starting producing multi-tools back in 97. By that time, Leatherman had been producing such items for about 14 years. With that said, Victorinox has been producing Swiss Army knives since 1884…and well…that is a very long time to be in the cutlery business. Enough time to perfect what they do. Most of you know that Swiss Army knives (SAKs) exude quality that the Swiss are world renown for…and their plier based multi-tools follow suit. Anyways, they took their time evaluating a bunch of competition products and produced their first take on it, the venerable SwissTool back in 97. It is a testament that this multi-tool is still in production, albeit with a few slightly different models. We will get into greater detail about that later in this short article.
The SwissTool Spirit is a newer model that has a more ergonomic handle shape, along with a smaller footprint and lighter weight. It was introduced I believe in 2004, and there have been a few variations introduced since then.

In this short article, I shall endeavor to discuss the 5 models that I currently own.

A little about the sheaths that come with these multi-tools. The SwissTools tend to come with a rather nice nylon sheath. The Plus version comes with an extra large sheath that has room for a bit/wrench set along with a few smaller side compartments included inside. The Spirit comes in a much smaller leather sheath. The Plus and Spirit sheaths use Velcro, whereas the SwissTool sheaths use a snap for closure.


From left to right: SwissTool Plus, Two SwissTool sheaths, and two Spirit sheaths. All sheaths feature the famous Victorinox Swiss symbol.

Variations on the Victorinox SwissTool and SwissTool Spirit. This was highly confusing to me when it was time for me to purchase a few Victorinox MTs for my collection. To be honest, it all seemed odd to me, as I had no clue what the model designation meant. After reading up on them from several web sites, including this wonderful one, it slowly became clear to me. I could not find a single photo that illustrated the differences between them, and thus, I produced the following one of the current models I have to make sense of it all.
 


From left to right:
1.   SwissTool Regular with both blades. This one came in a Plus kit. The Plus designation signifies that you get extra tools and a very nice sheath to carry them. My Plus kit came with a bit wrench, a bit holder, and several screwdriver bits.  Rather nice this.
2.   SwissTool X. The X model replaces the serrated blade for scissors.
3.   SwissTool RS. This model replaces the serrated blade and file, for scissors and a belt cutter.
4.   SwissTool Spirit X. This model replaces the butter knife shaped blade for a clip point blade.
5.   SwissTool Spirit. This model comes with a butter knife shaped blade.
Let’s recap. The SwissTools come in several variations. We have the regular, X and RS versions. The X version and the RS version both feature scissors. The RS also has a belt cutter minus file for car emergencies and other things that such a blade is useful for. The Spirit X replaces one blade shape for the other. There is also a Spirit S that replaces the scissors for a clip point knife blade. I do not currently have the S version yet.  You can also get a Plus version for both SwissTool and Spirit. On top of that, there is also a SwissTool CS version that is very much like the Plus version but also includes a corkscrew and associated mini screwdriver. Whew…see how this can all get confusing!

SwissTool



The SwissTool is one very large and imposing multi-tool. The workmanship and feel of quality is superb. Everything fits nice and tight, with no sloppiness evident anywhere. I must say, these Victorinox MTs put to shame Leatherman and SOG for quality, and that is saying something. The only thing that comes close is a much older Leatherman.


All 3 versions of the SwissTool are outwardly the same, differing only in the combination of the folding tools contain therein. Note the plier head shape, which indicates that these are fairly new versions. It appears that Victorinox changed their plier heads several times during the production cycle. I would think this is a good way to date your model if need be.


From left to right: SwissTool, SwissTool RS, SwissTool X.

The tools included are extensive and at times rather ingenious in how they have multiple capabilities per folding tool.

