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Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions 12105

Hero Member Posts: 692
Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« on: January 28, 2007, 05:52:17 PM »
My first knife was a Swiss army knife that my grandfather gave to me.  Although the knife was lost long ago, I will never forget my astonishment as I opened and closed each tool, wondering about the function and marveling at the design.  Many of you probably had similar childhood experiences.

For the most part, Victorinox knives still look much like the knife I received from my grandfather when I was a child.  Although Victorinox follows traditional patterns (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it), they continue to innovate and have introduced new tools (e.g. SwissTools) and integrated new implements and technologies into their Swiss army knives (e.g. SwissBit).

On a recent trip to an outfitter store, I bought a Victorinox Spartan Lite (Model # 53451).  The Spartan Lite builds on the original Spartan, the most popular full size Swiss army knife (reference www.smartknives.com).

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Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 05:53:14 PM »
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Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 05:53:50 PM »
Here’s a list of its implements (reference www.victorinox.com):

1. Large Blade
2. Small Blade
3. Corkscrew
4. Can Opener with
5. Small Screwdriver (also for Phillips screws)
6. Bottle Opener with
7. Large Screwdriver
8. Wire Stripper
9. Reamer
10. Key Ring
11. Tweezers
12. Toothpick
13. Patented Mini-screwdriver
14. LED White Light
15. Phillips Screwdriver

The Spartan Lite adds a LED light, a Phillips screwdriver, and a mini-screwdriver to the Spartan pattern.

Like many of you, I was fond of the original Spartan pattern—it was small enough to go unnoticed in a pocket but contained many of the most essential tools… except a proper Phillips screwdriver.

Although Phillips drivers are commonly found on other Swiss army knife patterns, the driver on the Spartan Lite is not the traditional style.  On traditional patterns, the Phillips driver is located on the bottom of the knife (in place of the corkscrew) and extends toward the middle of the handle.  Because of its location, the driver requires a lot of clearance and won’t reach tight spaces.  The Phillips driver on the Spartan Lite extends from the end of the handle, increasing its reach.  One drawback of this design is that the Key Ring can get in the way when using the Phillips driver.


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« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 06:39:49 PM by supratentorial »
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007, 05:54:21 PM »
The 3-layer Spartan Lite is the thinnest current production Swiss army knife to use this style of Phillips driver  The thinner 2-layer Scientist had a similar driver but the pattern is discontinued and somewhat rare.

The head of the Phillips driver is different than the driver on traditional patterns.  Not quite a standard #1 or #2 Phillips, it is unique. 

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« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 06:07:36 PM by supratentorial »
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 05:54:47 PM »
The Phillips driver on the Spartan Lite is similar in design to the driver on the SwissTools.

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« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 06:07:56 PM by supratentorial »
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 05:55:22 PM »
Although it fits most of the Phillips head screws that I’ve tried, the rounded edges of the Phillips head make it more prone to slipping in comparison to standard bits.

Letting no space go to waste, Victorinox also incorporated a mini-screwdriver that is stored in the corkscrew.  The design is pure genius and works well for the small screws found on eyeglasses and electronic cases. 


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Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2007, 05:56:02 PM »
The LED light (or is it lite?) is somewhat of a disappointment.  The light is quite dim compared to keychain-type LED lights.  But it provides sufficient illumination of nearby objects (key holes, etc.).

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Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2007, 05:56:41 PM »
The light is actuated by either pushing a red switch for momentary operation or sliding the switch to lock the light in the ON position.  The light uses two 3V lithium CR1225 watch batteries which are included.  The battery compartment swings out of the handle and the door of the battery compartment unsnaps without requiring any tools.

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Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2007, 05:56:57 PM »
The knife blades and other implements are typical Victorinox quality and I don’t think it’s necessary to comment on them.

Overall I’m very pleased with this Swiss army knife.

(+)
Excellent fit and finish (typical of Victorinox)
Compact but contains a good selection of tools
Phillips driver has good reach

(-)
Phillips driver is more prone to slipping
Key Ring gets in the way when using the Phillips driver
Weak LED light
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 06:38:44 PM by supratentorial »
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2007, 06:40:37 PM »
Muchos kudos on an a great review supratentorial! Well written and with excellent pictures throughout! Very nice.

Strange that I never considered before how much more useful the phillips screwdriver would be on the end of the knife, as compared to where it usually is in the middle. I'm not much up to speed on SAK developement; how long has the Spartan Lite (and the Scientist before it) had this Phillips arrangement?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2007, 07:39:01 PM »
Thanks!  I don't know the release dates of the Spartan Lite or the Scientist but the Scientist was discontinued in the late 1980's if I recall correctly.

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Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 07:50:22 PM »
Okay, so tell me about those ruby scales. Do they tend get scratched up and "cloudy" easily? (I'm thinking of the translucent plastic handle covers on the Leatherman Juice tools here.....)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2007, 07:58:06 PM »
I'll have to let you know since this is my first with translucent covers.  Perhaps someone else can offer more information.  I actually prefer the aesthetics of the opaque red covers on my other knives.  I imagine that the translucent covers will show off every scratch and particle of dirt.  I think replacement covers can be ordered from an authorized dealer and if the translucent covers get ugly I may eventually replace the covers with opaque red ones.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,275 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2007, 11:31:34 PM »
Translucent scales do indeed show wear much faster than the standard scales, and that's the main reason I avoid them.  I don't mind a tool that looks used, but the translucent scales just look too crappy too fast.

