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Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles 563

Hero Member Posts: 743
Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« on: June 02, 2018, 08:30:35 PM »
So, on a lark, I bought a "91mm Wood Folding Pocket Army Knife 17 In 1 Outdoor Hunting Survival Hand Tool" off of eBay for $13.59 shipped. Shipped from China, of course. It's a HILARIOUSLY bad copy of the Victorinox Champion Plus. Most of the tools are significantly thinner than the Victorinox tools (bottle/can opener, pliers, and magnifier/screwdriver in particular). Yet the knife is thicker than the Champion because the saw and fish scaler have their own layers. (They're combined in the same layer on the victorinox knife). Here's the knife:

The blades are not even close to sharp out of the box. The magnifier is plastic and held in the metal holder with a little silicon o-ring. It popped right out with the slightest pressure. It doesn't work as a magnifier, it's just a toy. The scissors cut paper just fine, and struggled with 14 AWG speaker wire. But they cut it, and then went back to cutting paper. They're the best part so far. The fish scaler only has inches on it, which is odd for a Chinese knife. The saw is similar, and appears to be the only sharp tool in the knife. The file does not appear to have any special treatment. It struggles to file away mild steel. It does not include saw teeth, just file surface on the bottom. The main and secondary blades are laughably bad. The edges on the blades couldn't open letters they were so dull . Nothing on the knife is machined. From screwdriver heads to awls to pliers, there's no machining. Just smooth rounded corners everywhere. The mini driver in the corkscrew fell apart the first time I handled it.

What's good about the knife? Well, it's held together with steel pins instead of brass. They're just peened over like Wenger knives, but they're steel and that's stronger than brass. Several of the layer plates appear to be stainless instead of aluminum. Strange that not all of them are, but both outer plates and two inner plates are definitely stainless. The wood handles are pretty nice. They're real wood. The mini driver I was able to repair by heating the pin and sliding it deeper into the handle. (It was a manufacturing flaw, it wasn't in far enough). The mini driver doesn't fit Victorinox corkscrews, but with a tiny bit of trimming it fits old Wenger knives.

So why did I waste almost $14 on this piece of junk? Because, I banked on the fact that China would make a very, very good approximation, and use an actual Victorinox knife as a template to build their copy. And I was right. I bought it in the hopes that the wooden scales would be actual wood, and the correct size for a Victorinox knife. And they completely are. The holes need to be drilled slightly larger to accommodate the larger bushings in the Victorinox knife, but otherwise the scales are the perfect dimensions in every way. They're held on with rubber cement, and come off with a thin sharp knife and about 4 seconds of prying. $14 for real wood scales is not bad IMO.

So anyhow the knife itself is going in the trash. With the exception of the scissors and to some extent the pliers (they do work, although they're considerably thinner than real Victorinox pliers) none of the tools on this China copy are worth a damn.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 08:32:20 PM by ChopperCharles »
Sr. Member Posts: 459
Re: Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 10:42:56 PM »
Nice review! Are the scales bamboo?
Hero Member Posts: 743
Re: Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 11:33:07 PM »
I have no idea what the scales are. They don't feel like bamboo, though.

Hero Member Posts: 743
Re: Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 12:48:07 AM »
So some updates. One of the scales was slightly twisted. I wrapped the scale in a wet paper towel and clamped it to the workbench for 24 hours. Then took the towel off and clamped it for another 12 hours. It's straight now.

I sanded and stained both scales a dark mahogany. They look nice. I was going to cut tool slots into them by hand, but decided I'd probably fark it up, and I'm going to save these for a "sometimes carry" knife instead of any of the Victorinoxes I like to EDC.

Now, in the meantime I've tried using the tool. With extremely, and I do mean extremely light use, the layers are separating and the tool is twisting - some of the tools are hitting layer dividers. The peening is obviously sub-par.

No surprise that the file completely dulls and turns smooth seconds after attempting to use it on steel or stainless steel. It works on aluminum, but steel dulls it and it becomes worn and shiny really quickly. I didn't think it'd last long, but three strokes against a stainless steel screw and it was done for.

Big surprise are the pliers. They have a little side to side play, but not nearly as bad as Wenger pliers. They can pluck a hair from my arm, so they're precision enough. My only gripe is they polished the jaws after cutting the friction grooves (whatever they're called), so they're pretty slick. 2 minutes with a small triangle file and the pliers are QUITE usable. They easily handle loosening the nut on my dremel, I think better than the wenger pliers, and they worked quite well to put the little chains on Wenger knives that didn't have them. They're not as thick or robust as Victorinox pliers, but they're actually better than Wenger pliers. I'm impressed. I might try cutting them down and fitting them to a Wenger knife, just to see if it can be done. The scissors are still good as well, no complaints at all with the scissors.

As the tool is falling apart, it's going to be junked shortly. I'll try testing the saw on a piece of wood first, though.

Hero Member Posts: 743
Re: Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 09:07:26 AM »
Aaaaaaand I tested the saw. I have a big oak in my back yard, and I picked up a 1.5-1.75" diameter branch that had fallen. It made it about halfway through before it got stuck. Turned it over and attacked it from the other side and... it made it about a quarter of the way through. It could have still kept cutting, but at this point it was obvious the saw was dulling and dulling by the second. It was taking far too long to cut, and the saw no longer made a swarf wider than itself. So it was constantly getting stuck.

I ground the pins and pulled the thing apart. I kept the layer dividers, the pliers, the scissors, and all the backsprings. I figure the layer dividers and backsprings are hard to screw up -- the knife had a nice snap to it if nothing else. That stuff might be useful for modding Victorinox knives in the future. Might have to make spacers or make custom backsprings, and it'll be nice to have spare parts. The pliers will probably be cut and modified and fit into a Wenger 85mm, just for smurfs and giggles.

No Life Club Posts: 3,017
Re: Chinese Victorinox knock-off with wood handles
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 09:21:39 AM »
That stuff might be useful for modding Victorinox knives in the future.

I admire your optimism!



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