We have (taken from Victorinox’s website):
-   Screwdriver 2mm
-   Screwdriver 3mm
-   Heavy duty Wire cutters
-   Belt cuter (RS version)
-   Screwdriver 5mm
-   Cap lifter
-   Serrated blade (regular version)
-   Scissors (RS and X version)
-   Metal file (missing in RS version)
-   Metal saw (missing in RS version)
-   Wood saw
-   Reamer and punch
-   Phillips screwdriver 1+2
-   Chisel/scraper
-   Strong crate opener
-   Wire bender
-   Wire stripper
-   Can opener
-   Lanyard hole


Showing the thickness of the various versions of the SwissTool. As you can see, there is no difference from one to the other.

SwissTool Spirit

The SwissTool Spirit is a smaller more ergonomic multi-tool that is designed to please those who are wanting something smaller and lighter to carry. The handles, instead of being straight as on the SwissTool, has a bend to them that does make using the pliers a little more comfortable.



The SwissTool Spirit is built with the same precision and attention to details that Victorinox pours into each and every product they manufacture. As such, the Spirit oozes quality. It is very hard to express in words, as its more of a feel. These sort of make other multi-tools from other manufacturers feel a little less refined in comparison.



The tool selection is as good and as diverse as those found on the larger SwissTool.

We have (taken from Victorinox’s website):
-   Screwdriver 2mm
-   Screwdriver 3mm
-   Light duty Wire cutters
-   Cap lifter
-   Screwdriver 6mm
-   Crate opener
-   Practical Spirit combi-edge blade
-   Scissors
-   Metal file
-   Metal saw
-   Wood saw
-   Reamer and punch
-   Phillips screwdriver 1+2
-   Chisel/scraper
-   Isolation length-cutter
-   Wire bender
-   Wire stripper
-   Wire scraper/Isolation round cutter
-   Can opener
-   Multipurpose hook
-   Lanyard hole

Conclusion and General Thoughts

Both multi-tool series are very nice. All the folding tools are silky smooth. There are no nail breakers to be found on any of these Victorinox tools. The fit and finish is  tops, and the general quality is one that inspired confidence.

I tend to favor the original SwissTool over the SwissTool Spirit. Although the handles are a little more comfortable on the Spirit, there is something to be said about the handle shape on the SwissTool. In use, I tend to find the bent handles on the Spirit are more apt to pinch my palm at the top of the handle just south of the pliers if I am not carful. I have a harder time to do this with the Swisstool. Likewise, I really like the feel when you open the Swisstool. There is this 3 or 4 part ratchet/notch feel to this. The Spirit doesn’t have this tactile input.  Both tools open butter smooth, but the SwissTool gives me that little bit more feedback.

Both tool selections are top notch. Most folding tools have multiple uses, and you can see how Victorinox maximized their functionality. You don’t see too many single use folding tools unless they are main tools such as the knife blades, etc… Overall, a very functional tight package for either series.

I really love how Victorinox allowed all the tools to be easily accessed. You can select each and every tool alone and easily with your fingernail. Some of the other manufacturers haven’t quite figured this part out as well as Victorinox has.

There are a few things that I didn’t like as much. For one, the Spirit palm pinch sort of defeated the ergonomics a little for me. To be honest, it could be just my big meaty hands that get in the way. You may never see this issue. I suppose, user experience will vary.  The super shiny finish is a bummer for photographers as it picks up every fingerprint.  It also gives the tool less traction in hand, meaning it can be slippery during use. On the plus side, you could use it as a mirror, survival fire starter, aircraft flasher, etc…

Pros:
-   Quality design, build, and functions.
-   Excellent array of tool functions.
-   Folding tools easily accessed for use. Ingenious way of accessing middle folding tools.
-   Sheaths are well made.
-   Folding tools well made.

Cons:
-   Spirit palm pinch.
-   Slippery shiny finish.


A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 02:59:59 AM »
Again Chako , great pics & write up mate. I have not noted 'palm pinch' on my Spirit , I have smaller not so meaty hands though :think:. I wish my sheath I got with my Spirit X & ratchet set had snap lock closure instead of Velcro.