I would however like to add this thread to SOSAKOnline so others can see and read your thoughts, if you don't mind?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,275 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2007, 11:35:38 PM »
By the way, anyone else notice the flashlight looks an awful lot like a piggy?

Def
piga.GIF
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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Administrator Administrator Sr. Member Posts: 368
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2007, 02:51:42 AM »
I think that is the first in there new line of Piggy tools
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2007, 03:21:48 AM »
At least they had the decency to make the light shine from the front end of the piggy.   :P

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Full Member Posts: 143
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2007, 04:10:38 AM »
At least they had the decency to make the light shine from the front end of the piggy.   :P
   :D  :laugh: :laugh: 

Supratentorial, how far from the electric panelboard was the light?  Excellent and thorough review too.

"
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2007, 07:49:53 AM »
if you don't mind?
ok

Supratentorial, how far from the electric panelboard was the light?  Excellent and thorough review too.

Thanks!

The entire compartment from the far edge of the second battery to the edge of the light (double ended arrow in photo) is about an inch and a half long.  The cover for the light (asterisk in photo) is not designed to be removable but there doesn't appear to be a panel board.  It appears to be a rather simple design.  One of the LED wires makes constant contact with one battery ("1" in photo) and the other wire makes contact with the other battery ("2" in photo) when the switch is pushed or locked in the ON position.  The switch moves a red lever downward, pushing the wire against the battery (see single ended arrows in photo).

I'm not sure but it looks like the LED might be replaced by straightening the wires and pushing the LED out of it's housing.  I just bought it though so I'll want to wait for some of the new-knife-feeling to wear off before I start taking it apart.

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 08:11:28 AM by supratentorial »
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2007, 03:46:18 AM »
Supratentorial, how far from the electric panelboard was the light?  Excellent and thorough review too.

Did he mean how far away from the electrical circuit breaker box was the knife light? In that one picture at the beginning of the thread?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2007, 04:32:38 AM »
Did he mean how far away from the electrical circuit breaker box was the knife light? In that one picture at the beginning of the thread?

Could be.  :D

If so, the answer should have been about 2 feet.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2007, 04:36:05 AM »
Damn nice job of editing that battery compartment picture though!  :laugh:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2007, 05:34:39 AM »
 Thanks!   :D
Administrator Administrator Sr. Member Posts: 368
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2007, 11:43:41 PM »
Looks like one of these to me.

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Newbie Posts: 28
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2007, 11:33:26 PM »
Great review, you posted this on SOSAK as well didn't you?
I'm a SAK-aholic (30+ SAK's) but i'm fairly new to LEDs.
I recently scored a Spartan lite new(still sealed in its blister pack) on ebay for 9.99$
I wasn't expecting much with the LED but actually i'm quite pleased with it. Its become my nighttime in-house flashlight!
One thing though callling the Spartan lite a three layer sak is technically correct but also a bit of a misnomer. That added middle LED/Philips layers is the same thickness as the Scissors AND the saw layer put together! The Spartan Lite is almost exactly the same thickness as my 4 layer Huntsman. Other than that i love the Spartan lite.
Makes me want the Huntsman lite as well! lol.
:)
Hero Member Posts: 692
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2007, 05:19:41 PM »
Great review, you posted this on SOSAK as well didn't you?
I'm a SAK-aholic (30+ SAK's) but i'm fairly new to LEDs.
I recently scored a Spartan lite new(still sealed in its blister pack) on ebay for 9.99$
I wasn't expecting much with the LED but actually i'm quite pleased with it. Its become my nighttime in-house flashlight!
One thing though callling the Spartan lite a three layer sak is technically correct but also a bit of a misnomer. That added middle LED/Philips layers is the same thickness as the Scissors AND the saw layer put together! The Spartan Lite is almost exactly the same thickness as my 4 layer Huntsman. Other than that i love the Spartan lite.
Makes me want the Huntsman lite as well! lol.
:)

Thanks! 

You're right, the layer with the LED is a fatty.

Btw, I swapped the translucent covers for stayglow (sp?) covers.  Since I primarily carry the Spartan lite when walking the dogs at night, the stayglow comes in handy.
Newbie Posts: 28
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2007, 05:29:58 PM »
I wish they sold the stayglo panels separately as i'd love to retrofit a lot of my SAK's with them!
I want to do a mod where the Led is paired with the magnifier instead of the philips. I'm pretty sure the led and magnifier can both fit in the same layer!
:)
No Life Club Posts: 3,592 Supreme Planetary Overlord trainee
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2007, 05:28:22 PM »
 Personally I don't have any qualms with the strength of the light. I've heard of some few people that have complained that location,or maybe the design of the switch makes it easy for the light to accidentally get turned on riding in the pocket.I can't say I've run into that,has anybody had that problem?
Swap out the scales for some plus scales,and you have a potent little packge.

I
No Life Club Posts: 1,384
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2007, 05:35:28 PM »
Bison56,

I've had the light on my Voyager Lite turn on my pocket & be dead when I needed it.  I usually carry it suspended in my pocket, & I find the switch has to be toward my body or it gets turned on when I bump into something.

Tom
No Life Club Posts: 3,592 Supreme Planetary Overlord trainee
Re: Victorinox Spartan Lite initial impressions
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2007, 02:14:01 AM »
I don't know if the switch could be redesigned to cut down on accidentally  being turned on,I'd be delighted,as I'm sure some others would be.

I

 

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