You have opened that Vic Vs the rest quality can of worms  :o :pok: :D :D
I like em all  :D :D :D :D

It would be good if Vic put out some more/different MT's  as opposed to variations of the Swisstool & Spirit IMHO.



"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,234
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 04:12:40 AM »
Another good review Chako :tu: I only have a SwissTool X but I am sure all the models are just as capable :D That said I still am better suited with a LM :think: :D ::)

Great pics as usual 2 ;) :D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 04:36:18 AM »
So do I. There is nothing wrong with Leatherman quality, but IMHO, the precision in manufacturing isn't as high as the Swiss. I am honest enough to admit that.  :think:  :D

You are right though, I might be getting some  :twak: :twak: :ahhh :twak: :ahhh :twak: :twak:

 :D
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 04:39:42 AM by Chako »

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 07:28:05 AM »
That was your best review so far mate, and that's saying something :tu:

I couldn't agree more with your comments either :)

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2009, 05:46:41 PM »
OOOOOooooooooooo  :D  Shall I bite or not?  :D

Ok maybe a little... :D

While the quality may be regarded as being mildly superior, I personally don't think it puts the others to shame, they just do things differently and not always for the better either IMO.

I LOVE the Swisstool and it sees a lot of carry time.  It would see a lot more though if it had a needle nosed plier head which is a preferance of mine and if the phillips (yawn!) was as good as the Leathermans one.  For those 2 reasons alone (there are more but not for this thread) I mainly EDC Leatherman tools now.

I agree with your thoughts about the full sized being marginally better than the Spirit though.  :tu:  Whilst I did like the Spirit, the full sized offered me just that bit more which made the Spirit redundant for me.

Great review mate.  :tu:

I'm back!!
Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 06:33:12 PM »
After going through this review, I am sold. I have avoided getting swisstools just because of main fact that i know nothing much about these tools (coupled with the fact that I've been too busy hunting down gerber stuff)...I just might have to re-evaluate my loyalty to Gerber MTs...but I'm getting my first Swisstool today and hopefully some of the newer members get to read this too.

Great Review (as if that's not already expected) and Great photos!

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,973
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 11:35:53 PM »
After going through this review, I am sold. I have avoided getting swisstools just because of main fact that i know nothing much about these tools (coupled with the fact that I've been too busy hunting down gerber stuff)...I just might have to re-evaluate my loyalty to Gerber MTs...but I'm getting my first Swisstool today and hopefully some of the newer members get to read this too.

Great Review (as if that's not already expected) and Great photos!

The biggest problem with Vic MTs is that once you've used one,no other MT will ever feel like its a quality product!

There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,622 Little to the right...
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 11:46:55 PM »
After going through this review, I am sold. I have avoided getting swisstools just because of main fact that i know nothing much about these tools (coupled with the fact that I've been too busy hunting down gerber stuff)...I just might have to re-evaluate my loyalty to Gerber MTs...but I'm getting my first Swisstool today and hopefully some of the newer members get to read this too.

Great Review (as if that's not already expected) and Great photos!

The biggest problem with Vic MTs is that once you've used one,no other MT will ever feel like its a quality product!
No truer words have ever been spoken! The Swiss Tools are just leaps and bounds above most others in quality and sexiness!

Sent from my AT300 using Tapatalk 4

Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 01:37:03 AM »

The biggest problem with Vic MTs is that once you've used one,no other MT will ever feel like its a quality product!

to echo what derekmac stated ;  Well said...however, this is a problem I am willing to face head on, with open arms and a full wallet...well maybe not so full.

hahaha


Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,973
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 04:05:46 PM »
Oddly,it'll save you money...once you have a Vic tool,you'll never want to buy another MT!

There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!
No Life Club Posts: 2,184 This isn't me, but I'm just as dysfunctional
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 10:43:40 PM »
Oddly,it'll save you money...once you have a Vic tool,you'll never want to buy another MT!


Not quite true. I bought 3 Spirits and didn't buy another multi for quite a while. Then bought a couple of Rebar's. However, everytime I need to use a multi, it is the Spirit I reach for.

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 12:19:16 AM »
I wouldn't mind a few swisstools at my beck and call

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
Newbie Posts: 6
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 04:42:12 AM »
Great review and photos.  I was wondering what the essential differences were between the various models and between the SwissTool and the SwissTool Spirit.  I got the SwissTool X.  I must say the file is the best I have ever seen and felt on any multitool (and I have a bunch now).   
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 06:31:33 PM »
I made this review because I was very confused at the time on the differences between the various models, and thought other folks might need the help. It took me longer than I am willing to admit to figure it out and to write this review.

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
No Life Club Posts: 3,572
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 07:14:48 PM »
Dude , you must have huge mitts . I've never had a palm pinch issue . My take on Swisstool vs. Spirit is 95% of the capability in a lighter /smaller package .

I gotta admit, I've always wanted to bead blast the handles of my spirits ( after masking the tools ) , that way it would be grippier , and still have very rust resistant implements .

I used to own both a Swisstool X and a Swisstool RS .

Goatlord , you'll like the resistance to corrosion .

Chris
No Life Club Posts: 2,184 This isn't me, but I'm just as dysfunctional
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 04:32:09 AM »
Great review and photos.  I was wondering what the essential differences were between the various models and between the SwissTool and the SwissTool Spirit.  I got the SwissTool X.  I must say the file is the best I have ever seen and felt on any multitool (and I have a bunch now).

This thread is worth a read:

http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,1575.0.html

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,622 Little to the right...
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 12:59:22 PM »
I made this review because I was very confused at the time on the differences between the various models, and thought other folks might need the help. It took me longer than I am willing to admit to figure it out and to write this review.
Thanks for putting the time into this Dan!  This will no doubt be helpful to many others wondering what the differences are.  :tu:

Hero Member Posts: 855 Wanted: SpydeWrench
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2014, 05:46:14 PM »
Necro comment: Nice review, thanks.
I only own a SwissTool RX, so I can't compare the relative "pinchiness" of the Spirit and the SwissTool side by side, but measuring the angles of the tool handles on your photo's it would seem, if anything, that the Spirit might offer more flesh clearance.
Admittedly the photo's are taken from slightly different angles, and that might effect real-life angles.

Jr. Member Posts: 75
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2014, 10:38:04 AM »
Very envious of your collection. I have my eye on the Swisstool X. Seems like the best of the bunch for someone probably only after one of them. Would you agree?
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,789 What's the matter, kid? Don't ya like clowns?
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2014, 10:48:10 AM »
Very envious of your collection. I have my eye on the Swisstool X. Seems like the best of the bunch for someone probably only after one of them. Would you agree?

For my Swisstool preference I would say the X version of the Swisstool and Swisstool Spirit are the best. I want the scissors.

I also like the RS since I rarely use a file and it is replaced with a second rescue blade.

I'm the milk man!
Hero Member Posts: 665
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2015, 06:17:56 PM »
I edc ed a Swisstool X for half a year, no bad things to say. Absolutely loved it.
Only thing that frustrated me was that my boss kept calling it a leatherman. :facepalm:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555

Zed gb

******** *
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2015, 08:12:31 PM »
I edc ed a Swisstool X for half a year, no bad things to say. Absolutely loved it.
Only thing that frustrated me was that my boss kept calling it a leatherman. :facepalm:

 :facepalm:  :D
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,661 Master LM Squirt Ps4 And Lord of Navitools
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2015, 08:52:31 PM »
I edc ed a Swisstool X for half a year, no bad things to say. Absolutely loved it.
Only thing that frustrated me was that my boss kept calling it a leatherman. :facepalm:

 :rofl: :rofl:

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Victorinox SwissTool + SwissTool Spirit Review.
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2015, 01:01:09 PM »
 :facepalm:  :facepalm:  :D

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles

 

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